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The Great Bend High School 2016 Rhorea Yearbook, along with the 2015-2016 yearbook staff, have been named a 2016 Jostens National Yearbook Program of Excellence.
Awards are given for schools that have achieved criteria in the following categories: Creating an inclusive yearbook, generating school engagement and successfully managing the yearbook creation process.
“We did it!,” said an excited Andy Negaard, yearbook adviser. Last year was the first year under his leadership.
“Without any returning staff members from previous years and me having no experience advising the program, we learned as we went along and we figured out how to make a yearbook,” Negaard said.
He explained that the staff started last year with the quote, “Think big, dream big, believe big and the results will be big!”
The quote paid off in a big way, he said.
“I am so proud of what they were able to accomplish,” he said. “When you see the students, please congratulate them on their efforts.
“The students have set a new bar of excellence by which all future yearbook staff members should strive,” Negaard said. “We have set an outrageously high bar for ourselves for this year and years to come.”
Staff members for the 2015-16 book included Emily Beck, Brittney Birzer, Allison Brodrick, Shaylynn Brown,
Valeria Castillo, Baleigh Fry, Ayleen Hernandez, Sidney Meitner, Kaitlyn Moos, Berenice Ochoa, Alondra Olivas, Andrew Rincon, Hunter Ruppe, Edith Solorzano, Kaylee Spragis, Victor Stoulil and Elena Taboada.
“Two other people who need to be mentioned are Travis Feil, our Jostens sales representative, and Brandy Wathke, our publications consultant,” Negaard said. “Without their guidance, patience and understanding, we would’ve never been able to see this through.
“Thank you to our administrators, both here at the high school and at the District Education Center, our secretarial staff, our local businesses and lastly, the entire faculty, staff and student body of Great Bend High School,” he said. “This book is for all of you.”
Riley School celebrated its centennial on Sept. 11 with a come-and-go community event.
Upward of 400 Riley alums, community members, past staff members, current students and families came and went, according to JoAnn Blevins, principal.
“We put the word out for Riley memorabilia to the public and were able to get report cards from the 1920s, 1930s and 1950s,” Blevins said. “The Barton County Historical Society helped us find old newspaper clippings and photos of staff members and students.
“All of the items that we collected were displayed in the library during the celebration and turned out to be a real conversation starter,” she said.
“We received letters from across the country from former students who shared their Riley memories with us,” Blevins said. “One included a student who lived south of town who rode her horse to school and when she got here, she would send the horse home.
“Another former student who became a Riley teacher, Larry Becker, shared that he and another student jumped out of the second story window of the principal’s office to avoid a spanking,” she said. “Unfortunately for the boys, not only did they receive their spanking from Mrs. Scott, the principal, but they received one from his mother as well.”
Current sixth graders provided building tours to guests. They worked in their classrooms on preparing to give tours and learning about their school.
Rachel McCaulley, music teacher, worked with Identifications to design T-shirts that were given to each child and staff member. They were worn during the celebration.
The planning team included Becky Hill, Rachel McCaulley, Casey Hatzenbuehler and Blevins.
Great Bend High School will begin to offer career and college planning services to all GBHS students and their parents Tuesday evenings from 6:00-8:00 pm. Lacy Wolters, ACT/Career Coordinator, will host the sessions. Ms. Wolters is a Certified Financial Planner who has past experience counseling clients on student loans, college planning, and 529 education accounts. In addition to discussing career and college planning, Ms. Wolters can provide guidance on completing the FAFSA, scholarships, and college applications. It is encouraged that students attend the session with their parents.
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