For the second year, Great Bend USD 428 elementary students were given a chance to win a bicycle if they posted perfect attendance during the past school year.
The tradition started when Dale Shaner, Great Bend, wanted to recognize local students for the planning and preparation that goes into making it to school every day, on time. He shared his idea with his wife Karen and some friends, and together they purchased 10 bikes through Golden Belt Bicycle Company.
This year even more adults got involved and they purchased twice as many bicycles: four for each of the five elementary schools. A new helmet was provided with each bicycle.
“Trek bikes were purchased from Golden Belt Bicycle Company and with their generous help and contribution we were able to obtain a nice quality bicycle,” Karen Shaner said. Doug Chambers owns the bicycle shop.
Larry and Patty Keenan and Andrew and Megan Murphy purchased 20 helmets from the bicycle shop.
Superintendent Tom Vernon liked the idea so much that this year he purchased one of the bicycles. “I was more than happy to contribute this year,” he said. “It’s a wonderful way to motivate students to come to school and be on time.”
Vernon noted that schools recognized all perfect-attendance students and even some students with near-perfect attendance, awarding certificates at school assemblies at the end of the year.
For those who won the drawings, bicycle registrations were provided by the Great Bend Police Department. The students were encouraged to take their new bicycles and the registration forms to the police department, which will register them for free.
The cost is normally $1 per bicycle. In the event that a registered bicycle is stolen and recovered, police are often able to return it to the proper owner.
Here are the winners at each school, and the people responsible for donating their bicycles:
Eisenhower School — Donors: Steve and Linda Gotsche and Dale and Karen Shaner. Winners: Harlee Mick, sixth grade; Robbie Gutierrez, fourth grade; Jevon Mogbo, sixth grade; Chris Hayes, fifth grade.
Riley School — Donors: Roger Krier and Beth Rein and Dr. Tom Vernon. Winners: Citali Sanchez, sixth grade; Andrea Orona Farela, third grade; Randi Guerrero, fifth grade; Jesus Villegas, sixth grade.
Jefferson School — Donors: Rick and Lois Ball and Craig and Kari Smith. Winners: Jaclynn Schroeder, sixth grade; Kyndall Blessing, third grade; Ellis Long, third grade; Broc Reed, fifth grade.
Lincoln School — Donors: Ron and Kathy Straub and Susan and Don Young. Winners: Sage Cauley, sixth grade; Kada Pounds, kindergarten; Jacob Kennedy, fifth grade; and Brantley Vsetecka, kindergarten.
Park School — Donors: Jane Isern, Gail Carpenter, Larry Zinn Memorial Golf Tournament via Mike Zinn and Shane and Kathy Spurlock. Winners: Briana Perez, fifth grade; Brianna Allison, third grade; Robert Calderwood, fifth grade; and Andrew Calderwood, first grade.