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More GBHS students opt for intern program
Panther Boosters donate $26,280 for athletes
GBHS senior Emilee Hall talks to the school board Thursday about her experience as a student intern at the University of Kansas Health System - Great Bend Campus. This is the second year for the USD 428 intern program with local business partners. - photo by photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Great Bend High School culinary arts students provided the meal Thursday when the USD 428 Board of Education had a luncheon meeting at the school.

Career/ACT Coordinator Lacy Wolters provided a second-year update on the internship program at GBHS. Eighteen intern relationships are scheduled for this semester, with at least seven more in the spring. 

The match-ups are based on the students’ career pathways. These provide a cluster of courses related to various areas of interest for future careers.

For students on the biomedical career pathway, there are four interns at Advanced Therapy & Sports Medicine, two at Animal Medical Center and four at the University of Kansas Health System - Great Bend campus. Those businesses also sponsored interns last year. New partners with one intern each are Heartland Dermatology, Xpress Wellness Urgent Care - Great Bend, Holy Family School, Bryant Funeral Home and Kutina Dental Care. Eye Care of Great Bend and Catalyst Therapy & Sports Rehab are new partners with two interns each.

Three businesses each have an intern in the Architecture & Construction career pathway. ComfortPro is continuing last year’s partnership and the new partners are MPIRE Improvements and Deines III Farms.

There are two new partners with interns in the Business Finance career pathway. They are Great Bend Chamber of Commerce and Bauer, Pike, Bauer, Wary, Carroll & Gunn LLC. There is also a new internship for a student in the Manufacturing career pathway, Scott’s Welding Service. In addition to these businesses, nine students in the Teaching pathway are interns.

GBHS Senior Emilee Hall joined the school board meeting on Thursday to talk about her internship. Her host site is The University of Kansas Health System.

“She’s really been a go-getter,” Wolters said. Hall is active in volleyball, basketball, swim team, National Honor Society, Kayettes and Random Act of Kindness (RAK). She has also taken college courses and completed her CNA certification last year.

Interns are exposed to all aspects of their host sites, Wolters said. Hall started in the pharmacy and has been in pre-op and post-op. She even got to see a toe amputated.

“So far, I really liked physical therapy,” Hall told the board members. “The person I was shadowing was just super-suited to me and explained what he was doing and why.”

Hall is finishing her prerequisite classes for nursing school and will take her entry test into nursing school on Monday with plans to start the program at Barton Community College in the fall of 2024.

Action items

Thursday’s meeting also included a report from GBHS Principal Tim Friess regarding school improvement efforts. 

In action items, the board approved a resolution to adopt the Local Option Budget.

Superintendent Khris Thexton explained that this was a housekeeping item that will have no effect on next year’s budget as it was approved at the Sept. 11 board meeting. Boards of education are now required to adopt a resolution granting authority to set a maximum Local Option Budget authority, expressed as a percentage of the general fund budget. In the resolution, the board authorized an LOB of 31.6% for the 2023-2024 year. Thexton said in future years the board will adopt an LOB resolution when it approves the budget. 

Contributions and grant applications

In other business, the board approved new contributions and requests to submit grant applications:

• Gary Pinkall, GBMS 7th grade science teacher, will apply for a $1,000 Credit Union of America Grant to purchase telescopes for his classroom. 

• Brandy Proffitt, GBMS 7th grade science teacher, will accept a grant from the Barton County Soil Conservation District for soil testing kits valued at approximately $200 for her 7th grade Ag-Science classes. 

• The GBHS Panther Booster Club will contribute $26,280 (545 athletes @ $45 each) to the GBHS Athletic Department. 

• USD  428 will accept $2,000 from the Greater Salina Community Foundation (Midwest Energy Community Fund) contribution for the Internship Program.

• Eisenhower Elementary School will accept $250 from Midway Motors Back to School Ally Program (McPherson) through a vehicle purchase designating Eisenhower to receive the promotional incentive.