USD 273 Appoints New Board Member


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The USD 273 Board of Education conducted their monthly meeting on Monday, August 14. The board conducted an interview with a candidate wanting to fill the position on the board vacated by Greg Shamburg. BHS Class of 1991-member Joe File explained to the board why he wanted to serve. The board voted unanimously to appoint File to the vacant board position. File was already a candidate for the seat which is up for official election this November.

Katie Schroeder, PTO President, detailed a list of funds distributed to various educational activities of the district. After giving away an impressive amount of dollars, Schroeder said they were still able to reserve $12,000 toward the replacement of the playground equipment at the Elementary School. She told the board that it may take two, three or more years to raise enough money to replace the equipment. She said that Grandparents Day is scheduled for September 8. Schroeder said they intend to continue the Trojan Spirit clothing donation program. Tubs are located by the school office and gently used Trojan Spirit wear can be donated so the children who do not have black and orange apparel can proudly wear their school colors.

Student Council President, Sydney Johnson, gave a report of the activities of the organization. Several STUCO members attended the KSHSAA Student Council Summer Camp at Emporia State University. Johnson reported it was a very energetic and positive experience with the exception of a water main break in Emporia which caused the camp to end one day early.

In his Superintendent’s Report, Jeff Travis set the date for the open public hearing on the upcoming school budget. The public budget hearing will be held at the district office on August 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Travis said the district health insurance will take the biggest hit experienced in many years. A 17.5 percent increase will be experienced by those covered under the district’s policy.

Karen Niemczyk, Director of the Beloit Special Education Coop, reported the various activities of the department. They are still interviewing for paraprofessional candidates and a part-time homebound instructor. Jay Rowh had been filling in some with the homebound program but has stepped down.

Niemczyk reported they are finishing up the job description for the Assistant Director position. Currently, the job description does not adequately describe the work entailed. She then summarized the various trainings scheduled for the department’s personal in the fall semester.

Brady Dean, Assistant Principal at Beloit Elementary and the Director of the Early Learning Center reported grade school enrollment of 445 students at this time. He said that could change somewhat by the time school starts. The school has 18 new students and eight students have moved out of the district. Last year the BES enrollment was 448 and 454 in the 2015-16 academic year.

Dean also highlighted some upcoming dates of interest including the first day of school on Aug. 17, PTO Family Fun Night on Aug. 18, Parent’s Night on Aug. 24 and Grandparent’s Day Sept. 8.

Dean had high praise for the custodians and the work performed over the summer. An entire semi-load of playground mulch was delivered and the grounds crew spread the mulch in the needed areas. They also put up a new storage shed and did work on the counseling center and autism/low incidence room. Dean concluded by thanking the board for their willingness to provide educational technology for the students in a fast-changing world where it takes money and foresight to stay current.

Kyle Beisner, Assistant BHS Principal and Activities Director, said that 175 jr. and sr. high school students reported Monday morning to participate in Beloit’s extracurricular activity programs. This included 42 for football, 48 for volleyball, 10 for tennis, and 20 for high school cross country. At the junior high level, 10 athletes reported for cross country, 30 for football and 28 for volleyball.

In formal actions the Board approved health insurance rates of $150 for a single plan and $585 for a family plan to be paid by the employee. The board will contribute $355 on each plan. The board also approved a job description for a new district position, Board of Education Office Assistant. The board then approved the Student Handbook for the 2017-18 school year.

Resignations were also accepted by the board from Betty Casey, Cook, BES, Janice Heide, Para, BES, Kim Henke, Para, BHS, Amy Lienberger, Para, BHS, Mickey Suelter, Para, Lincoln H.S., Caitlyn Thomas, Lead Teacher, ELC, and Deb Wilson, Para, Rock Hills.

The next USD 273 Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the district office in Beloit.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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