Category Archives: Schools

Fort Scott High School Performs “Alice vs. Wonderland” Feb. 22 and 24

Alice and  the Caterpillars are: Madi Toth with Noah Martin and Alex Gorman.

The Fort Scott High School Thespians present “Alice vs. Wonderland” adapted by Brendan Shea on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 24 at 2 and 7 p.m. at the FSHS Auditorium.

“Lewis Carroll meets Lady Gaga in this psychedelic update of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Angst-ridden adolescent Alice unwittingly trades places with Mary Ann, the Wonderland version of herself. Now Alice must travel through a fantastical teenage dreamscape, challenged by Carroll’s canonical characters every step of the way. Transforming every time she eats or drinks, Alice is played by six different actresses, each evoking a different aspect of adolescence. Together, they paint an entrancingly surreal portrait of a teenage identity crisis,” according to publishing company Playscripts.

The show involves an ensemble cast of 16 with most students playing multiple characters. Actresses playing the Alice characters analyzed the playwright’s work to pinpoint the aspects of Alice’s personality that each represents.

“My director pushed me to really analyze the script and delve into the right way to inflect the words to reflect my character,” said junior Daniela Belcuore who plays Alice #3, the Alice who embodies the “childlike” portion of her personality.

Alice and White Knight played by Daniela Belcuore and Jakob Slinkard.

Audiences will enjoy a “mix-up” of pop-culture references and songs with the traditional Wonderland characters we all know. The show includes music and dance numbers including a duet between junior Mary Gladbach (Alice #2) and sophomore Carlee Studyvin (Mary Ann), a solo by sophomore Addy Labbe (Queen of Hearts), and a jazz routine choreographed by Labbe and sophomore Mesa Jones.

Stand out performances include ihigh school senior Alex Gorman as the Mad Hatter, Gladbach also as the March Hare, and high school  junior Hunter Adamson as the White Rabbit. Also noteworthy is the creative lighting design my junior Alyx Brooks.

The production is directed by FSHS Drama and Thespian Director Angie Bin with choreography assistance from FSHS alum Kevin Miller, Jr.

Tickets are $5 and are on sale now at the FSHS office, 1005 S. Main and at Common Ground, 116 S. Main in Fort Scott.

Proceeds will assist students attending the International Thespian Festival at the University of Nebraska in June. Seating is limited, so audience members are encouraged to buy tickets in advance.

Doors open thirty minutes before showtime.

For more information contact:  Angie Bin, 620-719-9622,


FSCC Deere Tech Program Unveiled

The sign atop the new John Deere Tech Program building at the intersection of Horton and 23rd Streets. The building is located on the easternmost segment of the main campus of Fort Scott Community College..

The public opening of the new John Deere Tech Program at Fort Scott Community College was held at the site Feb. 9.

A hamburger lunch was provided by the college.

Attending were prospective students, local residents, business corporations, FSCC staff and Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce members.

Attendees of the Fort Scott Community College John Deere Tech Program grand opening eat in the largest building of the tech complex. This building is the old National Guard Armory at Horton and 23rd streets.
The college provided a hamburger lunch for attendees of the John Deere Tech Program official opening.

Following the lunch were speeches and a ribbon cutting sponsored by the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce.

FSCC President Alysia Johnston speaks to the crowd at the public opening of the new John Deere Tech Program building, completed in December 2017.

Tours were given prior to the event for those interested.

FSCC President Alysia Johnston left, gives a tour of the renovated welding shop located north of the new tech program building. At right is FSCC Board of Trustees Member Dana McKenney.

A building north of the new John Deere Tech Program building was renovated for welding classes instruction. The program began in August, with Brandon McAdam, as the instructor.

The John Deere corporation supplies new and used tractors for training the students,  said Dale Griffiths, tech program instructor.

Additional old tractors are supplied by dealers and individuals, he said.

Currently, there are 23 students in the program, mostly from Kansas and Missouri, Griffiths said.

“Ninety-five percent of the students will have a job waiting for them,” Griffiths said. “Technicians are the most demanded field in the ag. equipment business.”

Classes are in session from Monday through Thursday, Griffiths said.

“Most kids will travel back to work at their dealers,” he said.

In this program, students are required to work through a qualified dealership that provides paid internships throughout the program’s two years, according to information provided by FSCC.

After completing the program, students receive an associate of applied science degree and can transfer to Pittsburg State University to complete a four-year management option.

Many students choose to stay with their sponsoring dealerships to begin their career as a technician.

Federal loan and grant programs are available to students who qualify. For more information contact the financial aid office at 620-223-2700 or visit




USD 234 Superintendent Bob Beckham Retires

USD 234 Superintendent Bob Beckham is retiring effective June 29.
Beckham gave the Board of Education notice at a meeting last Tuesday.
Beckham worked his way up from teacher to the athletic director, then the principal, then four years ago assumed the superintendency of the district.
The following is from an interview with
Why are you retiring?
“I always told myself that I would know when it was time for me to retire, I just know it’s time now.”
How far into your contract are you?
“In June I will have fulfilled my current contract.”
Will you give a short synopsis of your career?
“After graduating from Pittsburg State University I taught and coached five years at Altoona-Midway High School.  I came home in 1989 and taught biology and social studies and coached at  Fort Scott High School for nine years. I served as the athletic director for seven years, then as the high school principal for eight years. I will have completed my fourth year as the superintendent in June.”
Why did you become an educator?
“Like all educators, I chose this profession to invest in young people – to help them reach their full potential.”
What are you looking forward to in retirement?
“I will be going back to work, just not sure in what capacity yet.”

Jeff DeLaTorre Hired As FSHS Activities/Athletic Director

Jeff DeLaTorre was hired as Fort Scott High School Activities/Athletic Director at a USD 234 Board Meeting Tuesday.
Currently, he is the assistant principal at the school.
He will assume his new duties July 1.
The following is an interview DeLaTorre had with
What do you see as the strengths and challenges of the school you will be helping lead?
” Fort Scott High School has a great tradition of having successful athletic and activity programs.  We have great kids and strong community support.  My goal is to help those programs remain strong and maintain success and to continue to give our community a sense of pride in our high school.”
What is your career experience?
“I taught Physical Education at Yates Center High School from 1995-2000.  Also coached basketball, baseball, and football.    Moved to Fort Scott in fall of 2000.  Taught World History and PE until 2005.  Taught full-time PE from 2005 – 2011.  Became the Assistant Principal in 2011 and have been in that role since then.  Have been the head boys basketball coach at FSHS since 2000.  In my time at FSHS I have also coached football, tennis, and baseball.”

What is your education?

” I graduated from Chanute High School in 1990.   Graduated from Pittsburg State University in 1995 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.  Earned Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Pitt State in 2009.”

Your family?

” I have been married to my wife Angie for 21 years.  We have two sons – Kaleb (20 and a sophomore at Neosho County Community College in Chanute), and Jacob (16 and a sophomore at FSHS).”

Hometown:   Chanute

Why did you choose education as a career?

” I always enjoyed working with kids and looked at education as an opportunity to make a difference in young people’s lives.  I also had several teachers and coaches growing up that had a strong impact on me, and I liked the possibility of having that same impact on my students and athletes that I would work with.”


Amber Toth Hired As FSHS Assistant Principal

Submitted photo. Amber Toth was selected to be Fort Scott High School’s Assistant Principal starting in July.

Amber Toth was hired Tuesday at the USD 234 Board of Education meeting to be Fort Scott High School Assistant Principal  starting in July.

The following is an interview had with Toth.

What do you see as the strengths and challenges of the school you will be helping lead?

“The high school has many strengths. We have an amazing staff who is always striving to get better. We are focused on rigor and excellence. We are also working really hard to get curriculum aligned across the district, not just in the building. We have leaders in place who have the best interest of kids in mind, even when those decisions are hard. We have amazing programs within the school that provide every student the opportunity to find their niche. But just like any school, there is always room for improvement. I think one of the challenges we face is ensuring our instruction is relevant in making students college and career ready. It is my goal to provide as many opportunities to ensure our graduates have bright futures and are employable. I want to see those students bring innovation and vision to Fort Scott. We are also in transition with a new accreditation process. Pieces of this will require us to alter what we do in some areas.   I am looking forward to helping a wonderful team become the best school that we can be.”

Why did you choose education?

“I had amazing teachers. There are some special ones that come to mind. Mr. Warnock was my 3rd grade teacher and taught me to love exploring. Mrs. Beardmore was my 5th grade teacher and taught me to love people, even when it was hard. Ms. Zimmerman was my high school English teacher and she taught me a love of literature. Kathy Faulkenberry was my debate and forensics coach and she taught me my passion. I knew from a young age that I wanted to make a difference in the world. I love making a difference in the lives of kids. I couldn’t imagine myself in another field. The teachers I had, inspired me to change lives the way they changed mine.”

Where did you receive your education?

“I have a Bachelors in English Education from Pittsburg State University that I earned in 2000. I also have a Masters in Educational Leadership that I earned in 2011 from Grand Canyon University.”

What is your past experience?

“Before coming to Fort Scott, I was an Advanced Placement English teacher and the Advanced Placement Coordinator. I also taught debate and forensics, as well as speech. In those roles in Caney, I wrote $25,000 worth of grants to expand our AP program. I also began my journey on the National Speech and Debate Association District Committee for the South Kansas District and directed the school play.”

“Since coming to Fort Scott, I have taught Dual Credit Speech, Debate and Forensics. I also started the school pantry. I am also certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid. I have had the privilege of presenting several in-service sessions to the staff on subjects ranging from instruction, project based learning, and suicide prevention.”

Toth hales from Caney, Ks. graduating from high school there in 1995, then taught there for eight years.

Tell about your family.

” I have been married to my husband, Travis Toth for 17 years. He teaches Social Studies and is the assistant coach for debate and forensics at Fort Scott High School. Before teaching, he was a law enforcement officer.

We have four children. Darby will be graduating this year and attending Washburn University in the fall. She plans to study Psychology. Madison is a Sophomore this year. She is active in debate, forensics, drama, choir and was chosen to attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) conference this summer. Trent is in 6th grade. He is a hard working young man who enjoys competing in robotics, middle school forensics, plays, sports and was recently chosen to be a page next month at the state capital. Kennedy is in 2nd grade. She is competitive, tenacious, and loves to participate in Tiger Cheer.

My parents are Michael and Penny Coy and they still reside in Caney

My sister, Sarah Bahr and her children also moved to Fort Scott. Sarah is a drug and alcohol counselor for Crawford County Mental Health and an assistant coach for debate and forensics. She has two children that attend school within our district., Ashton Nave,freshman, and Graci Nave, 8th grader ”