KHS's Allison Receives State CTE Award
Hundreds of Career and Technical Education (CTE) educators and administrators from across the state came together for the 2022 Nebraska Career Education Conference hosted in Kearney in June. Winners of the Excellence in Career and Technical Education Awards were recognized as outstanding Nebraska Career and Technical Education programs and business partnerships. Younes Hospitality won the NCE Outstanding Business Partnership Award and Tennille Allison, KHS Career College and Career Readiness Coordinator won the CTE Business, Marketing and Management Award.
This professional learning opportunity kicked off with a welcome by Nebraska’s Commissioner of Education, Dr. Matthew Blomstedt, State Board of Education Member, Kirk Penner, and Deputy Director of Economic Development, Dan Curran. Author, educator, and advocate, Dr. Kevin Fleming delivered an engaging and inspiring keynote presentation.
Through three days, conference participants selected from more than 100 breakout sessions where they had the opportunity to collaborate, engage, learn, and reconnect with CTE colleagues to advance their high-quality CTE programs. Local, state, and national leaders presented on various topics focused on ensuring all students have equitable access to high quality CTE programs and teaching strategies to engage learners.
Winners of the Excellence in Career and Technical Education Awards were recognized as outstanding Nebraska Career and Technical Education programs and business partnerships. More information about each award as well as the award recipient biographies can be found at https://www.education.ne.gov/nce/nebraska-career-education-conference/awards/.
KHS Receives Outstanding Musical Theatre Performance Award
The Kearney High School ‘Guys & Dolls’ received the Outstanding Musical Theatre Performance Award from the Nebraska High School Theater Association (NHSTA). On June 5, the KHS cast performed "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" on the Orpheum stage in Omaha.
Guys & Dolls cast received four awards:
Outstanding Musical Theatre Performance Award – KHS Cast and Crew
Outstanding Supporting Cast members - Wednesday Fielder and Reggie Shriner
Outstanding Lead Actors - Isabella Engberg, Layla Rivera and Henry Stelling
Jimmy Award Nominees (given annually to recognize musical theatre performances by high school students in the United States) - Isabella Engberg and Henry Stelling.
There were a total of 12 Outstanding Musical Theatre awards given: 5 awards given to Class A schools, 5 to the top Class B schools, and two junior high performances. This year was the ninth annual awards for the Nebraska High School Theatre Academy. Kearney High has previously won three Outstanding Musical Theatre Performance awards, as well as numerous Jimmy Award nominees and individual awards.
Guys and Dolls is an exciting and funny golden age classic American musical. According to Vicky DeWald, KHS Theater teacher, “the Kearney High students who participated in bringing this musical to life have a lot to be proud of with this production. Our three adjudicators had great compliments for the acting as well as the technical elements of the show. At the end of the day, after the NHSTA awards performance, we asked our students if it was worth all the work and effort to achieve this award, and they responded with a resounding, "YES!" It seems like this award will be an annual goal for our creative team, performers and tech students from now on!”
KPS to Honor Living KHS Graduates who Attended Longfellow
For the 150th Anniversary of Kearney Public Schools, the district would like to honor living KHS graduates from 1930 to 1960 who went to Longfellow. To be included, graduates from those years are encouraged to email a current photo, year of graduation, and a quote about being a KHS Bearcat or about the importance of school to [email protected]. KPS plans to place on social media, their graduation photo, current photo, and their quote.
Kearney donated more money to Opava for Ukraine
Article courtesy of the Kearney Area Community Foundation
KPS EMBRACES MIDDLE SCHOOL SPORTS
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
KENWOOD FIRST-GRADER WINS STATE WRITING CONTEST
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: https://nebraskapublicmedia.org/en/media-player/50018833/
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 https://nebraskapublicmedia.org/en/kidseducation/pbs-kids-write/2022-writers-contest-winners/
June 13, 2022
KPS IS SEEKING INPUT ON ESSER FUNDS
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 https://www.kearneypublicschools.org 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
Northeast 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
Kearney 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.