Goessel invited to join ‘Drive 4 UR School’ event

The USD 411-Goessel board of education heard at its Sept. 11 meeting an invitation from Hillsboro Ford to participate in the next “Drive 4 UR School” event scheduled for Satur­day, Sept. 23.

Superintendent John Fast told the board Hills­boro Ford is planning the event as a fundraiser for schools in the area.

According to information from Terry Hagen of Hills­boro Ford, anyone from the Goessel community is invited to come to Hillsboro and test drive a new Ford vehicle. Ford will donate $20 for each test drive, one test drive per household.

The money Goessel receives will go to the high school music department to help with expenses for a trip that scheduled for later in the school year.

Fast encouraged Goessel patrons to take a test drive for the music department. According to the rules from Ford Motor Co., drivers will need to fill out a form, which will be sent to “Drive 4 UR School” headquarters to be certified.

The Goessel district recently purchased a vehicle from Hillsboro Ford.

New teacher report

The board listened to a report from Alicia Oard, the new high school agriculture education teacher and FFA sponsor. She is also a cheerleading sponsor. Her classes include plants, animals, and mechanics, and other subjects related to agriculture.

Oard is from Abilene and is a graduate of Kansas State University. She recently received training in building with steel at Pittsburg State. She said she hopes to help her students with a floral shop so they can sell arrange­ments to the community.

Oard told the board, “I’m just so thrilled about the excitement of the students; it’s like a breath of fresh air.”

She mentioned the recent vandalism to school vehicles and was pleased that her students offered to help clean it up.

“That’s awesome that you have kids here in this community who want to help,” she said. She also commended the parents of the community.

It was noted that Oard is now engaged; her fiance is a veterinarian. The board and administration welcomed her to the school district.

Other business

In other business, the board:

• approved an out-of-state trip for FFA students who qualified to attend the national FFA convention Oct. 18-21 in Des Moines, Iowa. Oard said it is “really impressive that they get to go,” noting that 50 are chosen from hundreds who apply.

All expenses except transportation will be paid by the World Food Prize Founda­tion. Oard plans to travel with her students.

• approved a contract for Bonnie Gaeddert as Kinder Haus director. Fast said she had been a preschool student in the very first Kinder Haus class. She has taught in Missouri and is now back in Kansas.

• heard that Barbara Gannaway had met with Sheri Janzen, Chrystiana Miller and Rachel Boden about the preschool.

Gannaway is a specialist in early education in the state of Kansas. Fast said she was “very supportive” of these teachers. She will visit the school again. Fast commended the teachers for their work.

Board member Kyle Funk commended Fast for his work on the preschool: “I want to thank you too, John,” he said. “You’ve put in a lot of time, too.” He also commended board clerk Joni Smith for her work in the preschool’s transition.

• heard about an Early Learning Kansans grant that has been awarded to the preschool.

• heard that the open house at the elementary school was well attended.

• heard that school enrollment had increased in nearly every grade, with a total of 287 students for the current school year, compared to 274 for the 2016-17 school year.

• heard Scott Boden, junior high/high school principal, that “fall activities are off to a smooth start.” He said 19 high school students and 20 junior high students are participating in football. Twenty high school and 22 junior high students are playing volleyball. Sixteen high school students are participating in cross country. Twenty students are involved in the high school play, plus seven crew members. The play will be “Alice in Wonderland.”

• heard from Fast that the Marion County Special Education Cooperative is “off to a good start.” Board chair Kelly Booton said Amy Sterk is a new para in the Goessel school district.

• talked about the Kansas Educational Systems Accreditation five-year cycle. Fast told the board the visitation team for Goessel’s accreditation cycle has been assembled: Lynette Cross (Tabor College education department chair), Shawn Koehn (Canton/Galva principal), and Nathan Hiebert (business teacher at Hills­boro).

• heard from Boden that the orientation for parents of sixth-graders had been recommended by the site council.

• reviewed the board’s short-term goals, which include retaining the quality of teachers, administration, and staff, building upon the school’s strong financial position through prudent resource management, and fully implementing the accreditation process.

• reviewed the board’s long-term goals, which include implementing an individualized plan of instruction for each student to maximize their potential, building upon and showcasing the high level of student success, and continuing to communicate with the community about the school’s strengths and challenges.

• passed the budget of $2.1 million, with a mill levy of 58.264, which is comparable to previous years.