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School board approves summer wrestling tournament
Outdoor matches proposed
new slt school board Brockelman mug
Nathan Broeckelman

The meeting in brief

Here is a summary of Monday’s USD 428 school board meeting:
• Volunteers in USD 428 learning centers were recognized.
• School calendars for two years were approved.
• Board approved purchase of a pickup and custom toolbox for the Maintenance Department.
• GBHS Head Wrestling Coach Nathan Broeckelman provided details and received permission to host a 2018 Summer Dual wrestling tournament.
• E-rate funding requests were approved for 2018-2019.
• Concrete projects at Park Elementary and the GBHS Field House were presented.
• GBHS graduation requirements include three units of science; a proposed change would specify one life science and one physical science required for a total of three units. This was a first reading.
• The board heard updates on committees studying future curricula adoption recommendations.
• The addition of nurse aides was discussed.
• The superintendent’s report included: Governmental Relations Seminar in Topeka, January 11-12; legislative update; architect update; Parent-Teacher Conference dates (Feb. 12, 13 and 15).
• Contributions were approved.
• Personnel changes were approved.

Great Bend High School Head Wrestling Coach Nathan Broeckelman has plans for a summer wrestling tournament at Memorial Stadium, with some night matches “under the lights.” He received a green light Monday from the USD 428 Board of Education.
The summer dual wrestling tournament June 29 and 30 would follow GBHS wrestlers’ trip to Pueblo, Colo., for the Pueblo West High School dual wrestling camp a few weeks earlier. Pueblo has agreed to attend the Great Bend event, and Broeckelman said he also expects entries from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and he is contacting coaches in Oklahoma, Nebraska and across Kansas. Entry fees will be used in the future to help wrestlers who cannot afford to attend the camps.
The plan is to move mats onto the artificial turf of the GBHS football field and use college wrestlers as referees. If the weather is bad they can move to the Panther Athletic Center.

“This gives our kids an opportunity to get 10-15 matches without even leaving the town of Great Bend,” Broeckelman reported. “If they go to the one in Pueblo with the rest of the team, that means they will (have) wrestled anywhere from 20-30 matches which is equivalent to about three-fourths to one full season of matches. Many of our current wrestlers lack mat time and experience.”
Broeckelman estimates this could bring 200 wrestlers to town, along with their parents and coaches. The public could view the matches for free.

Board members were supportive. President Chris Umphres thanked the coach for the work he is willing to do, which includes spending the night at the PAC if wrestlers camp at the high school.
Vice President Lori Reneau commented, “I think it’s an excellent opportunity for our kids.”
Board member Susan Young added, “This is definitely Great Bend Proud!”

Contributions approved:
In other business, the board approved the following donations:
• The Great Bend Recreation Commission has donated commercial-level cardio exercise equipment no longer in use. The equipment will be utilized at GBHS for athletic training and fitness academics. It includes three Life Fitness treadmills, two Life Fitness elliptical trainers and two Life Fitness recumbent exercise bikes.
• GBHS FFA has received contributions of $100 from Aaron’s Repair & Supply and $50 each from Cecelia Nicolet and Sandra Walters to the Future Farmers of America.
• FFA also received a $2,500 donation from Monsanto Fund in response to a grant submitted by local farmers designating funds to that group.
• The office of Bauer, Pike, Bauer & Wary LLC has donated $200 to the Riley Elementary neon sign fund.
• Janna Farmer made a $50 donation to the Riley Preschool for students who need financial help with the school lunch program.

The board also approved the appointment of Amber Wolking to teach Family Consumer Science at GBHS and accepted the resignations of Haley Divilbiss, fifth-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary, and Rebecca Butler, fourth-grade teacher at Park Elementary.

Pickup purchase
The board approved the purchase of a 2018 three-quarter ton Dodge Ram pickup from Marmie Dodge for $23,758. Superintendent Khris Thexton said Dove Chevrolet submitted a bid on a Chevy Silverado and Marmie’s submitted bids on the Dodge Ram and on a Ford F-250. Each pickup was bid with two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. The Dodge was the low bid; its two-wheel drive model was offered for $21,594 but Thexton recommended the four-wheel drive. “I think we’ll have this vehicle a very long time,” he said. A custom toolbox from BS Trailer Sales Inc. in Dodge City will also be installed on the truck.