Four Local Students Join MCAC Board


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Founded in 2006, the Marshall County Arts Cooperative serves as a catalyst to unite the county as an arts community. The organization brings in professional artists to perform for the public and work with students. Twelve adults serve on the board of directors to fulfill the group’s mission.

In addition to the adults on the board, the cooperative has a program called Artistic Leadership Liaisons that allows four area students to serve on the board. Started in 2011 this is the sixth year for the program. It originally allowed for two students to serve on the board; now positions are available for four students.

The cooperative contacted the arts teachers in Marshall County and asked them to disseminate the information to their students. Interested students filled out an application that included a recommendation from an arts teacher. The cooperative’s board members reviewed the applications and chose four students to fill the positions.

“Having high school students on the board adds a unique perspective to the programming we bring in,” said Rachel Massoth, the organization’s secretary. “All the students that applied to be an Artistic Leadership Liaison were excited about the opportunity to be involved in the arts community.”

Students chosen are Brady Trimble, Valley Heights High School, Abigail Dettke, Madison Lynch, Michael Sanchez, Jr., all from Marysville High School.

Trimble, a junior, is a member of the high school band, and has been involved in state music competitions as a brass player. He has been in the school play for five years and currently has the lead in the school’s production of “Oklahoma!” For six years he was a member of the Valley Heights All Start Youth Theater Troupe.

Dettke, a sophomore, is involved in choir and forensics; she is also a member of Drama Club. “Forensics has helped me become a better speaker by pushing me,” she said.

Lynch, a senior, is active in the school’s visual arts program; she is the president of the school’s Art Club. Lynch has been involved with community arts projects including Black Squirrels on Parade; her squirrel is at the Lee Dam Center for Fine Art.

Trying to do everything he can in choir describes Sanchez, a sophomore. “From being in Honor Choir to singing a solo and ensemble at contest to participating in Real Men Sing, Micheal does it all,” Massoth, the choir teacher at Marysville High School, said.

Having students involved in the visual and performing arts programs strengthens the organization and adds diversity to the board. “It’s nice that these students are active in different arts classes,” said Brad Ekiss, the group’s president. “They will bring valued perspectives to the group and they will help us stay in contact with the area arts teachers.”

For more information about the organization people may contact Ekiss at 785-562-7728.

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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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