District Update

May 12, 2021

May 12 Newsletter Recap

Board of Education Recap Article

This is not a full recap of all issues discussed at the Board of Education meeting. These are not official minutes. For more information on the Board of Education meeting, click here.

One of the first items on the agenda for the May 10 Board of Education meeting was recognizing the Friends of Education for the year. This year, the district recognized Erica Edwards and Samuel Lehman. Edwards was nominated by the Opportunity Academy for her role in leading a community effort to make sure the students there have snacks and other items they need. She’s also planned fun events like a pizza party for the students. Walton Rural Life Center recognized Lehman who was representing the Mid-Kansas Cooperative. The cooperative has supported the school in a number of ways including delivering feed to the animals.

The board also approved a new four-year lease agreement for laptops for the district. The agreement would replace about 700 staff and student laptops over four years. The lease would consist of four annual payments of $303,889.30 with a total cost of $1,215,557.21. The district would have the option to purchase the laptops at the end of the agreement or possibly begin a new agreement. This agreement will help the district get on track with a replacement schedule which is important to avoid software and update issues.

Board Meeting:

- YouTube

Facebook Live Q&A

May 11 BOE

Why can parents attend athletic events but not student presentations, etc. in buildings?

There is a limit to parent attendance in activities depending on venue size as well as the ability to social distance. Athletic venues are generally larger than a classroom or even an elementary-sized gym so it allows for more social distancing. We plan on looking over our COVID protocols over the summer and adapting them to our current landscape.

Why are students able to play on the playground together at Latchkey but not in their schools?

It’s to keep those cohort groups together for contact tracing.

Superintendent's Corner

The numbers this week taken from logs maintained locally are:

● Students quarantined: 31 on 5/6/2021 (42 on 4/29/2021)

● Staff quarantined: 2 on 5/6/2021 (4 on 4/29/2021)

● Active cases: 9 active cases on 5/7/2021, including 8 student and 1 staff (7 active cases on 4/29/2021, including 5 student and 2 staff)

Masks Optional Starting May 29, 2021

Although I have stated this twice before, I do want to reiterate that the USD 373 BOE voted to make masks optional for all beginning May 29, 2021. The prevelance of COVID in the community will be continually monitored and we will make recomendations to adjust our policies accordingly.

Chris Herren Story

I attended “The Chris Herren Story” presentation at Hesston this past Tuesday. It was a very powerful message. Chris is a former NBA player who struggled with addiction. He referenced several times that addiction begins in the teenage years, which I do think most of us can relate to if we have been in the school business for very long. He discussed the mental health aspects at length, which most recognize as a major issue with those involved with addiction issues.

Mirror is working with the local communities on trying to bring awareness of these issues to all levels, including parents. Many times there are signs that go unnoticed on the part of a parent as they are so busy in their day-to-day lives, it just happens. When those things happen, they are very uncomfortable for parents to share issues about their situations due to fear of embarrassment, judgement, their students being categorized as “losers”, etc. I do look forward to the day where we can work together to actually assist others in a way that helps our students and families better deal with these difficult issues.

I did see several people from Newton at the presentation. There is a lot going on at this time of the year so to see several folks there was great.

Important Information--Free and Reduced Lunch Forms

We are very excited to announce that the summer lunch (free lunch) program will be extended next year throughout the nation. However, it is still essential that families fill out the free and reduced lunch form when appropriate.

Why? Well, even though these forms are generally associated with free-and-reduced lunches, they also help the district judge other waivers and discounts we can give students and their families including a textbook waiver of fees, reduced fees in technology, athletics/activities fees and other course fees.

Additionally, it impacts our funding which, in turn, impacts how well we can serve our children, take care of our staff and maintain our buildings. Free lunch serves as a proxy for at-risk funding at the state level. With each student who qualifies, the district receives an additional $2,211. There is no connection between those dollars and the lunch program per se, rather that designation determines the funding that we are to use for at-risk programs.

Free and reduced lunch forms will be available on July 1 on this website or at the district office. It is important that families fill out the related consent form found in the same places as well.

Information about fee reductions can be found at this website. Please help our families and our district by spreading the word of the importance of these forms

Feature: Growing Educational Opportunities at Northridge

Northridge Elementary’s Emily Crawford worked together with the city of Newton's Park Department to make her school a little greener. For Arbor Day, the city gave away trees to personal residences as well as a few schools in the city. Mrs. Crawford took advantage of that opportunity and asked them to donate a tree to Northridge.

The day was more than just finding a new home for the 15-foot lace tree sapling, however. Mrs. Crawford said she planned on just receiving the tree but the event kept growing. The parks department gave Mrs. Crawford’s class a special presentation about trees and how to help them survive. It was an opportunity for students to learn about trees as well as the different work the city does.

“[I’d like the students to learn] the impact that our parks department has on the way the city is represented,” Crawford said. “They plant the trees. They make the parks look nice and, in turn, make Newton look nice. Also to care for nature. They learned how to plant the trees. How to care for the trees.”

The best part, the students got to take a tree home with them. The parks department gave each student a sapling that they had been growing for about six months.

Mrs. Crawford’s goal is to get a tree every year and dedicate it to each of her classes.

Feature: NHS BPA Goes National

Seven Newton High School students participated in a virtual national competition for Business Professionals of America. To qualify, students must be in the top five in testing events, the top three in individual presentations or top two in team presentations at the state competition. Officers may also participate in open events. Newton High School participants as well as their qualifying category are listed below:

Ann Pomeroy: Graphic Design, Interview Skills, State Officer

Eli Redington: Advanced Interview Skills, Extemporaneous Speech

Alfred Montano: Advanced Interview Skills, Prepared Speech

Anahi & Natalie Sanchez: Website Design Team

Anthony Wedel: Fundamental Accounting

Joel Franz: State Officer

Thousands of students from across the country participated in the two-week nationals online event. After being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, the country-wide event was conducted online. Newton High School had two students finish in the top ten in the country--Ann Pomeroy for Interview Skills and Eli Redington for Extemporaneous Speech. Ann Pomeroy received the ambassador torch award. To earn that award, students must gain points in a variety of different activities including leadership and service.

The event began on April 26 and wrapped up on May 8. The 2021 competition was extended due to the online format.

Railer Recognition

NHS Tennis To State

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CTE Scholars

Congratulations to Kim Tate for being named a state finalist for math teaching! There were three state finalists in math for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

KNEA Awards

Deb Helberg was honored with TWO awards at the South Central KNEA's awards banquet in May. She received the Helen Owens award and the Outstanding Service to NEA award. Deb has tirelessly served her fellow teachers and staff members as a leader in NEA throughout her career. Congratulations to Deb on these well-deserved honors! (photo in email)

Athletic Signings

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Railer Students Of The Week

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Important Reminders


Enrollment opened on April 1. The tentative deadline for returning families to submit their 2021-22 application is May 7, 2021. You will just be getting students enrolled at this time and payment isn’t expected or able to be made until July 1. More on that below.

All families should enroll their kindergarten through twelfth-grade students using the 'Online Registration' link available through their parent portal account. If you are a parent of a returning student and need to enroll a new student for any grade level, you can follow the instructions available in the online application process to add their new student properly.

Families who are new to the district may access the online application through the 'New Family Registration' link on the USD 373 website under Enrollment Information. Again, you will not be able to enroll until April 1 either. We know you’re excited. It’s almost time.

Payments for 2021-22 fees cannot be submitted or paid before July 1, 2021. Free and reduced meal applications for 2021-22 will be available AFTER July 1, 2021.

If you need help with your parent portal please contact your student's school office.

New Covid Reporting Forms

Below are two new forms for reporting a positive COVID case or that your student is a close contact. You may use these instead of calling into the building if your child has tested positive or has COVID symptoms or is a close contact. If you would still like to call, that is acceptable as well. We hope these forms will allow us to keep our students and staff safe through speedy contact tracing.

Tested Positive/Symptoms: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScj701IpDPoqpCn8hB4Yxgez1G9g9niMKQFhUYV81QrAFmQ_A/viewform

Close Contact: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeQPoH5ioUK2coVCuAWX-W0ZgLLv8M60cAqUo6iOdT742wsyA/viewform

Question and Feedback Form

Question and Feedback Form

On all of our district and school websites, you will see a Questions & Feedback button on the home screen. This will lead you to a new form that you can use to get your questions answered more quickly and make sure your feedback goes to the correct person. Please use this form for any emails or questions. You’ll notice a few dropdown menus. If you choose general district, a dropdown menu with a variety of topics will appear for you to choose from. If you select school specific, a dropdown menu will appear with a list of schools for you to choose from.
This is to recognize the accomplishments of USD 373 staff or students. If you know of a student or staff that should be recognized, please email info@usd373.org.

Railer Gallery

This is a place for students to show off their work. These are pieces of art, poetry or other projects students have worked on. Staff, if you have any student pieces to submit, email samantha.anderson@usd373.org.

Sam Claassen--Newton High School

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Ben Crawford--Newton High School

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Simon Koontz

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Lourdes Moreno--Newton High School

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Building Reports

Cooper Early Education Center

*Our field day will be on May 24. Firefighters from the Newton Fire Department will come and spray us with water while we enjoy popsicles and some extra playground time.

*We are preparing for preschool graduation on May 25. We will be graduating 87 preschoolers and will be presenting them with a diploma and a book titled, "The Night Before Kindergarten" to help prepare them for Kindergarten.

*In a joint effort to honor our students who are moving on to Kindergarten and help with our recruiting efforts for 2021-22, we will be placing yard signs in each graduating preschooler's yard.

*We are processing 2021-22 applications and scheduling summer enrollment dates for new and returning families.

Northridge Elementary School

We have lots of fun things happening at Northridge! Read the feature in this newsletter to learn more about Mrs. Crawford’s class’ Arbor Day. More fun in 3rd grade--they took a walking field trip to see the Chisholm Trail ruts that are off of North Anderson Road as part of their study of significant landmarks in Newton. Mr. Bruce Funk, Northridge Crossing guard, owns the property and gave the students a short presentation on the history of the Chisholm Trail. The kids loved hearing about it and even stated that they were “walking on a piece of history” as they walked over the land. The Step-It-Up fundraiser that was done by PTO was a success. As part of the fundraiser, there was a drawing for an Ipad and two mini refrigerators. The fundraiser organizer will be bringing in the remainder of the prizes the week of May 10th! Thank you to the NR PTO for doing this fundraiser in order to help our students with technology, field trips, and classroom materials! It is so appreciated! Northridge PE teacher, Evan Gilbert, will be organizing a Northridge Field Day on May 21st. This has typically been a tradition, but we had to forfeit last spring due to COVID. This is something that the kids get to look forward to this year. We will be holding this in the NR schoolyard. A couple of other fun things going on--4th grade Gold Rush will take place on May 12th and our Adaptive PE track meet will take place at NHS on May 14th.

Highlights from our Music Teachers: Our music classroom has moved outside for much of this year, so we are grateful for nice weather whenever we can get it! Our 4th graders have been learning folk dances and talking about where each song came from and how it got passed down from generation to generation. They have also been excited about learning about different instrument families and signing up for band and orchestra next year. The 3rd-grade class has enjoyed playing new games outside. They even got to write their own verses to a song, paying special attention that each stanza rhymed. Our 2nd graders have been busy learning new notes and rhythms. They are able to notate songs we've been singing in class using solfege (do, re, mi). We also enjoy playing games about animals like frogs, squirrels, and wolves. Our IDD class enjoys playing instruments and singing each week as well. We've been adding actions to songs and practicing counting. When we play instruments, we have learned when to start and stop playing. Thank you for the support of our Northridge kiddos and of music education in our schools!

South Breeze Elementary School

1. This month we are putting two of our redesign prototypes into action! The first includes the building principal recording morning announcements that are shared with all students. (Word on the street is she had a great time making the first week of videos and appreciated the SEL Focus Area Group for writing the script.) The second is a virtual family night for 2nd and 4th-grade families that will include Minute to Win It games facilitated by the classroom teachers. All supplies needed for the families will be sent home before the family night. Remote students will be participating as well! Things are falling into place.

2. State assessments are all finished at South Breeze. Students gave their best effort and had positive attitudes throughout. Our 4th grade remote students came into our building to complete their testing and all went very well.

3. Our South Breeze PTO has done it again! They planned a full week of Teacher Appreciation activities for students to do for their teachers as well as provided snacks/drinks/meals for teachers. Our staff and students are spoiled by our PTO! #southbreezePTOrocks

4. Fast Bridge Benchmark testing began May 3 and will last until May 14. We are looking forward to seeing the results.

Sunset Elementary School

I would be lying if I said that we are sad to see this year end. Although there are a ton of positives about this year, we are all ready to start over with more normalcy. We are attempting to end the year by making some “near normal” memories.

  • On May 14th we will be holding an all-school cookout and children will eat outside on the lawn with their class. In past years, we have had a cookout during field day at Athletic Park.

  • The last few days of school, each grade level has reserved a two-hour block to use the west side of our building to hold their grade level Field Day. Thank you to Mr. Jim Brown for helping us to organize the activities and equipment to make this possible.

  • On May 14th our 4th Graders will hold their annual Gold Rush Day.

I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to our amazing staff that has worked so hard and so lovingly all year to make this year feel as “normal” as possible. A new addition to our end-of-the-year activities will be the construction of a Time Capsule which will be stored at McKinley and is to be opened in ten years. This year we have made history

Walton Rural Life Center


  • We created our own greenhouses with Ziploc bags, wet paper towels and lima beans.

  • We watered and prepared the kindergarten plants in the greenhouse for the plant sale.

  • We put eggs in the incubator on March 31 and they should be hatching soon.

1st Grade

  • We have worked in the greenhouse and are looking forward to cucumbers from the cucumber plant.

  • We are learning about cows in our PBL project on animals.

  • In math, we are learning about fractions and telling time.

Mrs. Black’s 2nd Grade

  • Our ABC countdown to summer began on April 14.

  • Our spring garden is planted.

  • We are working on money and graphing in math and information text during reading.

3rd Grade

  • We completed Math and ELA assessments.

  • We have been working on the history of Newton in class.

  • In math, we are continuing to work on fractions.

4th Grade

  • We completed the math and reading assessments.

  • Miss Boston’s class is selling chicks for $4 each.

  • In reading, we are working on adverbs and answering the questions “How have our energy resources changed over the years?”

  • Students are learning how to multiply, add and subtract fractions.

Staff Shout Outs

Have a staff member go above and beyond for your student? Did a coworker go the extra mile to make a difference? Let us know and they'll be featured here! Please email info@usd373.org with the information.

Chase Camarena - He has done an excellent job leading our Esports club. Mr. Camarena has quickly grown student interest in his courses and is now working with students to build their own gaming computer!

I want to give a shout out to Oliver Miller, Justin Montano, and Kelson Graber at ETC. They keep our laptops, chromebooks and software working. They consistently go above and beyond and are so gracious and patient with all of our questions and needs. I appreciate their tech support and want to acknowledge all their behind-the-scenes work - they deserve a TON of credit for all they do for all of our staff and students!

I am beyond blessed to have the para educators Cecilia Larose and Esmerelda Valle on my team! They are such hard workers and so kind! I am thankful for all they do!

Nicki Warzeka is like the energizer bunny! She always gives 110% to everything! She steps up and helps her school community in so many ways. She is dedicated to meeting the needs of all her Special Education students whether they are learning inside the classroom, online, or homebound.

Janene Mabery, Tanee Coleman, Drew Eron and Marcey Cornejo - You all are amazing. Thank you so much for helping me and our wonderful students every day!

I so appreciate all of the teachers who have been willing to work Railer Power Hour after school at Chisholm: Ms. McNett, Ms. Baumgartner, Ms. Spoonemore, Ms. Patterson, Ms. Rende, Ms. McCartney, Mr. Werner, Ms. Kempf, Ms. Truong, Ms. Preheim, Ms. Moe, Ms. Mitchell, Ms. Hammond and Ms. Baker. You do a great job of helping our middle schoolers who come, and you help to make RPH a pleasant place to be! You rock!

I want to give Jana Boston at Walton Rural Life Center a shout out for being an amazing first-year teacher. What a tough year for a first-year teacher, and she is rocking it!

I want to give Olivia Lyles at Walton Rural Life Center a shoutout for always going above and beyond. She has such an empathy for all of her students and puts everything she has towards them.

I want to give Aaron Voth at Walton Rural Life Center a shoutout for going above and beyond in project-based learning. He and his students made pizza from growing their own vegetables and herbs. It was absolutely delicious!

I want to give Erin Graber at Walton Rural Life Center a shoutout for being an amazing social worker. She has such a calm presence that students are drawn to.

I just want to give my own SHOUT OUT to Room 43 at CMS! We started out this school year with 9 students which 2 students were remote and 2 students were part-time. We did our part in attempting to find all kinds of different ways to keep the students engaged with their work and even during downtime. We have had some rough days- it felt like a revolving door, but we did our best and got through the days, sometimes with some help from outside the classroom. Thank you! Our class started dwindling down but that didn't make it any easier as we still had some rough days at times. So as the school year comes to an end, I just wanted to shout out THANK YOU to my classroom coworkers for all the help with the students AND myself.

A huge SHOUT OUT to Mr. Scott Jantzi! He continues to work hard with the students and for the students! He takes a lot from the students but he still attempts to connect with them to get them through the day.

Rhonda Roux - Thank you for helping me through this year with Kinders!

Angela Black - Such a wonderful co-worker and friend. Thank you for all of your encouragement and love through this year!

Kate Bremerman - Such a wonderful first-year leader this year! Always positive and very supportive.

My grandson is in Mr. Emmitt's 6th-grade class. Brennan has been and continues to be super excited about his classes! When school was remote, I knew there would possibly be some stressful days. I checked in on my grandson daily, I listened to the communication between students and teacher. Mr. Emmitt is awesome and he has my grandson's respect and our respect. Kind of wish he could follow over to Chisholm! Thank you, Mr. Emmitt!

Missy Wonders and Nikk Johnson--they are always picking up my slack. Couldn’t ask for better work wives. Always helping out anywhere they can.

Rhonda Roux at WRLC- has the best demeanor, she is always smiling and happy. I enjoy working with her. Thanks, Rhonda, for your positivity.

Jennifer Gronau at WRLC - is always thinking of others. She makes sure all the students know they are loved and are safe here. Thanks, Jennifer.

Brianna Gouvian at WRLC- has been a quick learner and adjusts to last-minute changes with ease. Thanks for all your hard work, Bri!

Alayna Frazier at WRLC - Alayna has proven to be a fantastic asset to WRLC. She jumped right in and got to work. You'd never know this was her first year. Thank you, Alayna, for your dedication.

Kate Bremerman at WRLC- wow! What can you say? There just simply aren't enough words to express our gratitude for Kate. She has done a fantastic job in her first year as Principal. Even with all the hurdles this year, she has cleared each one with grace. Thank you, Kate, for being such a great leader.

Blake Ervin at WRLC -Thank you, Blake, for your dedication and passion. The students and staff appreciate you and so do our tummies.

Missy Wonders at WRLC- Missy, thank you for making life and work more enjoyable. With your infectious laugh and terrific personality, you make coming to school so much more fun.

HUGE Shout out to Waltrip for always being our lighthouse when the storm is heavy!

Amanda Regehr- thanks for an amazing year in first grade. She always goes above and beyond for her students.

Johannah Hein does a wonderful job balancing needs and schedules for multiple grade levels in her resource room. She cares about each of her students and is invested in celebrating their growth. Thanks for working closely with classroom teachers to ensure student success!

I would like to give Larry Boettcher a shout out! I have worked with him for 5 years, and I can't think of a better person to work with. He is patient, kind, and respectful to the Interns and hospital staff alike. He has and is still going the extra mile when dealing with our interns at Project SEARCH. It is like his patience is unlimited! I am extremely lucky to have been able to work with someone of his caliber as he--an excellent man of character. Basically, he is someone we should all look to be more like.

Thanks, Larry, for all you have done for me and Project SEARCH!

Dennis Wedel does a great job communicating with his students and their families. He's so supportive!

Diane Moser is such a great team player! She has great ideas and is always game to try something new.

Rosi Reimer does a great job supporting students and teachers at NHS.

Her patience, persistence, and content knowledge are appreciated and valued.

Becky Cooper deserves a HUGE shout out! 40 years of service to Newton Public Schools! What an impact she makes on so many students and colleagues over the years! Thanks, Becky, for all you have done! You'll be greatly missed!

Shoutout to Ms. Gordon! She is constantly putting others before herself and going the extra mile to help anyone who is in need. Not to mention that she is doing amazing as the head of the Sunshine Squad!

I'd like to shout out Amy Ives! She's a wonderful, upbeat, and kind addition to the fine arts department. I just love her!

Amanda Warkentine: Thank you for being a resource for so many staff members at South Breeze. You are appreciated.

Jennifer Criswell: You go above and beyond to meet the needs of your students and work hard to keep them in class learning!

Joanie Pauls: Your first year has been a busy one for sure. You have worked hard to work with your students right where they are! Good job!

Amy Torres: Your first year at 4th grade has been a challenge and you have taken on that challenge with all you have! Nick job!

Helen Wild: You have worked with students to create works of art that help South Breeze walls smile. Thank you.

Mimi Leo: Thank you for being flexible and going wherever you are needed.

Jamie Klug: Your willingness to chip in whenever and wherever has made a difference this year! Thank you.

Renee Ybarra: We have been so blessed to have you as our substitute admin assistant. Thank you for your dedication to South Breeze.

Sherri Nicholsen: Thank you for keeping the office running smoothly. What would we do without you?

Adriana Grajeda-Trevizo: Thank you for your constant dedication to our students and their families. You are always dropping everything to take or make calls so our families are well informed!

Kaitlin Williams goes above and beyond with Covid and all that means this year!! Thank you so much.

Shout out to Joey Menninga and Chad Nulik for being an incredible administrative team at Chisholm! They both work so hard to encourage and support their staff and it has made such a difference during a difficult year. We are so grateful for these two hard-working, selfless leaders!

Shout out to Kim Powell for her ability to adjust on short notice the lesson plans to what is needed for school events and what supplies are available at the store. It is done calmly without evident frustration, which models a good way to cope with the constant changes in life.’

Shout out to Shannon Tiemeyer for helping me with my Frontline problem. You are appreciated.

Thank you to Nora Miller for helping me get my question to the right person and for being prompt with answering emails. You are amazing.

Kim Powell & Molly Schauf - Both went above and beyond during Teacher Appreciation Week to work with their students on making a meal for teachers. So thankful to have these two on our Team!

Lacie Fair & Katie Honeyman - I have heard on multiple occasions that Mrs. Fair and Mrs. Honeyman are a breath of fresh air to the FFA chapter. Their leadership is noticed and our students have accomplished great things!

Caleb Smith - Mr. Smith is ALL IN on supporting our Railer culture and community. He has worked tirelessly all year to make positive changes that benefit staff and students. We are so thankful to have him and we feel so supported!

Joaquin Sanchez. He is the ISS monitor and a football and track coach at CMS. Joaquin is very good at connecting with the students that get sent to his room and can often get them to calm down and see things from all perspectives - often de-escalating situations. He also goes above and beyond for the players on his teams. He helps them any way he can, and he is an amazing coach. When a player doesn't understand something, Joaquin finds a creative way for the student to understand what he is explaining, and the student ends up learning the move quickly. He is very kind and deserves to be recognized for his hard work and perseverance.

Jana Boston for crushing this year as a new teacher. She did an amazing job at connecting with her students and handling whatever came her way.

Jessica Hein for jumping from teaching kindergarten to remote fourth grade this year. She made it look easy!

Amanda Regehr is an incredible teacher. She works so hard to build relationships with her students on top of the endless hours of planning engaging lessons. She eats lunch with a rotating group of students (socially distanced ) each week and makes sure to catch students being good in her class and recognizing them by writing their name and putting it in a jar for a drawing and sticker rewards. The classroom atmosphere she has created is amazing. My son loves having her as a teacher and loves when he gets to eat lunch with her. She also came to his baseball game! He was so excited to see her there. She has made his year the best it could be by investing her time and energy into reaching him where he is as a learner and making school as fun as possible even with all of the covid restrictions this year. Thank you, Miss Regehr!

Thank you to Kenna Graber for going above and beyond when working with new teachers.

A big shout out to our ETC crew. Thanks for keeping us all up and running.

Kaylee Martinez- Kaylee is a wonderful Para and does amazing work.

Mr. Roberson--my daughter has had a great year with remote learning. Mr. Roberson has gone above and beyond to build positive relationships with the students in his classroom. He has taken time to really get to know my child and has made learning fun even in the remote setting. He spends extra time before and after the scheduled meets doing fun activities with the students and building relationships. His lessons have been engaging and she is very excited for school this year! Thank you for all the hours you have put in making this style of learning engaging and fun!

The remote teaching team at Santa Fe: Mr. Penner, Mrs. Duncan, Ms. Smith, Ms. Naylor: they have done a great job with organization of their lessons and communication with my child. He has felt like school has been a good mix of challenge, creativity, and support of his learning. Their communication with parents has been great and their creativity in using community resources for the science class with getting flowers donated was great. Thanks for all the hard work you have put in this school year!

The staff at WRLC are absolutely amazing! The staff has such a strong and unique culture, and they support one another both inside and outside of school. I am so blessed to work with all of these people. “WRLC – We Have True Grit!”

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month, thank you to all of the SLPs and speech paras!

Dawn Franz is a very passionate and caring individual. She has been a mentor to new SLPs as well as taken on many graduate students for their practicum experience. Birth to three is a whole different ball game, but she hits it out of the park every year. Thank you, Dawn!

Kristen Reber is such an asset to Cooper Early Education Center. Language is so important at that age; she does a great job of meeting the students where they are at and building a plan to get them to that next level. Thank you for what you do for our littles, Kristen!

Amanda Foley is on it at Northridge. She has persevered through this pandemic and has met her students with a smile each day. She is passionate about alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) and that shows through in her work. Thank you, Amanda, for all that you do!

Kiley Schmidt goes above and beyond for her students at Slate Creek and Chisholm. Serving students at different schools, grades and academic levels can be challenging, but she does it all with grace. Her students most definitely benefit from her guidance and knowledge. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do, Kiley!

Deb Gering is the SLP at Santa Fe and has all of the 5th/6th graders from the district. She is able to accomplish a lot in the two years they are at Santa Fe, and this does not go unnoticed. Thank you so much, Deb, for working with our middle schoolers!

Anne Ekstrom is an asset to the HCSEC. She is the SLP that is assigned to Hesston. Anne’s personality and genuineness make her a perfect fit for those students. A cool thing about being the only SLP for a town is that she gets to transition and follow her students from start to finish. Thank you for seeing these students all the way through, Anne!

Olivia Lyles works as an SLP for both Newton High School and Walton Rural Life Center. She does a great job advocating for her students, takes time outside of contract hours to set up different projects and to support both of her schools any way she can. Thank you, Olivia!

Rachel Limon is the SLP for Halstead/Bentley and is another amazing asset to the HCSEC. Juggling two schools can always be tricky, but she has done a phenomenal job this first year, even with a pandemic! Thank you for your commitment to your students, Rachel!

Monica Simon is slaying it at South Breeze and Chisholm as a first-year SLP. Working with students at multiple buildings and at multiple grade levels can be a challenge, but she has done such an amazing job. She always has a calm about her that her staff can rely on, even when things get a bit crazy. Thank you, Monica!

Regina Dowling is a first year SLP working at Sunset. Her positive attitude and outlook make working with her such a joy. Being flexible is the name of the game this year, and Regina has done a fantastic job bending to the needs of each of her students. Her patience and kindness make a world of difference for some students. Thank you for all that you do, Regina!