Category Archives: Schools

James Wood Selected For USD 234 School Board

Facebook photo.
James Wood was selected to fill Position 1  by the USD 234 School Board on Monday, August 27.
“There were two community members who submitted letters of interest that qualified to fill Position 1,” USD Superintendent Ted Hessong said. ” The other person was Jeff Madison.  At the special board meeting held at the district office on Monday, Mr. Wood and Mr. Madison were interviewed by the sitting board in an open session.  At the conclusion of the interview, a motion and a second were made to appoint Mr. Wood and the board voted him in to fill the position 6-0.”
This vacant position was open because of the resignation of Vanessa Poyner, earlier this year.
“Mr. Wood will begin filling Position 1 at the September 10th USD 234 School Board meeting,” Hessong said.
Wood, 43,  grew up in Fort Scott, graduating from Fort Scott High School and Fort Scott Community Collge, then joined the Marine Corps for four years, he said.
He is the manager of the Holmtown Pub, 206 N. National Avenue.
His community involvement:
“I organize a Christmas party every year for foster kids and their families,” Wood said. “I play Santa.”
He is also a member of the Fort Scott Middle School VIP group and has helped with the Good Neighbor Action Team, The Sharing Bucket and the Wreaths Across America groups, he said.
Wood is a widower with a son in 7th grade at Fort Scott Middle School.
“I am honored and excited to be a part of the school board and staff to make a difference in the community,” Wood said.

FS Middle School Volleyball Sweeps In Six Matches

Photo submitted by Matt Harris.

The  Fort Scott Middle School  Volleyball home opener against Praire View provided wins in all six matches. Fort Scott played against 59 athletes last night, August 28.

The scores for 7th and 8th-grade teams:
7C. 25-17 & 25-18
7B. 25-5 & 25-17
7A. 25-13 & 25-13
8C 25-18 &25-16
8B. 25-10 &25-17
8A. 23-25 &25-17& 15-5
Submitted by Angie Kemmerer

Nicki Traul: New Assistant Superintendent at USD 234

Nicki Traul is the new assistant superintendent at USD 234.

The former director of curriculum and instruction has taken on new duties in the Fort Scott School District.

Nicki Traul is now the assistant superintendent at USD 234.

“Mrs. Traul will continue to lead in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment,” Superintendent Ted Hessong said.  “She will also continue to oversee the preschool with the assistance of a lead teacher at the preschool. She will now be the lead for our special education department as well as the go-to person for the elementary principals, because of her elementary background.”

When Hessong came to the superintendency this year, he saw that Traul was doing the duties of an assistant superintendent.

“In my review of the district to prepare myself for my transition to USD 234,” he said.  “I decided Mrs. Traul was doing the duties of an assistant superintendent and we needed to designate her with this title to put in her a true role as an administrator for the district.”

“I am excited about the new opportunity and am looking forward to working with Mr. Hessong,” Traul said.

USD 234 enrollment finalization is this week, Hessong said.

 “There was an issue with our online enrollment system,” Hessong said. ” It is my understanding the system became overwhelmed because several of the districts across the country who use this online enrollment system were enrolling on the same day.”

Fort Scott High School Auditions for Musical “Bright Star”

Fort Scott High School.


Fort Scott High School is proud to announce auditions for the regional premiere of the new musical “Bright Star.”

Auditions are from 6:30 to 9 p.m. either Monday, Aug. 27 or Wednesday, Aug. 29 at the high school auditorium. Students only need to attend one night, but need to plan to stay for the entire time period.

“Inspired by a real event and featuring the Grammy-nominated score by Steven Martin and Edie Brickell, Broadway’s Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past – and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. Propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tight in its grasp, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful,” according to publisher Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

The show is open to current FSHS students and rehearsals are Monday-Thursday from 6:30-9 p.m. The performances are Nov. 6, 8, and 10.

Students who wish to audition for a lead solo role should prepare as follows: females will sing a portion of “If You Knew My Story” and males will sing “Bright Star” from the show. Links to karaoke tracks and piano accompaniment for the songs can be found at the “Fort Scott High School Thespians” Facebook page at and the “Fort Scott Choirs” website at

The show is directed by FSHS Drama Director Angie Bin and FSHS Choral Director Meredith Reid and choreographed by Delynn Abati, assistant to the FSHS Dance Team.

For more information, please contact Angie Bin at or 620-719-9622.

St. Martin’s Academy Starts Inaugural Year Sept. 4

Theotokos Hall is being built at St. Martin’s Academy, southwest of Fort Scott.

A new Catholic boys boarding school organization is transforming a brushy hillside just east of Lake Fort Scott into a campus.

Theotokos Hall is the first building being built at St. Martin’s Academy, on Indian Road, near Lake Fort Scott.

Completion of the hall is slated for late fall or early winter, Daniel Kerr, president of St. Martin’s Academy, said.

The original completion date was this month.

“School begins Sept. 4 and … we’ll spend the first eight- days on an outdoor expedition near Moab, Utah,”  he said.

“In the meantime, we’ll bunk at the former Levine Mansion in Fort Scott, a massive Victorian beauty built in 1884 and a more than suitable Plan B to start the year,” he said in information provided to FortScott.Biz.

There will be a faculty of 12, with four “house fathers” living on campus with the boys to provide residential supervision, Kerr said.

“Enrollment has exceeded our every expectation as we have maxed out our first year capacity of 20 students and now have a growing waiting list. God is good!” Kerr said.

Workmen are completing the shell of the building.

“We will have met personally with every student as part of the application process and can confidently say these are young men of exceptional character from wonderful families,” Kerr said.

“We’ll be welcoming students from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina and California.”


The inside of Theotokos Hall as of August 2018.

The Moab, Utah trip will be led by Residential Dean, Travis Dziad in conjunction with COR Expeditions.

The group will canoe, rock-climb, and hike for the first days of the school year.

” We think this will be a great way for our new students to form friendships (the best anecdote to home-sickness) while setting the proper tone for a year in which God’s creation, not pop culture, is our frame of reference,” Kerr said.




Mark Spore: New Fort Scott High School Science Teacher

This is part of a series featuring new teachers in our community.
Mark Spore is the new Fort Scott High School Science Teacher.
Name: Mark Spore
Title: Science Teacher
Education: BSE from Emporia State
Experience: 21 years in Education
Age: 47
Family: Married with 3 sons
Why did you choose education as a career?
I believe Education is one of the most important occupations there is and I want to help kids pursue their dreams and reach their full potential.
What is first in priorities for this new position?
I want to get to know my students and provide a safe, positive learning environment that is both challenging and rewarding.

Jered McKay: The New Eugene Ware Focus Room Teacher

This is part of a series on new teachers in our community.
Jered McKay is the Eugene Ware Elementary School Focus Room Teacher.
Name: Jered McKay
Title: Focus Room Teacher
Education: I have a masters in Applied Behavioral Analysis and am working on my masters in teaching.
Age:  35
Family:  Four children ages 4, 7, 8, and 16.
I am member of Smallville Crossfit and am member of Psi Chi Honor Association

Autumn Durrossette: New First-Grade Teacher at Winfield Scott

This is part of a series featuring new teachers in our community.
Autumn Durrossette is a new first-grade teacher at Winfield  Scott Elementary School.
Name: Autumn Durossette
Title of position: 1st Grade teacher
Education: BS Elementary Minor Early childhood MS Elementary Education
Experience: 12 years in kindergarten in Nevada MO
Age: 35
Family: Husband Kevin, and three children:  Sophie, 8, Kasen, 5, Cash, 3.
Why did you choose education as a career?
“I always knew I wanted to teach young children. I love watching them discover new things. They are excited about the world! Every day early childhood teachers get to experience the miracle of children growing, changing, learning about the world around them. It’s amazing to watch a child accomplish something they worked so hard to do. It’s the best part of my job.”
What is the first on your list of priorities for the position?
“To be the best I can be and help my students succeed. “

Whitney Beth: New Middle School Art Teacher

This is part of a series featuring the new teachers in our community.

Whitney Beth is the new Fort Scott Middle School Art Teacher.

Name: Whitney Beth

Title of position: Middle School Art Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Science of Art Education

Experience: This will be my 15th year of teaching. I have worked the last 14 years as an art teacher in the Nevada school district.

Age: 1995 grad of FSHS

Family: Husband Clifton and daughter, Ella, a sophomore at FSHS and son, Carter, a 7th grader at FSMS.

Affiliations: KNEA, NAEA

Why did you choose education as a career?

My parents were both teachers. I also love people and love sharing my passion of art with young people.

What is the first on your list of priorities for the position?

My first priority is to get my students excited about art!

Samuel Hardy: New Fort Scott High School Math Teacher

This is a series about new teachers in our community.
Samuel Hardy is the new Fort Scott High School Math Teacher.
Name: Samuel Hardy
Title: High School Math Teacher
Education: Masters of Mathematics at Pittsburg State University.
Experience: Carl Junction High School, Neosho Junior High School
Age: 26
Family: Parents, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. No spouse or kids.
Why did you choose education as a career?
“I always enjoyed helping others. “
What is your first priority in the job?
“Get to know the kids.”

New USD 234 Preschool Teacher: Theresa Hurd

This is part of a series telling about the new teachers in our community.

Theresa Hurd is a new preschool teacher for USD 234.

Name: Theresa Hurd.

Title: Preschool teacher for USD 234

Experience: Taught preschool with Head Start for 13 years.

Education: In 2003, I graduated from Pittsburg State University with my Bachelors in Family and Consumer Science with an Emphasis in Early Childhood Development. This past summer I was accepted into the Teacher Apprentice Program at Wichita State University. I am currently taking online courses to earn my teachers license and certification for Special Education.

Family:  “My family has been a huge support to me.” Husband, Doug,  and ten-year-old daughter, Elsie who will be starting 5th grade.

Affiliations: Attends the Fort Scott Nazarene Church.

“I feel that I was called to teach. I want to have a positive impact on children and their families. For me, teaching can be challenging, rewarding and so much fun!”

New Playground Equipment At Winfield Scott Elementary

Jayton Johnson, 2 years old, and his sister, Joci Johnson, 6, play on the new musical instrument equipment at the Winfield Scott Elementary School east playground on Monday.

New playground equipment was installed at the school last week with a $10,000 grant from a Pathways to a Healthy Kansas grant.

Two handicapped accessible swings, musical instruments, soccer goals and a comet spinner were added to the school’s playgrounds.

Most of the additions were to the east playground.

In addition, a smaller grant from Blue Cross/Blue Shield was awarded for stencils, paint and some playground games, according to information provided by the school.

This evening, August 21, is the school’s open house from 5 to 6:30 p.m.