Year brings challenge, achievement

Area school district experienced another year of academic achievements and challenges during 2012.


Goessel Elementary School again received the Governor?s Achievement Award for being among the top 5 percent of the 182 elementary schools in Kansas.

Ron Braun was hired as the new vice president for advancement at Tabor College, effective Jan. 23. He fills the position vacated by Jim Elliott, who accepted a position with Moody Bible College.

The Learning in Retirement program at Tabor College will meet on Fridays instead of Mondays starting with the spring semester.


Jerri Kemble of USD 397-Centre is one of 10 superintendents from across the country to receive the 2012 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award for exemplifying outstanding leadership and vision in using technology to advance their district?s educational goals. Only one other Kansas superintendent won the award.

Michael Brookens and the Six Appeal a capella vocal band were back in Marion County to present educational clinics at Hills?boro and Marion schools and a public concert. Brookens is a 2006 Marion High graduate and one of the founders of the group.

Centre students in kindergarten through 12th grade invited more than 100 people to a celebration to thank them for making a difference in their lives. Monte Selby, an educator, singer and songwriter, worked with students throughout the day and performed at the ceremony.

William J. Johnson gave 35 years to Tabor College as a member of the science faculty. The college received a $50,000 gift from his estate. It will be used for student scholarships and to purchase equipment for the chemistry department.

Knowing how to spell ?cellophane? enabled Carissa Shields, a Centre Junior High student, to wrap up this year?s Marion County Spelling Bee title at Marion.

A contribution from Wilmer Harms and his wife, the late Esther Harms, of North Newton, will result in more housing options on the Tabor College campus. The project, to be constructed at 218 S. Madi?son in Hillsboro, will have the capacity to house 16 students.

Officers of the Hillsboro High School FFA chapter organized a petting zoo for first-graders and Head Start students at Hillsboro Elementary School. The officers brought young animals from their farms.


Beth Nesser, a Marion High School senior from Florence, was one of four recipients of the $68,000 Tabor College Presiden?tial Leadership Scholarship for 2012.

For Ron Traxson, principal at Cheney High School, a Class 4A school west of Wichita, was hired as superintendent of the Peabody-Burns school district.

A group of third- and fourth-graders called the Centre iTeam demonstrated how to use the iPad to 40 teachers at a March 9 staff development gathering for the DeSoto school district. The students told the teachers about learning with the iPads and demonstrated several apps.

Librarian Sandy Arnold estimated the participation in this year?s Family Reading Night was similar to last year?s?about 465, including 190 to 200 children. The theme was ?LSI: Library Scene Investiga?tion,? a play on the popular ?CSI? TV shows.

The Goessel school board voted to replace student lockers in the junior high school. The current lockers were installed in 1935 when the building was built.

More than 150 people attended the ?Free Class Day,? sponsored by Butler County Community College in Marion. The theme of the event, now in its third year, was ?something for everyone.?


The officers of the Hillsboro High School FFA hosted the Southwest Dairy Farmers mobile classroom for fourth- and fifth-graders. Through SDF, dairy producers from Kansas and four other states pool their resources to provide consumer education in nutrition, promote dairy-product use and provide dairy-product information.

The Unified School District 410 Board of Education agreed to spend up to $159,000 to purchase computers for high school staff and students for spring 2012.

Centre High School observed a mock vehicle accident rescue to encourage safe driving. With three students volunteering as ?victims,? emergency personnel demonstrated the techniques used by rescue workers to free victims from the vehicles and tend to their injuries.

Hillsboro high school and middle school students experienced their own version of the ?The Hunger Games.? Sandy Arnold, director, and Janet Whisenhunt, assistant librarian, staged a competition between classes in both buildings that attracted the energy and imagination of students for a variety of contests and activities that led to rewards for the winners.

Lanna Wagner, a seventh-grader at Goessel Junior High, will be going to College Park, Md., in June to explain ?trepanation? to the judges at the Ken?neth E. Behring National History Day Contest. She earned that privilege by winning her division at the Kansas History Day Contest in Topeka April 21.


The Marion-Florence FFA chapter was recognized at the state convention for placing in top 20 percent of all chapters in the areas of chapter development, community development and student development. The chapter also placed third in a FFA information leadership quiz bowl event.


The Centre school district won the prestigious National Promising Practice Award from the Character Education Partnership. The award recognized the district?s Character Buddy program to teach essential attributes and social skills necessary for success of their students.

But Linda Ogden, director of the non-profit Families and Communi?ties Together Inc., said she expects to stay involved as a volunteer in various ways following her retirement at the end of the month.

After taking the top prize in the junior division at Kansas History Day in April, Lanna Wagner was judged to have the fourth-best individual exhibit at the national competition at College Park, Md.

Members of the Technology Student Association chapter of Hillsboro High School placed among the top 10 in three events at the 2012 National TSA Con?ference in Nashville, Tenn. Erich Herbel placed fourth in Flight Endurance; Chase Mei?singer made the finals in Dragster Design. Herbel and Bret Mueller finished in the top 10 in the Problem Solving event.


As the new executive director of Families and Communities Together Inc., Ashlee Gann said she?s found a dream job that melds her passions for children, families and leadership.

For the second consecutive year, the Tabor College department of advancement surpassed the million-dollar goal for its annual fundraising campaign. It was the first time in school history the Tabor Fund has been fully funded in consecutive years.

The Goessel school board discussed the school?s dress code after administrators received complaints from constituents and staff that students are showing ?too much skin.? Scott Boden, junior/senior high school principal, said the handbook will be more specific in the future; shorts will need to be at least finger-tip length.

The U.S. Depart?ment of Edu?cation announced it had approved requests from Kansas and five other states for flexibility in meeting some of the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, including its mandate that every student at every school pass state reading and math assessments by 2014.


The exhibit ?War and Peace: The Art of Shin-hee Chin,? opened in the Eisenhower Presiden?tial Museum in partnership with the Arts Council of Dickinson County, and will remain open until Jan. 6. Chin is a well-known fiber artist who teaches art at Tabor College.

Alex Hiebert?s ?Recycle and Redesign? project earned the Goessel High School student a gold medal the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America national conference in Orlando, Fla. Schoolmates Kara Schmucker and Nicki Bartel earned silver medals at the national conference.

Larry Boettcher, Newton, was named director of development for Tabor College. He comes to Tabor after serving as director of development for the Good Samaritan Society in Lyons.

Hillsboro was one of three communities in Kansas to share grant funds for two years totaling $24,575 to be part of the ?Walking School Bus? program.

Bradley Vogel, music professor at Tabor College, had his first original piece of music published by Imagine Music Publish??ing. ?Cantate Domino, Canticum Novum? is the Latin setting of Psalm 96.

USD 410 Board of Education unanimously approved a mill increase of 1.177 for the 2012-13 budget. Superintendent Steve Noble had recommended a 2.138 mill increase.


Goessel Elementary School was named a Title I Reward School by the Kansas Depart?ment of Education. As such, GES is among the top 10 percent of Title I schools through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Waiver. The recognition is based on the past four years of combined state reading and math assessments.

Brandon Brown, 26, a junior from Sacramento, Calif., who transferred to Tabor this fall, died of injuries sustained in an altercation that occurred in McPherson. Two former members of the McPherson College football teams were later arrested.

Enrollment growth at Tabor College set a new record for the fifth consecutive year with 768 students enrolled at the Hills?boro and Wichita campuses. The Hillsboro campus has 613 students taking classes and Tabor College Wichita has 155, including graduate and undergraduate students.


Some 126 students from Marion, Hillsboro, Centre and Peabody-Burns elementary schools, as well as Cottonwood Christian School near Durham, participated in this year?s Envi?ro?fest in Marion?s Central Park.

Marga Ebel?s estate gift of about $350,000 will be used to provide a new and novel dental-health program for students in USD 410 schools. About $18,000 per year for the next three years will be used to identify and address dental issues in students. Hills?boro Dental Care will be the primary service provider.


Ten Tabor College students will be making personal apologies to several families victimized by the Oct. 30 theft of more than 100 pumpkins from residential areas in Hillsboro. The pumpkins were taken sometime during the early morning hours of Oct. 31, then placed in the courtyard at the women?s quad on campus.

Olivia Kliewer, a Tabor freshman from Hillsboro, won the freshmen women classical division at the National Associa?tion of Teachers of Singing student auditions at the University of Nebraska.

Lillian Benda, a freshman at Hillsboro High, collected toys to give to hospitalized children at Children?s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Benda was diagnosed with epilepsy last summer and spent a week in that hospital.

Jules Glanzer received a three-year reappointment as president of Tabor College following an evaluation conducted by the college?s board of directors. Glanzer became Tabor?s 13th president in 2008.

Tena Loewen, a senior at Hillsboro High, is one of four recipients of a $68,000 Tabor College Presidential Leadership Scholarships for 2013.


Donna Dalke will be retiring after 34 years as a full-time secretary with Unified School District 410, including the last 22 at Hillsboro High. She first worked in the HHS office as a student aide in the mid-1960s.

Krista Priest, who lives in Hillsboro but works in Wichita as a librarian at Beech Elementary School, received the Good Apple Award recently from Wichita Public Schools.

After reviewing a proposed plan for the project at its Dec. 10 meeting, the USD 411-Goessel school board approved a contract with Loyd Construction for its facilities renovation and expansion project.

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