STUDENT/STAFF AWARDS - 2012-2013
Wheatridge Middle School earned Character Challenge Award
GEHS Engineering Design Students earned second place in the National AbilityOne Engineering Competition.
Wheatridge Principal Heath Sigg named Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals Principal of the Year
Kayla Rausin, First Year Teacher Horizon Award Winner
Four Governor's Achievement Awards - 27 Total Awards Since 2006
Two Excellence in Communication Awards (Newsletter/ PR Strategy-Bond Issue) - Kansas School Boards Association/KanSPRA, 2013
Cheryl Lundberg - Kansas Music Association Orchestra Teacher of the Year
Cassie Wait - All America First Team/Volleyball
STUDENT/STAFF AWARDS - 2011-2012
Three Governor's Achievement Awards - Since its inception in 2006, USD 231 has received 24 Governor's Achievement Awards
National Blue Ribbon Award, Sunflower Elementary
2012 Kansas High School History Bowl Champions
Gardner Elementary Principal Named Kansas Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Year
Walt Cochran received the Kansas Veterans of War Teacher of the Year Award
Senior Elizabeth Flora Swick awarded John Brown University Presidential Scholarship
Bubba Starling signs with the Royals Baseball Team
Tasha Grossnickel wins VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Contest
Girls Track and Field Take Third in State
Three State Champions in Pole Vault and Javelin Throw, 2012
More than $100,000 awarded in scholarships to 2012 GEHS Seniors
GEHS Mass Media students, Alisha Bilson and Iszac Burton were honored for winning the Johnson County STOP Underage Drinking Project Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest. Submissions were received from several Johnson County high schools. As the winners, their PSA will air throughout local television cable company channels and movie theaters during the remaining 2010 year.
Gardner Edgerton High School's National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC) Team won their first national championship in 2007 by developing "BERT", the Basic Ergonomic Reattachable Tub. The device has the potential to assist stroke survivors with everyday tasks such as carrying laundry or bussing tables in a restaurant. Team members included: Michelle Gardner, Anita Noyvong, Sally Sisavath, Hela Kawas, Kristina Behney, Paul Keithley, Tyler Morgan and Brian Fibelkorn. The team was coached by GEHS Teacher David Kling, with assistance and mentoring provided by Nikki Burnett and Stacey Heine.
In 2008, GEHS won their second National Engineering Design Challenge national championship. The team developed “BART”, the Bag Attachment Replacement Technology. The product benefits fellow student Steven Eyer, who works part-time as a custodian at Nike Elementary School. Using BART allows Steven, who experiences limited us of his right hand, to effectively change out trash bags throughout the building utilizing only one hand. Team members included Alyssa Zimmerman, Jared Barton, Paul Keithley, Christian Warner, Zheng Alice Zhao, Michelle Gardner, David Gardiner, Chasity Graves, Grant Nelson and Zachary Melvin. The team is coached by David Kling and Larry Ward, with additional assistance provided by Dr. Suzy Blair, Stacey Heine and Dave Hill.
The 2008 Gardner Edgerton High School National History Day team qualified to compete at national competition by winning the regional and state competitions in the historical website category.
Gardner Edgerton High School senior Zheng “Alice” Zhao was honored as a 2008 National Merit Scholarship competition Finalist. Alice is the first GEHS student to progress to the Finalist phase of the National Merit Scholarship competition.
STAFF - 2011-2012
Pam Tate, Kansas Distinguished Principal of the Year
Darrell Wait, Greater Kansas City Volleyball Coaches Association Coach of the Year
Matt Yeamans, Kansas Wrestling Coach of the Year
Walt Thompson, VFW Kansas Teacher of the Year
Larry Ward, 2011 Track and Field Kansas Coach of the Year
Unsung Heroes $2,000 Grant Award Winner - Moonlight Star Families
Gina Zimmerman, One of Top Three Finalist in Region III Teacher of the Year
Pioneer Ridge Middle School Lachelle Sigg was named an Exemplary Principal in 2010
Carol Semrau was named the Food Service Director of the Year for a six-state region by the National School Nutrition Association, 2010
Kent Glaser, GEHS Athletic Director was named District III Athletic Director of the Year, 2010
Pioneer Ridge Middle School and Wheatridge Middle School received Gold Level Recognition from the Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators.
Kylee Dardine, 3rd Grade Teacher at Nike Elementary, and Mike Karlin, Science Teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School, received the 2010 First Year Horizon Award from the Kansas Department of Education.
DeAnn Swofford, 8th grade science teacher at Pioneer Ridge Middle School is the recipient of the 2009 Presidential Award for Math and Science Teaching.
Christi Whitter, Principal at Madison Elementary School has been named the 2009 District I Kansas Distinguished Principal.
Beverly Furlong, Kindergarten Teacher at Sunflower Elementary School has been named a 2009 Kansas Master Teacher.
Katie Weil, Spanish Instructor at Gardner Edgerton High School, and Audrey Baker, fifth grade teacher at Pioneer Ridge Middle School were both selected as 2009 Horizon Award winning first-year teachers.
GEHS Trailblazer Head Football Coach Marvin Diener was selected as the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs Kansas Coach of the Year.
Dr. Suzy Blair, Math Teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School was the only teacher in Kansas to be designated a 2008 American Star of Teaching.
Jan Bechard, Reading Teacher at Wheatridge Middle School was named the Gardner Wal-Mart's 2008 Teacher of the Year.
David Kling, Industrial Arts Teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School was one of four metro area teachers to win a 2008 Fox 4 Crystal Apple Award. Mr. Kling was also named the 2008 Teacher of the Year by the Harry S. Truman Chapter #185 of the Air Force Association.
Allison Weaver, Interrelated Teacher at Edgerton Elementary School received a 2008 Outstanding Special Education Teacher Award from the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET).
Sue Amos, District Testing Coordinator was named the 2008 Outstanding Assessment Coordinator by the Kansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (KASCD).
Jennifer Schmidt, Social Studies Teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School and Katherine O’Toole, First Grade Teacher at Sunflower Elementary School won the 2007 Horizon Award for first year teachers.
Stephanie Shephard, Math Teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School was the only teacher in Kansas to be designated a 2007 American Star of Teaching.
Karla Reed, Title I Reading Teacher at Moonlight Elementary School was named a 2006 Milken National Educator, the only teacher to win the award in the State of Kansas that year. Karla also received a 2005 Impact Award from the Kansas Staff Development Council.
Walt Cochran, Social Studies Teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School was the winner of the 2005 Preserve America Kansas History Teacher of the Year Award.
Pam Tate, former Assistant Principal at Wheatridge Middle School (currently Principal at Gardner Elementary School), was named as the 2005 Area I Assistant Principal of the Year by the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals.
Stan Watchous, Social Studies Teacher and Athletic Director at Wheatridge Middle School was named the 2005 Middle School Athletic Director of the Year by the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. In May, 2007, Mr. Watchous received a plaque on the Baker University "Wall of Honor" based on his achievement.
Kevin Collins, eighth grade counselor and head football and basketball coach at Wheatridge Middle School was chosen as the Kansas Middle School Coach of the Year for 2004.
School Psychologist Jodi Watkinson was honored as the School Psychologist of the Year in 2004.
Tim Brady, former Principal of Wheatridge Middle School (currently Principal at Pioneer Ridge Middle School) was named the 2003 Kansas Middle School Principal of the Year by the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals.
Paraeducators DeAwna Butter and Jane Stroda received 2003 Outstanding ParaEducator awards from the Northeast Kansas Council for Exceptional Children.
Gardner Elementary School teachers Cyndi Hail and Ashley Arnold received 2003 Outstanding General Education Teacher awards from the Northeast Kansas Council for Exceptional Children.
Amber Nichols, first grade teacher at Sunflower Elementary School, won the 2003 Horizon award for first year teachers.
Amy (Pierce) Hill, fourth grade teacher at Edgerton Elementary School, and Suzanne Rice, former Interrelated/Special Education teacher at Wheatridge Middle School both won the 2005 Horizon Award for first year teachers.
Jennifer Schmidt, Social Studies teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School, and Katherine O’Toole, First Grade Teacher at Sunflower Elementary School both won the 2008 Horizon Award for first year teachers.
Larry Ward, Cross Country Coach at Gardner Edgerton High School was named the Kansas City Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Cross Country Coaches Association.
Jeff Davidson, seventh grade Science teacher at Wheatridge Middle School, was named the 2004 Rotary Educator of the Year by the Gardner Chapter of the Rotary International. Jeff was also the runner-up in Rotary District 5710’s Educator of the Year competition.
Pioneer Ridge Middle School and Wheatridge Middle School will receive Gold Level recognition from the Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators (KAMSA). The Gold Level recognition exemplifies School-wide Standard of Excellence in math or reading or at least 10 percent growth building-wide in percentage of student meting proficiency in math or reading.
High Performing schools will be honored during the May 3, KAMSA Awards Luncheon at Washburn Rural Middle School. Dale Dennis, Deputy Commissioner of the Kansas Department of Education, will be the featured speaker at the luncheon. Pioneer Ridge and Wheatridge middle schools will be recognized along with 61 other middle schools.
For the past three years, Wheatridge Middle School has been awarded a School of Service Award by the Youth Service Alliance of Greater Kansas City, based on volunteer service hours performed by a percentage of its student body.
The Hollis & Miller Group, Architects of Moonlight Elementary School, have received two awards for the school’s design. The firm won the 2002 Project of Distinction Award for overall project design from the Council of Educational and Facility Planners International (CEFPI), and a 2003 Impact on Learning Award for their design of interior learning space. The school was featured in the October, 2003 issue of School Planning & Management magazine.
The Gardner Edgerton USD 231 Board of Education was honored with an Honorable Mention in the 2007 Magna Award Contest, sponsored by the American School Board Journal. The Board was recognized for their endorsement and support of new and innovative strategies to attract, retain and train new teachers. The program was one of only 15 selected nationally.
USD 231’s HORIZON School District Newsletter has received the Award of Excellence in the National School Public Relations Association's Electronic Media and Publications Contest for three years in a row (2006 - 2008). The publication also received an Award of Excellence for Writing in 2006. The Horizon has won a Certificate of Excellence in the Kansas School Public Relations Administrators and Kansas Association of School Boards Annual Publications Contest for five consecutive years.
The District Recruitment CD Project has received an Award of Excellence in the National School Public Relations Association's Publications and Electronic Media Contests for the past four years (2005 - 2008).
GRANTS & Other Monetary Awards
Todd Burd, vocal music director and Erin Easley, communications teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School are recipients of a $2,000 Unsung Heroes grant from ING Financial Services for 2009.
Sara Barth and Madison Elementary School have been awarded a grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to implement a school-wide classroom recycling project.
Nancy Arnold and Edgerton Elementary School have been selected to receive funding for a Family Fun, Food and Fitness Event, through Kansas Families and Schools Together, Inc.
Derrick Abromeit and Andy Weber, Social Studies Teachers at Gardner Edgerton High School, are recipients of a $2,000 grant from ING Financial Services for 2008. Philip Thies, Teacher at Gardner Elementary School and Susan Thies, Computer Teacher at Nike Elementary School also received a $2,000 grant from ING Financial Services.
Gardner Edgerton High School is one of only 100 schools nationwide to win first place in the Samsung Hope for Education 2005 contest. District parent Laura Bonar wrote a 100-word winning essay, which entitled GEHS to receive $20,000 (estimated retail value) in Samsung electronic equipment and Microsoft software upgrades.
Gardner Edgerton High School received a grant package totaling more than $33,000 to implement the Capturing Kids Hearts program for staff. The combination grant included individual grants obtained from the Kauffman Fund for Kansas City ($22,560), a Sprint Achievement Grant ($4,500), a Balfour Grant ($2,000) and a Johnson County United Community Service grant ($4,000). Capturing Kids Hearts is a staff/student interaction model that GEHS Assistant Principal Cindy Fouraker “believes will help us in the process of creating a high performing school environment.”
Greg Smith, eighth grade science teacher at Wheatridge Middle School has been awarded a $6,530 grant from the Johnson County Stormwater Advisory Council to further develop the middle school water quality curriculum at WMS. The grant proposal, entitled “Water Education and Land Development through Middle School Eyes”, will fund the formation of a Stream Team at WMS, along with three week-long summer camps offered in conjunction with the district’s summer school curriculum.
Donna Barratt, fifth grade teacher at Nike Intermediate School and Becky DeNoon, third grade teacher at Sunflower Elementary School each won a $500 grant from the Kansas Council of Social Studies. Becky DeNoon also received a $1,500 grant from The Learning Exchange.
Success Stories was updated in March, 2009.