USD 231 Examples of Excellence

November 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!​

Share Your Story with Us!!!

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

GEHS Band Students Peform with Emporia State Jazz Band

In November, Gardner Edgerton High School band students participated in the Emporia State (ESU) Honor Band. Sydney Stuart on Clarinet, John Williams on Horn, Josh Droegemeier on Trombone, and Trey Duncanson on Euphonium.

They were ready as each student rehearsed all morning and presented a concert with the ESU Jazz Band in the afternoon!

Added bonus... Two GEHS Band Alums were soloists with the ESU Jazz Band! Tristan Stevens and Hunter Fesenmeyer.


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Superintendent Stranathan Recognized as Distinguished Administrator

Pittsburg State University recently named Gardner Edgerton USD 231 Superintendent Pam Stranathan the College of Education Distinguished Service Administrator (2021) award winner. The Distinguished Service Award is given annually to one teacher and one administrator whose careers are highlighted by significant achievement and excellence in education and are considered the “best of the best”.

Mrs. Stranathan has served as the superintendent of USD 231 since 2014, having previously served as director of secondary education and assistant principal at Gardner Edgerton High School. Superintendent Stranathan was selected for this award due to her leadership and innovation, including career and technical education growth, improving fiscal accountability, and addressing learning loss. The award also stems from the district’s efforts to address students’ growing mental health needs and implement a district-wide one-to-one program, placing a Chromebook in every student’s hands.

Mrs. Stranathan attributed the recognition she received to the support she has received from the board of education and the teachers who have worked tirelessly to meet the individual needs of every student we serve.

Mrs. Stranathan will be formally presented with the award on Thursday, December 9, 2021, at the Award Recognition Ceremony held in the Linda and Lee Scott Performance Hall of the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on the campus of Pittsburg State University.

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GEHS Car Club Receives Donation

The GEHS Car Club received a check on behalf of Mid-America Bank for funds they raised with the Robert Cook Memorial Scholarship group during the first joint Car Show. The students worked with the organizers of the Robert Cook Memorial Scholarship Car Show to put on an event that boasted over 200 cars ranging from award-winning show cars to student project vehicles.

Our culinary program sold their delicious street tacos and were hardly open before long lines of hungry car lovers sold them out. These amazing students were offered their portion of the proceeds and decided to give back $1,000 to go towards the scholarship fund.

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Nike Elementary Students Learn About the Nike Missile Base

In honor of Veteran's Day, students at Nike Elementary learned about the history of the Nike Missile Base, active in the mid-to-late 1960s. Jack Reis (pronounced Rice), Battery Commander C/5/55, with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), was stationed at the Nike Missile Site KC-60 from 1967-1969. Commander Rice shared his responsibilities while serving (at age 24) on the base.

In case you missed it, the Kansas City Public Library produced a story (2020) about the base. The article can be found HERE and the video can be found HERE.

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Student Council Serving the Community

A HUGE shoutout to the GEHS Student Council for serving our community! The group collected and donated a large amount of food, hygiene products, etc from donations collected during the Powder Puff game. Additionally, the group collected monetary donations and shared more than 600 items with the Multi-Service Center in Gardner! Way to go!!
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Parents Participate in IEP Development Training

USD 231 is committed to students with special needs and their families. The district has been working with Families Together, an organization that assists parents and their children with disabilities through encouragement and education. This group empowers families to advocate for their children and provides parents one-to-one assistance, training, resources, and tools at no cost to families.

USD 231 and Families partnered together to support parent education related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), parent rights and IEP development. The district's goal is to help parents understand and participate in the education of their students.

On Wednesday, November 3, 2021, Families Together and USD 231 staff provided a community presentation designed to enable parents to better advocate for their children and build relationships with their child's school.

We are grateful for the thirty families who participated in Wednesday's workshop and the Special Services Department looks forward to additional parent education and partnership opportunities!

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Blazers of the Month

In an effort to recognize GEHS students who are exceeding expectations, teachers/staff take time each month to submit the names of students who are worthy of recognition and go above and beyond by displaying positive, noteworthy character traits. There is no limit to the number of students a staff member can recognize!

All nominees are then invited to a celebration in the Lecture Hall, during Seminar, on the first Monday of the following month.

Congratulations to the following students - recognized in November:

Alexis Fiedler

William Lewis

Chase Walker

Trinity Lewis

Abigail Harlow

Adiken Berry

Gunnar Kyle

Gustavo Hernandez-Sanchez

Peighton Johnson

Maileigh King

Alexis Fiedler

Adelyn Meder

Grace Beaver

Kenadi Crowder

Kaiden Bogard

Taryn Smith

Nick Krehbiel

Jace Padilla

Dakota Dunaway

Suemy Chavira-Araujo

Sienna Johnson

Mahombi Bilenganya

Avery Gates

Reece Corbin

Jack Fortner

Kylah Carter

Karla Salas Mendez

Tanner Higginbotham

Spencer Wu

Sydney McCracken

Abigale Fleming

Share Your Story with Us!!!

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