USD 490 eNews

Community Newsletter

Meet incoming Skelly Principal Alyssa Vanderhoof

USD 490 has hired Alyssa Vanderhoof as the new Skelly Principal beginning the 2021-2022 school year.

After graduating from Valley Center High School, Vanderhoof earned an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education at K-State University, and two Masters degrees from Emporia State University: one in Curriculum and Instruction and one in Educational Leadership. She is also certified in building level school leadership, early-late childhood generalist K-6, and English for speakers of other languages pre-K-12.

Vanderhoof taught second and fourth grades for nine years before accepting a Principal position at Rawlins Elementary in Atwood, Kan. in 2019.

"We are thrilled to be moving back to the area and are excited to meet everyone," Vanderhoof said.

On her personal time, Vanderhoof enjoys being outdoors and visiting with family and friends. She and her husband of 10 years have four children. Three are school-aged and one is in daycare.

Meet incoming EMS Assistant Principal Heath Henderson

USD 490 has hired Heath Henderson as the new El Dorado Middle School Assistant Principal beginning the 2021-2022 school year.

Henderson is a graduate of Yates Center High School and earned a Bachelors of Science in Health and Physical Education from Oklahoma Panhandle State University. He has also earned three Master's degrees: Curriculum and Instruction and School Leadership from Baker University and Special Education from Southwestern College.

After teaching physical education at the elementary and high school levels for 17 years, Henderson accpeted an Assistant Principal position at Washington Elementary in Wichita in 2019. He has also coached high school football, baseball, track and powerlifting throughout his career.

Education is a family business for the Hendersons. His wife, Christie Henderson, is the counselor at Blackmore Elementary. Their dog, Sam, serves alongside Christie as a therapy dog. Katie Youngers is their oldest daughter, and she has served as a long-term substitute at Blackmore since completing her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Fort Hays State University in December 2020.

Henderson also has an adult son in Chanute and a daughter who will begin her freshman year of high school in the fall. He says his family loves to travel and they are avid Auburn football fans.

KN2E is sponsoring Ready 2 Read

Ready 2 Read is a FREE summer reading program for children ages 4 - 9 that will run from July 5 - 30, 2021 in El Dorado, KS. It is being sponsored by Kids Need 2 Eat.

Weekly bags of groceries and gift cards will be raffled off to participating households.

The goal is to help children who are struggling to read at grade level. Each child aged 6 - 9 is paired with an adult or older teen to read with them for 30 minutes twice a week (Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday). Younger children come on Fridays for story time and to work on pre-reading skills.

Parents may register children online May 1 - 31. Check their Facebook page for more information:

USD 490 offering Explore490 summer enrichment

Don't forget to register your K-5th grade child for USD 490's exclusive summer camp by May 21! The link is below.

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Calling all kindergarteners!

Don't forget to let us know if you have a child who will be five years old by August 31, 2021 who plans to attend kindergarten in USD 490 in the fall! Letting us know now will make enrollment easier this summer and will allow us to contact you directly with important information for beginning school next year.

• Blackmore: 316-322-4850
• Grandview: 316-322-4830
• Skelly: 316-322-4860

Check out the videos below to meet the phenomenal USD 490 kindergarten teachers!

Blackmore Meet the Teacher
Skelly Meet the Teacher
Meet the Grandview Kindergarten Teachers

EHS students named KS Honor Scholars

Each year the University of Kansas Alumni Association honors students who achieved academically in the top ten percent of their graduating class as Kansas Honor Scholars. El Dorado High School's 2021 Kansas Honor Scholars are:

  • Tengis Battuul
  • Cooper Crawford
  • Isabelle Haahr
  • Kyler McKibban
  • Max Schafer
  • McKenna Garman
  • Ashton Gingerich
  • Kaitlyn Hutchins
  • Teagan Jellison
  • Selah Klayson
  • Jamison McCaig
  • Tammy Vo-Nguyen
  • Zachary Walker

Grandview teacher Debra Smith wins KAKE Golden Apple award

Grandview Second Grade Teacher Debra Smith won a KAKE Golden Apple award on April 26.

"She is really wonderful and deserves this honor," Katie Banks-Todd, parent of one of Mrs. Smith's students, said.

Since the program began in 2003, KAKE's Golden Apple award has highlighted more than 500 local educators for the creative ways they support, motivate and encourage a lifetime of learning, both inside and outside of the classroom.

"Her personality shines above all else. Always going the extra mile no matter the theme," Kristi Knapp, another parent, said.

Smith has taught in USD 490 for 30 years. Parents and students describe her as a caring advocate who loves her students. She will be greatly missed by families and staff alike when she retires at the end of the school year.

"She’s in her final year of teaching but she brings the excitement of learning to her students that you expect from a first year teacher," Knapp said.

In addition to being featured on the news, Smith will receive school supplies and a trophy to commemorate the award.

To learn more about the Golden Apple program or view the newscast announcing Mrs. Smith as a Golden Apple winner, please visit KAKE's website:

EHS students earn high ratings at virtual state music festival

EHS students earned high ratings for their performances in the virtual KSHSAA State Music Festival.

I Ratings:

  • Regan Lattey- violin solo
  • Michael Riddle- alto saxophone solo
  • Madeline Nichols- vocal solo
  • Jewelyah Barker- vocal solo

II Ratings:

  • Alexis Mantanona- vocal solo
  • Gwen Crank- vocal solo
  • Katie Penner- vocal solo

EMS band students earn high ratings at music festival

EMS band students earned high ratings for the solos they performed in the Patriot League Music Festival on Mar. 31.

I Rating:
• Tanner Riddle- trumpet

II Rating:
• Dylan Davis- trumpet

III Rating:

• Makenzie Marshall- oboe
• Kyrstin Mulcahey- clarinet

Grandview kindergarten students practice site words with fun characters

Kindergarten students at Grandview had help identifying sight words and nonsense words from a bunny and a skunk on April 1.

Mrs. Bright and Mrs. Cogan dressed up as bunny and skunk characters from the book the classes read together, The Easter Bunny's Assistant, as they worked on reading skills.

Both classes sat in the flex seating area and listened to the story before reading sight words on the Apple TV. For each actual sight word, the bunny (Mrs. Bright) would cheer and celebrate.

Each time they identified a nonsense word, the skunk (Mrs. Cogan) would lift her tail and spray her "skunk spray" to show that nonsense words stink.

"I guarantee you it is a reading lesson that students will remember for a long time," Cogan said.

Students excitedly read each word aloud to see if they were going to get a cheer from the bunny or a spritz from the skunk during the unique reading lesson.

EHS Forensics students qualify for state and national tournaments

State Qualifiers:
• Taylor and Cooper Crawford- Improvised Duet Acting
• Trip Baker- Prose and Poetry
• Ben Barker- Extemporaneous Speaking
• Bailey Camien and Emma King- Improvised Duet Acting
• Logan Clark- Humorous Interpretation
• Breklyn Craig- Poetry and Prose
• Cooper Crawford- Humorous Interpretation
• Emma Doughty- Oration
• Ben Barker and David Staats- DUO Interpretation

Virtual NCFL National Tournament Qualifiers:
• Trip Baker- Oral Interpretation of Literature
• Breklyn Craig- Oral Interpretation of Literature
• Cooper Crawford- Dramatic Performance
• Emma Doughty- Oration
• Ashton Gingerich- Student Congress
• Isabelle Haahr- Student Congress
• Annabelle Wise- Extemporaneous Speaking

NSDA National Tournament Qualifiers:
• Trip Baker- Prose and Poetry
• Logan Clark- Humorous Interpretation
• Breklyn Craig- Prose and Poetry
• Cooper Crawford- Humorous Interpretation

• Isabelle Hahr- Senate

David Staats, Isabelle Haahr, and Ben Barker earned the National Speech and Debate Association’s Academic All American Award. Fewer than one percent of students earn this award each year.

Grandview students participate in Side-By-Side Science

Grandview students participated in a science-themed virtual assembly on April 14.

The program was called Side-By-Side Science and it featured a scientist who walked students through several science experiments from the safety and comfort of their own classrooms.

There were six activities that students were shown during the program, and students were provided materials so they could actively participate in the hands-on experiments themselves.

They explored physics through Free Fall, investigated math in Knot Possible, examined friction during Bendy Toy, learned about air pressure with Floating Ball, and saw two exciting chemistry experiments called Exploding Balloon and Vanishing Cup. All of the activities were completed using four or fewer common household items.

EHS graduation ceremony to be held at BG Stadium

This year's El Dorado High School graduation ceremony will be held at BG Stadium on May 16, 2021, at 3:00 p.m.

The location's ample space will make it easy to socially distance, so there will be no limitation on the number of guests who can attend. Attendees will be asked to wear masks and families should socially distance from other families in the stands.

If there is inclement weather the day of graduation, the ceremony will be relocated to El Dorado High School. Depending on COVID regulations at that time, there may be a need to limit attendance if the event has to relocate to EHS.

On May 10, EHS administration will look at the weather forecast to determine if the ceremony can continue at BG Stadium as planned. If there is a need to relocate, they will make the announcement and provide any additional details at that time so families have as much time as possible to make and necessary arrangements.

If you have any questions about the graduation ceremony, please contact EHS at 316-322-4810.

Grandview art students have work showcased at Coutts Museum of Art

Boston Avery (5th grade) and Avery Remsberg (4th grade) had their art showcased at Coutts Museum of Art in El Dorado for the month of March.

Both artworks are acrylic paintings. Boston’s is on a stretched canvas, and Avery’s is on painting paper. Their paintings were completed outside of school. They are working on another painting project that is a 6 day in-class project, that will be finished soon.

Karissa Haubenstein (4th grade) and Kecher Baker (3rd grade) will join Boston and Avery to be showcased at the USD 490 district wide art show at the end of the school year (dates TBD) and the BlickArt Supply statewide art show. Kecher’s drawing is an optical illusion based on an art project done in class early in the first semester of school. Karissa’s is an acrylic painting on painting paper.

Please join us in congratulating and appreciating the amazing skills, hard work, and creativity that these artists embody.

There will be more students chosen to showcase their art at the district wide art show as their painting and pottery projects are completed. Support local art and artists!
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PeachJar Flyers

Click here to see all of the active flyers in USD 490.

Important Dates

May 3-7 Teacher Appreciation Week

May 4 Teacher's Day

May 5 National School Nurse Day
May 9 Mother's Day

May 16 EHS Graduation Ceremony

May 20 Last Day of School

May 31 Memorial Day

June 7 Summer Programs Begin

June 14 Flag Day

June 20 Father's Day

July 1 Summer Programs End; Enrollment Opens for 21-22 school year

August 3 Walk-In Enrollment 8 AM - 7 PM

August 11 First Day of Classes for PreK-6 and Gr. 9

August 12 First Day of Classes for grades 7, 8, and 10-12

rSchool Online Activity Calendar

Click here for the most recent information about district athletics and activities.