WPS Benefits News

Nov/Dec 22: Meet your Employee Benefits Team Edition

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In This Issue:

  • Meet Our Team!
  • New Insurance Cards Coming Soon for 2023
  • Holidays: The Best of Times & The Worst of Times
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We recently updated our photos so we can begin revamping our website and to replace our blurry pictures on prior newsletters! Our Chief HR Officer also happens to have a photography talent so helped us out. We wanted to share a bit more about ourselves so you know who is helping you with your employee benefit matters. We want to be personable and approachable for you as you navigate those important benefit questions. You are the reason we are here!

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Jeana Melton

Employee Benefits Health, Wellness & Disability Technician (Classified Staff)

Jeana Melton joined Wichita Public Schools in 2021 as an Administrative Assistant to assist with the COVID Hotline and was promoted in July of 2022 to the Employee Benefits Health, Wellness & Disability Technician for classified staff. She completed her Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Development and Transformational Change from Friends University in 2017. Before coming to Wichita Public Schools, she developed extensive experience in inventory management and logistics, while obtaining her certification in Six Sigma for the aviation industry.

Areas of Responsibility:

  • Classified staff contact for Medical Leave
  • Classified staff contact for FMLA
  • Classified staff contact for Maternity/Parental/Adoptive Leave



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Nicole Heizelman

Employee Benefits Health, Wellness & Disability Technician (Certified Staff)

Nicole Heizelman graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor’s Degree, double-majoring in Human Resource Management and Economics and minoring in Management. Throughout college, she worked as a preschool teacher at a Wichita area childcare facility. Just before her final semester of college, Nicole joined Wichita Public Schools in November 2016 as a Human Resources co-op to gain experience in her major. Following her graduation, she transitioned into full-time positions within the Human Resources Department, eventually moving into her current role as the Employee Benefits Health, Wellness, and Disability Technician for Certified Staff. She was a past recipient of the Apple Award due to her work during the COVID pandemic.

Areas of Responsibility:

  • Certified staff contact for Medical Leave
  • Certified staff contact for FMLA
  • Certified staff contact for Maternity/Parental/Adoptive Leave
  • Unpaid Health Leave of Absences



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Workers' Compensation Technician

Sandra Cruz graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She joined Wichita Public Schools in 2013 and has held a variety of positions within Human Resources including many years with Employee Benefits & Insurance Management, the Employee Relations office, and assistance to the Property & Casualty program, bringing a wealth of experience to her current role which she has been in since 2018.

Areas of responsibility include:

  • Administering all aspects of the district's Workers' Compensation program
  • Authorization and coordination of care as directed by Kansas State Statutes under the KS Department of Labor



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Alexis Summers

Retirement Specialist

Alexis Summers graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management. She began her career with Wichita Public Schools as a Human Resources co-op intern in 2018. Alexis was promoted to an Administrative Assistant within Human Resources supporting our special schools and non-attendance centers later that year, and to Retirement Specialist in 2019.

Areas of responsibility:

  • Serves as the district retirement liaison
  • Acts as the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) designated agent for USD 259



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Terry Fields

Benefits & Budget Assistant

Terry Fields graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. She comes from a background in Property/Casualty and Life insurance. She began her career with the Wichita Public School District in 2006 and has held multiple jobs within the district leading to her current role as the Benefits & Budget Assistant. She is a past Apple Award recipient.

Areas of responsibility:

  • District life insurance & supplemental life insurance
  • New hire benefits enrollment
  • Annual open enrollment
  • Budget tracking assistance for department



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Benefit Analyst

Gina Wiedemann, PHR/SHRM-CP graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration. She joined Wichita Public Schools in 2011 after serving prior HR roles with the University of Notre Dame and Wichita State University. She is a two-time Apple Award winner.

Areas of responsibility:

  • Administration of employee and retiree health plan which includes medical, dental, vision, pharmacy benefits, and flexible spending accounts
  • Annual open enrollment



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Risk Compliance Analyst

Douglas Mumma started working for Wichita Public Schools as he finished his Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on finance. Since graduating from Wichita State University in 2018, Douglas has spent most of his career working in analytical and accounting roles. In 2021, he joined the Employee Benefits & Insurance Management department taking over the Risk Compliance Analyst position. Douglas now assists Wichita Public Schools manage property and bodily injury claims, mitigate risk in operations and procedures, as well as supporting the Workers' Compensation area.

Areas of responsibility:

  • Property & Casualty Insurance Claims related to damage to district property and buildings
  • Risk Analysis
  • Bodily Injury Claims for Students & Members of Public



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Supervisor of Employee Health, Wellness & Disability Programs

Boni Burkhart began her career with the district in 2011 after spending 12 years in education working for a small district in Elizabeth, Colorado. During her tenure in Human Resources, she has held several positions: Administrative Assistant, HRIS Records Tech, Assistant to CHRO, Recruiter, Manager of Guest Staff Services and her current role as Supervisor of Employee Health, Wellness and Disability Programs. This allowed Boni to develop a passion for all things HR and a broad understanding of district policies and procedures. Boni has an Associate’s degree from Mesa Community College and has upheld both SHRM-CP and PHR certifications since 2015. She also recently obtained her Workers' Compensation Specialist designation. She is a past Apple Award recipient.

Areas of responsibility:

  • Supervising Workers' Compensation, FMLA and Medical Leave Programs
  • Managing mandatory referrals to, and promotion of, ComPsych EAP (Employee Assistance Program)
  • Administration of Catastrophic Leave Pool and benefit applications



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Manager of Employee Benefits & Insurance Management

Danielle Dettmer graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. A career in disability claims management followed for the next 18 years in both the government and private sector in the St. Louis area, including several leadership positions, adjudication of Social Security disability claims, vocational and medical records analysis, completion of legal briefs, and argument of cases as an advocate in a court setting. Danielle relocated to Wichita in 2016 and joined the district as the Supervisor of Employee Health, Wellness & Disability Programs through 2020 at which time she was promoted to her current position. She holds a SHRM (Society of HR Management) certification and carries the designation of a CLMS (Certified Leave Management Specialist). She is a past Apple Award recipient.

Areas of responsibility:

  • Facilitating strategic goals that bring competitive and diverse benefit choices to USD 259 employees
  • Developing communications and educational resources for employees to help them become independent consumers of their own benefits
  • Overseeing multiple benefit specialty areas for the district and managing a team of subject matter experts
  • Aligning benefit offerings with district mission and vision



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Hootie was introduced in 2022 as a mascot for Employee Benefits as we searched for a recognizable image that would be able to share our benefits in a fun and unique way. Hootie is a wise owl who wants you to also be wise about how to use your benefits to their utmost potential and not leave any unused benefits (or money!) on the table. You will continue to see Hootie in our publications with tips to help you!

Areas of responsibility:

  • Help employees become independent consumers of their own benefits
  • Guide employees on how to maximize usage of benefits and minimize financial impact
  • Educate employees on where to find and how to access the benefits information needed to make their work and personal lives better



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Thank you for completing your 2023 health insurance enrollment. New insurance cards for 2023 will be on their way to you in late December.

  • Medical plans: New insurance ID cards will be sent out on ALL medical plans.
  • Pharmacy card: MaxorPlus pharmacy cards will only be sent to those who are making changes or newly enrolled.
  • Dental card: Delta Dental cards will only be sent to those who are making changes or newly enrolled.
  • Vision card: Surency Vision will issue cards to all enrollees since this is a new plan.

  • Be mindful to update your address if needed! Insurance cards are mailed to the address bswift has on file. If you make the update in PeopleSoft, bswift does receive a regular file of those changes. To change your address, go to Employee Self-Service through PeopleSoft (can be accessed through Staff Quick Links on the district website); Select Personal Details; and then choose Addresses.
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Holidays: The Best of Times & The Worst of Times

While many anxiously await this time of year, we recognize for some it can be a dark time. Perhaps it is your first special holiday without a loved one or maybe you are struggling with mental health issues right now that make it hard to see the bright parts of the holiday.

ComPsych, our EAP (Employee Assistance Program) can help. It is completely confidential and free to you and members of your household. Remember: This is available for all of our employees, benefitted or not and completely apart from any health insurance benefit. It also extends to anyone in the employee's household.

You can access this information by creating an account at www.guidanceresources.com

and using the code USD259 when prompted. We also have a dedicated number for our staff at (866)517-1254 with operators available around the clock. (TTY: 800-697-0353)

These are just a few of the topics you can research additional information on. Please note these links will work once you are logged into the site at www.guidanceresources.com

Complete Holiday Resource Guide

The holiday season can be stressful on emotions and the wallet. Use this guide to help with budgeting, coping, and celebrating the holidays.

How to Cope With Being Alone During the Holidays

Check out this article for ideas on how you can ensure your holiday is special even when you may be alone for the holiday.

Managing Holiday Expenses

Proper financial planning during the holidays is essential to organizing your budget, keeping stress under control and reducing unnecessary spending.

Holiday Tips for Divorced Parents

When parents are separated or divorced, planning the holidays and knowing how to handle annual celebrations can be difficult. Use this information to guide you.

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Have a Warm & Restful Break!

Have a restful upcoming winter break! You deserve it! Our newsletter will be back in January.
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Danielle Dettmer

Manager of Employee Benefits

HR/Employee Benefits & Insurance Management

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