Author - Andrea Hartzell

LFT class hears from two Gemini districts

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org & Carol Pitts, cpitts@kasb.org During the first session of KASB’s 2019 Leadership for Tomorrow class, class members learned about the diversity of Kansas school districts and ways to make informed, reasonable decisions that will affect student success. As part of a get-to-know-you exercise, the class of 27 board members and administrators from across Kansas lined up from smallest enrollment district to largest; then from smallest to largest district in area and from the district with the lowest poverty rate to the one with the highest rate. The exercise showed the variance in Kansas’ 286 districts. Members also noted [...]

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BOLD class learns ABCs of bond issues

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org Bringing a school bond issue to a successful public vote and then carrying through with the construction projects requires years of planning and expert assistance. That was the message from education, financial, architecture and construction leaders to KASB’s BOLD class of school leaders recently. “There is a lot of time and energy that goes into a bond issue,” said Basehor-Linwood USD 458 Superintendent David Howard, whose rapidly growing district has had two approved bond issues since 2015. Howard said to win voter approval, school districts must enlist the help of community leaders to explain the needs of the district [...]

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KASB making several staffing changes

The KASB Board of Directors recently announced several staff changes that will take effect July 1. Brian Jordan, who is currently head of Leadership Services, will become Deputy Executive Director. Doug Moeckel, the current Deputy Executive Director, will continue as a Leadership Services Field Specialist. Two new staffers are joining KASB. They are Sue Givens, who is currently superintendent of El Dorado USD 490, and Britton Hart, who is the current principal of Emporia High School, Emporia USD 253. Givens will take over as a Field Service Specialist for Leadership Services, replacing Craig Wilford, who is retiring. Hart will join as Director [...]

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Preparing for the worst: Active shooter drill tests response to events we hope will never happen

by Andrea Hartzell, ahartzell@kasb.org 9:37 a.m. a person walked into the front office of Washburn Rural Middle School. Suddenly shots ring out. The shooter had incapacitated the office staff and moved out into the commons area. A blond woman in a gray hoodie - she shouted out a name - looking for someone. She started shooting again; running through the hallways as smoke filled the air and the smell of gunpowder permeated our noses. In one hallway two students were shot, injured and screaming for help. In another, four. Down another hall two, one fatally. Shots continued to ring out. [...]

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President’s Perspective: Some of the most important things in schools cannot be measured

by C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 Greetings fellow board members. I trust that you are all enjoying a well-deserved Spring respite from what has been a bruising winter. Spring flowers are in bloom and Kansas school kids can again enjoy outside recess. As I write to you today, our districts are in the midst of testing season. This is no doubt a time of great importance for schools and the institution of public education in general. Though its prominence in our decision-making processes is often maligned in the public discourse, we all acknowledge that testing has its place. In order to [...]

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New administration tries to reverse increases in neglect, abuse, foster care

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org Systems charged with keeping Kansas children safe from neglect and abuse have essentially been neglected and abused at the state level, according to incoming state officials. In hearings before various committees, officials are unpacking failures over the past several years that have led to what is being described as multiple crises in foster care, child welfare and mental health, especially among young Kansans. Gov. Laura Kelly’s new administration says the problems have arisen because of imprudent policies and revenue shortfalls and they touch every community and school district in Kansas. Laura Howard, the new secretary of the Kansas Department [...]

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Equity must be embedded in schools

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org Kansas school board members joined 500 leaders from across the nation at the fourth annual NSBA Equity Symposium on January 26 in Washington, DC. President-Elect Shannon Kimball (USD 497 Lawrence), was a first-time attendee. Past President/Legislative Committee Chair Dayna Miller (Basehor-Linwood USD 458), former President Rod Stewart (Washington County USD 108) and NSBA Western Region Vice President Frank Henderson (Seaman USD 345) have each attended three of the annual symposia. “The face of our schools is changing,” NSBA CEO Tom Gentzel said in his opening remarks. “There’s much work to be done, but the one thing we can [...]

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Summit focuses on success, inspiration

By Leah Fliter, Lfliter@kasb.org KASB and USA-Kansas first-ever Women’s Leadership Summit February 4-5 was a rousing success, participants said. The Summit, which was held in Manhattan, was designed to inspire and energize female board of education members and school administrators for greater impact in their roles as Kansas education leaders. USA-Kansas Past President and Augusta High School Principal Donna Zerr welcomed the attendees, who represented school districts from across Kansas. “Worry less about the glass slipper fitting and more about shattering the glass ceiling,” Zerr urged her colleagues. Keynote speaker Denise Mills, Founder and Chief Mindset Officer of the Leader Fuel Center in [...]

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Speak UP! Tell your story

A familiar buzz word these days – well, actually a buzz phrase – is ‘tell your story.’ But because we don't know where or how to start, it is easy to just move on to the next thing on our crowded 'to do' list and wait for someone to call us and ask a specific question. If there was ever a time to speak up, it's now! News media, politicos, bloggers and tweeters, to name a few, are busy speaking on your behalf. There are 286 school districts in Kansas. That means there are 286 sides to the school funding story. [...]

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Holecek new KASB Region 7 vice president

Darin Holecek Ellsworth USD 527 Region 7 How long have you been a school board member? More than 10 years. Why did you decide to become a board member? I wanted to become more educated on how the school system operates, be involved in public service, and most importantly be involved in local youth and their opportunities for a successful future. What do you do outside of being a board member? For 22 years, employed with the Kansas Department of Corrections; Pheasants Forever (promoting youth and the outdoors); local USBC Bowling Association Manager; hunt; fish; sporting events; concerts; kids and family activities. What experience do [...]

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