USD 231 Examples of Excellence

April 2021

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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!​

Rudd Foundation Selects GEHS Senior to Receive FOUR-YEAR Scholarship

GEHS senior, Elysia Valverde, has received a 4-year college scholarship to Emporia State University!

The Rudd Foundation is proud to announce its fourth class of Rudd Scholars who will each receive a 4-year college scholarship to attend either Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University or Wichita State University (full list attached). The Rudd Scholarship covers all remaining tuition and fees, books and supplies, and on-campus room and board, after other aid, grants, and scholarships are applied to a student’s account. The expected value for the 30 new recipients over four years is approximately $1.1 million

Read the full release HERE.

Congratulations, Elysia!!!

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GEHS Student Recognized by NASA

Out of 14,000 submissions, GEHS sophomore Kyron Saunders has been selected as one of 156 semi-finalists in the Artemis Moon Pod Essay Contest sponsored by NASA! Semi-finalists represent their state or territory by participating in a series of Artemis Explorer sessions with NASA experts.

On April 9, nine finalists (3 from each grade division) will be selected to travel with a parent to NASA’s Johnson Space Center next summer to learn about lunar exploration.

On May 19, one national winner will be announced from each grade division and they will receive a family trip to see the first Artemis rocket, the most powerful one in the world, test launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Congratulations and good luck, Kyron!

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GEHS Students Recognized by the Kansas Scholastic Press Association

The Kansas Scholastic Press Association (KSPA) announced the regional contest winners and GEHS students placed in several categories. Sixteen categories allow students to work on creating photographs, videos, multimedia, illustrations and designs in advance of the February submission deadline. Using a prompt provided by KSPA, the students created their journalism and then submitted it online. Comments from judges are returned to advisers via email after the contest results are final.

"Winter in the Heartland" photo contest: 4th place, Kendall Hill, sophomore

Public Service Announcement video: 1st place, Brennan Cook, sophomore

View HERE.

Sports promo video: 3rd place, Dylan Rankin, senior.; Gabe Rauer, senior.; Ben Pahls, sophomore.

First through six places go on to compete at the State level.


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Nutrition Services Serves One Million Meals

USD 231 Nutrition Services celebrated a monumental milestone on Friday, March 5 when the team served the one-millionth meal to our community's children since March 2020.

"The extraordinary efforts of our department staff throughout this unprecedented time have been tireless and selfless," shared Amy Droegemeier, director of USD 231 Nutrition Services.

"Our team's passion and drive to provide quality, nutritious meals for our students has never been more evident than this past year. I have never been prouder of our employees' adaptability and creativity to ensure we meet our kids needs in a vast array of delivery methods while maintaining our commitment to excellence."

After providing thousands of free curbside meal kits during the spring and summer of 2020, meals continue to be served to elementary students in their classrooms, via curbside pickup for students in alternative learning models, and in the cafeterias for older students attending in-person classes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the school meals programs, provided nationwide waivers that allowed all children to receive nutritious meals for free as part of its pandemic response efforts with an extension of the Summer Food Service Program. These flexibilities allowed all school meal providers to ensure that children received nutritious meals while schools were not in session or students were learning in remote or hybrid learning models. This Federally-funded program also provides reimbursement based on meals served to schools that provide these services to students attending on-site during the 2020-2021 school year.

With the USDA's recently-announced extension of these flexibilities, the USD 231 Nutrition Services team is making preparations to offer free curbside meal kits again to all children ages 1-18 in the Gardner and Edgerton communities beginning June 1 and continuing through early August. Additional details will be available on the USD 231 website, USD 231 Nutrition Services Facebook page, and other communication methods.

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GEHS Bowlers Log Incredible Seasons

The GEHS Bowling Team, coached by Derek Wilson, just completed a great season!

Two students, in particular, accomplished significant feats. Jakobb Haney, senior, bowled the 5th highest series score in the entire state this season with a 733! Zach Reynolds, junior, qualified for the state tournament!

Congratulations to these young men, Coach Wilson, and the entire bowling team!

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GEHS Wrestling Concludes Amazing Season

During the last weekend in February, the GEHS Wrestling team wrapped up the season in Wichita at the State Tournament.

The Fab 5 Girls Team kicked things off on Thursday placing three female wrestlers - the first ever - on the podium. Lilly Kepler and Shelby Davis both took third and Dakota Konzem took fourth. These three young ladies are as nice as can be - off the mat - but they bring it when they step on the mat!

Jaidyn Andrews and Michaela Konzem were close but did not place. These girls made tremendous gains throughout the season and were true Trailblazers for the sport and the school!

The boys took the mats on Saturday for a wild, long day. Jay Jensen, Therron Meade, and Collin and Kasen Smith battled tough but fell one match short of placing. Keeghan Troutman got hot the last three weeks of the season and was an absolute hammer on top getting huge pins that led him to a sixth-place finish.

Gus Davis, GEHS senior, became a dominant undefeated State Champion! While that is impressive alone - he did it all on a knee that he severely injured just 9 days previously. We thought his season was over in the blink of an eye - but always the optimist - Gus just grinned and said - "Well, that just leveled the playing field for the others." Gus never felt sorry for himself, make an excuse, blame or even question the injury. Gus knew he was going to win a state title on one leg if he had to - and did.

Please give these young men and women a shout if you see them and congratulate them on a great season!

Share Your Story with Us!!!

Do you have a 'feel-good' story or accomplishment to share? Let us know by submitting the information HERE.