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Jacobs Letters
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Welcome to the 2012-13 school year!  We in the Ellinwood Public School District are excited for the success that awaits us this school year.  Students and staff are eager to begin a journey toward exemplary accomplishment.  The energy and enthusiasm are present for an outstanding school year that is rewarding and builds upon the strong tradition of excellence within the district.
Our theme for the year is “Success Takes the Stairs.” This theme addresses the mindset and work ethic required to create success in any endeavor. The district is instilling an environment where “going the extra mile” becomes the standard. It is through this dedication and diligence that our achievements will be that much more significant, and our accomplishments will be that much more frequent.  You will see this theme embedded in all of our actions throughout this year.
The district received some exciting news this past summer.  Ellinwood Grade School Principal Eric Sjogren was honored as the District Five Kansas National Distinguished Principal Award winner!  This prestigious award now qualifies Sjogren for the Kansas Principal of the Year Award. Sjogren is one of six principals in the state eligible to represent Kansas in Washington D.C. at the national level as Kansas Principal of the Year.  This is an outstanding honor for both Sjogren and the school district.  Good luck Mr. Sjogren, you are a deserving candidate!
Another exciting announcement involving the district is the revelation that the high school’s Hunger Games Literacy and Collaboration Activity was selected to be presented at the Kansas State Department of Education’s Fall Conference.  This is an impressive accomplishment, as the selection process is competitive and the activity will now be presented to schools from across the entire state. While records are incomplete, to our knowledge this is the first time that a specific topic from an Ellinwood School was selected for presentation at this conference.  Congratulations to the all staff and students on this amazing accomplishment!
We have a couple of new initiatives for the coming year.  Star 107.9 is now the official radio station of Eagle Athletics.  They will broadcast all football and basketball games and occasionally other events (volleyball, softball, student interest stories, etc…). We will also be continuing our iHigh livestreaming of events on the internet. This has proven to be extremely popular and should continue to promote and highlight our activities to the world.  We recently completed our first fall sports showcase, and it was a rousing success.  Many people attended the events and all activities were supported in an exemplary fashion.  
The district was amazed by the turnout.  We also have many new academic initiatives involving instruction and culture.  These include Kagan Structures, Responsibility-Centered Discipline, and technology integration. There is an upcoming event to note.  The district will be hosting a tailgate for the first home football game versus Larned on Sept. 7.  Hamburgers will be given away to all fans that attend the game.  
The tailgate will begin at 5:45 p.m. at the south end of the football field and continue until no food remains.  We encourage all patrons to support our athletes by “bringing a friend” to the game.  It is our intent to fill the stadium for this first home game to create an electric environment for the team.  We hope that attending home football games becomes “the thing to do” on Friday nights in Ellinwood.
This is an exciting time in the Ellinwood Public School District.  We would like to encourage everyone to become involved in the activities of the district.  We are working diligently to create an environment of excellence for our students.  Working collaboratively with the community, we can achieve sustained success and noteworthy accomplishment.  We will make this district a model for the state and one for which we can be proud. Ellinwood Public Schools 2012-2013: Success Takes the Stairs.

Ben Jacobs is the USD 355 superintendent of schools.