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USD 428 employees attend Back to School Bash
Teachers and other Great Bend USD 428 employees take part in the Business Showcase, part of the annual Back to School Bash, Monday morning at the Panther Activity Center.

The Commons Area at Great Bend High School and the Panther Activity Center next door were filled Monday with people excited about the start of school. Some were getting together for the first time this summer while others were making new friends. 

It’s a familiar scene going on at schools across the nation. But unlike most large school assemblies, USD 428’s annual Back to School Bash is just for grown-ups.

After being treated to breakfast from the Central Kitchen (the menu planned by the new food service director, Kristi Alvord) and music provided by the GBHS marching band, employees headed to the PAC for the Business Showcase, an annual trade show sponsored by the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce. The Great Bend Tribune was just one of 70 area businesses to set up a table with swag and special offers for district employees. The Tribune’s circulation manager, Shonita Swank, was there to let teachers know about the Newspapers In Education (NIE) program. It promotes literacy through the use of the newspaper as an instructional aid in the classroom.

Superintendent Khris Thexton said the district has 670 employees, and about 300 of those are teachers. There are 32 new teachers this year.

Wednesday will be the first day of school for grades 1-7 and for GBHS freshmen, and a half-day for kindergartners. Thursday will be another half-day for kindergartners and a full day for grades 1-12. All-day kindergarten starts Friday.

The Great Bend Tribune’s table at the Business Showcase introduced teachers to the Newspapers In Education program. - photo by photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune