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

Selecting The Line Of Ascension

Posted 10/8/2015

By Jackie Nelson

Hesston High has held the tradition of selecting a homecoming court, king and queen for decades. 

Each year, four senior boys and four senior girls are nominated by the senior class.  The student body votes on who deserves the title of King and Queen.

Sponsor and Hesston High teacher Stephanie Simpson said while the voting mechanism has changed through the years, the tradition remains.

“For numerous years, the voting was done by hand, with sponsors hand-counting each ballot. With the rise of technology, and the 1:1 devices that are in place at the High School, the utilization of Google Forms to create an online ballot, significantly streamlined the process.

“This voting system ensures that students with a current Hesston High School email address can cast one vote, which is automatically tabulated. Sponsors cross check the class list and the emails registered with each vote to ensure that all students have voted,” she said.

The new voting system streamlines the process and prevents voter fraud.

“This efficiently and accurately counts all votes, ensures that students only vote once and significantly reduces the time necessary to hand count all ballots. The form is sent out in a very secure way, is password protected and reliable,” said Simpson.

Simpson said the same process is used school-wide when students select the King and Queen.

While staff typically stay out of the nomination and selection process, they can cast ballots in the event of a tie.

“Whether during the initial nomination of the candidates or the final King and Queen voting, staff votes would be utilized to break the tie and determine a winner,” said Simpson.

Though Hesston High has never had a candidate disqualified, there are criteria for nominees. 

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Getting Rid Of The Rain Gauge After 20 Years Of Measuring

Posted 10/8/2015

By Jackie Nelson

People have always made small talk about the weather.  However, for Karen Fulk and her husband Richard, talking about the weather was a daily routine for two decades

The Fulks were volunteers for the National Weather Service. They collected and reported rainfall data every day for the past 20 years. However, this month the Fulks have hung up their rain gauge for good.

“We are both retired now. We don’t have any big plans.  We weren’t sure if travel would keep us away from something to measure. I didn’t like the idea of trying to figure out what and when and not be there to provide the records. I just didn’t want to have to worry about not doing that and I didn’t want to plan my activities around it,” said Karen Fulk.

By 7 a.m. every morning one of the Fulks has checked the rain gauge, emptied it and by 8 a.m. reported any precipitation to NOAA.     

According to Fulk only two other Hesstonians have been official weather recorder, Marlo Unruh, from whom they inherited the tradition, and Harold Sommerfield, who recorded the weather as part of his duties with The Hesston Record.  

“We got into it by accident,” she said.

The couple responded to a classified ad asking for someone to record the weather, “They said you got a free rain gauge,” said Fulk. 

What Fulk did not know was the rain gauge was a three-and-a-half foot tall metal contraption.  “It’s a lot bigger than people might expect,” said Fulk.

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Best-Selling Author Capstones Community Read

Posted 10/8/2015

By Jackie Nelson

Monday evening Regina Calcaterra, author of Etched in Sand, hosted an author discussion at Hesston Mennonite Church as the conclusion of the Community Read, a partnership between Hesston Public Library and Hesston College.

Calcaterra’s book spent 16 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List, coming in second only to Mia Angelou’s work, shortly after the revolutionary writer’s passing.

On Monday evening, the sanctuary was filled with Hesston College students, community members and an English class from Moundridge High School. Over 500 people attended the event. 

Etched in Sand is the journey of the Calcaterra family though the trials of an abusive, drug-addicted, alcoholic mother, homelessness, poverty, the foster care system and the five siblings’ eventual breaking of the cycle of abuse, neglect and addiction. 

“The book, for me, was easier to write than I expected.  One, it came from memory. Two, I had processed it. I spent years processing what happened to me. Being somewhat detached from the circumstances.

“The part of the book related to Rosie still breaks my heart.  Any time I was writing about leaving her and trying to take her and having to give her back, when she stopped communicating with us for a while... If she hadn’t come back into our lives, I don’t know that we could have written this book because of the void,” she said.

During the audience question and answer session, an attendee asked Calcaterra if she could re-live her past, would she still choose to emancipate herself and leave her abusive mother.

“No,” she said.

Calcaterra explained she would have continued to live with her mother to stay near her two younger siblings, Norman and Rosie, to offer them protection and support.

“One of the reasons we got through it, the five of us, was we had each other. When we were, individually, in dark places, we would lift each other up. Rosie didn’t have that,” she said. 

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