RELAY - October 2020

Great Bend USD 428 - News and Highlights

It is the goal of the monthly RELAY to connect our staff with news and highlights from across our schools and community. As we near the end of the first nine weeks, there are so many successes, positive stories, and (virtual) smiles to share!

We hope you enjoy this brief update! Learn something new, celebrate with a colleague or friend, and take a moment to see the good happening all around you.

In this issue:

  • COVID-19 Incident Tracking
  • SchoolMessenger Update
  • GBHS Live Stream
  • GB Apparel Store
  • Meet Emily Young - GBHS School Nurse
  • 2021 Horizon Award - Dorothy Leidig
  • 2020 Homecoming Events
  • 2020 Voter Information
  • Cram the Van 2020 - Oct. 12-15
  • District Highlights

Keep up the great work and keep it safe, 428!

GB gear still available

You're invited to browse our 2020 GB Apparel store. We're proud to work with Identifications to provide this online store featuring some favorites from last year as well as some new accessories and items.

The online store has been extended through Oct. 6. You'll be notified via email when your order is ready for pick up.


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New to 428 Profile: Emily Young, RN GBHS/Park Nurse

Emily Young recently joined the USD 428 family as the new School Nurse replacing Paulette Soupiset. Emily is a Registered Nurse and will work with Park Elementary and Great Bend High School. Take a moment to meet Emily!

What do you love about being a nurse?

  • I love teaching patients how to care for themselves independently. Whether that is teaching them a procedure, information about a medication or just providing resources to them My favorite thing about being a nurse is seeing patients years later and having them come up and say hello. It is a very gratifying experience to have people remember the care you gave to them or to members of their family.

What made you decide to move to the school setting?

  • Kids are fun creatures! I have worked with kids in many different nursing environments and there is no better place to put my past experience to use and also have more balance between career and home life so I can have more time to enjoy my little guys. (Jack, 11-year-old, 6th grade at Lincoln) (Fisher, 2)

What do you like to do outside of work? Favorite hobbies?

  • In the pre-COVID era, I loved going to movies and concerts as well as traveling. I am also a HUGE K-State football fan. I live for Saturdays in the fall! 😀

Do you have a favorite motto or quote that inspires you?

  • Be happy not because everything is good, but because you can see the good side of everything.
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USD 428 names 2021 Horizon Award nominee

USD 428 recently announced its nominee for the 2021 Kansas Horizon Award. Dorothy Leidig, a fourth-grade teacher at Park Elementary was surprised with the award in her classroom on Thursday, September 24.

The Kansas Horizon Award program offers Kansas school districts an opportunity to honor exemplary first-year teachers whose performance distinguishes themselves as outstanding. Leidig began her second year at Park Elementary School this fall.

“Ms. Leidig goes above and beyond expectations,” said Phil Heeke, principal of Park Elementary School. “She makes sure each student works to their greatest potential, treating them with respect and creating a rapport with both them and their parents.”

Heeke also commented on Leidig’s strength in teaching the subjects of math and science, STEM curriculum, and referenced her previous work experience and education as cultivating these talents.

“My degree is in biology,” said Leidig. “I love seeing things click in my students. I enjoy the challenge of finding where students are at and watching them grow.”

“I have embraced teaching from a conceptual understanding rather than just teaching an algorithm or a trick. I strive to find a personal connection to the material and activate prior background knowledge so that material is relevant to my students and engages them, maximizing learning.”

“USD 428, Park Elementary, and our students, are fortunate to have Dorothy Leidig lending her talents, and passion to our youth,” said Khris Thexton, USD 428 superintendent. “She has our support and admiration as she advances to the state competition.”

The Kansas Horizon Award program, sponsored by the Kansas Department of Education, allows all school districts in the state an opportunity to nominate one elementary and one secondary teacher for the award. The Kansas Horizon Award Program is a regional competition. Nominations from school districts within the same U.S. congressional district will compete for statewide recognition. Kansas Horizon Award winners will be announced January of 2021 and will be recognized at the KEEN State Education Conference, which is typically held each February in Topeka.

Learn more about the Kansas Horizon Award Program at Local questions can be directed to Andrea Bauer, USD 428 public information director at 620-793-1560.

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GBHS Fall Homecoming 2020

Next week, GBHS will celebrate Fall Homecoming and the hard work of all students and athletes. Plans have been modified to ensure students and staff celebrate safely. But while things may look a little different, there is no question that school spirit and Panther Pride will abound!

2020 Homecoming Event Highlights:

  • Spirit Week
  • Outdoor Pep Assembly, Friday, Oct. 9 at 2:30 pm (GBHS students only)
  • Fall Homecoming Court - Students will be introduced on the field at 6:30pm prior to the football game and the Homecoming King and Queen crowned!
  • GBHS Varsity Football Game vs. Liberal - The previously published Spectator Guidelines for GBHS Memorial Stadium will be followed. Kick-off is scheduled for 7pm.

To limit the possibility of exposure, this year there will be no homecoming parade or pre-game chili supper.


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Voter Information - 2020 General Election

Make sure you're ready to participate in the 2020 General Election. Below, please find helpful dates and deadlines for participation.

  • Tuesday, October 13th: Last day to register to vote for the General Election
  • October 14th - October 27th: Advance voting begins at the discretion of each county
  • Monday, November 2: In-person advance voting ends at 12pm
  • Tuesday, November 3: General Election Day - Vote at your local polling place

Are you registered to vote? Not sure?

Easy access to voter registration at You can register to vote, request advance/mail-in/absentee ballots, and change party affiliations at this online website.

Are you looking for information about who/what will be on your 2020 ballot?

Go to Get nonpartisan candidate information, find out what is on your ballot and find your polling location on this website.

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Coming soon to a building near you!

Now, more than ever, our local community needs the support of friends and neighbors. Cram the Van is a food drive held each Fall, creating a friendly competition between school buildings in collecting food donations for the Barton County Food Bank.

Each building will develop its own strategy to collect the most pounds of food per student during the collection dates of October 12-15th. Staff members are welcome to participate along with students.

The food drive is presented by Wheatland Electric, with Hiss Sherman Wealth Management sponsoring prizes for the top schools!

2020 Cram the Van Prizes, awarded for most pounds per student.

1st - $500, 2nd - $300, 3rd - $200

Click Here to learn more!

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Congratulations, Jan Frenzl

This week the District Education Center celebrated the career and retirement of Jan Frenzl who has served USD 428 for over 30 years.

Frenzl's time at USD 428 was split into three parts, beginning at Riley Elementary as a secretary, followed by Great Bend Middle School, and then moving to the District Education Center in 2005. When asked about the changes in education she's seen over her career, she noted advancements in technology as being the most significant transformation.

Reflecting on her first position at Riley, Frenzl commented, "I can still remember coming in early on the first day of school to pound out class rosters on typewriters."

Jan will be missed by her colleagues and friends but she is looking forward to camping and more adventures in her free time ahead. Already training for the position, Kay Burns will move from GBHS's guidance office replacing Frenzl as the IT Application Support.

USD 428 - District Highlights

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