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Energy management pays off at USD 428
Band/Orchestra Trip approved
new slt BOE
I invited Humphrey for the evening, Great Bend USD 428 School Board member Susan Young said as Mondays meeting got underway. All Great Bend children in grades K-6 have been invited to read the book, The World According to Humphrey, about a classroom hamster, as part of the One District, One Book literacy campaign. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

For the past 11 years, Great Bend Middle School instructor Greg Wells has been leaving sticky notes is classrooms throughout the school district. In addition to his teaching duties, Wells serves as the USD 428 energy manager, overseeing a conservation program. The notes may remind a teacher to turn off  a computer or the light at the end of the day.
All of the district’s conservation efforts have paid off, Wells told the school board Monday. In 11 years, the district has spent $1,533,493 less on energy than it would have without the conservation program – a 21 percent reduction in consumption.
There were skeptics when the program was implemented, including employees who thought they would be asked to turn down the heat in winter or swelter in warmer weather. That hasn’t been the case, Wells said.
“We want people to be comfortable and not wasting energy,” he said. For example, the lights in a building used to stay on until the custodians were finished cleaning. Now, the lights are turned off throughout the building, except for the room being cleaned.

Band/Orchestra Trip approved
In action items Monday, the board approved the Great Bend High School Band and Orchestra trip to Branson, Mo., over next year’s spring break, March 16-18, 2016.
GBHS Orchestra instructor Isaac Enochs made the presentation to the board. Also in the audience were GBHS Band instructor Mark DeWald, Great Bend Middle School band instructor Austin Russell and GBMS orchestra instructor Alyssa Lane.
One hundred students will see a professional show and will open for one. There will also be performance workshops. Fun things include a day at Silver Dollar City and a trip to the Titanic Museum. Cost is $275 per student, and there are opportunities for them to earn the money.
“This is a good opportunity for our students, as well as a chance to have some fun,” Enochs said.
School board member Kevin Mauler asked about the plan to use district buses for the trip, since that has not been done for this type of trip in the past. Superintendent Brad Reed said he had no problems with the use of the buses, and Assistant Superintendent Khris Thexton noted there will be drivers available because of spring break.
DeWald said chartering buses would add $100 to the cost per student.
The board approved the trip and buses unanimously.