The Fort Scott High School Thespian Troupe #7365 attended the KS State Thespian Festival on Jan. 5-7 in Wichita, KS and received a number of honors.
The troupe received the highest honor a troupe can receive, the Gold Honor Troupe Award, for the seventh consecutive year. The honor reflects the performances, community involvement, student leadership, and high standards a troupe achieves throughout the year. Troupe Historian Cooper George, a sophomore, created the honor troupe presentation that earned the award.
Senior Kinsley Davis and Junior Regen Wells both received a Superior rating on their Monologue performances. This qualifies them to compete in the International Thespian Festival at Indiana University in June. Other students who competed in Individual Thespy Performance events include: sophomores Mykael Lewis and Kaiden Clary in Duet Acting, senior Karen Primeaux and junior Josiah Eisenbrandt in Duet Acting, freshman Chris Newman with Monologue, freshman Junie Fisher in Vocal Solo, juniors Lexi Hill and Casey Gomez in Vocal Solo, sophomore Emma Guns and junior Jaedyn Lewis in Duet Acting, sophomore Alyssa Popp in Playwriting, senior Luke Majors in Vocal Solo, and junior Jericho Jones with Monologue.
For the second year in a row, FSHS had a team advance to the Finals Round of Competitive Improvisational Acting. The team included Majors, Hill, Wells, Eisenbrandt, and Mykael Lewis.
The Advanced Drama class competed in the One-Act Play category with the play “There is No Play” by Arthur M. Jolly. The performance was the world premiere of the one-act and the class was able to video conference with Jolly from Los Angeles and workshop the play as they rehearsed. This original cast will be published in the printed version of the script set for publication in the near future.
In addition to performing, the troupe experienced three days of workshops with professional actors and theatre technicians, main stage musical and play performances, meetings with colleges and performing arts conservatories, and fellowship with Thespians from schools across the state.
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Bourbon County schools are experiencing school and staff illness in the last few weeks before school is out for Christmas break.
“We have had a large number of students and staff out the last several weeks with the flu, RSV and COVID 19; mostly the Influenza A,” USD 234 Superintendent Destry Brown said.
On Monday, the district had 204 students out sick, which is down from last week by around 100, he said. There were seven teachers out Monday with illness themselves or they have sick children.
The district has 1,856 students enrolled.
The district has had to postpone a music concert because of illness.
“The choir concert… has been rescheduled to January 11th at the Ellis Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m.,” Brown said.
“On Friday, the choir spent the day singing at different schools and other venues around town,” he said. “I suspect that they shared the bug with each other that day. Whatever the case, their concert is postponed because of illness.”
U234 will dismiss school on Dec. 15 with a teacher workday on Dec. 16 and school will resume on January 3.
Uniontown School District had 63 students gone on Monday, with a “handful of staff,” Vance Eden, USD 235 Superintendent said. There are no postponements of school events at this time.
“We have been able to cover all classes needing substitutes,” Eden said.
There are 479 students in this district.
The last day of school for this district is Friday, Dec. 16 for Christmas break. Staff will return on January 3 for professional development and students will return on January 4.
U235 Openings For Next Year
There are several openings being posted for U235 for the 2023-24 school year.
So far a junior/senior high school principal position, a jr./sr. English teacher and a high school science teacher.
As of November 2022, there are 36 Bourbon County children who have been abused or neglected and need a volunteer to advocate for them in the court system.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate.
” Bourbon County CASA has been providing CASA volunteers to the children of Bourbon County for over 32 years,” said Christa Horn, director. “CASA Volunteers undergo extensive background checks and over 30 hours of training to become certified. CASA’s are assigned by the court to advocate for and be the voice of children who are involved in the court system due to abuse and neglect, through no fault of their own.”
“Currently 36 children who have been victims of abuse or neglect are assigned CASA Volunteers,” Horn said. “Over 980 children here in Bourbon County have benefited from having a CASA volunteer by their side, fearlessly advocating for their needs. Sadly there are at least 36 more children who need a CASA volunteer.”
“Children can be referred by interested parties, attorneys and DCF/or it’s private contractor and then are assigned by the Court,” she said.
“CASA volunteers meet with their assigned child(ren) on a consistent basis getting to know the child and their circumstances perhaps better than any other professionals involved in the case,” Horn said. “They gather information from all individuals involved in a child’s life, from parents, foster parents, teachers, therapists, doctors, family members, case worker. CASA then submits written reports to the court at each court hearing detailing events and facts in a child’s life and case and makes recommendations on what is believed to be in the child’s best interest. CASA volunteers remain assigned to their child until the child is reintegrated back home or reaches permanency through adoption, permanent custodianship.”
The amount of time spent as a CASA volunteer varies.
“Hours vary case by case, but on average a volunteer will spend 6 to 8 hours a month devoted to their assigned case,” she said.
“Currently Bourbon County CASA has 23 certified volunteers,” she said. ” Volunteers are assigned only one child or sibling group at a time, allowing them the time to focus on only one case at a time.”
Contact Bourbon County CASA, PO Box 146, Fort Scott. Phone: 620-223-2407 or 620-215-2769; Email: [email protected]; Program Director Christa Horn
Tomorrow is the deadline for an annual fundraiser for CASA.
You are cordially invited to a Christmas Celebration
to benefit Bourbon County CASA on Friday, December 9th, 2022
Heavy hors d’oeuvres and a full bar will be provided.
The holiday party fundraiser will be at the Cullor Lake Home
810 195th Street, Fort Scott.
Reservations are requested by Friday December 2nd.
Sponsor: $25 per person, $50 per couple
Guardian: $50 per person, $100 per couple
Guardian Angel: $75 per person, $150 per couple
Friend: $125 per person, $250 per couple
Benefactor: $500 and over
Mail your RSVP and giving level payment to:
Bourbon County CASA, PO Box 146, Fort Scott, KS 66701
or call Christa Horn at 620.215.2769 with any questions.
In collaboration with USD 234 & USD 235, Bourbon County officially declared the week of November 28th as Bourbon County Reads to Preschoolers Week during the County Commission meeting on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
This proclamation coincides with Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Month, which is an annual event celebrated in November to promote reading to children under the age of five.
USD 234 & USD 235 encourage the reading of books to students of all ages but stress the importance of reading as a part of early childhood development. Early childhood education is critical to a student’s future success in school.
“This week we will be celebrating reading to preschoolers,”
“Grab those books and help a kiddo on their educational journey.”
A splash pad is coming to town, thanks to some leaders who took the initiative.
“This idea has been in strategic plans and will add to the revitalization of downtown Fort Scott,” said Bailey Lyons, who along with Josh Jones and Kelly Barr have spearheaded the drive for funds.
Last week at the Fort Scott City Commission meeting, Lyons announced that with the help of two big donors, they are within reach of the project.
“We plan to break ground in the Spring and open by Summer 2023,” Lyons said. “We thought it would be a wonderful addition to our community. It will be a wonderful outdoor recreational amenity that offers a fun play option for all. It will be a gathering place accessible to people of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds. We saw other communities like ours installing splash pads with great success, and wanted to bring one to Fort Scott.”
For those who might not know, a splash pad is a recreational outdoor play area with sprinklers, fountains, nozzles and other devices that spray water. Also known as a spray pool, there is little to no standing water in the space.
It will be placed at the west end of Skubitz Plaza, off of North National Avenue.
The site was picked because of accessibility, parking, and infrastructure and also is at the north end of the historic downtown area with dining, shopping and other attractions.
Fort Scott Parks and Recreation Department will provide maintenance, with the city also providing water and electricity.
So far, about $180,000 has been raised for the space, with $20,000 more to fund raise.
Two of the biggest donors have been a Timken Foundation Grant of $75,000 and a Walmart Foundation Grant of $40,000.
Chicken Mary’s, a well known restaurant north of Pittsburg, is the latest to help with fundraising.
On Wednesday, Dec. 7, one can pick up a chicken dinner or supper in Fort Scott that must be pre-ordered by Dec. 4. The meal is $10 per plate and tickets must be ordered by calling 620.224.7795.
The splash pad will not raise taxes, Lyons said.
The Lowell Milken Center has joined the 34th Annual Toybox campaign which runs through December 13. It is one of the 4-States’ largest toy drives to benefit underprivileged children in Southeast Kansas, Southwest Missouri and Northeast Oklahoma. KOAM News Now, Salvation Army and many other community service organizations and businesses have organized this worthwhile endeavor.
In Fort Scott, new, unwrapped toys for children birth through 16 years of age may be dropped off during regular business hours at the Lowell Milken Center at 1 South Main or at Care4All at 2 W. 18th St. (The Lowell Milken Center is open from 10 am–5 pm, M-F, and 10 am–4 pm on Saturdays.) The toys will be distributed through Compassionate Ministries/Salvation Army here in Bourbon County to families who have registered for holiday assistance.
Toybox Tuesday Telethons will be conducted during the Noon, 5:00 and 6:00 newscasts on KOAM and its KOAM+ streaming platforms. Dates for the telethons are November 29, December 6, and December 13. Viewers have the opportunity to make a tax-deductible financial contribution to support Toybox during the telethons. All monies raised are used to purchase new toys and gifts.
Additional information can be found at http://koamnewsnow.com/Toybox.
The Fort Scott Band earned a 1-rating this past weekend, marching in the Neewollah Parade in Independence, KS.
“Thirty-four students were in the parade,” Justin Robinson, FSHS Band Director said. “And two middle school students were carrying the banner.
” The scale is 1-5, with top indicating a superior rating, ” he said. They will receive a plaque for this rating.
FSHS Band participated in the Neewollah Grand Parade on Saturday, October 29th. “This is the first parade, we will plan on doing the Fort Scott Christmas Parade”(on Dec. 1), he said.
“There were a total of 32 bands that participated in the parade this year and a total of 123 entries in the parade, Robinson said.
The band works approximately fours hours a week on playing their musical instruments and marching.
“We meet 45 minutes a day,” he said. “We go to the auxiliary gym if it’s raining. But we go out and hit the streets of Fort Scott when we can.”
The band also plays all the high school home games.
This is Justin Robinson’s second year as the band director.
The Fort Scott High School Theatre program performs Addams Family School Edition at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 and 10 and at 2 and 7 p.m. on Nov. 12 at FSHS.
Theatrical Rights Worldwide says The Addams Family is “a comical feast that embraces the wackiness in every family… and it’s every father’s nightmare: Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family–a man her parents have never met. And if that wasn’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before–keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents.”
Students playing the Addams Family members include newcomer Junie Fisher, a freshman, as Wednesday; junior Casey Gomez as Gomez; sophomore Emma Guns as Morticia; senior Luke Majors as Fester; junior Regen Wells as Pugsley; junior Jaedyn Lewis as Grandma; and junior Jonah Wilterding as Lurch. The Beineke family includes senior Jackson Elton as Mal, senior Karen Primeaux as Alice, and Junior Jericho Jones playing the boyfriend – Lucas. A full ensemble of ghostly ancestors round out the 23-member cast. Another fifteen students serve as crew members for the production.
Cast member Casey Gomez knew he wanted the part of Gomez all along, after all, his name made it his destiny to play the role! He says, “Being in The Addams Family is great! I just love it because the songs are super fun and the jokes are hilarious.”
The Addams Family is directed by FSHS Theatre Director Angie Bin and Music Director Sarah Dunivan, Winfield Scott Elementary Music Instructor. Eugene Ware teacher Abby Stepps is the Choreographer and FSCC student Christina King serves as Technical Director.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and children. Tickets are reserved seating and available at fortscotthighschool.ludus.com. Tickets may be available to purchase at the door if any remain. Doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime.
The musical is written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa, and Orchestrations by Larry Hochman. It is produced with special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide, 1180 Avenue of the America. Suite 640, New York, NY 10036, www.theatricalrightsworldwide.