U234 Board of Ed. Press Release of Meeting on July 17

Unified School District 234

424 South Main

Fort Scott, KS 66701-2697


620-223-0800   Fax 620-223-2760


DESTRY BROWN                                                                                                                                Superintendent                                                                                                                                            



Monday, July 17, 2023


Members of the USD 234 Board of Education met at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 17, 2023, for their regular monthly meeting at the board office.


President Danny Brown opened the meeting.


The board approved the official agenda with removal of 8.1 Roof Payment and 9.7 MOU with SEK Mental Health.


The board reorganized. David Stewart was elected as President of the Board and James Wood was elected as Vice-President of the Board.


The board approved the consent agenda as follows:

FSHS activity funds – City State Bank,

FSMS activity funds – Union State Bank

Eugene Ware Elementary activity funds – UMB Bank,

Winfield Scott Elementary activity funds – UMB Bank

USD 234 District – Landmark National Bank, UMB Bank, and KMIP

  • Designation of newspaper for official school publications – Fort Scott Tribune
  • Officers for the 2023-24 school year

KASB Governmental Relations Network Representative – Board President

Food Service Hearing Officer/Compliance Coordinator for Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws/Title VI, Title VII, and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act/Coordinator/Point of Contact for Child Welfare Agencies/District Foster Care Liaison/Freedom of Information Officer – Destry Brown

Food Service Program Representative – Robin Button

Clerk/KPERS Representative/KERMP Designated Representative of Member – Gina Shelton

Treasurer – Rhonda Dawson

LCP Coordinator/Coordinator for Homeless Children/504 Coordinator – Dalaina Smith

Fort Scott High School Attendance Officer – Alex Specht

Fort Scott Middle School Attendance Officer – Matt Harris

Eugene Ware Elementary School Attendance Officer – Brandon Boyd

Winfield Scott Elementary School Attendance Officer – Christopher Garzone

  • Recreation Commission Board Member Term

Tammy Hill 4 years June 30, 2026

Susan Marbery 4 years June 30, 2025

Stewart Gulager 3 years June 30, 2025

Mike Chipman 3 years June 30, 2024

Adam Lancaster 3 years June 30, 2024

10 cents per page for employees

10 cents per page for alumni

15 cents per page for non-employees

20 cents per page for color copies

  • Mileage reimbursement – current state mileage rate, for information only – As of 07/01/23 – 65.5 cents
  • 2023-24 School Fees


Superintendent Brown congratulated and thanked Connie Billionis for the work she had provided to USD 234 during her 42 years of service with the district. Mrs. Billionis retired this year.


Classified Tiger Team Member – Superintendent Destry Brown recognized Katie Chipman as the Classified Tiger Team Member of the Month.

  • Chipman is a Paraprofessional at Fort Scott Middle School. She worked at Summer School in June and was willing to do whatever was needed. Ms. Chipman has been with USD 234 for a total of 7 years including subbing and full-time work.


Licensed Tiger Team Member – Superintendent Destry Brown recognized Nichole Regan as the Licensed Tiger Team Member of the Month.

  • Regan is a Special Education Teacher at Fort Scott High School. Mrs. Regan coordinated Extended School Year this summer for all of our Special Education kids. She organized the teachers, paraprofessionals, and activities. Mrs. Regan has taught for USD 234 for 9 years.

Superintendent Destry Brown shared a video where Fort Scott High School was recognized at the June 15th Kansas Board of Regents meeting as an All-Star High School for their work with high school seniors.

Superintendent Destry Brown provided an update to the board on the Safe & Secure Grant awarded to USD 234. This grant will be used to purchase protective film for the high school, additional cameras, and walkie-talkies for communication purposes. Mr. Brown also reported on the award of the Mental Health Intervention Team Program Grant, which will be used to provide a social worker who will help coordinate services between families and providers. Mr. Brown shared the good news that all kids will eat free this school year at USD 234.


Dalaina Smith, Assistant Superintendent, updated the board on USD 234’s accreditation being fully approved by the state. Mrs. Smith shared information on two PLC professional development workshops that staff will attend in July, one focusing on educator wellness and the other on the PLC programming. Mrs. Smith shared an update on the internally developed mentoring program which is being put in place instead of using an outside provider and also discussed the new teacher orientation to be held the second week of August.


Tonya Barnes, Special Education Director, updated the board on the USD 234 Job Fair that was held. Twenty-two people attended the event. Mrs. Barnes noted that several interviews have already taken place and it is anticipated that the district will be fully staffed at the start of the school year. Mrs. Barnes welcomed Candace Jobe as the Special Education Administrative Assistant and discussed the formation of a Special Education leadership team for 2023-24 that will rotate year to year to provide input.


Gina Shelton, Finance Director, updated the board on the 403(b) Match Plan, including participation numbers of 92%, final cash balances for 2022-23, remaining ESSER balance, and the Household Economic Survey. Mrs. Shelton explained how that survey is tied to the funding USD 234 receives in the areas of Title, At-Risk, and in the form of ERATE discounts. Mrs. Shelton encouraged all families to help the district by completing the survey so that there is not a loss in other funding for programs.


The board approved the following items:

  • Happy Kids Lease Agreement for the 2023-24 School Year
  • Timeline for Budget Adoption including dates for Special Board Meetings
    • Budget Presentation – 08/07/23 – 5:30 p.m.
    • Revenue Neutral Hearing – 08/28/23 – 5:30 p.m.
    • Budget Hearing – 08/28/23 – 5:45 p.m.
  • Certifying to the County Clerk intent to not be Revenue Neutral and related declarations
  • Purchase of FSHS Social Studies AP and Dual Credit Resources
  • Purchase of FSHS MAP Assessment and Professional Development
  • Contribution of $10,000 to Core Communities
  • Facility Use Permit for FLAG Church
  • Personnel Report following
  • Increase to the Substitute Pay Schedule


During the public forum section, Superintendent Brown thanked Dan Koppa, Brian Pool, and Stephen Mitchell for their help in moving food items due to the loss of power after the storm on Friday night.

The board went into an executive session for personnel matters.

President Stewart adjourned the meeting.



July 17, 2023



  • Fields, Kelly – Resignation – Fort Scott High School English Teacher as of June 28, 2023
  • Hall, Laeci – Resignation – Fort Scott High School Paraprofessional as of June 30, 2023
  • Harris, Shelby – Resignation – Eugene Ware Elementary 3rd Grade Teacher as of June 29, 2023
  • Harney, Joel – Resignation – Fort Scott High School Assistant Boys Basketball



For the 2023-24 school year:


  • Crank, Matt – Fort Scott Middle School Paraprofessional – increase from 7.50 hours per day to 8.00 hours per day
  • Hemphill-Witham, Cynthia – Fort Scott Preschool Center Paraprofessional – increase from 7.50 hours per day to 8.00 hours per day
  • Schnichels, Laryn – Fort Scott Middle School Paraprofessional – increase from 7.50 hours per day to 8.00 hours per day
  • Tally, Lisa – Fort Scott Middle School At-Risk Instructional Aide – increase from 7.50 hours per day to 8.00 hours per day



Certified Recommendations for the 2023-24 school year:

  • Forkner, Julie – Fort Scott Preschool Center Intervention Teacher for part-time
  • Furry, Frances – Eugene Ware Elementary 3rd Grade Teacher


Supplemental Recommendations for the 2023-24 school year:

  • Barrows, James – Fort Scott Middle School Football Coach
  • Griffetts, Christopher – Fort Scott High School Art Show
  • Hall, Laeci – Fort Scott High School Assistant Volleyball Coach
  • Schnichels, Laryn – Fort Scott Middle School Gym Supervisor
  • Stepps, Abby – Fort Scott Middle School Summer Conditioning

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