RELAY - Sept. 2020

Great Bend USD 428 - News and Highlights

Welcome back!

While masks may hide smiles as students enter school each morning, there's no doubt - it's great to be back! Staff and students have embraced the necessary changes for the 20-21 school year and learning is underway.

We're excited to provide highlights from across USD 428 - it's good to be back!

In this issue:

  • COVID-19 Incident Tracking
  • Great Bend Together - Restart Resources
  • GBHS Live Stream
  • GB Apparel Store
  • Meals for Remote Learners and quarantined students
  • TGIF Grant Winners
  • Elementary photo highlights
  • Jami Reed, winner of the Country Music Teacher Classroom Initiative

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

GB Gear 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 will close on Sept. 13. You'll be notified via email when your order is ready for pick up.


Meals for all learners

Available immediately, students enrolled in GB Remote Learning, as well as those who are at home under quarantine, are invited to order student meals from USD 428’s Central Kitchen. Attached and below, please find more information about the program to pick up meals, as well as in more detail on LINQ, the online ordering platform.

Distance Learning - Student Meal Process:

  • Parents need to create an account at, parents will need their student Skyward ID number (view instructions below).

  • Orders must be submitted by 7:00 AM on the day of service, however, parents/students may order in advance as far out as menus are posted.

  • Parents/Students will choose the pick-up location, which will be the Central Kitchen for everyone.

  • The time to pick them up is from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm (these times are subject to change)

  • Parents / Students should go to the Central Kitchen entering the parking lot from the North-side and exiting from the South-side.

  • Parents / Students will wait in their cars, the staff will be outside to deliver the food they ordered.

  • Students will be charged based on the status of their meals, free or reduced-price will also be honored.

  • Parents are asked to bring the student, with student ID, on their first pick-up to verify the name. They will then be able to obtain a permit at that time for parents to pick-up food.

  • At this time, only GB Remote and quarantined students can use the online system to order their breakfast and lunch.

Our 428 community is fortunate to have the hard-working staff at the Central Kitchen who work tirelessly to support the health and nutrition of our students.

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Jami Reed named recipient of Country Music Teacher Classroom Initiative

Our very own, Jami Reed 3rd-Grade Teacher at Jefferson Elementary, has been chosen to be a recipient of a new program called the COUNTRY MUSIC TEACHER CLASSROOM INITIATIVE. The COUNTRY MUSIC TEACHER CLASSROOM INITIATIVE (CMTCI) is designed to provide teachers across the United States with classroom supplies and project funds.

Teachers create a wish list of desired items for their classroom and project materials needed throughout the year. This list is distributed weekly on social media as part of country musician Jake Gill’s ongoing initiative to serve children and now teachers throughout the US and the world. Items can be purchased by anyone in the world and delivered directly to the selected teacher.

Mrs. Reed shared, "My greatest contribution to my teaching profession is that I truly love and care about the kids that I teach! Building a relationship with my students and teaching them life skills throughout each day is what I find to be the most valuable aspect of being a teacher. Showing them examples of kindness is very important to me. The children can 'sense' when someone truly cares about them. The rewards that I find in teaching are the smiles and the excitement in the children as they walk into my classroom each day. I love to greet them each morning with a smile and a 'good morning!' Another rewarding point is when they hug me, and make me special notes and pictures and tell me I’m the best teacher ever! I love it when they hurry in to tell me something that they have done because they know I will be excited or happy for them. On the other hand, they also know that I am very sympathetic when something goes wrong or when they do not feel well. In conclusion, teaching is not just my job, it is my God-given talent! I am truly blessed to be a teacher for the USD #428 School District.”

In addition to classroom supplies and project funding, Mrs. Reed's class will also receive a songwriting session with Jake Gill via personal visit or Zoom video. Students will be able to select a topic of interest and together as a class, write a song that will be shared with their school and community. Jake believes that songwriting can help stimulate the creative dimensions of a child and provide a healthy emotional environment of expression. “Songwriting combines the therapeutic benefits of music with the creative release of bringing our thoughts to words. Today’s child is experiencing more stress and trauma on a daily basis, than in times before. To be able to express their thoughts and feelings in a healthy manner is crucial to a thriving development.”

Jake Gill, a 7-year member of the Country Music Association founded the CMTCI after a series of life-changing events in the early spring of 2020. It is his hope that teachers and classrooms all over the world can benefit from this program. To support Mrs. Reed and her classroom please visit her wish list: Items purchased will ship directly to her. If you would like to nominate a teacher to be a recipient of the CMTCI, please visit the website: or the Facebook group:

Remembering Doug Bender

Douglas Wayne Bender, 59, passed away August 21, 2020, at his home in Great Bend. He was born August 11, 1961, in Topeka.

Doug, a longtime resident of Great Bend, served on the USD 428 Board of Education from 2011-2015. His passion for umpiring, coaching, and broadcasting spanned over a time period of 40 years. Most recently working for Central Kansas Radio-Rocking M Media, over the years his distinct knowledgeable broadcasting voice was aired for Barton Community College baseball, Ellinwood High School and Great Bend Chiefs baseball. His coaching and umpiring career stretched from Great Bend Recreation Commission youth leagues to high school to college level athletics. His contagious enthusiasm for sports helped shape the lives of many youth across the country.

Click here to read more about Doug Bender’s life.