Category Archives: Schools

Uniontown FFA Places at National Meats Contest

The Uniontown FFA Meats Evaluation team competed at the National FFA Meats Evaluation contest held on October 25th, 2018 on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The team from Uniontown qualified for the event by winning the Kansas FFA Meats Evaluation contest this past May. Each state sends their top placing team to compete at the national contest.

The team finished 6th out of 42 teams from across the US. All three members of the team, Haydon Schaaf, Nick Hathaway and Gavin Fry, finished in the Gold Emblem division of individuals, which is the top 30% of the 126 members that competed. Haydon Schaaf led the way with a 9th place individual finish. Nick Hathaway was one of four contestants in the entire contest to earn a perfect retail cut identification score. Texas, North Dakota, Washington, Oklahoma and Missouri were the five teams to finish ahead of Kansas(Uniontown).

FFA members who compete in the contest must place six primal and/or carcass classes, quality and yield grade four beef carcasses, answer ten questions over two of the primal/carcass classes, identify 30 retail beef, pork and lamb cuts, complete a team activity testing their knowledge over muscles, bones, value-based pricing and meat formulation and take a 50 question test over their knowledge of meat science.

Haydon Schaaf and Nick Hathaway are seniors at Uniontown High School while Gavin Fry is a freshman at Kansas State University. The team is coached by Uniontown FFA Advisor Scott Sutton.


A New Bourbon County School: St. Martin’s Academy

One of the St. Martin’s Academy boys rappeling at Looking Glass Arch, near Moab, Utah. Courtesy photo.

St. Martin’s Academy,  a new Catholic boys boarding school started its inaugural school term in Moab, Utah in September.

The staff and students spent six days canoeing, technical rock climbing and exploring, during the first days of the school year.

” It was a time of intense bonding and camaraderie, and life-long friendships were born,” Daniel Kerr, founder of the school said in a newsletter.

St. Martins’ Academy, Oct. 2018, is still in the construction stage.

The school campus is still under construction, with a tentative completion date for the first building, Theotokos Hall,  by late spring 2019, according to Patrick Whelan, headmaster of the academy.

Meanwhile the students/faculty are staying in the Levine House on South National until the facility is complete.

“We have 18 students this year, eight freshmen and ten sophomores,” Whelan said. “We have students from all over the country including Virginia, Georgia, Texas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, etc.”
” We have a relatively large staff (12) due to the 24 hours per day supervision requirements,” Whelan said. ” We have four residential staff that we call House Fathers. They live in the same building as the students and are responsible for supervising all daily activities.”
“St. Martin’s is unique in that it is neither a prep school for the socio-economic elite nor is it a reform school for young men with behavioral problems,” Kerr noted in a recent newsletter.
The platform-tent at Camp Kapaun on the campus of St. Martin’s Academy, located on Indian Road, serves as a classroom each morning for Natural History, Liturgy, Ancient History and Latin lessons. Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.  Coach Simon Webster said many of the St.Martin’s Academy freshmen and sophomore boys had never played soccer. The school ended with a winning record and had competed against varsity level teams.
Courtesy photo. Two St. Martin’s students take a turn milking Sweet Molly Brown, a Jersey cow. St. Martin’s Academy students participate in daily chores. The first two weeks of work, students butchered rabbits, castrated hogs, bucked two fields of alfalfa hay and milked cows.
These are the faculty and staff of the school:
Chris DeCleen age 24 is from Indiana and earned a degree in philosophy from Ave Maria University in 2017. He teaches Freshman History.
Joseph Free, age 23, is from Massachusetts and earned a degree in the Humanities and Liberal Studies from Ave Maria University in 2018. He teaches music and is assistant rugby coach.
Joshua Mincio, 20, is from California and interned at a monastery in Oklahoma before joining us this fall. He teaches advanced Latin.
Simon Webster, 20, is from Texas and comes from the University of Houston Business College. Simon is the head soccer and rugby coach and athletic director.
Travis Dziad and his wife Margi come from Ave Maria University where Travis is ABD in a Ph.D. in Theology. He serves as the Residential Dean and teaches Algebra and History.
Daniel Kerr is from Fort Scott and is the owner and co-founder of Adjuster Pro. Dan is the president and co-founder of St. Martin’s Academy; he leads development efforts and teaches Natural History.
Kenneth Klassen is from Fort Scott. He holds a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Kansas and has taught a variety of subjects for over 30 years. He teaches Literature and Geometry.
Ronald Klassen is from Fort Scott, holds a Masters degree in Classics, and has taught in public and private schools for over 30 years. He is the head Latin teacher.
Sebastion Macik and his wife Erin come from Dallas, TX where Seb taught and served as an EMT. He is the chef.
Fr. Bob McElwee is from Pittsburg, KS holds several Masters degrees and is a retired priest in the diocese of Wichita. Fr. McElwee is the Chaplain and teaches all Religion classes at the academy.
Michael Taylor and his wife, Jenna, recently moved to Fort Scott from Mound City, KS. Mike has worked as a hunting guide in Alaska and in various dairies for over a decade. Mike is the Farm Foreman and teaches leather-working and pottery.
Patrick Whalen and his wife, Kristi, moved to Fort Scott last year from St. Louis. Patrick is the headmaster and co-founder of the academy. He is a Marine veteran, a reserve officer in the Marines, and a Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis. Whelan teaches literature at the academy.

Whelan provided the following information about the school:

The curriculum taught at the academy for freshmen: Mythos, Greek Literature, Roman Literature, Pre-History to the Hebrews, Greek Civilization, Roman Civilization, Basic Catechism (The Problem of Evil), Natural History, Algebra 1/Applied Mathematics, Latin 1.
The curriculum for sophomores: Rome and the Incarnation, Medieval Literature 1 and 2, Roman Empire to Late Antiquity, Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, The Liturgy, Earth Science, Biology, Geometry/Euclidean Geometry, Latin Advanced.
” In addition to their academics, the boys play soccer in the fall and rugby in the spring,” Whelan said. ” We are currently engaged in the FORT (Functional Outdoor Resilience Training) program which is an outdoorsmanship, fitness, and leadership development program we designed.  In their free time, the boys learn folk music, juggle, and enjoy the parks and trails around Fort Scott.”
“All students participate in athletics and a series of Practica that include Leatherworking, Pottery, Drawing, Painting, Cartography, and Gregorian Chant,” according to Whelan.
 School is in session from Sept 3 to May 25.


St. Martin’s Academy Quarterly Public Faculty Lectures

Patrick Whelan
St. Martin’s Academy will present a quarterly public faculty lecture on Friday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Boiler Room Brewhaus, located at National and Wall Street.
“We’re planning the lecture on Friday the 9th to kick off Veterans Day weekend and the feast of St. Martin of Tours on the 11th, our patron saint,” Patrick Whelan, headmaster at the boy’s Catholic school, said. ” I will be the one giving the lecture, and the title of the talk is ‘Warfare in Epic Poetry.'”
“I’m a Marine veteran and still serve as an officer in the Marine Reserves in addition to pursuing my Ph.D. in combat trauma in literature,” he said.
The event will start with a mixer /cocktail hour at 7:30 p.m.  The presentation will begin at 8:30 p.m. and with time for questions, will run until 9:30 p.m.
“Then folks are free to hangout and talk until the pub closes (at 10 p.m.),” Whelan said.  “This is open to anyone who is interested in hearing the talk.  Our students will be present so we ask that folks be respectful.”
 ” St. Martin’s Academy does these in order to share the intellectual work and interests of the Academy with the local community, family, and friends,” he said.

FSHS “Bright Star” Nov. 6, 8 and 10

Fort Scott High School Performs Regional Premiere of New Musical “Bright Star”

Fort Scott High School is proud to announce performances of the regional premiere of the new musical “Bright Star” at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6, 8, and 10 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 10 at the high school auditorium.

“Inspired by a real event and featuring the Grammy-nominated score by Steve 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,” says publisher Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

Alice is played by FSHS junior Mesa Jones, a talented singer, dancer, and actress who was recently featured in the Kansas State Thespians all-state production of “Bring It On.” Her love interest, Jimmy Ray, is played by junior Levi Bin. Other feature solo roles include Billy Caine, played by sophomore Noah Martin; Margo, played by senior Morgan Rohr; Lucy, portrayed by junior Addy Labbe; Daddy Caine, played by junior Caleb Watkins; and the Mayor, portrayed by junior Dominic Canon.

“We first saw this new musical at the high school premiere of the show at the International Thespian Festival this summer and I was instantly drawn to its heart-wrenching yet heart-warming story and its foot-tapping music,” said FSHS Drama Director Angie Bin. “I knew we had the perfect students to play these challenging roles and I am so proud of how hard they have worked.”

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

Tickets are $5 for children and $7 for adults and are available at the FSHS office at 1005 S. Main and at Common Ground at 116 S. Main in Fort Scott. Doors open 30 minutes before show time and seating is limited so audience members are encouraged to buy tickets in advance.

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





Uniontown Fitness Center Open

The Uniontown School District Don’t Quit Fitness Center is open to the community, with stipulations.

“To be able to use the fitness center, you would need to be a resident of our school district or have students that are attending,” West Bourbon Elementary School Principal Vance Eden said.

The fitness center is located in the junior high wing of the school. Pictured here, it is the area with the light, to the right. Entrance is a door on the east of the fitness center.

Eden is the contact person to get a key-card.

School district patrons must pay a  for a card.

“There is a $10 fee that applies when the account is activated and the card is programmed for use at the fitness center,” Eden said. “The only other time there would be a fee is if the card is lost or destroyed.”

The hours are from 5-7 a.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Students in the district are using the center during school hours for physical education classes.

A family leaves the fitness center on Tuesday evening. They are leaving through the acess door, which is located on the east side of the fitness center.

Those who are granted access to the center may find their key-card temporarily disabled as the rules and regulations change.

Users will need to sign a new form in order to be able to use the facility.

If the key-card isn’t working, email Eden at

The problem will be worked on the next business day, according to a sign on the fitness center door.





Opportunity For Fourth-Graders To Experience History

High school students do a history program in the quartermaster’s house at Fort Scott National Historic Site.

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people, so that all may experience our heritage, according to an NPS statement.

To help area children experience our heritage, Fort Scott National Historic Site administration personnel applied for and received a grant to help classroom students get  to the Fort.
The grant will pay  school transportation costs for area fourth-grade students to come for a hands-on experience in history.
“Students come primarily in the spring,” Barry Geersten, education program coordinator at the Fort, said. “But they could come now.”
Area high school government and history students help with re-enacting the history experiences for the fourth-graders, he said.
Fort Scott High School Teacher Josh Regan’s Advanced Placement History Class, Tami Campbell’s government class, along with Nevada High School teacher Jared Brown’s Advanced American History Class will be the instructors for the field trips, according to Geersten.

The following is a press release from the Fort about the opportunity:

“FSNHS  has received a field trip grant for the 2018-2019 school year from the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service.

This $5,000 grant will reimburse the costs of transportation for fourth-grade class field trips to this national park.

This grant is part of the Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program which creates pathways for kids to explore and connect with national park experiences, and is administered locally by the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site.

“We are excited to be able to assist school groups in coming to Fort Scott National Historic Site,” said Betty Boyko, Superintendent, FOSC. “We understand that not all schools can afford to visit even though we do not charge a fee. This grant will help reduce barriers to bringing students to have fun while learning and developing a lifelong connection to our nation’s history,” Boyko continued.

“We are pleased to be involved in helping more of the areas school children build deeper connections with Fort Scott NHS and our history,” said Reed Hartford, President of the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site, Inc.

During their time on site, the students will participate in either the “Life on the Frontier” program for grades K-4 or the “Sweep through History” program for grades 4-8.

In “Life on the Frontier,” local high school students train to be the instructors and mentors to the K-4th-grade students. They dress in period clothing and are stationed at various locations around the site focusing on various aspects of life at Fort Scott during the 1840’s.

“Sweep through History” will acquaint 4-8th-grade students with life at Fort Scott during the three most significant periods in the site’s history: Westward Expansion, Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War.

Educators, dressed in period clothing, are stationed at various locations around the site focusing on life at Fort Scott during one of these periods. Both programs have pre-visit and post-visit activities and all are aligned with Kansas and Missouri content standards.

“Trekking along trails, observing our natural ecosystems and engaging with our shared history are experiences that benefit all children,” said National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth. “Making it possible for America’s youth to explore our national parks is an investment in their future and the future of the national parks community.”

Teachers and school administrators can request additional information about transportation grants and curriculum-based field trip programs by visiting the education section of the park’s website ( or contacting the education program coordinator, Barry Geertsen, at 620-223-0310 or e-mail us.

For the full list of grantees and their projects, click here.”


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

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