USD 231 Examples of Excellence

August 2021

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Overview

USD 231 is proud of the accomplishments that occur daily in our classrooms and buildings. We are frequently notified of awards received, generous donations by members of our community, and other occasions that warrant special attention. The USD 231 'Examples of Excellence' newsletter is produced to share the stories of our student and employee successes!​

USD 231 Elementary Teacher of the Year Announced

Congratulations to Kelly Newman, special education teacher at Gardner Elementary, selected as the USD 231 Elementary Teacher of the Year!


Kelly has proudly served as an elementary teacher for 27 years, having taught in the Gardner Edgerton School District for the past 21 years. Currently, Kelly is the RISE (Reaching Independence through Strengthening Emotional skills) teacher at Gardner Elementary. Prior to this, Kelly taught second-grade and fourth-grade at Gardner Elementary and Moonlight Elementary. Kelly holds a Master's Degree in Special Education and a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Kansas.


Kelly has served in various leadership roles, such as a district mentor since 2015, district trainer for Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, Professional Development Chair Representative, district Sonday Systems trainer, Gardner Elementary Building Leadership Team and Positive Behavior Intervention System teams, District Teacher Leadership Academy, and Panther Pride Leadership Council Representative. Kelly's passion for building positive emotional skills in students has led her to present Mindfulness in the Trauma-Informed Classroom and Conflict Resolution presentations to colleagues within the district.


Kelly's passion is to build positive relationships with parents, students, and staff. She is humbled to be representing the district as Elementary Teacher of the Year and sharing her vision.


Kelly will now move to the state level and participate in the Kansas Teacher of the Year (KTOY) selection process. The KTOY Program recognizes a Regional Finalist for each of the eight (8) regions. From the eight Representatives, a Kansas Teacher of the Year is selected. As a team, these designees are provided professional learning opportunities, make visits to school districts around the state, advocate for education at the state level, and represent teachers as a whole across Kansas. The Kansas Teacher of the Year is nominated to represent Kansas in the National Teacher of the Year Program. For additional information about the state program, visit www.ksde.org.


Congratulations, Kelly!!!

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USD 231 Secondary Teacher of the Year Announced

Congratulations to Nicholas Proctor, band teacher at Trail Ridge Middle School, selected as the USD 231 Secondary Teacher of the Year!


Nicholas has proudly served as an educator for the past 23 years and previously taught in the Paola School District. Mr. Proctor is currently the band director at Trail Ridge Middle School (TRMS) and has been in this role since August 2016. Nicholas holds a Master's Degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor's Degree in music education from Wichita State University.


Nicholas works diligently to ensure all his students have the opportunity to find success in the classroom. In addition to being a mentor teacher for several years, Nicholas has been a member of various building leadership teams, including the Trail Ridge Middle School Building Leadership Team, TRMS Electives Team Lead, and the TRMS Representative for the Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) team.


Nicholas is honored to be selected to represent the Gardner Edgerton School District as the Secondary Teacher of the Year and thankful to have the opportunity to work with such outstanding educators in USD 231.


Nicholas will now move to the state level and participate in the KTOY selection process. The KTOY Program recognizes a Regional Finalist for each of the eight (8) regions. From the eight Representatives, a Kansas Teacher of the Year is selected. As a team, these designees are provided professional learning opportunities, make visits to school districts around the state, advocate for education at the state level, and represent teachers as a whole across Kansas. The Kansas Teacher of the Year is nominated to represent Kansas in the National Teacher of the Year Program. For additional information about the state program, visit www.ksde.org.


Congratulations, Nicholas!

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USD 231 Names Elementary and Secondary Horizon Award Program Nominees

Two second-year educators have been selected to represent the Gardner Edgerton School District in the state-sponsored Horizon Award Program. The Kansas Horizon Award program identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. Courtney Hoedl, a first-grade teacher at Moonlight Elementary School, and Kara Bouwens, a physical education teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School, will represent the elementary and secondary levels.


The mission of the Kansas Horizon Award program is to recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding. The program is a regional competition, and the regions correspond to the state’s four U.S. congressional districts.


The Kansas State Department of Education will appoint regional selection committees responsible for reviewing the nomination forms and selecting four elementary classroom teachers and four secondary classroom teachers per region for a total of 32 teachers.


As part of the process, the two finalists will complete a set of essays related to their current practice, solicit letters of reference from administrators, students, parents, and peers, and participate in an extensive interview process.


The educators pictured should be incredibly proud, congratulated, and celebrated!

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GEHS Cheer Hosts Little Blazers


Each year the Gardner Edgerton High School Cheerleaders host a cheer camp for students in grades K - 6. GEHS cheerleaders can proudly share they have been hosting this camp and "Building Blazers" for over twenty years!


On Wednesday, September 15, the GEHS Cheerleaders hosted a clinic in which all participants learned Little Blazers' chants and cheers(see pics).


On Friday, September 17, the Little Blazers will attend the GEHS home football game versus Olathe South High School. They will be cheering on the track with the high school cheerleaders during the first quarter of the game!


This year, there are over 200 K - sixth-grade students participating in the Little Blazer Cheer Clinic!

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TRMS FACS Students Bake for the Good of Others

Family and Consumer Science students in Mrs. Bobki's classes (TRMS) sought to do something to help the people affected by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana. Since the class had an abundance of zucchini - donated by a supportive school neighbor - the students decided to bake zucchini muffins and sell them after school. By the end of the last day of sales, these students made over 40 dozen muffins and sold out in only two afternoons!


In total, these students raised $249.10, which was donated to Heart to Heart International.


Amazing!

USD 231 Kansas Teacher of the Year Building Nominees

Eleven veteran educators have been selected to represent the Gardner Edgerton School District in the state-sponsored Kansas Teacher of the Year (KTOY) program.


The Kansas Teacher of the Year Award recognizes and utilizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. The program’s mission is to build and utilize a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the improvement of schools, student performance, and the teaching profession.

A district selection committee will now evaluate the applications of each nominee and identify two (one elementary and one secondary) outstanding educators to represent the district in the state-wide program.

As part of the process, these two finalists will complete a set of essays related to their current practice, solicit letters of reference from administrators, students, parents, and peers, and participate in a follow-up interview.

The educators pictured below should be extremely proud, congratulated, and celebrated!


L to R:

EE - Megan Hawks

GE - Kelly Newman

GSE - Ann Vielhauer

MDE - Jenny Fisher

MLE - April Meyer

NE - Robyn Stewart

SE - Kristy Winter

PRMS - Dan O'Neill

TRMS - Nick Proctor

WMS - Justin Davidson

GEHS - Gina Campbell

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Grand Star Elementary Student Wins State-Wide Art Contest

Liam Keating, a fourth-grade student at GSE (last school year), is the first place overall winner of the Kansas State Department of Education's (KSDE) Great Ideas in Education Art Design Contest!


The contest's purpose is to encourage students to use their creativity by entering an illustration (art conveying a visual representation of a theme or idea) for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Annual Conference theme, Great Ideas in Education: Unfinished Learning!


As there are hundreds of entries each year, this is a significant accomplishment!


Congratulations, Liam!!!

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USD 231 Announces Student Recognition Program

Program Description

The vision of Gardner Edgerton School District is to ‘Empower all students to meet the challenges of the future’. To recognize the efforts and accomplishments of our students, USD 231 has established the GESD (Gardner Edgerton Students of Distinction) recognition program. This program has been developed to acknowledge students from across the district who have earned an outstanding achievement or demonstrated exemplary attitude, effort or participation in a school or community-based service.

Who can be nominated?

Nominees can be any current student in the Gardner Edgerton School District who exemplifies outstanding character traits and serves as a positive influence on their peers and the community-at-large.

Who can nominate a student?

Anyone. Students, staff, parents, community members or anyone else seeking a way to recognize a student for exceptional character or accomplishments.

How can I nominate someone?

A GESD recognition link found HERE - or the Gardner Edgerton School District website - allows anyone in the community to nominate a student. Directions on how to nominate a student are clearly outlined on the form. All nominations must include information on how the student earned an outstanding achievement or demonstrated exemplary attitude, effort or participation in a school or community-based service. The nominator must provide his/her name and contact information.

How are winners selected?

Members of the Educational Services Department will select a weekly winner. This group will review the nominations and select a student who demonstrates exemplary characteristics, furthering the district’s vision.

What is the process for honoring a GESD winner?

After a GESD winner is selected, the Community Relations Department will notify the winner.

Each GESD winner will be recognized on Fridays throughout the school year and in the monthly newsletter highlighting the accomplishments of our district.

Each GESD winner will receive a certificate recognizing their accomplishments or efforts. The winner will also receive recognition on the USD 231 website, in the district’s quarterly publication (The Horizon), and social media outlets.

What happens when a nominee is not selected as a GESD winner?

Nominees who are not selected as a GESD weekly winner will remain nominated for the recognition for the remainder of the school year.

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GEHS Student Wins National Archery Competition

Kylie Hayes, junior at GEHS, finished as a national champion this summer!


The National Field Archery Association (NFAA), in partnership with the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center (NEYAC), hosted its national multi-tournament roundup July 14-18, 2021.

The event featured the NFAA Outdoor National Field Championships (July 14-16), Outdoor National Target Championships (July 17-18), and the First Dakota Classic (July 15-17); allowing archers to compete in multiple national tournaments in a single trip.

KYLIE LYNN HAYES, Daughter of Wayne & Angie Hayes of Gardner, Kansas and a junior at Gardner/Edgerton High School representing the State of Kansas competed in the NFAA Outdoor National Field Championships on July 14-16, NFAA Outdoor National Target Championships on July 17-18, and the First Dakota Classic on July 15-17.

After 5 days of grueling competition Miss HAYES finished as the National Champion (gold medalist) in the NFAA Outdoor National Field Championships; 1st (gold medalist) the First Dakota Classic National Championships and 2nd (silver medalist) in the NFAA Outdoor National Target Championships in her division.

There were a total of 277 archers representing 38 states and 5 foreign counties shooting in the 3 National tournaments during the 5-day event.


Congratulations, Kylie!

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