ELLINWOOD - U.S. Senator Jerry Moran toured Ellinwood High School Thursday afternoon. It was one of three stops in Barton County en route to Hays. He also stopped at Barton Community College and took a walking tour of Hoisington’s Main Street.
One of the committees he serves on is the Appropriations Committee, he explained to EHS Principal, Mark Cook. He was particularly interested in technical education programs at the high school, and observing how money from Perkins grants is being put to use. Industrial Arts teacher Steve Oelke showed Moran equipment in the wood shop that the school has acquired, including a router that allows students to create multi-level designs. He also showed the senator the new 3-D printer.
Cook also introduced Moran to Business teacher Lorie Betts, who also sponsors the school’s Future Business Leaders of America club. She explained two programs the school has implemented, one that encourages community service and one that focuses on entrepreneurship, teaching student the steps from startup to running a small business of their own.
Moran noted that not enough emphasis has been placed on the need for technical and entrepreneurial training for today’s graduates, even though it is projected that these are the fields that hold the greatest potential to provide in demand jobs in rural Kansas. He praised both Oelke and Betts for the work they do with students, stating that teachers count.
Cook also introduced Moran to a group of student leaders who shared with him that attending a smaller high school is a satisfying experience, though they would like home economics offered as a class once again.
Ellinwood High School is host to five international students this year, and Cook arranged for Moran to meet with them also, allowing the students an opportunity to meet a U.S. Senator.