June 3 was the deadline for teachers to let Great Bend USD 428 know if they won’t return for the fall semester in August. That led to a longer-than-usual personnel report when the board of education met Monday at the District Education Center.
Licensed resignations came from:
• Tish Warren, teacher of Special Education at Great Bend Middle School
• Jessica Geist, instructional math coach at Lincoln Elementary School
• Shawna Howell, teacher of Special Education at Great Bend High School
• Cody Carlson, teacher of physical education at Jefferson Elementary School
• Sarah Bretches, teacher of math at GBHS
• Kayla Jones, teacher of math at GBMS
• Carli Denning, teacher of Grade 4 at Lincoln Elementary School
• Heather Blundell, teacher of architecture and engineering pathways at GBHS
• Monte Doll, teacher of science at GBHS
• Amber Lucchesi, teacher of business at GBHS
• Kevin Hoff, teacher of agriculture and welding at GBHS
Assistant Supereminent John Popp said the welding program at GBHS could be in danger if a teacher for the program isn’t found.
Other positions yet to be hired include: GBHS - English teacher and instructional coach; agriculture (with welding), science; GBMS - English, instructional coach; Lincoln and Park - instructional coaches; Riley - special education; Special Services - occupational therapist.
“The labor shortage won’t be going away," Popp said. Some instructional coach positions won’t be filled.
Some of the other vacancies created by resignations have been filled, some at Monday’s meeting.
Licensed appoints were:
• Craig Fletchall, teacher of Special Education at GBHS
• Laurel Haley, teacher of art at GBHS
• Shauna Young, early childhood itinerant for Barton County Special Services
• Jayce Brack, teacher of physical education at Jefferson Elementary School
• Kelci Hall, Teacher of Grade 1 at Lincoln Elementary School (through the Transition to Teaching program)
• Jody Beckham, teacher of math at GBHS (Transition to teaching)
• Karen Moeder, teacher of business at GBHS
New HR director
During the meeting, the board also introduced Tonya Miller, who has been hired for the new position of Human Resources Director.
The board approved the administration’s recommendation to create a position for a full-time director of Human Resources at its February 14 meeting. At that time, Assistant Superintendent Popp said the district’s HR-related tasks have been distributed among several employees until now. The HR director’s primary job will be to direct and manage relevant human resource tasks and issues for nearly 700 district employees.
Fees and meal prices
In other business, the board approved elementary, middle school and high school fees for 2022-2023. These are unchanged from last year:
• Pre-K/Kindergarten $40
• Grades 1-6 $55
• Grades 7-8 $60
• Grades 9-12 $95
Lunch prices will increase by 15 cents for students at the elementary schools, GBMS and GBHS; milk will increase by 10 cents, and breakfast for pre-K through 12th grade will increase by 25 cents. There will be no increase for preschool meals, adult meals, Holy Family School lunches, and reduced-price meals.
• Preschool $1.85
• Elementary Schools $2
• GBMS $2.30
• GBHS $2.35
• Holy Family $3
• Adults $4
• Reduced Prices 40 cents
• Milk 50 cents
• Students (PK-12) $1.25
• Adults $2.20
• Reduced Prices 30 cents
Instead of running rural bus routes, USD pays mileage reimbursement to qualified parents/guardians for transporting students to and from their assigned attendance center. Eligibility is based on the completion of an application for students residing 2.5 miles or more from the designated school and living outside the city limits of Great Bend. This year, 104 families participated, transporting 176 students a total of 176,681 miles. At Monday’s meeting, the administration approved a per-mile reimbursement rate of 50 cents.
In other business, the board approved the following contributions:
• Strawbridge Studios incentive contributions to Eisenhower Elementary, $441.07; Park Elementary, $525.07; Little Panthers Preschool, $104.29
• Ohio Pyle Prints incentive contribution to GBHS Athletics, $14.07
• GBMS Booster Club contributions of $656.18 for volleyball equipment and $424 for a concession stand sign
• GBHS Booster Club, $5,153.89 for Sport Medicine/football equipment
• Park Booster Club, $424.90 for Park Elementary Field Day
• Krebaum Chiropractic, $1,000 for a therapy dog, kennel and bedding. Specialized training for Bailey, the new Eisenhower Elementary therapy dog, will be funded through other contributions and grants.
• Golden Belt Community Foundation (Patricia A. Schmidt memorial funds), $2,000 for Park Elementary School.
Earlier in the meeting, Superintendent Khris Thexton extended thanks to organizers of the Perfect Attendance Bike Giveaway Program. “A special note of appreciation is extended to Karen Shaner, Jane Isern, and several local donors and volunteers for providing 45 bikes to the program. Over the past 10 years, the group has organized and contributed dozens of bicycles given away as perfect attendance incentives to USD 428 elementary students.” This year, instead of drawings to select winners, there were bikes for every elementary student with perfect attendance. The Pilot Club provided helmets for all of the winners.