Category Archives: Schools

FSHS Debate Wins Big

The Fort Scott High School Debate team was successful this weekend:

At the Field Kindley debate tournament, Coffeyville:
4th in Open Kaden Kiwan /Jade Russell
4th in Novice  Kris Patel/Shekhar Gugnani
3rd in Novice Takia Page/ Ivy Baily
FSHS takes 2nd in Sweeps!
Elizabeth Ngatia and Zoe Self take first in open debate at Olathe South!
Submitted by Angella Curran

Uniontown FFA Freshman Place First

The Uniontown FFA Chapter traveled to Sedan, Kansas on Friday, October 12th to compete in the Southeast District FFA Horse Evaluation competition.

After placing four haltered classes, two performance classes and presenting two sets of oral reasons, Uniontown was named the first place team in the Freshman/Sophomore division.

The team was made up of all freshman including Gwen Fry was the high individual overall, Kristy Beene who was 6th individually, Colton Robinson who was 9th, Addie Martin, Bryce Eck, Jakeob Stewart, Zach Snyder, Thomas Snider, and Connor Gregg.

Submitted by Scott Sutton

Third Grade Concert Oct. 25

Eugene Ware Elementary School

Eugene Ware Third Grade students will present a program “Kids Are Music” on Thursday, October 25 at 6 PM at Ellis Family Fine Arts Center on the campus of Fort Scott Community College, 2108 S. Horton.

Submitted by Mary Jo Harper.

Talking Tigers Place First

Fort Scott High School debater, Oct. 13, 2018.

Congratulations, once again, to the FSHS Talking Tigers! “Take your baby to work” (Open debaters partner with novice debaters) was successful. Fort Scott placed first in sweeps!
In the open division:
Dalton Womeldorff and Shekhar Gugnani placed 1st with a 5-0 record, 16 speaks.
Elizabeth Ngatia and Zoe Self placed 2nd with 5-0 record, 20 speaks.
Mark Adams and Khris Patel placed 3rd with a 4-1 record, 19 speaks.
Rebekah Sweyko and Thade Yates placed 4th with a 4-1 record, 24 speaks.
In the JV division Ash Nave and Jacob Ham placed 8th with a 3-2 record, 25 speaks.
The rest of the team worked really hard, earned some wins, and helped the entire team be successful. Great Job today!

Submitted by Angella Curran

Federal and State Agencies Address Rising Use of E-cigarettes


More than 10 percent of Kansas high schoolers use e-cigarettes


TOPEKA – Kansas, along with the rest of the nation, is experiencing an increase in the use of e-cigarettes among youth. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), along with its partners, seeks to raise awareness of the potential harm to those who use this product. According to the 2017 Kansas Youth Risk Behavior Survey, one in 10 (10.6 percent) high school students in Kansas currently use e-cigarettes. And national data show that e-cigarette use among youth increased from 1.5 percent in 2011, to 11.7 percent in 2017. E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youth.


This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an analysis of retail e-cigarette sales data from 2013-2017. It shows that sales of JUUL, an e-cigarette shaped like a flash drive, grew more than seven-times from 2016 to 2017, and JUUL Laboratories held the greatest share of the U.S. e-cigarette market by December 2017. In September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the issuance of more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers that illegally sold JUUL and other e-cigarette products to minors.


“Youth use of e-cigarettes is concerning because e-cigarettes often contain nicotine, and nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing brain,” said Dr. Greg Lakin, Chief Medical Officer, KDHE. “JUUL products contain particularly high levels of nicotine.”


The U.S. Surgeon General concluded in a 2016 report that the use of tobacco products containing nicotine among youth, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe. E-cigarettes produce an aerosol that generally contains fewer toxic chemicals than secondhand smoke from cigarettes. However, it can contain many harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like nickel, tin and lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing chemicals. Because e-cigarettes have risen in popularity so quickly, the long-term effects and dangers of inhaling the aerosol from e-cigarettes are still relatively unknown.


The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) imposed restrictions on tobacco industry marketing, specifically on advertising targeting youth. Exposure to tobacco product advertising has been shown to influence young people to start using tobacco products. E-cigarette companies, however, were not included in and are not restricted by the MSA. E-cigarette companies are using techniques identical to those used by tobacco companies that have been shown to increase use of cigarettes by youth, and research shows they have been successful in their attempts to reach youth. The 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 78.2 percent of middle and high school students had been exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from at least one source.


E-cigarettes are not one of the seven medications approved as a “quit smoking” aid by the FDA. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that there is not enough evidence to recommend e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in adults. Many adult e-cigarette users do not stop smoking cigarettes and instead transition to dual use of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. In 2016, more than half (56.1 percent) of Kansas adults who currently use e-cigarettes were also current cigarette smokers.


The U.S. Surgeon General concluded in a 2016 report that actions should be taken at the national, tribal, state and local levels to address and prevent e-cigarette use among youth and young adults. One of these recommended actions is engaging youth in comprehensive community and statewide tobacco control programs. Resist is a statewide youth-led tobacco prevention initiative that seeks to change youth perceptions of tobacco use, reduce youth exposure to tobacco products and reduce tobacco use rates in Kansas. Resist is sponsored in part by KDHE. For a complete list of resources on e-cigarettes and other tobacco products impacting Kansas youth, please visit

New Fitness Center Opens at Uniontown

The ribbon cutting of the new USD 235 fitness center was led by Jake Steinfeld, Thursday morning, Oct. 11.

Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils,  along with students and local dignitaries cut the ribbon on Uniontown’s new $100,000 DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center, during a ceremony in the West Bourbon Elementary School gym.

Fitness ambassador students get a run-through before the ribbon cutting with Don Payne, Equipment Director for TuffStuff Fitness Int.
Four students from each grade, 4th through 12th, were randomly selected to be student fitness ambassadors. They were given prior training in the weeks leading up to the official ribbon cutting.

During the opening speech before the students, teachers, and guests, Steinfeld said that exercise helps students stay focused and therefore improves student learning.

He encouraged the students to stay active their whole lives.

“When you have your health and you have hope, that’s what I believe the American dream is all about,” Steinfeld said.

The opening of the new USD 235 Fitness Center created excitement at the West Bourbon Elementary School Thursday morning, not only for students but the Uniontown community.

The reason: Community members will be using the equipment in the future, as well as students.

Last month USD 235 Superintendent Brett Howard was uncertain if the community would be able to use the equipment in addition to the students as originally planned, due to liability insurance issues.

The insurance issues were resolved at the board meeting this week, WBE Principal Vance Eden, said in an interview.


In a later email to, Eden said community members will need to come to the office of WBE to pay and get their card for the fitness center from him.

The details of the public use of the fitness center will be worked on this week, and it will be open to the public next week, according to Howard in an interview.

The ceremony moved from the elementary school gym to the site of the new fitness center across the road at the junior high school, where the ribbon cutting took place. The center is housed in the former library of the school.

The Uniontown High School former library, pictured here, is the site of the new center.


Uniontown High School 2018

The USD 235 students starting at 4th grade will begin using the facility next week, Physical Education Teacher Jackie Hall said.

“We are so excited for our kids to have this opportunity,” she said.

USD 235 Fitness Center Ribbon Cutting Oct. 11

Famed Fitness Icon Jake (Body by Jake) Steinfeld and Uniontown 235 Students to Cut Ribbon on their Newly Gifted DON’T QUIT!TM Fitness Center


WHAT:                   Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils, dignitaries and students will cut the ribbon on Uniontown USD 235 School’s new DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center at 8:30 a..m. on Thursday, October 11, 2018.  Uniontown was one of three Kansas schools selected as a DON’T QUIT! Fitness Champion earlier this year for demonstrating new and innovative ways of promoting student physical activity and wellness.  The other two winning schools were Lincoln Elementary in Fredonia and Jardine Middle School in Topeka.


Governor Colyer signed a proclamation declaring  October as “DON’T QUIT! Fitness Month.”  During DON’T QUIT! Fitness Month, families and communities are encouraged to renew their commitment to making physical activity and healthy eating part of our children’s daily lives.


The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils program has now rolled out in twenty-four states and will be putting fitness centers in all 50 states. Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Amerigroup Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. TuffStuff Fitness International provides all of the fitness equipment, which is manufactured right here in the United States.  The Foundation’s goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.


WHO:                     Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils

Lynne Oharah, County Commissioner

Bret Howard, Superintendent

Vance Eden, Principal


VISUAL:                 500 excited students

                                DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center Students will use the equipment for the first time!               

                                Proclamation presentation


WHEN:                   Thursday, October 11, 2018

                                8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.


WHERE:                 Uniontown 235

                                602 5th Street

Uniontown, KS 66779

WBE Gymnasium


WHY:                      Physical activity and exercise have been shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life and reduce health care costs.  In schools, physical activity and exercise have been shown to improve academic achievement, increase confidence and self-esteem, reduce discipline problems, cut absenteeism and foster better interpersonal relationships.



For more information about the National Foundation, visit

About The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils
The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) seeks to encourage and reward innovation in the field of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness. The NFGFC envisions a fitness center in every school in the U.S., helping to build a nation that—through innovation and a “DON’T QUIT!” attitude—boasts the fittest kids in the world. Since 2012, the NFGFC has delivered fitness centers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, California, New Mexico, Connecticut, Virginia, Illinois, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, Maryland, Louisiana, Oregon and Colorado.  In 2018, we will gift fitness centers to four more states including Kansas, South Carolina,  Tennessee and Utah.


FSHS to Host Royal Tea for Young Princes and Princesses

Local children will enjoy a Royal Tea with their favorite fairy tale characters from 4 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the Fort Scott High School Commons.


Young princes and princesses can play Highland games with Merida, sip tea with the Queen of Hearts and Alice, decorate cookies with Cinderella and her evil stepsisters, or sing their favorite royal songs with Belle. They can also create shell necklaces and fish with Ariel and Prince Eric, create flower crowns or don a beard with Snow White and Prince Charming, and show their creativity with Princess Leia. These and many other royal fairy tale characters are portrayed by FSHS Thespians.


Children must be accompanied by an adult for the event and are encouraged to dress in their own royal attire. Admission is $10 per child and each can receive a $2 discount by donating a non-perishable food item for the annual Thespian Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat service project. Admission includes all snacks, games, crafts, and activities with each royal character.


For more information, please see the Fort Scott High School Thespians Facebook page or contact FSHS Thespian Director Angie Bin at 620-719-9622 or


Bourbon County Schools See Enrollment Increase

September 20 is the headcount date for Kansas school districts.

The enrollment of a district is the number of students regularly enrolled at the district on September 20 of the preceding school year, according to the website:

Bourbon County public schools have noted an increase in enrollment, which means an increase in funding.

Fort Scott Community College President Alysia Johnston.





Fort Scott Community College

Fort Scott Community College enrollment is up around 1,000 credit hours from last year at this time, President Alysia Johnston said.  “15 credit hours (per semester) is considered full time.”

“We also report numbers based on Full-Time Equivalency (FTE); therefore, the 1,000 credit hour increase would be an FTE increase of 66,” Johnston said.

How does the increase in students benefit the school?

“It is hard to give you an exact dollar amount – as I’m not sure how many of the 1000 credit hour increase we would have provided tuition scholarships for; and if the credit hours were generated from in-district, out-district, or out of state,” Johnston said. “If I assume that 50% of the hours we gave scholarships for , and they were all in-district, it would be approximately an increase of around $80,000.”

“Our enrollment is up due to the great work our faculty and staff at FSCC do to ensure we meet the needs of our students and community,” she said. ” Their dedication, expertise in their area, and devotion to quality is reflected in our increased enrollment. Our focus is not just on growing enrollment, but maintaining and improving excellence in our programs and meeting student needs so they can be successful and reach their goals.”

USD 235

Bret Howard, superintendent of USD 235, Uniontown.

The Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) for Uniontown is 451 with enrollment of 458 students, Bret Howard, superintendent for USD 235 said.

“Unofficially we are up 6 (from last year),” Howard said. “We will still be audited by the Kansas State Department of Education and numbers can change slightly. Nothing is ever “official” until after the audit.”

“A school district receives $4,165 for each full-time equivalent (FTE),” Howard said. ” All Kindergarten through 12th-grade students are 1.0 FTE. A Pre-K student is funded at .5 FTE per student and each district has a cap determined by the KSDE. We are funded with 14 Pre-K slots or 7 FTE in Uniontown USD 235.”

“A district also receives weighted funding for At-Risk Students, Students on Free Lunch, Students who ride district provided transportation to and from school, etc,” Howard said. “A district budget has many different factors that make it up.”

USD 234

USD 234 Assistant Superintendent Nicki Traul.

The enrollment has also increased at USD 234, said Assistant Superintendent Nicki Traul.

Fort Scott Schools have seen an increase of 27 students from last school year.

In 2018-19 there are 1934 students, in 2017-18 there were 1907 students and in 2016-17 there were 1890 students, she stated.





Fort Scott Debate and Speech Students Place First At PHS

Fort Scott High School Debate/Speech students September 2018.
Congratulations to Fort Scott Talking Tigers for taking 1st place in Sweeps at Pittsburg High School this weekend.
In the open division, Dalton Womeldorff and Madi Toth placed 1st with a 5-0 record, Zoe Self and Elizabeth Ngatia placed 2nd with a 5-0 record and Chloe Studyvin and Rebecca Sweyko placed 3rd with a 5-0 record.
In the JV division, Shekhar and Neil Gugnani placed 5th with a 2-3 record and Ash Nave and Jade Russell placed 6th with a 2-3 record.
Novices did not place as individual teams, but they all did an outstanding job at contributing to the team sweeps!


Submitted by Angella Curran, FSHS debate/speech teacher

Kemmerer Selected For A National History Day Partnership Program


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mrs. Angie Kemmerer, a teacher at Fort Scott Middle School and Fort Scott High School in Fort Scott, Kansas is one of 114 teachers selected for a National History Day® program titled Legacies of World War I.

The program is a partnership between the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and National History Day.

Kemmerer will participate in webinars and discussions while learning about World War I with teachers from around the world.

As one of the selected teachers, Kemmerer receives free tuition, graduate credits, and materials for the online program.

Each of the 57 National History Day affiliates could choose two teachers for this honor and the National History Day program in Kansas selected Mrs. Kemmerer.

“As part of the commemoration of the centennial of The Great War, National History Day is proud to partner with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission to help teachers delve into the history of this global event,” said National History Day Executive Director
Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Kemmerer will learn about specific aspects of the war she can take back to the classroom to ensure this piece of global history is not forgotten.”

This program is part of an educational partnership with the WWI Commission, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, National History Day, and the National World War I Museum and Memorial. This new educational partnership will educate both teachers and school students about World War I through a series of more than 100 teaching events nationwide. More Information about the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission can be found here:

About National History Day (NHD): NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park that seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day
Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, and Southwest Airlines. For more information, visit

USD 235 Fitness Center: Students-Yes…Community Use In Question

Uniontown High School 2018. The fitness center windows are the far right in this photo.

The great news is USD 235 students will soon get to use their new fitness equipment provided by a recent grant.

When the grant was first received, the school administration thought the community could also make use of the school’s new equipment.

But insurance liability issues are putting a stumbling block in community use, USD 235 Superintendent Bret Howard said.

Until the insurance issues are resolved, the community won’t be using the equipment, Howard said.

Howard hopes to hear back from the insurance company by the next school board meeting, Oct. 8, he said.

The board meets the second Monday of each month.

Governor Jeff Colyer and Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils, in May 2018, announced three Kansas schools were selected to receive a DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center, each valued at $100.000.

USD 235 was one of the three schools.

Howard said it is his understanding that the other Kansas schools that received the fitness equipment from this grant program are not making it available to the community.

 The site for the fitness center is the former school library at the junior high school.

Installation was Labor Day weekend and a  ribbon cutting will take place Oct. 11 at 8:30 a.m. at West Bourbon Elementary School,  Howard said.

For more information see the previous story:

Uniontown School District Receives $100,000 Grant For Fitness Center