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Stadium name plates still available
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When the original Great Bend High School Memorial Stadium was razed last summer, Unified School District 428 personnel salvaged 881 brass name plates.

These plaques were incorporated into the bleachers when they were built in 1949. Some of the names are of those who gave money to the project. Others are names of residents in honor of whom funds were given (including many local soldiers who fought in World War II).

Now, with the stadium one school year old, district Public Relations Director Jennifer Schartz said she is still trying to get rid of the plates. "Almost a third of them have been returned to families," she told the USD 428 School Board meeting Monday night the District Education Center.

So far, 56 people have put in requests for 276 of the pieces. The largest request came from the GBHS class of 1956 which asked for 63. The class is holding its 55th reunion this summer and many classmates were included in the list of names.

"Some people are really passionate" about retrieving the plaques, Schartz said. "Some don’t care."

She doesn’t ask for proof of identification and offers the plates on a first-come-first-serve basis.

They will be available through the end of the school year. For more information, call Schartz at 620-793-1500.

In other action Monday night, the USD 428 School Board:

• Looked at the five options for the 2011-2012 school calendar. All include the requite 188 teacher contract days, but differ on starting and ending dates, spring breaks, teacher work days, and whether or not to take off Martin Luther King Day. The options will be on the district website,, so the public can offer its input. Last year, there were fewer than 100 public comments and administrators hope to garner more suggestions this year. The board will cut the number of options to three when it meets later this month, and make a final determination in March.

• Heard an update on the state Legislature and school finance. There is legislation in the works that could cut special education funding by $25 million. Since special ed is federally mandated, money to make up the difference would have to be pulled from other funds. There is also the possibility that there could be a $75 cut in the per-pupil state aid before the current school year ends.

• Recognized those who volunteer to work with students. These volunteers offer nearly 200 hours each week at schools across the district.

• Approved applying for a Midwest Energy Community Fund grant. The $500 grant would be used to purchase the Second Step program for grades one and two. This is a program for Special Education violence-prevention.

• Accepted the resignations of Mike Young, principal at Park Elementary School, Donedia Baker, a special education teacher at Great Bend Middle School, and Jan Curtis, a math teacher at Great Bend High School.