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Student Led: Eisenhower students meet school board
Pam Hagerty’s kindergarten students recite and sign their ABC’s, Thursday at the Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education meeting, hosted by Eisenhower Elementary School. Students were featured throughout the meeting. - photo by Susan Thacker

Students were in the spotlight Thursday when Eisenhower Elementary School hosted the USD 428 Board of Education meeting. Board members heard part of a reader’s theater version of “The Princess and the Pea,” watched children say and sign the ABC’s, heard a presentation from Stuco members and even had children pull up their chairs and read to them.

Before the meeting, children made placemats for the tables in the library where board members would eat lunch. They also made personalized cards for individual board members. “They even spelled my name right,” board member Jacquie Disque said.

Kindergarten teacher Pam Hagerty said one of her students has a mother who is deaf, which inspired her to have students learn the letters of the alphabet in American Sign Language. She led them as they presented the ABC’s, and when the children paused in their recitation it was only because the teacher had stumbled on a letter. Then they spelled and signed “Eisenhower Eagles.”

The students who presented the final scene of “The Princess and the Pea” are in the after-school reading group for grades 4-6.

The student council at Eisenhower is sponsored by teachers Priscilla Rose and Andrea Ingram. Two of their Stuco members, Alondra Prieto and Alexis Swinney, gave a presentation to the board and answered questions about how they earned the privilege of serving and what the Stuco does.

“They have to follow expectations and be the school leaders,” Rose said. Stuco members are also responsible for overseeing and promoting school events such as the upcoming Coin Challenge. 

Students can put coins in a bucket in their classrooms and the teacher that raises the most money will kiss a live pig on Valentine’s Day. The winning teacher also gets to choose the local charity that receives the money, Rose said.

Meeting change, personnel

In action items, the board:

• Changed the date of the regular March school board meeting from March 11 to March 4. This is due to a schedule conflict. Great Bend schools will be on spring break March 11-15.

• Approved hiring Andrea Sayler-Siefkes to teach science at Great Bend Middle School and accepted the retirements of Jacalyn Peters, fourth-grade teacher at Riley Elementary School, and Mark DeWald, band director at Great Bend High School, effective at the end of the school year.

School board members held a special meeting on Wednesday evening at Fort Hays State University. The purpose of that board retreat was to conduct a work session on long-range planning for the district.