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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

Hesston Resource Center Serves 91 Families In 2015

Posted 12/31/2015

During 2015, the Hesston Resource Center assisted 91 families.  According to Director Rae King, the Resource Center averages 50 families every month and assisted 49 families - 104 individuals - in December alone. 

“Not all 91 families are coming every month. We are down to 42 families some months, it varies,” said King. 

Each family receives a sack of groceries from the Resource Center, as well as a federal commodities program, which is distributed by the Center.   

“The government commodities program is a separate program, according to law. To be a distribution center for commodities, the government has to know families are getting commodities and our sacks separate,” she said. 

Every month, the Resource Center distributes sacks of groceries, typically with a meal plan or theme.  In January, King said she is planning sacks with breakfast foods, such as pancakes and syrup.   

Every month, the Resource Center distributes dozens of bags of groceries with staples as well as extra goodies. 

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Jahay Moves On From USD 460

Posted 12/31/2015

Feisal Jahay Supervisor of Operation, has left USD 460 after 23 and a half years of service.  Over the years, Jahay has managed eight bus drivers on routes, supervised 19 employees, kept 10 buses and 17 USD 460 vehicles running and managed a massive budget. 

“The reason I cam here was I love kids.  I’m going to miss the people and the kids,” he said.  

Superintendent Ben Proctor added with his many skills and acquired knowledge, Jahay has been difficult to lose.  

“It is difficult to replace someone like Feisal who is skilled in so many facets of the operational side of our school district.  Therefore, we have focused on maximizing the skills of the people we have and that means placing our people in a position to be most successful.  That is what we have done and we feel very good going forward under Les Guhr's leadership,” he said. 

During his tenure with USD 460, Jahay has worked under seven superintendents and many principals.   However, he said now is the time to move on. 

“It’s age. And I’ve had three back surgeries.  I have to protect myself. There is a lot of lifting - it’s a physically demanding job,” he said. 

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ComiCon Coming To Hesston Public Library Jan. 4

Posted 12/31/2015

Superheroes and fantasy characters will be meeting Monday, Jan. 4 at Hesston Public Library from 1 to 6 p.m. with the first-ever HPL ComiCon. 

Coordinated by Emily Miller, the all-day event will feature games, guest artists and authors, activities and a costume contest. 

“It’s kind of a festival. The whole library space will be taken over,” she said. 

There will be an artists’ row down the center aisle of the library, a Wii tournament in the community room and table games from The Village Geek of McPherson. 

“The community room is going to be busy with the tournament, some foam light saber fights and a movie screening.  We’re going to have a photo booth set up in the study room with a backdrop so people can take pictures,” said Miller. 

Miller said local artists and authors will be available throughout the event. 

“They’ll talk about creating and they’ll take turns leading smaller sessions in the History Room,” she said. 

The whole event will wrap up with a costume contest, judged by Kevin Wilder, and prize drawings.   

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USD 460 Receives First Report Card With New Standards

Posted 12/18/2015

The Kansas Department of Education recently released its Building Report Cards for school districts. USD 460 Superintendent Ben Proctor said this is the first year Report Cards have reflected the new state educational standards.

“In a general statement, we exceeded expectations.  This was the first year we have received results on the new set of standards. The testing schedules are different. They are more rigorous than asking kids to answer multiple choice questions. They have to apply knowledge differently,” he said.

With the State requiring teacher assessments to be linked, in part, to standardized test scores, Proctor said the outcomes have been positive for USD 460 personnel.

“It is a reflection of the abilities of our teachers. We’ve worked on aligning curriculum at all grade levels, and the results are we scored pretty favorably when compared to the State median and cross-district,” he said.

He added, “We also have to use common sense. Each grade level is going ot bring their own gifts and qualities.  They’re going to be used as one measure for teachers.  One thing that is really important, we are really blessed to have tremendous teachers.  Our results reflect that and we’ll use that as we need to within an evaluation system.  But there are a lot of other factors.”

While only math and English/Language Arts are included in this year’s round of standardized testing - with science to be included in the near future - District Curriculum Coordinator Darla Smith met with teacher of all subjects.

“We see all teachers as being crucial elements in the success of students. We wanted teachers to see the results and have a chance to assess why they felt like the results were what they were.  There’s the immediate response from teachers of ‘I get why kids scored here or there.’” said Proctor.

One challenge districts can face when working through standardized testing is investment from students. 

“It goes to the culture of our school system.  We expect kids to give their best effort.  There’s a lot of research that students own their data - whether that is a state assessment or other measurement in the building. It is important we create that investment,” he said.

At USD 460, Proctor added students and parents receive their individual test data each year. 

“They enjoy seeing themselves grow, if that’s within a year or one year to the next. Having them take ownership and create a partnership at home and communicate with families what those numbers mean, that is holistic involvement.  Our new system promotes that in a better way than the old,” said Proctor. 

The new testing measurements allow teachers and administrators more flexibility in curriculum. 

“There is a purpose for the assessments, but a reminder, we don’t want to get into the mindset that everything is driven by the tests. We want to have a framework that kids can be successful and bring in other measurements for kids to succeed,” said Proctor.

Over all, Proctor said USD 460 performed well in its second year of testing and first year of receiving results in math and English/language arts, but emphasized test scores are not the only measurement for the success of students and teachers.

“We are pleased and it speaks to the quality of our academic programs. There are a lot of measurements for determining a successful child besides just these assessments and it speaks to the new vision for public education in Kansas. These are great results and we want to continue to use this and other data.

As a district, with the partnership of USD 460 School Board members, USD 460 is working toward a new vision.

“In the spring, the spring, our plan is to start establishing relationships with different stakeholders in the community, starting with business leaders January 14.  We want to do the same thing with our teacher groups and staff. We want to meet with parents and meet with college and university leadership to try to create those success measures.

That is what the board has been working on in retreat sessions as we continue moving forward into spring,” said Proctor.

As the new Superintendent, Proctor plans to challenge students and staff to move beyond current standards.

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Hesston Drug Arrests Spike During Holidays

Posted 12/18/2015

By Record Staff

Through the months of November and December, Hesston Police have seen in increase in drug arrests in the community.

“I think part of it is just an unexplained trend that will probably quiet down sooner or later.  Another part is, there are some new officers that are very in-tune with drug arrests and investigations,” said Chief Doug Schroeder. Some of the most common drugs found in Hesston are marijuana and methamphetamine. 

Schroeder added with Remo, Hesston PD’s drug dog, back in service, confiscation and arrests have increased. 

“We look for anything out of the ordinary. If someone has absolutely no nervousness to them - which, some amount of nervousness when stopped by police is normal - or is excessively nervous, we might ask some questions. We look for anything outside the ordinary. There are physical characteristics for being under the influence and officers are trained to know what being under the influence of meth or marijuana looks like,” said Schroeder. 

Schroeder said there has been no change in the philosophy of the department and officers are given a lot of discretion as to whether to make an arrest or issue a citation.

“We’ll take them into custody and transport them to jail. Some drug cases are misdemeanors and prosecuted through the municipal court in Hesston. Others go through the District Court.

To read more see this weeks print edition

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McChesney Cutting Out From Kropf Lumber

Posted 12/18/2015

Record Staff

Neil McChesney, the man in the yellow suspenders, is leaving Kropf Lumber at the end of the mont after over two decades.

“I’d been in telecommunications for 15 or 16 years. I was tired of being in management.  I was walking in to get some material and as I was leaving, I told Kerry, ‘If you need some help, I’m looking.’ I walked out the door and got in my old Jimmy and he trotted out and said, ‘Can you come to work on Monday morning? I need help’ and it’s been 21 years and three months later,” said McChesney. 

McChesney added being “Mr. Mom” for his two daughters heavily influenced his choice to work at Kropf instead of moving his daughters out of their school and away from friends with telecommunications job offers. 

Ken Kropf, owner of Kropf Lumber, said he was happy McChesney chose to join, and stay, with the Kropf Lumber team.

“He always as a very positive attitude and is very hard-working.  When he first came here, he worked in the shop and built doors. He’s done a great job. He’s a joy to work with,” he said.

Hired during Kropf’s early boom, McChesney came on with a handful of other long-time Kropf employees.

“Kerry had just started hiring. Nolan, myself, Dave and Elton, we all came on within a few months of each other.  There were five people all hired within 90 days. In a company of about 15 guys, that’s a big deal,” said McChesney.

Known for his trademark suspenders, McChesney has faithfully worn his suspenders every day for about 17 years.

“You get some attention and it’s easier to market people. If people or contractors didn’t remember my name, it’s ‘the guy with the suspenders.’ It’s a marketing tool; it always has been,” he said. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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HHS Seniors Hear About Real Life After Graduation

Posted 12/18/2015

By Record Staff

Eight college freshmen returned to Hesston High to speak to the senior class about their upcoming college experience.  Coordinated by Guidance Counselor Donna Schadler, she said, “I was trying to think back 30 years ago when I was going to college, how helpful it would have been for me to hear about what it would really be like.”

While speaking with students, graduates said developing study habits and self-discipline were two of the greatest challenges of going to college.

“I wish someone would have told me how hard it is to get your work done. You get to choose whether or not you go to class. You need to find a time in the day that is a time you force yourself to do homework,” said Lora Ferguson. 

Sydney Reeves added, “Study habits in high school, you look at the sheet for five minutes before the test and you’ll be fine. You can’t do that.  I made 100 flash cards and I did better.  You can’t just read your book and hope to absorb information.” 

With more freedom and less oversight from professors, Anna Grimsley said keeping track of the syllabus was one of the only ways to ensure students kept up with assignments.

One of the most critical issues of college is affordability.  Former students emphasized applying for any and all scholarships and finding jobs.

“Any scholarship can help out so much.  And, don’t have one college you are set on; have a back-up plan,” said Reeves. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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