Goessel hires Marion band director

The Goessel School Board voted at its April 9 meeting to hire Mike Connell as band director for grades five through 12.

Candidates for the position had been asked to come to Goessel and conduct the band as part of the selection process.

Connell has been the band director at Marion for the past 27 years, with teaching experience at other schools prior to that.

Board members and administration noted that they had heard his band perform at ball games and in parades.

Connell will replace Bud Meisel, who plans to retire at the end of the current school year. Meisel has taught a total of 44 years, the last 11 at Goessel.

The board also voted to approve a supplemental contract for high school teacher David Goerzen as assistant golf coach. Superintendent John Fast said that with 19 or 20 golfers, ?We felt the need to have an assistant.?

The team consists of mostly freshman students, with no sophomores, four juniors and two seniors.

Junior/senior high school principal Curt Graves told the board that Goessel plans to host a golf tournament at Pine Edge golf course northeast of town, and will host the state meet at Hesston.

The board went to the elementary school computer lab for a presentation by high school English teacher Crysta Guhr, who explained the Passkey online program.

She said she has been using it this school year with reading and writing students.

?It is successful,? she said.

The majority of the students using it increased their scores. Fast said it is for students who need tutorial help.

Guhr said it can be used at home in summer also. She added that students quit using the Passkey program when their scores are on target according to Measures of Academic Progress Survey (MAPS) testing.

Graves said Passkey can be used to supplement and remediate students not on grade level and will also be used for math next year. He said the Passkey program costs only $35 per student per subject, which is considerably less than other programs the school had looked into.

Graves estimates 25 to 30 students in grades six through 12 could benefit from the program.

In other business, the board:

n accepted the resignation of Tiffany DeHaven as assistant volleyball coach. She will be moving to Colorado.

n discussed the track program. The administration suggested restructuring the coaching to provide continuity from junior high through high school. Graves said that currently there are two junior high coaches and two high school coaches.

?Basically, junior high and high school are separate entities,? he said.

He proposed a head coach for grades seven through 12, a lead assistant to help with paper work, and two coaching assistants.

?This would allow four coaches to specialize and integrate,? he said.

No decision was made at this meeting regarding.

n discussed the possibility of having cheerleaders again next year. Graves said he has been researching and compiling information from other schools. He said 13 students have expressed interest in cheerleading, and three people have expressed interest in sponsoring cheerleaders.

?This proposal is coming because we have the interest,? he said, adding: ?We?re doing a good job of supporting our teams without cheerleaders.?

Board chairman Lynel Unrau said, ?For one reason or another, (cheerleading) has really struggled in this community.?

n listened to Drake?s Marion County Special Education Cooperative report. He described ?indicators? that are used to evaluate schools.

n also heard Drake report that the co-op hired Kent Stuart to evaluate the situation in relation to facilities.

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