April 30, 2021
Kyle Parks: Recipient of the 2021 Healthy Bourbon County Action Team’s Community Champion Award
Parks is recognized for his 38 years of dedication to Bourbon County youth, developing leaders, and strong advocacy for the agriculture and FFA program.
During the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Award Ceremony, The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team (HBCAT) awarded Kyle Parks as the Community Champion for 2021.
For thirty-eight years Parks has shown a strong dedication to our youth, agriculture, education, and developing strong leaders. Always there and willing to do what needs to be done, Parks is an advocate, teacher, friend, and community leader.
“Mr. Parks goes above and beyond in everything he does. He is well deserved for such an award,” wrote Stacey Wright, nominator.
Through his work, he has shown he is committed to making things better for everyone. Parks and his class contributed to a community-built environment project by welding bike racks which were then painted by Peerless Products, Inc. After the paint dried, the City of Fort Scott agreed to install them throughout the community.
“The students who helped build these bike racks can walk through downtown and have a piece of ownership in revitalizing their community,” Jody Hoener, President and CEO of HBCAT states, “I would like to think when our youth participate and take ownership in their community, they will have a strong desire to give back and contribute even more as adults.”
This project was a stepping-stone to developing a more bikeable community, supports the Chamber of Commerce’s Bike Share Program, and increases access to outdoor activity.
The Bike Share Program has allowed residence a way to get to work, the grocery store, school, or healthcare.
“The bikes have served as transportation for several residents temporarily without a vehicle.” Lindsay Madison, President, and CEO of The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.
As a teacher, Parks has made an impact on many student’s lives who have later in life become dear friends with he and his wife, Sheena Parks.
A previous student and friend of Parks, Katie Casper, wrote of him in her nomination:
“Kyle Parks has made so many contributions to our community it would be impossible to list them all here. He has given 38 years of service as the Agricultural Education instructor at Fort Scott High School. He has been a champion for our youth and has given each and every student that has passed through his doorway a feeling of purpose and belonging, allowing them to grow into skilled citizens and empowering them to find their place in the workforce and in life. This was demonstrated recently in his strong advocacy to our board of education and community for the programs in which he believes. He retires this year from a program that he feels is his identity, but in truth, he has given agricultural education and identity in our community. I believe in the future of Agriculture in Bourbon County, because Kyle Parks has played a role in shaping that future.”
The HBCAT solicited nominations for the prestigious award and received submissions of several worthy candidates. The winner was chosen out of the pool of nominations based on the following criteria:
Anyone: A public official, a community leader, a concerned citizen, a health or human service worker, or a volunteer who works hard to improve the quality of life for Bourbon County residents.
Always there: A community hero, inspired visionary, or a community volunteer who is always there and willing to do what needs to be done.
Community First: Most importantly, whatever they do, they think of the community before themselves: they’re committed to making things better for everyone.
Previous Awardee: Frank Halsey for his dedication and volunteer work to improve access to outdoor recreation and enhance the quality of life. His leadership on the bike trails at Gunn Park will
leave a lasting impact on our community!
About The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team
The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team is a Blue Cross Blue Shield Pathways to Healthy Kansas Community. Its mission is to increase access to healthy food and physical activity,
promote commercial tobacco cessation, enhance the quality of life and encourage economic growth. The problems of health inequity and social injustice are complex in nature and inextricably linked to key economic indicators. A healthy workforce is a prerequisite for
economic success in any industry and in all cities.
The HBCAT Board:
Jody Hoener, President, and CEO
Craig Campbell, (Chair) Mercy Health Systems
Lindsay Madison (Treasurer), President and CEO Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce
Joy Miller, (Secretary) KSTATE Ext
Sally Johnson, City of Uniontown Clerk, USD 235 Board
Alysia Johnston, President Fort Scott Community College
Chelsea Yount, Fort Scott Community College
Christi Keating, CHC/SEK Vice President of Support Services
Sherise Beckham, CHC/SEK Dietician
Karlea Abel, Vice President of Health Advancement, Ex Officio