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GBHS Student Council proposes all-school work day
new vlc Chryl Rugan and Hannah 1-29-2012
USD 428 board member Cheryl Rugan and sixth grade student Hannah at Jefferson Elementary school took part in a brief matching exercise as part of a presentation by Kansas Wetlands Education Center presenter Pam Martin. Martin was on hand at the noon BOE meeting Tuesday. - photo by VERONICA COONS Great Bend Tribune

The USD Board of Education heard a proposal by the GBHS student council Tuesday at the monthly noon meeting at Jefferson Elementary School.  Representatives from the Great Bend High School student council asked for approval for an all-student community service project.  The students hope to organize the student body to take on several cleaning and maintenance projects at the school and around town from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24.  “The aim of the project is to foster a sense of community responsibility and giving back,” said senior class president Chon Chavez.   
The council has been in communication with McPherson High School’s student council about the successes and problems that school encountered while completing a similar project.  They laid out a timeline for the project.  For supplies, they hope the school and local businesses will pitch in, and they will provide the labor.  They will ask the school to provide lunches for the day, and busses for transportation to work sites in town.  
Some of their ideas for work they can do includes painting bleachers  and parking lot stripes, making simple repairs and painting of equipment at Britt Spaugh Park, and cleaning up trash along the river.
The board will consider the proposal and vote on it at the Feb. 11 meeting.
Mrs. Joanna McAlister, Teacher of English at Great Bend High School School, tendered her resignation effective immediately.  She is currently on maternity leave, and has not taught this school year.  Mrs. Kelsey Metro, Math Facilitator at Great Bend Middle School, resigns effective at the end of the school year.   
“Throughout the course of the next couple months we will open the position up, both within the district and outside the district, to find the best possible applicant,” Popp said.  “We will go through our normal hiring process just like we would for any other position.  Kelsey will be difficult to replace.  We will miss her greatly.”
Jefferson Elementary School Principal Art Baker introduced Pam Martin of the Kansas Wetlands Education Center.  The school has taken part in several free programs courtesy of the KWEC in recent years, and Martin described three such programs, focused on different grade levels of children.  
“The exercises and experiments also emphasize the concepts students are leaning in class, as well as the vocabulary,” Martin said.
Several students were on hand to help demonstrate, using props used in each of the exercises.
Many of the presentations bring Martin to the school.  However, sixth graders each year travel to the KWEC to take part in various experiments where water is collected from several locations and examined under microscope to determine water quality.  Last year, because of the drought, Martin brought samples in from Quivira for the students to examine.
“We are very appreciative of the opportunity to work with USD 428 students,” Martin said.  “The objective of the center is to provide educational experiences and inform people about the importance of wetlands.”