Tabor College centennial highlights eventful year in education

From the centennial celebration for Tabor College to the resolution of a lawsuit involving Tabor and the Hillsboro school district, 2008 provided opportunity for area observers to learn about the myriad successes and challenges of private and public education.

January

Construction began the first week of year on the building addition at Hillsboro High School. The project included new dressing rooms, coaches offices and weight room.

Tabor College named Lawrence Ressler as acting president. Ressler, who is vice president of academic affairs and student development, will fill the leadership void between the retirement of Larry Nikkel on Dec. 31 and the start of Jules Glanzer?s administration Feb. 1.

Students in the horticulture class at Centre High School won the public relations division of the Garst Seed Co. national advertising competition. The FFA chapter received a check for $1,250.

The high schools at Goessel and Hillsboro were two of 39 in Kansas to be recognized as ?bronze medalists? for academic achievements by U.S. News & World Report.

February

On Feb. 1, his first official day as Tabor College president, Jules Glanzer proposed to faculty and staff that they agree to pursue a common agenda during his first few months in office: ?to take some time to get to know each other.?

The Goessel school board voted Feb. 11 to replace the bleachers in the junior high gym for a cost of $68,800.

Influenza is taking its toll at area schools. Hillsboro schools seem to have been hit the hardest with more than 40 students absent Feb. 18 and 19.

March

The USD 410 board and administration informed staff that for the 2008-09 year, the operating budget will need to be reduced by $184,321?about 2.7 percent on a total budget of $6.7 million.

Six members of the HHS Chess Guild competed at the state tournament. Qualifying for high school division were Ben Bosworth, Matthew Richert, Joshua Elliott, Michael Chris?tian, Cody Blackketter and John Bartel. The first elementary students to qualify for state were Julian  Hessel (first grade), Benjamin Koop (third grade) and Grant Knoll (fifth grade). The HHS team tied for the state title; John Bartel won the first state medal in school history by placing 20th.

Acclaimed volcanologist R.B. Trombley was the guest presenter at Hillsboro middle and high school science classes March 11. Trombley is the founder and director of Southwest Inter?national Volcano Research Center in Phoenix, Ariz.

The USD 410 board discussed a welding program proposed by Butler Community College and Hillsboro Industries. The program would be available for high school students as well as adults.

April

The Hillsboro High chapter of Technology Students Associa?tion won nine awards at the state TSA competition in Colby. Nicholas Mueller won first place in Flight Endurance and in Dragster Design. Also competing were Landon Herbel, Neal Kaiser, Dakota Langley, Evan Just, Isaac Leihy and Brandon McMillen.

Fifth-grader Claire Heyen won the Arbor Day poster contest at Hillsboro Elementary School.

May

Jules Glanzer was inaugurated as the 13th president of Tabor College May 9. Historian and futurist Leonard Sweet was the keynote speaker.

?A Century of Transforma?tion, 1909-2008,? a 250-page history of Tabor College created by the Center for Mennonite Breth?ren Studies to coincide with the college?s centennial, made its public debut at the Tabor Centennial Dinner May 10. Doug Miller served as editor and the authors were Peggy Goertzen, Dick Kyle, Lynn Jost and David Peters.

Tabor College conferred degrees upon 130 students at the commencement service May 24. Larry Nikkel, former president, was the keynote speaker.

A record nine valedictorians were recognized at the commencement for Hillsboro High School seniors May 18. They were Mathew Brown, Benjamin Heyen, Meghan Jost, Lauren Just, Jessica Klose, Amber Loewen, Jandi Nikkel, Grant Schneider and Anna Woelk.

Wendell Loewen, associate professor of youth, church and culture, was the recipient of this year?s Clarence R. Hiebert Excellence in Teaching Award from Tabor College.

Two Marion County high schools were honored by Music Theatre of Wichita with Jester Awards May 23. The Marion production of ?Beauty and the Beast? received two awards and the Hillsboro production of ?Seussical the Musical? won 10.

All three of Marion?s schools were recognized for their successful participation in Gov. Kathleen Sebelius? Healthy Kansas program.

Kevin Tidwell from Hillsboro High and Ryan Wiebe from Pea?body-Burns High placed second in the state finals of the Ford/ AAA trouble-shooting contest.

June

Jeff Henderson, associate professor of biology at Tabor College, will conduct cancer research for the next year at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis. His focus will be genetic mutations related to breast cancer.

July

After listening to attorney arguments, Eighth District Judge Steven Hornbaker announced July 14 that he would issue a ruling in the ?designated time allowed by law? regarding the Raymond Brandt vs. Unified School District 410 lawsuit on the counter motion of summary judgment. The suit contends that USD 410 cannot, by state law, co-own property?in this case a proposed athletic facility with Tabor College.

Tabor College unveiled a new trademark logo: a crossed T in vivid Tabor blue. The logo was created by Diane Steiner, senior designer for the Tabor Commu?ni?cations Department.

Robert Rempel, formerly with the Lyons school district, began duties as the new activities director for Hillsboro High. He succeeded Max Heinrichs, who accepted the job as principal following the retirement of Dale Honeck after eight years at HHS.

Tabor College launched its new social welfare degree program that will prepare students for the state licensure exam that enables them to practice social work in Kansas. Debbie Gray is heading the program.

April Young, a senior this fall at Hillsboro High, received a bronze medal in financial planning at the 2008 Family, Career, and Community national conference in Orlando, Fla.

August

In response to a 2006 state law requiring near-equal population representation on school boards, the USD 410 Board of Education developed a proposal for public vote that would reduce the number of defined districts from six to three, but increase representation from each district from one to two people. With one at-large member, the new board will still have seven members.

Judge Hornbaker ruled Aug. 19 in favor of USD 410 in the lawsuit filed by patron Raymond Brandt, clearing the way for the district and Tabor College to proceed with plans to jointly build a new football and track-and-field facility on the college campus.

For the fifth year in a row, Tabor College was ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the best colleges in the Midwest. Tabor ranks 38th among the Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the region?up from 40th last year.

September

Linda Cantwell accepted the position of vice president of enrollment management and marketing at Tabor College. She succeeds Rusty Allen, who is vice president for athletics.

The USD 410 Board of Educa?tion approved the purchase of property on Date Street to house the transportation facility and central-office space. The purchase price of the property, owned by Midway Motors, was $395,000.

Legal counsel representing Raymond Brandt filed an appeal Sept. 16 regarding the summary judgment issued last month against the lawsuit he filed against USD 410.

October

Jet Skiles was crowned queen and Ishmael Morris king at this years Hillsboro High School homecoming ceremony Oct. 3.

Tabor College dedicated its new Centennial Plaza, featuring an original sculpture by alum Sandra Storm, as the highlight of its official centennial celebration the first week of October.

Lyndon Vix, Tabor College alum and board chairman, played the leading role of Tevye in the college?s production of ?Fiddler on the Roof,? Oct. 1-5.

USD 410 reached a settlement last week with plaintiff Brandt, marking the end of a 16-month litigation process regarding the athletic stadium project with Tabor College. Under the agreement, the district will pay Brandt $27,500 in lieu of his legal assurance that he will no longer challenge the bond election results.

December

For the second year in a row, Goessel Junior/Senior High has been selected by U.S. News & World Report as a bronze medalist in its ?America?s Best High Schools? study.

USD 410 met Dec. 8 with a consultant from the Kansas Association of School Boards to officially begin a search for a permanent superintendent. Doug Huxman has been interim superintendent since August 2007.

About 160 students, faculty and staff combined their efforts to establish a Guinness World Record for continuous trampoline jumping. The 24-hour effort, which took place in the Campus Recreation Center, began Dec. 13 and ended Dec. 14.

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