Hesston teacher steps in to Goessel role

The Goessel school district didn?t have to go far to find it?s next junior high and senior high principal.

Scott Boden, a science teacher since 1999 some 10 miles down the road at Hesston High School, was announced last week as the successor to Marc Grout.

?I?m very excited for the job,? Boden said. ?I think it?s a great opportunity.?

Raised on a farm in north-central Kansas, Boden graduated from Jewell High School, where he enjoyed what he called the ?standard, small-school experience.?

?I was involved in everything thing?football, basketball, track, Scholars Bowl, FFA, school plays?a little bit of everything,? he said.

From there he went to Kansas State University to pursue an engineering degree, but realized it wasn?t the right fit.

?I had a teacher in high school say, ?You?d make a great teacher,?? Boden said. ?That kind of put a seed in my head.?

He followed that teacher?s path into the science field when he began his education career at Hesston right out of K-State.

?I?ve worked with some great people and had some awesome opportunities to learn and get involved in the leadership side of things,? Boden said about his years at Hesston.

Those opportunities contributed to his move into administration.

?I started to feel a call for a bigger challenge,? he said. ?I loved being in the classroom, I loved the teaching side of things.

?But the more I got involved in leading and helping others grow, whether it be helping teach a teacher to do discipline better, giving them better ways to do classroom techniques with cooperative learning?those aspects made me realize it?s time to do that as my full job, supporting teachers and working with students.

?It?s just a bigger role that has a little more impact.?

Boden began a master?s program in administration at Baker University two years ago and completed his degree this spring.

As he began interviewing, he received an offer to be principal at a school some 80 miles from Hesston, but decided to turn it down.

?My wife is expecting our fifth child,? he said. ?We?re excited for that, but at the same time I didn?t want to take her away from all her friends and support.?

At that point, Boden turned to his wife and said, ??Well, maybe Goessel will open up, who knows? That would be about the perfect thing for me.? Everything sort of seemed to fall into place from there.?

Boden said the Goessel job was attractive in part because the two settings have a lot in common.

?You?ve got great people with a strong faith base and core values that I really appreciate,? he said. ?They?re conservative communities that kind of see things a certain way, which is not the case in other parts of the state.

?There?s such a value for taking care of what?s yours,? he added. ?You drive through towns and the houses are well kept and the yards are well taken care of?those kinds of things.

?People take pride in their community and they value education?they value the music program and the band program as well as the athletic side of things. There?s value for everything.?

Boden, wife Rachel and their four children?who range from fourth grade to age 3?are in the process of moving from Hesston to Goessel.

?Being a principal and working in the school system in general, to truly be there and be committed to the community is an important part of the job,? he said about the move. ?It?s not just showing up and leaving, clocking in and out. It?s not that kind of job.

?You?ve got to be there and be involved in all the other activities and things. People need to see that you?re there and you?re part of the community.?

Boden said the job of being principal is done differently in small towns.

?A lot of the conversations you?re going to have with parents are not going to be them coming in and talking to you,? he said. ?They may see you on the street.

?You just represent the school in so many more ways when you?re part of the community.?

That said, Boden knows he has a lot to learn about his new job, and he?s anxious to begin.

?I think the thing I look forward to right now is getting to know people and building trust in that process,? he said. ?I can say here?s where we?re at, here?s what we need to do. Then, let?s run with it and make a better experience for students.

?That?s really what it comes down to: How can we impact kids in a positive way??

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