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WELCOME BACK - Great Bend USD 428 staff return for 2022-2023
Great Bend USD 428 staff enjoy a back-to-school breakfast, Monday at Great Bend High School. - photo by photo courtesy of Great Bend USD 428

Great Bend USD 428 officially welcomed staff for the 2022-2023 fall semester on Monday.

First, district employees were treated to breakfast in the Great Bend High School commons areas. After breakfast, they moved to the Auditorium where they were greeted by the GBHS Marching Band and Cheerleaders.

The musicians attended band camp earlier this month. For the welcome-back program, they performed their show openers, the GBHS fight song and “Smooth” by Santana.

Superintendent Khris Thexton and School Board President Jacquie Disque provided opening remarks.

“There’s nothing more exciting than starting the day with a great breakfast and with the GBHS Fight Song!” Thexton said. “Thank you to the GBHS Band led by Grant Mathews and Don Regher, to the GBHS cheerleaders coached by Kenzie Unruh, and to Kristy Alvord and the USD 428 Food Service staff for starting our morning on such a positive note.”

“As we kick off the new school year, there’s no place I’d rather be than here with our 428 family,” Disque said. “The challenges and adjustments we have had to make over the past two years have changed my perspective, making me even more grateful for opportunities like today where we can be together and celebrate the start of a new year.”

The kickoff was followed by the annual Business Showcase at the Panther Activity Center (PAC). The showcase, sponsored by the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, allowed 67 local businesses to welcome USD 428 staff with giveaways and promotional items, said Andrea Bauer, public information director for USD 428.

“The Business Showcase is such a positive way to kick off the school year,” Bauer said. “It’s a time for staff to connect with colleagues, make new friends, and learn something new about our community!” 

Coming up

The first day of school for grades K-6, 7 and 9 is Thursday. Eighth graders and high school sophomores, juniors and seniors won’t start school until Friday. Teachers are already at work and new teachers were at the District Education Center all of last week for orientation.

“We’re also trying to remind families about student meals,” Bauer said. Families are encouraged to complete the Free & Reduced Meal Application prior to the first day of school to ensure their payment status. The online application can be found at

• USD 428 still has openings for paraprofessionals and teacher assistants, Bauer said. Interested candidates can learn more at

Donate supplies

School Supply Donations can be dropped off directly at buildings or at the District Education Center, 201 South Patton Road. Here are a few of the supplies teachers said they could use:

• Velcro dots

• Label maker tape

• Clorox wipes (one of the most-requested items)

• Expo dry-erase markers (regular and thin)

• Pencils

• Non-latex gloves

• Sharpie markers

• Poster boards

• Glue

• Highlighters

• Erasers

• Index cards

• Clarinet and saxophone reeds

Teachers were welcomed back to school Monday at Great Bend USD 428’s annual Business Showcase, held at the GBHS Panther Activity Center (PAC). - photo by Judy Duryee