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

Tree Planting, Playground Marks HHC 10-Year Partnership With Villa

Posted 5/7/2015

By Jackie Nelson

The Hesston Childcare Center recently celebrated two major events – its 10 Year anniversary in partnership with Schowalter Villa and the completion of the Toddler Playground with $3,000 grant from the Hesston Community Foundation. 

On Sunday, May 3, the center hosted an open house and a tree-planting ceremony to celebrate the 10-year partnership with Schowalter Villa. 

Director Judy Friesen, who has been with the center for over 30 years, said, “if you had told me in the beginning we would be in a million-dollar facility, I would have laughed.”  

Friesen said those lean times pushed the childcare center to the edge some months. 

“There was a time when we had to go to the General Store and ask Renee (Brunk) to donate a broom. We couldn’t afford a broom.  At that point it was duct tape and bailing wire,” she said. 

Today, partnered with Schowalter Villa, the Center has a $1.2 million building and more than 30 people on staff, 20 full-time employees. 

“Schowalter Villa showed us a whole new way of doing things,” said Friesen. 

Friesen said the last decade has been unique because the Childcare Center has endured where others have failed. 

“There were a number of centers that tried the intergenerational route and failed,” she said. 

Friesen attributed the Center’s success to two key players – Jill Moore and James Krehbiel. 

Moore, the full-time intergenerational coordinator, bridges the gap between the center and the Villa.  

“For a certain number of hours, her job is to document, facilitate and plan activities for both age groups.  She does a great job.  She is a coordinator – we don’t just expect teachers to take on the task.  It takes a lot of effort to bring these groups together in ways that are safe and positive,” said Friesen. 

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Improv Duo Place 7th At State

Posted 5/7/2015

By Jackie Nelson

Two Hesston students placed in the Top 10 at the State Forensics tournament this past weekend.  Senior Ashlynn Good and freshman Seth Hiebert took seventh place in Improvisation Duet Acting (IDA).  The duo were up against more than 40 other pairs of competitors. 

Forensics sponsor Bob Beitler said Good and Hiebert’s acting experience helped them greatly breaking into semi-finals. 

“Ashlynn and Seth have been active in the theatre program, which has provided them some valuable experience, and they are both very creative which is essential for doing IDA,” he said. 

Good said she and Heibert have been “good friends” creating a strong foundation for their improvisation acts. 

“You have to know your partner and be able to play off each other,” said Good. 

Heibert said a working rapport with an improvisation partner is essential for a successful skit. 

“You can’t just stare awkwardly at each other on stage while you’re trying to get something to work,” said Heibert. 

Each time the pair took the stage this season, they were presented with a new acting challenge. 

“We did four rounds and we had to draw a new idea every time.  You only have 30 minutes to come up with your whole thing. You have to have a beginning, a middle and an ending,” said Heibert. 

The pair said they relied heavily on improvisation, even heading into the final moments of their season. 

“We were sprinting down the hall coming up with the ending to our performance in semi-finals,” said Hiebert. 

When getting to the core of their acting, pushing the limits of reality are their specialty. 

“You have to use your imagination. There are no limits. You can do whatever you want,” said Good. 

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HMS Students Strive To 'Be The Good'

Posted 5/7/2015


“Be the good.” What started as a yearlong theme within the walls of Hesston Middle School students, blossomed into a fundraiser that was life­impacting for not only the district, but for two local families affected by tragic illness. 

Eighth grader, Morgan Simpson wanted to make a difference, inspire her fellow peers to look outside their middle school walls, and honor a lifelong friend Brandi Waters, who passed away this winter. 

Waters, an 8th grader, attended Little River Middle School and was supposed to be in the hospital for only five to seven days for a surgery to remove a benign tumor near her pituitary gland.

Sadly, she never returned home. The once happy, athletic, funny and smiling 13­year­old became a quadriplegic and had to learn how to speak through a valve placed on her trachea. 

Her nourishment came only through a feeding tube. Doctors told the Waters family it only happens once in a million times when this surgery is performed that something goes wrong. Waters passed away on Dec. 18, 2014, due to complications. Unfortunately, loss was something the Waters family had experienced before, losing their 16-year-old son 6 years ago, due to a tragic football injury. 

Simpson stated, “Initially, when I asked Mrs. Quinn, I wanted to challenge our RS group to raise money to contribute to Brandi’s headstone. Brandi was one of the most compassionate, unselfish people I have ever known and I know she would have done the same for me. Mrs. Quinn believed in my idea and encouraged me to think bigger.” 

This sparked her to come up with the concept of “Blue Jeans for Brandi”, in which teachers could pay $5 and wear jeans to school for a week. She pitched her idea to Hesston Principals Ty Rhodes (HHS) Ben Proctor (HMS) and Alicia Krehbiel (HES) who were all receptive. 

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