Category Archives: Schools

USD 234 Board of Education Minutes of Oct. 14



Members of the USD 234 Board of Education met on Monday, October 14, 2019, at the Board of Education office 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 – September 30, 2019 – $1,369,443.01

D.    Financial Report

E.     Bond Proceeds Reconciliation

F.     Activity Fund Accounts

G.    Extended Trip requests

H.    Fundraiser requests


Several patrons spoke in the public forum section.  Gary Elliott, with Benchmark, Inc., gave a roof repair update.  Stephanie George, KNEA President, presented a report.  Administrators from each building shared reports with board members.

Superintendent Ted Hessong provided information on the following items:

·       Emergency Operations Plan

·       Legislative Update

·       KASB Regional Roundtable

·       Kansans CAN

·       Administrative Council meetings

·       Special Education

·       BOLD Program


Gina Shelton, Business Manager, reported on audits for the district, open enrollment for benefits, bids, and insurance appraisals.

Martin Altieri, Winfield Scott Assistant Principal, reviewed the updated 2019-20 Emergency Operations Plan.  Board members approved the 2019-20 EOP.  Board members also approved the Benchmark, Inc. service agreement and a roof payment.  The board reviewed the September 20 enrollment count report.

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 items:

A.    Adjustment in contract for Tracy Homan, high school librarian/media center teacher, to include middle school librarian/media center teacher for the 2019-20 school year

B.    Adjustment in work agreement for Moriah Dillow, Winfield Scott paraprofessional, from 7.5 hours per day to 5 hours per day for the 2019-20 school year

C.    Transfer of Randi Witt, middle school secretary, to special education secretary/Medicaid billing clerk for the 2019-20 school year

D.    Addition of a high school paraprofessional position for the 2019-20 school year

E.     Employment of Whitney Ball as a middle school secretary for the 2019-20 school year

F.     Employment of Emily Matkin as a high school teacher aide for the 2019-20 school year

G.    Employment of Ashley Rodriguez as a high school teacher aide (ISS) for the 2019-20 school year

H.    Employment of Shelley Rooks as a middle school teacher aide (vocal accompanist) for the 2019-20 school year

I.      Employment of Marie Henderson as a high school paraprofessional for the 2019-20 school year

J.      Employment of Daniel Long as a high school paraprofessional for the 2019-20 school year

K.    Employment of Codee Budd as a Winfield Scott paraprofessional for the 2019-20 school year

L.     Employment of Stacey Gingrich as a gifted paraprofessional for the 2019-20 school year

M.   Employment of Jamie Patterson as a preschool paraprofessional for the 2019-20 school year

N.    Termination of Danielle Hull as high school assistant cheerleading sponsor, effective September 27, 2019

O.    Employment of Russ Hughes as a middle school assistant track coach (fourth intramural session) for the 2019-20 school year

P.     Employment of Brooke Senkevech as a middle school third session intramural coach for the 2019-20 school year


The board adjourned.

Festival Oct. 19 To Encourage Creative Writing

The Lowell Milken Center is located at the corner of First and Wall Street and is the site of the Fort Scott Writing Festival.
A collaborative project to encourage creative writing in the community is taking place this Saturday, Oct. 19 at Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes at Main and Wall Street.
“It was a culmination of several peoples ideas in thinking about how to support and encourage writing in our community,” Jan Hedges, owner of Hedgehog.INK, said. “Writing is an aspect of the arts that is not often recognized.”
The event is co-sponsored by the Bourbon County Arts Council, Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, Books and Grannies Book Store and Hedgehog.INK!
It is a one-day event for gathering published authors to share their writing and publishing experiences with the community.
The morning session is a series of one-hour workshops  that is open to high school and local college students as well as adults.
There is no cost for students to attend the workshops.
In the afternoon, there will be a fair for authors to showcase their work and answer questions from aspiring writers.
Also in the afternoon there will be three mini-lessons, 30 minutes each for the public to view.

Program Schedule

Registration: 8:30 and refreshments (inside front doors)

Opening Remarks: 8:50 Little Theater

Finding Your Writing Plan – 9:00 Little Theater

Presenter R.J. Thesman

Are you stuck between writer’s block and the fun of procrastination? Maybe you’re not blocked. You just don’t have a writing plan. Finding Your Writing Plan helps you develop a discipline for your writing craft and keeps you from avoiding that blank page. Especially for bi-vocational writers who work another job, Finding Your Writing Plan gives you a structure for each day’s work. You can still nurture your creative side by choosing more than one plan or by changing your plan, depending on your circumstances. RJ Thesman will present 12 different options for your writing plan with best practices to help you finish your Work in Progress and move toward your publishing dreams. 

RJ Thesman, CLC, BSE Author / Writing Coach / Editor Speaker

* * * * * * * * *

Writing FOR a Child Requires Thinking LIKE a Child” – 9:00 Conference Room

Presenter: Cathy Werling

Have you often thought you would like to write a children’s book? With the current self-publishing opportunities available, the goal of writing and publishing a children’s book has become much more attainable. Through this presentation, you will learn how to get started, some important steps you need to consider before you actually start writing, and some available resources to help your children’s book become a reality.

Cathy Werling is a retired elementary educator, who works part-time at the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes. The opportunity to provide positive role models for children led to the Center’s Unsung Heroes book series for children. Cathy is the author of the first four books in the series, with plans to continue sharing more of the amazing stories of Unsung Heroes through additional books. Her goal is to, not only provide inspirational role models for elementary students, but to encourage them to be people who can also make a positive difference in the world around them.

* * * * * * * * *

Self Publishing – 10:00 Little Theater

Presenter: Sally Freeman Jadlow

Come learn how to publish your own book, step-by-step, in paperback or ebook through Handouts will accompany the class.

Sally Jadlow has published eleven books which have gone through the process Amazon offers authors. She writes award-winning historical fiction, inspirational short stories, non-fiction, devotionals and poetry. Sally has also been published in many magazine articles and anthologies. She teaches writing for the the Kansas City Writers Group in the spring and fall.

Know Your Sources – 10:00 Conference Room

Presenter: Ronda Hassig

Primary sources can be mysterious, exciting, and lead to creative writing at its finest.  If you want to write non-fiction or historical fiction you will need to know your sources!  When you leave this session, you will know what a source is, where to find it, how to use it and how to document it. 

Ronda Hassig is a retired Kansas Master Teacher and middle school librarian.  She is the author of two books including “The Abduction of Jacob Rote” and “The Greatest Test of Courage.”  Ronda loves reading, writing, and walking her three feral dogs!  

* * * * * * * * * *

Workshop Drawing – 10:55

Transformative Works & the Online Writing Experience – 11:00 Little Theater

Presenter: Qwen Salsbury

Discussion of the popularity and opportunities in online writing. How to build an online following, locate writing e-communities, and the bridge to publishing. Exploration of the importance of transformative works in society’s need to own its own stories. Presentation by author Qwen Salsbury, Amazon #1 Best-Selling author, whose online works have over 5 million unique hits. 

* * * * * * * * * *

Writing the Poetic Image – 11:00 Conference Room

Presenter: Laura Lee Washburn

Laura Lee Washburn will lead this workshop on imagery.  Poets will participate in a poetic game as well as write a short lyric or narrative free verse poem.  

Washburn is the author of two books of poetry, This Good Warm Place (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Poet Lore and The Sun.  Harbor Review’s Washburn Chapbook prize is named in her honor.  She directs the Creative Writing Program at Pittsburg State.

12:00 – 1:30 Lunch Break

Authors set up for the Authors Fair

Afternoon Mini-Sessions – Conference

1:30 Thomas Yoke

2:15 Kate Emmett-Sweetser

3:00 Jan Hedges

Why I Just Now Write” – 1:30 Conference Room

Presenter: Tom Yoke

It took me 60 years to fulfill the dream of becoming an author. The roadblocks and obstacles I had to overcome, are the motivation for telling my story. I want to encourage anyone of any age or circumstance to pursue that dream.

The main points of the talk are:

  • Listening to the right voices
  • Daring to believe in yourself
  • Dreaming big dreams
  • Following your heart’s hidden desire

* * * * * * * * * *


NaNoWriMo and Poem-a-Day: Write. Every. Day. – 2:15 Conference Room

Presenter: Kate Emmett-Sweetser

Though raised by a professor of British literature and a poet, Kate Emmett-Sweetser prefers to write non-fiction. She has worked as a free-lance journalist in both English and Spanish, as a translator, and as a Spanish adjunct at Pittsburg State University. She is currently working on a book about the Jewish families who lived in SE Kansas in the decades following the Civil War. Her biggest challenges are perfectionism and procrastination; she will share ways to adapt fiction- and poetry-writing prompts and goals to all genres of writing. 

* * * * * * * * * *

The Art of Journaling – 3:00 Conference Room

Presenter: Jan Hedges

We each have a great deal to write about already tucked in our own heads. Journaling is a way to keep track of and organize these thoughts, musings and ideas. This session will cover the many aspects of journaling, how-to’s, inspiration and motivation. A drawing for a journal will be held at the end of the session.

Jan Hedges is a retired teacher and school administrator. She and her husband Dick opened Hedgehog.INK! Gently Used Books and So Much More… in October 2018. She has dabbled in writing for over 50 years. I write because I must.

* * * * * * * * * *

Author Fair Participants: (Tentative List)

Ronda Hassig Young Adult Historical Fiction

Gerri Hilger Adult Historical Fiction

Sally Freeman Jadlow Adult Christian Living/Memoir/Poetry…

Joyce Love Children/Young Adult Historical Fiction / Devotional

Eric Reynolds Adult Historical Fiction

Carol Russell Young Adult Historical Fiction

Sally Smith Adult Christian Living

R.J. Thesman Adult Christian Living / Fiction…

Laura Lee Washburn Poetry

Cathy Werling Children Children

Thomas Yoke Adult Fiction

 Shirley Fessel

Jena Fellers



USD234 Parent Teacher Conferences Oct. 21-22, NO School Oct. 25

Parent/Teacher conferences for the USD 234 School District will be held on Monday, October 21, and Tuesday, October 22.

Conferences will be
held at the following times:
Fort Scott Preschool Center – 4:20 to 7:50 p.m.
Winfield Scott and Eugene Ware – 4: l5 to 7:45 p.m.
Fort Scott Middle School and Fort Scott High School – 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.

There will be no school for USD 234 students on Friday, October 25.

Classes will resume on Monday, October 28.

Contact: Ted Hessong
Superintendent of Schools
USD 234
424 S. Main
Fort Scott, KS 66701

Join Pittsburg Youth Chorale

Pittsburg Youth Chorale to perform at parade

Pittsburg Youth Chorale, under the direction of MJ Harper, will perform a Pre-Parade Prelude at 8:30AM on Saturday, October 19th at Root Coffeehouse, 402 N. Broadway.

Sing along to holiday hits before Halloween, patriotic tunes in preparation for Veterans Day, and folk tunes perfect for Autumn.

Performers meet Tuesdays 5-6PM at First United Methodist Church, 415 N. Pine.

If you are interested in booking this ensemble, contact MJ Harper at 620-719-6633 or email . Area singers in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade are invited to join Pittsburg Youth Chorale. Participants do not need to be enrolled in USD 250 to belong to this ensemble.To enroll, contact MJ Harper.

Friday Night Free Concert: Eugene Ware Youth Choir

Eugene Ware Youth Choir, a vocal ensemble made up of 4th and 5th grade performers, will sing at the Friday Night Concert at the Heritage Park Pavilion (1st and Main) this Friday, October 18th from 7-8PM. In case of rain, the performance will take place at the Presbyterian Church

Talking Tigers: First Place at Field Kindley

Submitted by Angella Curran
Congratulations to FSHS Talking Tigers debate team!  Saturday they took 1st overall at Field Kindley!
In the novice division Kinsley Davis and Lillian Collins placed 3rd with a 4-1 record, 20 speaks and Hannah Vann and Sage Hill placed 1st with a 5-0 record and 21 speaks!
In the JV division, Thade Yates and Landon Doherty placed 3rd with a 3-2 record, 20 speaks and Lola Umarova and Shekhar Gugnani placed 2nd with a 4-1 Record, 20 speaks.
In the Open division Madi Toth and Mark Adams placed 1st with a 5-0 record, 15 speaks (A perfect record)!
Everyone did an outstanding job!!  Go Tigers!

FSHS Wrestlers Fundraiser For Program Needs: Taco Tico Meals

Fort Scott High School Wrestling student-athlete representatives attended the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Coffee on Oct. 3 to tell the community of the fundraiser. From left: Jenna Graham, Coby Burchett, Hannah Vann, and  Mersadie Roof listen as  Coach Alvin Metcalf tells about the fundraiser.

Fort Scott High School has a wrestling program for both boys and girls, with 50 students involved in the program.

Alvin Metcalf is the coach, assistant coaches are Alvin Metcalf Sr., Dakota Hall, and Kathi Hall.

Funds are needed for the program for equipment and gear,  and also for team expenses for the year while competing in other locations, for example, hotel stays, food, etc.

The students and coaches have chosen a Taco Tico Fundraiser.

“It allows the community to get a nostalgic meal that the town of Fort Scott loves,” Coach Metcalf said. “Taco Tico was a staple for anyone who lived in Fort Scott in the 1990s and 2000s especially if you were in high school at that time. It’s something different that people like.”

The wrestlers and their parents prepare the food.

The food orders will be picked up at the high school on October 19 in the Fort Scott High School Commons Area.

Orders are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 12.

Pre-orders can be placed with any wrestling athlete or order sheets picked up at the Butcher Block Shop on National Avenue or 5-Corners Convenience Store at 12th Street at 69 Hwy.

Orders can be dropped off at the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office, 293 E. 20th Street from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To order online go to the Fort Scott High School Wrestling page on Facebook.

On the menu are tacos, burritos, sanchos and taco burgers. People may eat in the commons area if so desired.

There will be limited quantities available with pre-ordering.

For more information contact Metcalf at 620.224.8468 or

Lesley Harris at 620.215.5330.

Image may contain: 13 people, people smiling, people standing, basketball court and indoor
Girl Wrestlers from the Fort Scott High School Wrestling Facebook page.
Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing
Boy wrestlers from the Fort Scott High School Wrestling Facebook page.



Past UHS Homecoming Queens, Kings and Band Members Invited Oct. 11

Uniontown High School King Gavin Miller and Queen Lindsay Nietfeld, 2016. Courtesy photos, UHS English teacher,  Karen Massa.
The Uniontown High School Student Council is asking that all former UHS Fall Homecoming Kings and Queens join the school for Homecoming 2019 on October 11.
The band teacher is also asking all former band members to join them with instruments in hand that evening as well.
UHS Queen Shanda Shepard and  King Jeff Daly, 1988. Courtesy photo from UHS.
UHS Student Council has 14 members and Rebecca Sutterby is the advisor.
“It’s always the goal of homecoming to have many alumni and community members attend in support of the current generation of Eagles,” Sutterby said. ” StuCo voted as a group to make an effort to specifically invite all of our past football homecoming royalty this year. We were super excited to learn that our very first homecoming queen from 1957 is planning to attend.”
Megan Mann and Mitch Spainhoward 2003. Courtesy photo from UHS.

“Please gather at the football stadium by 6:00 p.m.,” she said.  “We will have a short ceremony to honor our past UHS Royalty right before we crown the new 2019 Homecoming King and Queen. The history of UHS Fall Royalty dates back to 1957 and we would like to have as many of the 124 previous winners as possible attend.”

Jeff Marlow and Lori George, 1990. Courtesy photo of UHS.

Former UHS Alumni Band Members Invited to Join As Well

UHS Band in 1987. Courtesy photo from UHS.
The high school band has also invited former members to play in the UHSPep Band that night.
Some UHS band alumni are guest musicians for ball games on a regular basis, but they are encouraging more to participate in homecoming activities.
UHS Band Alumni Crystal Johnson, 1992. Courtesy photo from UHS.
“A quick meet and greet, and brief warmup and rehearsal with current members of the UHS Band will begin at 4 p.m. in the band room,” UHS Band Director Neva Rowland said.
Kirk Camac, Gage McKennis, Jesse Johnston, UHS Band members in 2003. Courtesy photo.
“If you are unable to make it at 4:00 p.m., then join us whenever you can!” said Rowland. “I would love to have a large group of people come and play with us. If you are someone who hasn’t played in years, you can still come! It will come back to you, and the UHS Band students will be sitting alongside you, so you don’t need to worry about getting lost.”
Anna Jefferis and Amy Dillow, 2016. Courtesy photo.
Student Council is one of many organizations on the campus.
StuCo’s purposes: To develop positive attitudes and practice in good citizenship, promote harmonious relations throughout the school, improve school morale, assist in the management of the school, provide a forum for student expression, provide orderly direction of school activities, and promote the general welfare of the school.
For more info, call Sutterby at (620) 756-4335

Talking Tigers Earn 2nd Place On Oct. 5

Submitted by Angella Curran
Congratulations to FSHS debate for placing 2nd at Pittsburg on October 5th!
In the novice division, with a 4-1 record, Kinsley Davis and Lillian Collins placed 5th.
In the open division:
Neil and Shekhar Gugnani placed 6th with a 3-2 record, 24 speaks.
Jorden Willard and Jade Russell placed 4th with a 3-2 record, 21 speaks
Madison Toth and Mark Adams placed 2nd with a 5-0 record,18 speaks.
Elizabeth Ngatia and Zoe Self placed 1st with a 5-0 record, 16 speaks.

Eugene Ware Students To Perform Oct. 7

Eugene Ware Elementary 3rd Graders will present a Music Program, “Autumnal Equinox” on Monday, October 7 at 6:30 PM at Ellis Family Fine Arts Center at Fort Scott Community College, 2401 S. Horton.

This performance meets state and national standards of music education and highlights seasonal music.

All are welcome to this free performance!

Submitted by MJ Harper

St. Martin’s Academy Begins Year in New Facility

The staff of St. Martin’s Academy, front, from left: Patrick Whelan, headmaster; Joshua Gieger, housefather; Danielle Bauer, secretary; Ginger McElwee, teacher. Second row: Roger McAffrey, housefather; Ken Klassen, academic dean; Ryan Bauer, teacher; Michael Taylor, farming instructor.
Third row: Robert McElwee, chaplain; Sebastian Macik, chef; Giorgio Navarin, housefather. Not pictured are Joshua Mincio, housefather and Dan Kerr, president of St. Martin’s Academy.

Phase I of a multi-year building project, Theokotos Hall, is completed at St. Martin’s Academy school and opened in September 2019 to 29 students.

The  Catholic boys boarding school started in 2018 and was housed temporarily in a large Victorian home on National Avenue in Fort Scott.

The completed Theotokos Hall contains dormitories in the basement; an office, kitchen and dining hall on the first floor; and classrooms and the chapel in its loft, according to the school’s recent newsletter.

The dining room of Theokotos Hall also doubles as classroom space. The view is from the loft looking down. A student sweeps the floor after lunch was served on Monday afternoon.
The chapel at Theokotos Hall. The ornate furniture and altar came from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in downtown Fort Scott.

Click here to view the school’s newsletter: http://St. Martin’s

Freshman through junior class young men are enrolled this year, the school started last year with freshmen and sophomores.

Currently, 10 of those students are spending a trimester in Europe and the other 19 are receiving liberal arts lessons in literature, history, math, science, religion, Latin and also music-both folk and sacred, in Theokotos Hall on Indian Road, southwest of Fort Scott.

The 11th-grade students are now three weeks into their 10-week study abroad program in Europe.

“Highlights thus far include Le Louvre in Paris, venerating the bones of St. Martin in Tours, and crawling amongst the mortar scarred landscape above Pointe du Hoc at Normandy Beach,” according to the school newsletter.  The school was hosted by Chavagne International School who organized a  trip to  Puy du Fou, an authentically Catholic and medieval theme park in the Vendee.

The students and a housefather, Josh Mincio, are stationed at the Abbey of Fontgombault in central France, a  Benedictine monastery.  The next leg of the journey is a  future pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain and then to Rome.

The ninth-grade students spent several days in the Wind River Mountain Range, Wyoming.

“Operating at a base altitude of 10,000 ft, the boys logged over 20 miles of hiking through a rough and rugged backcountry, carrying their own provisions on their back and preparing their own meals,” according to the school newsletter.

The next phase of construction at the school is building three bunkhouses, housing 20 students each.

Currently, the students have bunk beds in the lower level of Theokotos Hall. Two adults, called house fathers, are housed at the building 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The academic building, including a formal library, is next, followed by the construction of the stone chapel which will be the final phase, Patrick Whelan, the headmaster at the school, said.

All are hoped to be completed in five years, Whelan said.