KPS News



soccer TeamKHS Boys Soccer Team Honored with National Team Academic Award


KHS Boys Soccer Team is the only boy's soccer team in Nebraska to be honored with the United Soccer Coaches Association annual Team Academic Awards.


“I am proud of our student-athletes,” Said Jeff Ganz, KHS principal.  “This award is proof that we are creating well-rounded athletes and scholars. Coach Steinbrook has created an environment that makes education as important as the game. ”

A total of 115 boys' soccer teams throughout the United States earned the award for exemplary performance in the classroom as a team during the 2021-22 academic year.


The KHS Boys Soccer Team scored a 3.63 collective GPA. To qualify for the award, the team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 for the entire academic year. The team GPA is determined by adding every player’s GPA, then dividing by the number of players.

“Over the years, the players in our program have really bought into the idea of being a true ‘student’ athlete and taking care of business in the classroom,” said Scott Steinbrook, KHS Boys Soccer Coach.  “Our 2022 team had exceptional senior leadership, and they really set the tone for what our group was able to accomplish on the field and in the classroom.”

KHS Boys Soccer also had 13 individual players receive the Academic All-Conference and All-State honors.  “This award is icing on the cake seeing our entire team get recognition from the United Soccer Coaches Association for their academic successes,” said Steinbrook.

United Soccer Coaches announced the Team Academic Award winners at the high school level to recognize exemplary performance in the classroom and annually celebrate the academic achievements of high school soccer teams whose student-athletes collectively demonstrate a commitment to excellence in their studies over the course of a full academic year.



Northeast logoNortheast Elementary was selected to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program


The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a federally assisted program providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to children at eligible elementary schools during the school day.


“The news that Northeast was awarded this grant to provide healthy snacks for our students is very exciting.  Our students will benefit in many ways,” said Catherine Gundersen, Northeast principal.  “Not only will they learn the importance of including fruits and vegetables in their daily diet, but this will give them a boost in energy allowing better focus in the classroom. We are thankful to Kate Murphy, Director of KPS Food Services, for working on this grant and being an advocate for our Northeast students!”


According to Murphy, the goal of the FFVP is to introduce children to fresh fruits and vegetables, to include new and different varieties, and to increase overall acceptance and consumption of fresh, unprocessed produce among children. The FFVP also encourages healthier school environments by promoting nutrition education.


“Northeast Elementary will be participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant for the first time this year beginning on September 6, 2022.   They join Bryant, Central, Emerson and Bright Futures who have enjoyed the program for several years,” said Murphy. 


Students will receive a fresh fruit or vegetable each day in their classroom for a snack. 


STEMBryant Elementary Receives $9,500 Grant from Bayer Fund

Donation to help STEM Education


Kearney, Nebraska – Kearney Public Schools announced today that Bryant Elementary received a grant for $9,500 from Bayer Fund, which will be used to purchase STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) equipment.


“This grant will allow our school to upgrade our STEM Days with added equipment,” stated Dustin Mitchell, Bryant Principal. “We will be able to add chemistry as part of the program and purchase some mobile STEM carts for grades K-2 and 3-5.”

“This grant will allow our school to improve and upgrade our STEM supplies,” stated Dustin Mitchell, Bryant Principal. “All students have at least one STEM day a month.  During those special times students are introduced to careers and critical thinking skills that help to capture their imaginations along with learning to persist through difficult tasks.”

This grant will not only provide support to our STEM program, but also the community we serve by allowing us to learn about different career paths and high demand job skills that will serve our students and community!

“Throughout the years, the grants given through Bayer Fund have helped strengthen our communities across the United States,” said Al Mitchell, President of Bayer Fund. “We’re proud to be able to provide support to develop programs like STEM Day at Bryant Elementary School, which has been critical in inspiring future generations for careers in the high-demand STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.”


In 2021, Bayer Fund awarded more than $13.1 million to over 3,400 charitable and nonprofit organizations to help address essential needs in Food and Nutrition, STEM Education and Health & Wellness.  Over the last five years, nonprofit organizations across the U.S. have received more than $75 million.


To learn more about Bryant Elementary visit

To learn more about Bayer Fund visit


August 9, 2022



Kearney Public Schools has expanded the job responsibilities of Ryan Hogue, KHS Activities Director, and Assistant Principal, to include middle school activities.   Mr. Hogue will now be the KPS 6-12 Activities Director.  He will remain Assistant Principal at KHS.


“In a very consistent message, parents and students have clamored for new and expanded opportunities for athletics, clubs, and organizations in our middle schools,” said Jason Mundorf, KPS Superintendent. “Our board has met that request with the addition of middle school soccer and the expansion of our middle school track program to an already busy middle school athletic schedule. With the ongoing expansion of those opportunities, the need for Mr. Hogue’s skills as an AD to lead and facilitate those programs is abundantly clear.  Mr. Hogue is a proven, outstanding activities director who relentlessly pursues opportunities for kids and support from our community.  It is our hope that under his leadership, our middle school activities will continue to grow and provide a platform and transition into the competitive activities of Kearney High School.” 


Hogue is a certified athletic administrator; a certification received from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). He has been at Kearney High School since 2018. 


“I am very excited about this change in my leadership duties,” states Hogue.  “Since arriving at KPS in 2018, my philosophy as 9-12 Assistant Principal/Activities Director is to support the two middle schools as much as possible. The middle school students are the lifeline of students, athletes, and activity participants at Kearney High.  It makes sense to have some level of involvement at both Horizon and Sunrise.  With the support of our Board of Education and district administration, that philosophy is now officially part of my everyday leadership duties. I look forward to working with our Horizon and Sunrise principals and Activities Directors, Bean and Krause, to create great opportunities for our middle school students.  Go Jaguars and Go Silver Hawks.”


Hogue has an Education Specialist Degree and Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Doane College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Social Sciences from Peru State College, and endorsements in Coaching and Drivers Education.


Ryan and his wife Jenny have two children, Addison and Hudson.



Kearney High School Students Attended the FCCLA National Leadership Conference 

San Diego, CA, July 2022 – Kearney High School FCCLA joined more than 7,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) student members, advisers, and guests at the San Diego Convention Center, June 29-July 3 to participate in the annual National Leadership Conference (NLC).  

The conference provided Kearney High School FCCLA members opportunities for listening to inspiring speakers, attending youth workshops, competing on the national level, and networking with other youth leaders. The theme of this year’s conference was “Make It Count,” which inspired attendees to share how they make it count while exploring career opportunities, developing leadership skills, and growing personally while making a difference in their families and communities. 

“We are thrilled to have an attendance of over 7,000 members, advisers, corporate partners, and guests who are committed to discovering the unlimited possibilities available through FCCLA. The relationships and skills developed during this conference have inspired students to make a difference in their own communities and to make every moment count,” said Sandy Spavone, Executive Director of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. 

In addition to the many learning and networking experiences offered at the conference, more than 30 Family and Consumer Sciences related competitive events, also known as STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events. STAR Events aim to support student development of knowledge and skills by enhancing the classroom experience and career pathway initiatives by equipping students with employable skills and industry insights needed to thrive in the 21st century. FCCLA members choose what STAR Event they would like to compete in with events ranging from Early Childhood Education, Entrepreneurship, and Sports Nutrition to Fashion Design, Job Interview, and Culinary Arts. STAR Events are competitive events in which members are recognized for their proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills, and career preparation.


Of the 3,900 competitors, Nebraska had 185 participants who came home with 79 Gold medals, 95 Silver medals, and 11 Bronze medals. There were 57 Top Ten award-winning events and those winners included Kearney High’s Gold medal winner Andy Nguyen who placed 3rd in the nation in the Food Innovations, Level 3 STAR event and Yanilet Montano, Gold medal winner in Interior Design, Level 3. Andy will be a senior at KHS in 22-23.

Also attending the National Leadership Conference were KHS students Alivia Olson, Nebraska State FCCLA 1st Vice-President; Adan Ciprian, Nebraska State Peer Officer Team (SPOT) member; Milli Ciprian, past Nebraska Vice-President of National Programs and Carol Kreutzer, Kearney High Adviser.

Olson participated in leadership training and evaluated STAR events. Adan and Milli Ciprian and Mrs. Kreutzer evaluated STAR events. 

Next year FCCLA will host its National Leadership Conference in Denver, CO, July 2-6, 2023. To learn more about how you can get involved as a student, sponsor, or supporter, contact Carol Kreutzer, Adviser at Kearney High School.


Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a dynamic and effective national student organization with over 199,000 members nationwide, that helps students become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. 

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members, and it’s the only career and technical in-school student organization with a central focus on careers that support families. Participation in national FCCLA programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in their families, careers, and communities.



 Dolly PartonKearney residents can celebrate family literacy by receiving and reading free high quality children’s books monthly.

 KEARNEY, NEBRASKA: The Kearney Noon Rotary Club is announcing a new literacy program offered for Kearney children. Kearney Rotary will partner with the international Dolly Parton Imagination Library to provide books to any Kearney child aged birth to 5. Books are mailed monthly to each eligible Kearney child. Rotary strongly supports that learning begins at birth and children exposed to books and literature find earlier success in kindergarten. Books enrich the family environment. Rotary is excited about the partnership with Dolly Parton Imagination Library supporting the importance of Kearney family literacy. Parents may register on Kearney Noon Rotary Facebook on and after July 29, 2022:

 ‘Our Kearney Noon Rotary members believe this is the most impactful activity we can do to support family reading and child literacy in Kearney,” said to Carol Renner, Rotary Imagination Library Coordinator. “It should have a great community impact. The financial support from Rotary fund raising will assure children begin formal schooling reading to succeed,’

 Matthew Williams, Director of Kearney Public Library shared, “I am so excited that Kearney Noon Rotary Club is sponsoring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for the Kearney area! Imagine every child receiving their very own book every month. The possibilities for children growing up in a home filled with books are endless.”

 "Kearney Public Schools is excited to support our Kearney Noon Rotary Club on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for Kearney children,” stated Jason Mundorf, Kearney Public Schools Superintendent.  “The opportunity for families to receive books at no cost is a wonderful tool for building a family library for young readers. These books are excellent stories with rich literacy and fascinating tales for kids to develop a love of reading. Thanks to Kearney Noon Rotary for bringing this resource to our district. We hope families will take advantage of this opportunity!"

 People interested in learning more about the Kearney Noon Rotary Dolly Parton Imagination Library should visit the Kearney Noon Rotary Facebook site. Registration will open on July 29, 2022. Donations to this project may be sent to the Kearney Area Community Foundation.

 About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted well over 182 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. The Imagination Library mails more than 2 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to enrolled children from birth to age five. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading, inspiring children to dream more, learn more, care more and be more. The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visit


Nebraska FBLA 2022 National Award Winners

WickhamKearney High School earned the Gold Seal Chapter Award and Taylor Wickham of KHS earned sixth place in economics in the National FBLA Conference this month. The Gold Seal Award recognizes outstanding local chapters for active participation in projects and programs identified with the goals of FBLA.  Whickham was one of 98 Top Ten awards brought home by Nebraska members.

More than 400 students, advisers, and guests from the state of Nebraska attended the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Nebraska FBLA Middle School and High School members competed in June in 79 competitive events. More than 12,000 FBLA members from 48 states attended the conference.

Students attended educational sessions with industry leaders, elected a national student officer team, and more than 700 middle school students, 8200 high school students, and nearly 600 college students competed in a variety of national events. The National Leadership Conference is the culmination of students’ hard work over the previous academic year and an opportunity to showcase the skills and knowledge gained in the classroom.

Nebraska FBLA inspires and prepares students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences. Nebraska FBLA is supported through the Nebraska Center for Student Leadership and Expanded Learning at the Nebraska Department of Education.


Mundorf  Hogue  Krause  Bean



Kearney Public Schools is adding an additional sports team to our middle schools. Boys and Girls Soccer and seventh-grade track will become a reality at Horizon and Sunrise Middle Schools in the 2022-2023 school year.  Both seventh-grade and eighth-grade students will participate on the same team for soccer and track.  


“There is a strong interest by our students and parents for expanded extracurricular activities in our middle schools.  Compelling evidence was provided to support the introduction of soccer and the expansion of track for our middle school athletes,” said Jason Mundorf, KPS Superintendent. “We are excited that the Board wanted to offer these additional opportunities to our middle school students, and we are equally excited by the impact these opportunities will have on student engagement in the classroom and in their school experiences.”


When polled, 185 Horizon students and 204 Sunrise students said they were interested in playing soccer. There will be 40 players allowed on each of the boys’ and girls’ middle school soccer teams at each school.  Soccer is one of the fastest-growing high school sports in the nation. 


Ryan Hogue, KHS Assistant Principal/Activities Director, believes that students who have not had the opportunity to be involved with athletics would have the benefit of participating in a sport that emphasizes good health and fitness principles.  “Participating in athletics and activities at all levels provides an opportunity for students to be a part of a team and learn positive character traits such as commitment, accountability, and a strong work ethic.,” said Hogue. “The middle school sports eligibility policy has been proven as a motivational tool for our student-athletes offering them a better chance for success not just on the athletic field but in the classroom.  This is an exciting addition for our Sunrise and Horizon middle school students but also for the future of our Bearcat Soccer and Track programs.”

Adding soccer and adding seventh-grade to track is a financial commitment for the district.  Coaches, uniforms, soccer equipment, game officials, and transportation will cost approximately $34,000 the first year and $24,000 annually after.


“The benefits of starting soccer and track in the seventh grade will show up in the success of our high school teams,” said Scott Krause, Sunrise Activities Director. “The earlier we can get students on the field, the better athletes they will become.”


According to Stacy Bean, Horizon Middle School Activities Director, each middle school will have four coaches: one head coach and one assistant coach for boys’ soccer and for girls’ soccer.  The coaches are yet to be determined. “We are confident that our coaches will instill strong work ethics both on and off the field,” said Bean.   


The Horizon and Sunrise Middle School soccer teams plan to schedule contests against Grand Island and Lexington. 


Students will learn more about participating in seventh and eighth-grade soccer and track during the 2022-2023 school year. 


June 13, 2022



Tessa Clements, Kenwood Elementary first-grader, is a budding writer.   Tessa won the 2022 PBS Kids Writers Contest for first graders statewide. Nebraska Public Media recognized 12 elementary-aged authors for their creative writing skills.  There were more than 140 entries from 30 towns around Nebraska from students in Kindergarten through third grade. Their stories also included illustrations.

Tessa’s story, Ruby and the Big Race, is about a young girl who loves to run and race. During a race, Ruby’s friend falls down and she decides to help her friend finish the race.  Ruby says, “We are all winners when we help each other.”  You can see Tessa’s story on the Nebraska Public Media website:

First-place winners in each grade level received an iPad plus a PBS KIDS prize package. Second and third place winners at each grade level will receive a PBS KIDS prize package.  A complete list of winners can be found at



June 13, 2022


Kearney Public Schools is seeking family and community input on the District’s Return to School Plan and how to best utilize federal COVID-19 Relief Funds.  The survey will help the schools reformulate our COVID-19 responses and help determine how KPS will handle the COVID-19 Relief Funds (ESSER III Funds).  The survey can be found at until June 21, 2022. KPS families and staff will receive an email with a direct link to the survey on Monday, June 13, 2022.

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds provide financial support to schools.  The funds are intended to minimize the disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic and support the academic, social and emotional well-being of students.



June 13, 2022

AmberNortheast Elementary Selects Amber Taylor as Assistant Principal

Amber Taylor has been selected as assistant principal for Northeast Elementary School beginning in August 2022. 

“We are looking forward to adding an assistant principal to support our students, teachers, and families at Northeast Elementary,” said Jason Mundorf, Kearney Public Schools Superintendent. “This additional position will coordinate with Mrs. Gundersen to assist in staff and teacher development, as well as offer an intentional focus on student management and family engagement. Amber is an incredibly talented young leader who has been instrumental in several district initiatives already.  Her skill set will prove to be a terrific asset to Northeast Elementary and its school community. I cannot thank our Board of Education enough for supporting Northeast Elementary and our district with this position!”  

Taylor has worked for Kearney Public Schools since 2012 as an elementary teacher at Northeast and Meadowlark Elementary and recently as the district MTSS (Multi-tiered System of Support) Coordinator.  She is also an adjunct lecturer for the University of Nebraska at Kearney for the Department of Mathematics. She received her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Masters of Arts in School Counseling from Doane College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Special Education and Elementary Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She will graduate in December with her endorsement in principalship PK-8 from the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

“I am humbled to accept the assistant principal position at Northeast Elementary,” stated Taylor. “As an assistant principal, I hope to serve as a support for students, staff, families, and Kearney community members. I am excited to return to the place where my education career began! Northeast has a great reputation and I am eager to rejoin the Northeast family! 

Catherine Gundersen, Northeast Elementary Principal, stated that the addition of an assistant principal will benefit the students, families, and staff at the school, “It is important that we meet the needs of all students and with Mrs. Taylor’s experience, she is the perfect fit for the assistant principal position. She will be bringing her knowledge of MTSS and Educlimber to analyze data to inform instruction.  She will help in the area of instructional guidance for teachers and help our students with academic and social-emotional needs.  Taylor will help carry on the Northeast vision: Love the individuality of each student, Influence family and community involvement in the success of each child, and Inspire lifelong learners.  We will make a great team!”




June 13, 2022

CarolKearney High School Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Honored at Nebraska Career Education Conference

 Carol Kreutzer was recognized by fellow Family and Consumer Sciences teachers for excellence in teaching. Kreutzer was honored with the Developer Award. The Developer Award is presented to Family and Consumer Sciences teachers who actively engage in professional development efforts through professional memberships, school and community involvement, and lifelong learning. Throughout the last school year, Carol Kreutzer has served as chair of the FCSTN Partnership Award committee, visited post-secondary schools, and sponsored an active FCCLA chapter that had a state officer and four national STAR qualifiers. Kreutzer is also actively involved in her church organizations and serves as a radio announcer. 

 Family and Consumer Sciences educators provide education to youth that teaches the essential knowledge and skills that help others master everyday challenges. FCS educators make a positive impact on the individuals, families, and communities they serve.

 Family and Consumer Sciences is the field of study focused on the science and art of living and working well in our complex world. The primary areas of focus range from nutrition and culinary arts, to fashion and interior design, to hospitality and human development and family relations. FCS educators ensure that sustainable practices, consumerism, and leadership principles are woven throughout all content areas.