Category Archives: Schools

Head Start Registration Ongoing, Several Positions Open

We encourage you to register your children now!
Click HERE to register.
See flyer below for more information.
The Head Start Center is locate within the Fort Scott 234 District Pre-school
Applications at Girard office, online: or by calling the central office located in Girard KS
620-724- 8204 – ext. 1019

Tiffnie Spears: New FS Fifth-Grade Teacher

Tiffnie Spears. Submitted photo.

A teacher at Fort Scott Middle School resigned in August and  USD 234 had a fifth-grade teacher request to transfer to the middle school, creating a 5th-grade opening.

Tiffnie Spears is the new fifth-grade teacher at Eugene Ware Elementary School in Fort Scott.

Tiffnie Spears, 29, graduated from Fort Scott High School in 2009 and graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications in 2013, then received her Master’s  Degree in Elementary Education from Western Governors University in April of 2020.

“I was born and raised in Fort Scott and, as soon as I graduated from Wichita State, moved back home to be near my friends and family,” she said.

” I was able to do my internship hours with Mrs. Malone in the Fall of 2019 and did my student teaching with Mrs. Stepps this past Spring semester.”

She has been married to her husband, James, since 2011 and they have a 4-year-old son named Jacoby.

“My family loves to travel and our goal is to get Jacoby to as many states as possible before he graduates high school,” she said.


How did you become an educator?

“There wasn’t much that got me as excited than seeing my son, niece, and nephews grow and learn new things so I just knew I needed to go back to school to be a teacher. I was torn between following through with being a communication major or an educator so going back to school was a pretty easy choice.”

Did someone inspire you to teach?

“It was my son who inspired me to teach. After Jacoby was born, I knew I wanted to not only help him to grow and learn every day but to have a positive impact on as many children as possible.”

What is the best part of teaching for you?

“The ‘Ah-ha!’ moments are the best and most rewarding moments for me. Being able to see the positive impact you’ve made in helping that student succeed means everything.”

What is the greatest challenge in teaching?

“Starting my first year in the classroom during COVID-19 has so many obstacles but the students are doing so great with the changes we are all being faced with.”

Uniontown Football and Volleyball Sept. 11-12

Adelay Martin. Submitted photo.

Submitted by Adelay Martin, UHS Sports Media Reporter

UHS Football

On Friday, September 11, the Uniontown Eagles’ football team faced the Wabaunsee Chargers. The Eagles were defeated 20-14, bringing their record to 1-1.

Hunter Schaaf rushed 26 times over 118 yards and scored 1 touchdown, and Drew Perry rushed 16 times over 102 yards scored the other touchdown. Perry also completed 4 out of 8 passes over 12 yards.

“The past couple of weeks, we’ve come out and we’ve dug ourselves a hole by turning the ball over to start the game and giving up an easy score. That’s my fault as a head coach for not having the team ready to go at the start of the game,” says Coach Stark. “This past week, we played a pretty poor first half and Wabaunsee really put it to us; they deserve a lot of credit. They’re a well-coached team, and they have some pretty talented players. They wanted to win the game more than what we wanted to the entire first half. After going into halftime down 13-0, I challenged the team and they came out and played the second half with much more heart and passion than in the first half. The second half, we were a different team. Unfortunately, we dug ourselves too big of a hole to get out of.

“One thing I am proud of is how hard we played in the second half. At one point in the second half, we were down 20-7 and we went on a 23-play scoring drive to put ourselves down one score in the fourth quarter. We overcame multiple penalties and we easily could have quit, but we didn’t, and we got into the endzone.

“One thing we have to improve on is how many penalties we’ve been having. I take responsibility for that as head coach for not having the team ready to play a clean, mistake-free game. In order to win in the future, we’re going to have to do a much better job of starting the game off strong and playing a clean game and eliminating our mental mistakes of false starts and holding penalties. I’m confident we’ll get those things corrected and be ready moving forward.”

JV Volleyball

Members of the Junior Varsity Volleyball team competed at the Moran JV Tournament on Saturday, September 12. The tournament was modified, moving to just pool play within each gym. Uniontown swept their pool with three wins!

Uniontown defeated SCC in two matches with scores of 25-17 and 25-23. Kristy Beene scored 9 points, and Skyler Coulter was 3/3 on attacks with 1 kill.

Uniontown also defeated Northeast, with scores of 25-15 and 25-19. Landry George scored 15 points, and Rylee Coulter was 6/8 on attacks with 1 kill.

Lastly, the Lady Eagles defeated Pleasanton with matches scoring 25-10 and 25-18. Hannah Moore scored 12 points and Landry George was 7/7 on attacks with 2 kills.

Let’s congratulate our Junior Varsity Volleyball team!

-Adelay Martin, UHS Sports Media Reporter

USD 234 Board of Education News Release



Monday, September 14, 2020


Members of the USD 234 Board of Education met at the Fort Scott Middle School Commons on Monday, September 14, for their regular monthly meeting.

President David Stewart opened the meeting.  The board approved the official agenda.  The board also approved the consent agenda as follows:


A.    Minutes

B.    Bills and Claims

C.    Payroll – August 20,  2020 – $1,259,778.71

D.    Financial Report

E.     Activity Fund Accounts


One patron participated in the public forum.

Terry Sercer with Diehl, Banwart, Bolton, gave an audit report for the district with no violations of state statutes or federal regulations.

Board members heard a report from Brenda Hill, KNEA President.

In addition, reports were given by principals from each building on the beginning days of

school.  The board heard reports from Dalaina Smith, Director of Academics; Ted Hessong, Superintendent; and Gina Shelton, Business Manager/Board Clerk.

Board members approved contracts for provision of educational services, the 2020-21 Emergency Operation Plan, and the appointment of Ted Hessong as a USD 234 BEDCO representative.

Board members shared comments and then went into executive session to discuss personnel matters for nonelected personnel and returned to open meeting

The board approved the following employment matters:


A.    Resignation of Shelley Rooks, middle school teacher aide, effective at the end of the 2019-20 school year

B.    Resignation of Haley Jones, high school paraprofessional, effective September 10, 2020

C.    Resignation of Julie Carpenter, high school paraprofessional, effective September 16, 2020

D.    Employment of Carissa Bowman as high school FCCLA sponsor for the 2020-21 school year

The board adjourned.


Uniontown High School Eagles Volleyball and Football Results Sept. 1 – 4

Adelay Martin. Submitted photo.



by Adelay Martin, UHS Sports Media Reporter

On Tuesday, September 1, the Lady Eagle Volleyball team opened their 2020 season at Erie with non-league play against the Erie Red Devils and the Girard Trojans. Both the Varsity and JV teams were defeated by the other two teams.

On the JV end, Erie defeated Uniontown in three matches with scores of 25-19, 21-25, and 15-8. We were also defeated by Girard in two matches with scores of 25-14 and 25-18. Alexis Herring lead the team in points, earning a total of 14 across all five matches.

The Varsity team lost to Erie in three matches with scores of 25-16, 24-26, and 25-16. Bri Stokes lead in points and assists, garnering 7 and 6 respectively. Danielle Howard was 21/22 on attacks and had 5 kills, while Karleigh Schoenberger was 13/15 on attacks and had 3 kills. Girard won against the Lady Eagles in two matches, both ending with scores of 25-19. Danielle scored 7 points, was 11/12 on attacks, and had 2 kills. Karleigh also had 2 kills, and was 6/8 on attacks. Bri Stokes had 2 assists.

“Even though we came out with losses, we are very proud of the way the girls played. They have worked hard for the past two weeks in practice and we needed to see how we looked against another team. We will continue to work on correcting parts of our game, and get better each time we step out on the court,” says Coach Hall.

Thursday, September 3 saw the Lady Eagles headed to Fredonia to play against Sedan and Fredonia. The JV lost all six of their matches, but the scores were incredibly close. Varsity won their four matches, bringing their season record to 2-2.

Submitted photos.

The JV played two Fredonia teams, losing to the first with scores of 25-23 and 25-22. Rylee Coulter lead this game with 11 points. The second Fredonia team won in two matches with scores of 26-24 and 25-20. Skyler Coulter scored 5 points total. Sedan also defeated the Eagles in two matches, the scores being 25-15 and 25-19. Brooklyn Dreisbach lead with 5 points.

The Varsity Lady Eagles beat Fredonia in two matches with scores of 25-14 and 25-21. Danielle Howard lead with 10 points. She was also 9/12 on attacks and had 3 kills. Gwenyth Fry was 8/9 on attacks, and Bri Stokes had 5 assists. Uniontown also defeated Sedan in two matches, the final scores being 25-15 and 25-14. Paige Mason scored 16 points. Danielle was 14/14 on attacks and had 4 kills, while Karleigh Schoenberger was 9/10 on attacks with 2 kills. Bri Stokes once again lead in assists, garnering 4 total in these games.

Coach Hall said, “All teams played very well. Adjustments that were made seemed to work, so we will continue to work and improve our play.”

On Friday, September 4, the Uniontown Eagle Football team faced off against the Southeast Lancers. This game also served as Senior Night, and we honored our senior fall athletes and band members and their families. The Eagles beat the Lancers 40-12 in our first home game of the season.

UHS football, Sept. 4, 2020. Submitted photos.

Hunter Schaaf had 20 carries for 103 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. Treden Buckman had 22 carries for 185 yards and also scored 2 touchdowns. Drew Perry had 12 carries for 62 yards and one touchdown, and 1-3 passing for 27 yards with one touchdown. Tyler Harvey had 1 catch for 27 yards and a touchdown.

Overall, this was a very successful first week for the Uniontown Eagles!

-Adelay Martin, UHS Sports Media Reporter

U234 Board of Education Special Board Meeting Minutes of Sept. 9



Wednesday, September 9, 2020


Members of the USD 234 Board of Education met at the Fort Scott Middle School Commons on Wednesday, September 9, for a special board meeting at 5:30 p.m.

President David Stewart opened the meeting.

Superintendent Hessong gave an update on the Return-to-School Plan.

Board members approved handbooks for the 2020-21 school year.

Board members went into executive session to discuss personnel matters and returned to open meeting.  The board approved the following employment matters:


A.    Employment of Tiffnie Spears as a Eugene Ware fifth grade teacher for the 2020-21 school year

B.    Employment of Charles Townsend as a Eugene Ware paraprofessional for the 2020-21 school year

C.    Employment of Judy Warren as a Eugene Ware paraprofessional for the 2020-21 school year

D.    Employment of Natasha Lindo as a preschool paraprofessional for the 2020-21 school year

E.     Employment of Dillon Duffy as a regular route van driver for the 2020-21 school year

F.     Employment of Michelle Brittain as middle school 8th grade Team Leader for the 2020-21 school year

G.    Employment of Jaci Cosens as the middle school 7th grade Team Leader for the 2020-21 school year

H.    Employment of Adam Feagins as a mentor teacher for the 2020-21 school year

I.      Employment of Jannah Farrington as middle school mentor teacher                                                                                                                    for the 2020-21 school year

J.      Resignation of Stephanie Cummings as a middle school teacher aide, effective August 31, 2020

The board adjourned.



Bourbon County Strong Campaign Starts

A group of concerned citizens has formed a committee to provide awareness to the community about the importance of wearing a mask in public during the COVID-19 Pandemic, according to Kayla Stewart, a spokesman. And they are starting a campaign to purchase masks for students and staff at the Bourbon County school districts.

The name of the group is Bourbon County Strong. It is comprised of Stewart, Gina Shelton, Stephanie Witt, Kelley Barrows, Jody Hoener, Lindsey Madison, Jackie Hall, and several others from USD 234 and USD 235, she said.

“Many people do not believe in the virus or do not think that it will affect anyone in their area, so they have decided not to wear masks,” Stewart,  Ascension Via Christ’s Emergency Department RN Coordinator, said. “If the community members do not wear masks, then children will follow in their footsteps. The campaign will provide awareness to all community members about the importance of wearing their masks in public, social distance, and have good hand hygiene.”

Ascension Via Christ Registered Nurse Kayla Steward. Submitted photo.

Bourbon County Strong is beginning to raise funds to provide masks to the school systems in Bourbon County.

 The group’s goal is to raise enough money to provide all students and staff members of the Fort Scott and Uniontown School Districts with enough masks that will last them until the end of the school year, she said.


“We live in a community where we have a high poverty level, and many families can’t afford to provide their children with masks,” Stewart said.


“We want to give students masks that fit appropriately and provide the best protection possible,” Stewart said.


Experts are still learning about the virus.

“Many people are not worried about their children getting COVID, but they need to be concerned about who they bring the virus home to,” Stewart said. “The statistics currently show that the virus is not as severe on younger children, but children are carriers of viruses and bring it home to your loved ones. These older loved ones have comorbidities or have weakened immune systems due to cancer or an autoimmune disease, and they are more likely to get the virus.”


“Being an emergency room nurse, I have taken care of the critically ill, and this virus is nothing to mess with,” Stewart said. ” We are still learning about what the virus is, what damage it is causing to our bodies, and what the long term effects will be.”


Stewart shared two personal stories of the virus.

“I have a close friend that had the virus a couple of months ago and is still recovering. They have long-term shortness of breath, where any activity that they do causes them to become short of air. This issue did not occur before they obtained the virus,” she said.

“Also, my uncle has the coronavirus,” Stewart said. “He has been on the vent for over four weeks. Last week, they put a trach in because of the endotracheal tube’s long-term use. They have tried to wean him off the vent, but every time they try to wean him, his blood pressure tanks, and he becomes unstable. It is hard seeing someone you love suffer from the virus, and people in the community don’t think it is real.”

The group has a desire to positively impact the community and help prevent the spreading of COVID through education and providing reliable sources about the coronavirus, she said.



When was the group started?

The beginning of August.

“We discussed the idea with (USD 234 Superintendent)Ted Hessong and (USD 235 Superintendent)Bret Howard,” she said.

Once approved, the idea went to the school boards, and got final approval.

“Once the campaign was approved, we started designing our plans.,” Steward said. “It has taken a lot of hard work from all committee members, plus USD 234 and USD 235 staff. We will be kicking the campaign off on Sept. 8, 2020 with our t-shirt sale, that will run through September 30th. Throughout September and October, businesses around town will have our posters, flyers, and table toppers posted about the campaign. These flyers will not only provide information about the campaign, but will also have information about mask-wearing.”

To support the campaign, there are several fundraising events planned:

A Bourbon County Strong Golf Tournament on

October 10th, to register:


Operation Mask Up T-Shirt Sale starts September 8th-September 30th.

T-shirts can be purchased at

Donations can be made at or


Other ways to keep abreast of the group:

Facebook page: Bourbon County Strong (@bourboncountystrong)

Instagram: @bourboncountystrong



COVID-19 Update

The last update that was provided by SEK Multi-County Health Department: 11 active COVID cases, 14 presumptive cases, and 97 current recovered cases in Bourbon County.

Crawford County Health Department’s last update: last week there are a total of 599 positive COVID cases. Two hundred sixty-five individuals that are in isolation, and 970 individuals that are quarantined, Stewart said.


Have you seen many cases at the ER? 
“We have seen several COVID positive patients and PUI (Person Under Investigation),” Stewart said. “Currently, our COVID numbers are lower, but we are taking all precautions to prevent the spread of COVID. Also, USD 234 and USD 235 are working closely with the SEK Muli-county health department to make the start of the school year 2020-2021 a smooth process and take all precautions to provide a safe environment for the staff students.”




FSMS Opens Volleyball Season Against Prairie Vies

Submitted photos.

Fort Scott Middle School opened its volleyball season last night with a home match against Prairie View.

It was a successful night for the Lady Tigers who went 3-1 for the night.

Seventh grade A team won in two with scores of 25-10, 25-22, 7B won in three with scores of 28-26, 19-25, and 15-6.

The following 7th graders stood out last night in serving: Jacee Rogers had a 100% serving percentage, Dana Tucker went 11/14 and Aubrey Yarick was 6/7 in serving.

The 8th grade B Team lost in two sets with the scores of 24-26 and 12-25. Greycyn Brown had a 100% serving 13/13 serves with 4 aces for the night.Kylee Comstock led the team in attacks with 4 Kills.

The 8th grade A Team won in 3 sets with the scores of 27-25, 16-25 and 15-8. Kinsley Brown led the A team in serving with 15/18 serves with 9 aces. Addie Feagins led the A team in passing.

Submitted by Angie Kemmerer

FSHS Student Ella Beth’s Courtyard Redesign: Real Life Experience

Ella and her brother, Carter Beth stain the tables for the Fort Scott High School courtyard project. Submitted photos.

Fort Scott High School Senior Ella Beth began a school project in her sophomore year that will benefit the school for years to come: a redesign of the high school’s courtyard.

The long-term project provided real-life business experience as well.


Fort Scott High School Courtyard Is Transformed

“I walked by the courtyard every day of my freshman year and was upset to learn that the space… was now used for nothing,” Beth said.  “I decided that I wanted to bring the courtyard back to its former glory because I saw it as bursting with potential to be a place that promoted Tiger Pride and an opportunity for students to learn or relax outdoors.”


The courtyard is an open space enclosed by the high school academic classrooms.


It has been used for pep rallies, activity meetings and outdoor classes.


Project Because of  Her Design Interest

Elle Beth, FSHS Senior. Photo by Kenny Felt Photography.


The project idea came because Beth is interested in interior design.


She and a classmate, Dawna Hudiberg, wanted to design some project and then implement their ideas.


” We brainstormed and came up with the idea of renovating the courtyard,” Beth said.  “Dawna eventually decided to take on another project, but I really wanted to have an area that allowed for some outdoor time and a possible way to promote Tiger Pride and unity in our school. Mrs. Kemmerer then helped me to get started on the project my sophomore year.”

“She presented her project proposal to the FSHS Principal and Superintendent for approval early last Fall 2019,” Angie Kemmerer, FSHS Independent Study Class teacher, said.
The goal was to have the project completed in time for the FSHS All-School Reunion in June 2020, but the COVID-19 Pandemic halted work.

Beth began in the spring of 2018 to design the project, her new deadline is May 2021, before she graduates.


Real-World Experience


” I encouraged Ella to develop a project plan with her ideas as a way for her to gain real-world experience in an area that she was interested in,” Kemmerer said. “She wanted to do something that would benefit others. When she first asked me about the possibility of remodeling the courtyard, my response was ‘why not’? She did her research, developed a plan, created a budget, identified community resources, wrote grants, networked, created community buy-in, discovered the importance of sweat equity and stepped outside of her comfort zone. She learned that things don’t always go the way you plan, but where there is a will there is away.”


“She started raising money, mostly through writing grants, and contacting local alumni-owned businesses to help with different parts of the project last year,” Kemmerer said. “She has networked with different FSHS programs to help with specific areas of her redesign plan and is currently trying to raise funds to finish the project.”


A Collaborative Effort

The project has been a collaborative effort.

“The turf and labor to install it was donated by FSHS alum Joe Kerr,” Kemmerer said.
“FSHS Physical Education and construction trades students helped move and spread the turf fill for the installation.”
This was the area before the turf was put in place. Submitted photos.
FS Physical Education students helped with the turf segment of the Beth project. Submitted photos.
The turf in place in the FSHS courtyard. Submitted photos.
“The funding for the concrete material came from the TIMKEN Community Grant and the labor was donated by RII Concrete Construction owned by FSHS alum Mike Rogers.”
“The eight tables and soon to be 45 benchtops are built by Mr. Lawerence’s construction trades students.”
“Legs for the 45 benches will be made by Mr. Parks ag program. The funding for the benches and tables came from the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation Grant and money set aside by USD234 for this project.”
The wall murals were designed by art students working under FSHS Art Teacher Ellen Kendrick.
“The aluminum panels for the murals were purchased with a grant from the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas.”
Mr. Feagin’s, FSMS Technology Teacher Mr. Feagins will help Ella complete the design and application of the murals to the panels, Kemmerer said.
“Ella received funds from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy pathways grant to purchase outdoor activities like giant Jenga, chess, checkers, ping pong and more for students to enjoy during free time,” Kemmerer said.
“Raised gardens will be installed for use by Mr. Hudiburg’s life science classes. The ground will be regraded to prep it for new sod and proper drainage. The old concrete will be cleaned, sealed and stained to match the new stamped concrete.”
“FSHS alum Gina Shelton has helped connect her to grant opportunities and support with connecting with additional alumni.”
“FSHS alum Matt Casner helped Ella create a Facebook page that links to a Go Fund Me page to help raise funds to complete the project. Unfortunately, shortly after its launch, a global pandemic hit and she has not been able to reach her ultimate goal.”
Sun Shades Still Need Funding
The last big expense, which she is seeking additional funding for, is the sun shades.
“The biggest expense left for the redesign project is the installation of sun shades at a cost of $22,000,” Kemmerer said. “This will be the last phase of the project, if funding allows. A donor wall will be created when the project is finished to recognize everyone who contributed along the way.”
To view Beth’s complete project, click below


Donations Information

Checks can be made to USD234 with “courtyard project” in the memo, or send to Ella Beth at the high school, or her gofundme link:


USD234 News Release of BOE Meeting Aug. 24



Monday, August 24, 2020


Members of the USD 234 Board of Education met at the Fort Scott Middle School Commons on Monday, August 24, for a special board meeting at 5:30 p.m.

President David Stewart opened the meeting.  Board members approved the following items:

·       Revised 2020-21 school calendar

·       Memorandum of Understanding between USD 234 Board of Education and Fort Scott Kansas National Education Association

·       Employee COVID-19 Policy

·       Addition of high school and middle school Choral Clubs to the supplemental schedule for the 2020-21 school year


Superintendent Hessong shared updated information regarding the Return-to-School

Plan.  Gina Shelton, Business Manager, shared Mask Campaign information.

Board members went into executive session to discuss personnel matters and returned to open meeting.  The board approved the following employment matters:


A.    Resignation of Audra Young, Winfield Scott paraprofessional, effective August 10, 2020

B.    Resignation of Jacy Walker, high school paraprofessional, effective immediately

C.    Resignation of Russ Hughes, central office custodian, effective at the end of the 2019-20 school year

D.    Resignation of Libby Stumfoll, van driver, effective September 3, 2020

E.     Transfer of Brent Cavin, Eugene Ware fifth grade teacher, to middle school 8th grade social studies teacher for the 2020-21 school year

F.     Transfer of Jennifer Stafford, Winfield Scott paraprofessional, to high school teacher aide for the 2020-21 school year

G.    Transfer of Dee Peters, Eugene Ware paraprofessional, to Winfield Scott paraprofessional for the 2020-21 school year

H.    Leave of absence for Sabrina Keating, Eugene Ware fourth grade teacher

I.      Work agreement adjustment for Angela Mix, Winfield Scott paraprofessional, from 7.5 hours to 4 hours per day for the 2020-21 school year

J.      Employment of Brendon Blackburn as a one-year middle school elective teacher for the 2020-21 school year

K.    Employment of Cindy O’Rear as a high school paraprofessional for the 2020-21 school year

L.     Employment of Kourtney Harper as a high school paraprofessional for the 2020-21 school year

M.   Employment of Mary Cole as a high school paraprofessional for the 2020-21 school year

N.    Employment of Julie Carpenter as a high school paraprofessional for the 2020-21 school year

O.    Employment of Jannah Farrington as the middle school Choral Club sponsor for the 2020-21 school year

P.     Employment of Brenda Hill as Eugene Ware 5th Grade Team Leader for the 2020-21 school year

Q.    Employment of Randy Phillips as a regular route bus driver for the 2020-21 school year

R.    Resignation of Taylor McDermed, Eugene Ware paraprofessional, effective August 24, 2020

S.     Leave of absence for Brenda Hathaway, high school ticket clerk

T.     Employment of Maggie Johnston as a high school paraprofessional for the 2020-21 school year


The board adjourned.


U234 Board Met to Purchase Temperature Scanners.



Thursday, August 20, 2020


Members of the USD 234 Board of Education met virtually on Thursday, August 20, for a special noon board meeting.

President David Stewart opened the meeting.  The board approved the purchase of temperature scanners.

The board adjourned.