Category Archives: People

Junior Highliners get ready for fair time

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On June 9, 2019, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club held its meeting at Melvern Community Center. At 5:06 p.m., the meeting was called to order by President Tara Green. The club began the meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Braelyn McNally.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members enjoy a program on clothing buymanship by Bella Reeser at the club’s June meeting. Courtesy photo.

Secretary Allie Reeser called roll, members and parents were to answer with their favorite project they are taking to the fair. There were 15 members and five adults present. Allie read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read.

Treasurer Ellie Sowers read treasurer’s report; it was approved as read.

Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted two articles last month.

In leader’s report, Caleb McNally thanked members for all their hard work and participation in community service activities last month. He asked members to please keep selling tickets for the hog raffle and let him know if you need more.

Lisa Reeser announced that Eric Melton has volunteered to build the bench the club will donate to the Melvern City Park in honor of former MJH member Jill Casten-Downing.

Lisa also reminded members the Melvern Fair is quickly approaching; projects may be entered 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday evening or 8-9:30 a.m. Friday morning.

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA team works as ‘Just One’ at state convention

MdCV FFA officers for 2019, Frank Warner, Cole Lacey, Koby Vanderpool, Bayleigh Lacey, Sadie McGowin, and Kaelin Criqui stop at KSU McCain Auditorium following a session. Courtesy photo.

By Sadie McGowin
MdCV FFA Reporter

The MdCV FFA officers team attended the 91st annual Kansas State FFA Convention May 29-31, 2019, in Manhattan, Kan. This year’s convention theme was “Just One.” The Kansas FFA had around 2,500 members and guests in total attendance from 207 chapters for the convention. The officer team assisted in a meal service program, convention sessions, and a career fair to help get them inspired and motivated for the coming school year.

MdCV FFA president Bayleigh Lacey, vice-president Frank Warner, and secretary Kaelin Criqui also served as delegates at the convention. The members were able to speak with each other and bounce around ideas for things their chapter can do to grow their membership numbers. There were many speakers at the convention sessions including the state officers with their retiring addresses and motivational speakers from across the country such as Cord McCoy, professional bull rider and winner of the Amazing Race, Luke O’Leary, National FFA President, and Kurt Dillon, State FFA Advisor and KSDE Ag Ed Consultant.

MdCV FFA members also participated in the national program “Give Lunch Service Packaging Event,” in which members packed healthy, easy-to-prepare meals to be given out to hunger relief groups across Kansas. More than 5,000 meals were packaged during their one-hour session.

2019 SFTHS grads head out to get involved in the world

Throwing their caps, the 2019 SFTHS grads celebrate their accomplishment. Photo by Brad Shaffer,

Santa Fe Trail High School’s 2019 honor students offered an abrupt reminder that you can’t live life to its fullest while sitting on the bench – you’ve got to get in the game. At the school’s 49th commencement exercises on May 11, 2019, the salutatorian and valedictorian, Josh Stone and Reegan Sisson, encouraged their fellow graduates, family and friends, to face challenges as life presents them.

Salutatorian Stone congratulated the graduates for reaching their important milestone, but noted they wouldn’t be there without the help of people around them and also their own involvement in their educations.

“For me, the biggest lesson of high school is that it’s important to get involved,” Stone said. “That’s a lesson I will take with me and hope you do too as we go out into the world today. To get involved and not stay on the sidelines.”

Quoting Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn,” Stone said.

“I hope we can all remember the importance of staying involved as we take our next steps,” Stone said.

“The last four years have been filled with moments of learning and moments of experience,” he said.

Valedictorian Sisson noted the graduates would soon go separate ways, reminding of Mr. Hug’s comment that students “were all going to disperse from this school one day like a covey of quail.”

He was right, Sisson said, “Some of us are going to be moving far from home in the next step our journey. Today, with this ceremony, things got real very quickly. I know we are all thinking about our next big step in life.”

Melvern 4-H club honors those who have served

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members Braelyn McNally and  Gradey McNally place flags on the graves of a veterans at Oak Hill Cemetery, Quenemo, in preparation for Memorial Day. Bella Reeser photo.

By Bella Reeser
Club Reporter

Memorial Weekend means something special to each person in their own way. The Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club wanted to show what it meant to them. A few club members spent the evening of Thursday, May 23, 2019, honoring those who served our country by placing flags on the graves of service men and women at the Oak Hill Cemetery, in Quenemo, Kan.

2019 OCHS graduates’ milestone reflects community achievement

The 2019 graduating class of Osage City High School. OCHS photo.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – A community came together on May 19, 2019, to celebrate its collective accomplishment – sending 41 graduates of Osage City High School out into the world. Guided by its class motto, “Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that,” by author Ally Condie, leaders of the OCHS class of 2019 recognized that all of their achievements were tied together.

During the graduation ceremony, the class’ top honor students, Claire Crawford and Aliks Serna, offered gratitude to parents, school administration and faculty, and their fellow classmates for helping the students achieve their goals and believing in them.

I’m so grateful for the people that believed in me when I failed to believe in myself,” Crawford said. “If that taught me one thing, it’s that the value of not giving up on people is so important. So don’t give up on others, because we’re human.”

In her comments, Serna echoed Crawford’s gratefulness, “You all believed in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves and for that we’ll never be able to repay you.”

Crawford noted, “Without people … we have nothing – no purpose to laugh, work hard, be successful, or do anything we want to do.”

She said the graduates’ accomplishments happened with their families’ support. “I believe it’s important that I thank my amazing family for loving me through everything,” she said. “I can’t say enough how undeservingly blessed I am to have been able to grow up with them standing by my side.”

Serna agreed, “To all our families, thank you for the endless love and support that you’ve given all of us. Without you we wouldn’t be the individuals that we are today.”

Serna reminisced that her high school years began with feelings of being alone.

“Now that my four years have ended I feel as if I have a whole tribe behind me leading me into my next chapter of life,” she said. “In four short years of high school I’ve gained friendships, mentors, and received outpouring support from my family and the community.”

Both honor students urged the class to give back to the community that supported them and know they will also have an impact on those around them.

Lyndon High School valedictorians weave insightful lesson on impactful words

Lyndon High School class of 2019. Photo thanks to Bill Patterson.

Imagine, if you will, attending a graduation ceremony where seven valedictorians will give seven valedictorian speeches. First you might be ‘thankful,’ knowing your local public school had such free flowing knowledge to produce so many honor students. Second thought about lengthy speeches makes you think about the “courage” of the graduates to get to this point – added to “passion” and “positive” thinking reinforced by “confidence” and “integrity.” And then you realize all your trepidation has been “overcome” as the valedictorians show their wisdom by weaving a collaborative valedictorian speech – featuring succinct words that had been sewed into the fabric of their lives.

No imagination was needed for friends and family of the 36 seniors in the Lyndon High School class of 2019, as they gathered to celebrate the class’ accomplishments on Sunday, May 12, 2019, in the school gymnasium.

Jerry Rice, longtime mathematics teacher and guest speaker, was first to wish the graduating seniors good luck in their future, sharing his four steps to success – faith, family, passion and hope. Then he gave them one last assignment – give thanks to all those who supported them over the years and helped give them “the freedom that you have so you can be whatever you would like to be.”

Rice’s well wishes to the class served as a lead in for the valedictorians’ knitted speech. The 2019 LHS valedictorians and the words important to them were Cassidy Anderson, “thankful”; Kennedy Criqui, “courage”; Regan Martin, “passion”; Sadie Sellers, “positive”; McKenzy Harsch, “confidence”; Meghan Wendling, “integrity”; Madison Smitha, “overcoming”.

Honoring their service: Our pleasure

A Memorial Day weekend tradition, Lyndon American Legion Post 125 ensures that flags line the drive at Lyndon Cemetery.

By Geri Schuler

Memorial Day can be rough for some people.  Maybe they lost a loved one in war time, or maybe their loss is more recent. This is where American Legion Post 125, Lyndon, and the Decker family found themselves this Memorial Day.

They had lost a beloved member, volunteer and role model to the people around him and to his family. He was a father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and a best friend.  They lost Elton Decker at age 86 on May 15, 2019.

Nathan Decker, his grandson who is a fellow Legionnaire and veteran, saw him not just as his grandfather, but his best friend. This past weekend was the first time he didn’t wake up and go out with his grandfather “supervising” him and his family while putting up flags at Vassar Cemetery during Memorial Day weekend.  This was not just hard for his family, but for his friends and fellow post members to not see his loving face on the sidelines or helping with honor guard.

Elton served nearly 40 years with the Kansas Air National Guard.  He was associated with the Korean War, Vietnam War and Desert Shield. He is a lifetime member, assisted in starting, and was a contributor to the Kansas National Guard Museum, at Forbes Field, Topeka.  He was the Senior Crew Chief of the B-57 that can be found at the entrance of Forbes field. He took part in the retrieval of the plane from overseas and assisted in rebuilding it to its current state.

When asked why there was no hesitation in the family’s decision to continue with the flags at Vassar Cemetery, Nathan simply said, “It’s the family tradition.” The tradition will carry on with him, his father and his uncle, with plans to teach his five kids the same qualities to keep this Memorial Day tradition alive.

Post 125 is fortunate to have many members who maintain such traditions. They make sure the flags fly in both Lyndon and Vassar over Memorial Day weekend. They perform a Memorial Day honor guard at three cemeteries, Lyndon, Vassar, and Oak Hill, and join with other posts from Osage County for a shared honor guard at Pomona Dam. In addition, the Lyndon post maintains flags at five cemeteries. All of this happens with the help members of the post, Sons of the American Legion, and Legion Riders.

One of the best ways to describe why they do this was overheard after the last ceremony on Memorial Day, at Quenemo.  As our long day neared the end, a sweet man came and thanked the post for the ceremony and honor guard. He said he had recently lost his father, who had grown up in Quenemo and served in the military. Danny Roush, Post 125 commander, thanked this son of a fellow veteran. Then he said simply that it was our pleasure.

It is truly all of the Legionnaires’ and fellow veterans’ pleasure to honor the fallen, not only in war time, but any who ever fought for our country. We honor our own.

Osage County students earn certificates, degrees at FHTC

Flint Hills Technical College conferred more than 200 students at its 2019 spring commencement ceremony Saturday, May 18, at William Lindsay White Auditorium, Emporia, Kan. Graduating students from Osage County who were recognized for their achievements were:

Division of Arts, Technical Certificate
Interactive Multimedia Design

  • Noah Lozano, Vassar

Division of Health and Human Services, Technical Certificate
Dental Assisting

  • Briahna Beckham, Overbrook

Health Occupations Technology

  • Shayla Elizabeth Huffmier, Lyndon
  • Ranae Sue Stutzman, Lyndon

Division of Technology, Technical Certificate
Industrial Engineering Technology

  • Paul Exie Morgan, Lyndon, graduating with honors
  • Tristen Alan Patterson, Melvern, graduating with honors, National Technical Honor Society Member

Power Plant Technology

  • Wynter Alaina Ziegler, Overbrook

Welding Technology

  • Hunter Lucas Alexander, Lyndon
  • Race Davis Fischer, Lyndon

Division of Health and Human Services, Associate of Applied Science Degree
Dental Hygiene

  • Keisha Marie Branine, Osage City
  • Claire Cecilia Crook, Lyndon

Division of Technology, Associate of Applied Science Degree
Power Plant Technology

  • Corey Alexander McGregor, Carbondale
  • Luke Arin Nichols. Carbondale, graduating with honors

Drake makes first hole-in-one of the season at Lamont Hill

Congratulations are due to Charlie Drake, of Vassar, who made a hole in one on the par 3 150-yard fourth hole at Lamont Hill Golf Course, Monday, May 20, 2019.

The shot was witnessed by Lance Jones and Don Haines, Drake said. Course owner Keith Persinger confirmed the hole in one, saying it was the first this year on the course.

Persinger said Drake made the shot on one of only two par 3 holes on the Lamont Hill course.

“That hole is probably the harder of the two,” Persinger said. “It’s just a little uphill, so you can’t quite see the putting surface from the tee box.”

Drake said he made the shot with an 8 iron and went on to shoot 37 for the nine holes.

Nine-hole Lamont Hill Golf Course is located at the entrance to Pomona State Park. For more information, call 785-828-3131.

Life changes abruptly for 2019 Burlingame High School graduates

In a final farewell to Burlingame High School, class of 2019 graduates throw their hats in the air. Photo by Keri Welch.

Life is the result of changes, the Burlingame High School class of 2019 heard from their valedictorian and salutatorian during graduation ceremonies on May 11, 2019.

In the elementary school gymnasium filled with friends and family, 2019 BHS salutatorian Seth Greenwood talked about his last-minute realization that graduation was going to change his life significantly.

“I realized that we are about to go into a whole new environment,” Greenwood said, “with new people, and stepping into another level of responsibility and stress.

“But I also realized the potentials of moving on. You get a whole new setting to change what you want to change,” he said. “You have countless opportunities that are begging for you to give them a shot.”

He offered a challenge to his classmates, “I challenge you to change the parts of you that you don’t like for this fresh start.I challenge you to take the leap of faith and pursue the opportunity that you feel strongly pulled towards.”

The 2019 BHS valedictorian Kelsie Quaney asked her classmates to consider how words alone can change them.

“It’s funny how words affect people,” Quaney said. “We never think that the things we say could completely change someone’s life but I know they can, because they changed me.”

Lyndon Legion swears in new officers, kicks off community veterans banner program

By Geri Schuler

At the May 13, 2019, meeting of American Legion Post 125, legionnaires swore in new officers for the 2019-2020 year, in time for the state convention.

Bryce Romine, a past commander, swore in Commander Danny Roush, Vice Commander Lou Ogle and Adjutant and Finance Officer Geri Thomas.  Appointed as sergeant-at-arms was Lou Wohlitz.

After being sworn in, they conducted the monthly post meeting, which included an update on upcoming activities and ongoing activities.  There were updates on the post remodel, and as this project continues we hope to raise funds to finish.

They discussed their partnership with the city of Lyndon and Lyndon Pride on the Veterans banner project.  Love ones can purchase a banner for a loved one that served in the armed forces. The banners will be hung on the decorative light poles on Topeka Avenue in Lyndon during the month of November, for three years.  The cost will be $150 for the banner.  This is a way to honor love ones during the month of November for Veterans Day.

Flag ceremonies for the Lyndon Legion are at Lyndon Cemetery at 10 a.m., Vassar Cemetery at 10:30 a.m., Pomona Dam with other area Legions at 11 a.m., and Oak Hill Cemetery, at Quenemo, at 11:30 a.m.

Memorial Day plans also were finalized. Flag ceremonies for the Lyndon Legion are at Lyndon Cemetery at 10 a.m., Vassar Cemetery at 10:30 a.m., Pomona Dam with other area Legions at 11 a.m., and Oak Hill Cemetery, at Quenemo, at 11:30 a.m.

Overbrook teacher honored as outstanding early literacy teacher

OVERBROOK, Kan. – An Overbrook Attendance Center teacher is among 56 teachers and classroom staff being honored across the state for their work promoting early literacy, ensuring that children are equipped for future educational success.

Mallory Koger

Mallory Koger, second grade teacher at OAC, was recognized during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10, 2019, when the Kansas Reading Roadmap honored teachers at 56 partner schools across the state with the Outstanding Early Literacy Teacher Award.

The award recognizes a teacher who contributes significantly to early literacy at their school. Kansas Reading Roadmap asked schools to nominate a teacher who has played a critical role in the school to help students succeed in reading. The 56 nominees were honored by Kansas Reading Roadmap within their respective schools during National Teacher Appreciation Week. Those nominees will be considered by Kansas Reading Roadmap for the statewide Outstanding Early Literacy Teacher of the Year honor, to be awarded at the organization’s state conference in August.

“The Reading Roadmap is proud to recognize this outstanding group of professionals,” said Andrew Hysell, Kansas Reading Roadmap Director. “They represent all the great teachers across Kansas who are promoting early literacy. Studies show that students who read proficiently by the fourth grade are four times more likely to graduate from high school on time. These honorees are helping to ensure the success of not only our children, but also the future of Kansas.”

MdCV grads head into world bolstered by firm friendships, strong dreams

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Class of 2019. Photo by Kramer Photos.

Spring showers brought May flowers and also sprouted a new crop of graduates at Marais des Cygnes Valley High School. At the first graduation honors in Osage County for 2019, friends, family, faculty, administrators, and the USD 456 Board of Education gathered May 4 at the MdCV High School gymnasium to wish well to this year’s dozen MdCV High School graduates.

MdCV’s 2019 salutatorian Chloe Volkman recognized the crowd gathered for the ceremony.

“Thank you all again for coming to help us celebrate this special day in our lives,” Volkman said. “We are very grateful to have such an amazing community who supports us. I would just like to make one last thank you to all of the staff at school, because none of this would be possible without you guys.”

To her classmates, Volkman noted they would be going forward, but remembering their high school years not by class periods and school days they spent at MdCV.

“We only arrived here four short years ago, and its already time for us to leave,” Volkman said. “I know that as I look out to all of you that I will measure my time much differently. I will measure it in the friendships that I have created with all of you and when many of our high school memories will begin to fade, that’s how we will ultimately measure the time we spent here. It won’t be in periods or semesters, but the friendships we made and the times that we all spent together. So congratulations to the class of 2019, and wherever we go and whatever we do, may we always be friends when we meet again.”

MdCV 2019 valedictorian Kathryn Vaught echoed Volkman’s appreciation of their parents’ sacrifices, and the impressions left upon students by teachers and school staff.

“[You] can’t be thanked enough,” Vaught said. “You had an impact in our lives and left lasting impressions … we learned many things from you guys – to be ourselves, be kind, follow our dreams, and not be afraid of failure.”

“Well guys, we made it,” Vaught told her fellow graduates. “It’s been one heck of journey – one we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.”

But, she said, “Today is a milestone, it tells you how far you have come, we aren’t the kids we used to be, even though we sure don’t feel like adults.”

She offered advice she had received from a mentor: “Keep playing the game.”

“There’s a feeling all of you should have – pride, accomplishment, happiness – whatever it is, take it and use it. Years from now when we look back we’ll be more disappointed by the things we didn’t do rather than the ones we did. So have that courage, find your dream, chase after it with all you got, you won’t get another chance. Go out there believing in your dreams, believe in yourself.”

With Principal Ben Gordon presenting the Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Class of 2019, board of education members presented diplomas to the following graduates: Nocona Renae Brinkley, Ethan Alexander Cannon, Kayla Louise Garber, Brookelyn Shae Janssen, Alaina Hollyann Marsh, Destiny Hope Massey, Gannon Austin Isiah Schimmel, Tannar Ray Smith, Aniyah Marie Sypher, Kathryn Elizabeth Vaught, Cloe Elizabeth Volkman, and Morgan Sue Williams.

Hidden History: Proud chief forever claims home in final resting place

The year 1869 marked the removal of the Sauk (Sac) and Fox tribes from Osage County to Oklahoma, all resigned to their fate except those under the leadership of a man named Mokohoko. This chief among the tribes had come to love this land that he had been forced into and adopted as his own. His fight to preserve his people’s rights to their land became one of the last stands of the American Indian in Kansas against Euro-American expansion.

Mokohoko, whose name means “He who floats visible near the surface of the water”, was the principal chief of the Sauk tribe. He belonged to the Sturgeon Clan, a clan designated for leaders of the Sauk. Mokohoko was a key supporter in the Black Hawk War, a brief conflict in 1832 that took place when the Sauk leader Black Hawk tried to reclaim tribal lands in Illinois that had been ceded in a previous treaty. Mokohoko was stubbornly traditional, holding tight to the culture of his people. This often put him at odds with another Sauk and Fox leader, Keokuk, who tended to be more lenient towards the white man’s ways.

In the winter of 1845-46, the Sauk and Fox tribes were removed to a reservation in Franklin and Osage counties consisting of 435,200 acres located at the upper reaches of the Osage River. The first Sauk and Fox agency was in Franklin County, and later, in 1859, moved near Quenemo.

Mokohoko and his band settled on the banks of the Marais des Cygnes River, stretching for 10 miles upstream and downstream of the area that would become the town of Melvern. This land contained 500 acres of rich farm ground used by the Sauk and Fox for farming. This prime ground produced so much corn that the tribe was able to sell the surplus to the government and early settlers of the area.

Osage City Elementary School accepts the challenge; honored as ‘great school’

Accepting the Challenge Award from Kansas State Board of Education Member Ann Mah, left, are Osage City Elementary School teachers Jessi Kirkpatrick, Amie Parsons, and Brian Stromgren.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Kansas State Board of Education Member Ann Mah recognized students and teachers at Osage City Elementary School for making differences in student achievement over the past year, during a presentation April 30, 2019, at the school.

“I’m here today to present your school an award called the Challenge Award,” Mah told students gathered in the school gymnasium for the early morning assembly. “Last year you scored great on tests in reading and in math, and in coming to school – in your attendance.”

The Challenge Awards program, administered by the Confidence in Education Task Force, recognizes Kansas schools that are making a notable difference in student achievement despite facing significant challenges in their school population.

“We believe in you,” Mah said. “Confidence in Public Education believes in Osage City Elementary School.”

“How many of you try to come to school every day? And why do you do that? Because it’s so important to be in school every day, you can’t learn if you’re not here. You also study and you do well and you excel, and you met the challenge last year of being one of the top schools in Kansas.

“How many knew Osage City Elementary School was a great school?” Mah asked the crowd. “Now the rest of the state of Kansas knows that as well.”

Melvern Jr. Highline: April meeting brings Easter eggs

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter 

The Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club met at 3 p.m. April 7, 2019, at the Melvern Community Center, and filled over 1,000 eggs in preparation for the Melvern Easter Egg Hunt that was to be held April 20.

At 4:04 p.m., the April club meeting was called to order by President Tara Green. The club began the meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Amelia Arb. Secretary Allie Reeser callee roll, and members and parents were to answer with a place they would like to visit; there were 15 members and six adults present. Secretary Allie Reeser then read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read. Treasurer Ellie Sowers read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read. Reporter Bella Reeser stated that she had submitted two articles to local news media since the last meeting.

Melvern Jr. Highline cleans up at Oak Hill

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members and family who participated in a recent cleanup at Oak Hill Cemetery were Peter Roy, Jennifer Roy, Colt Sowers, Ellie Sowers, Braelyn McNally, Bo Sowers, Gentry McNally, Gradey McNally, Jamie Sowers, Pedon McNally, Landon Roy, Caleb McNally, and not pictured, Janae McNally. Courtesy photo.

By Bella Reeser
Club Reporter

Spring is here and for most people that means spring cleaning. For some, that might mean cleaning their house or yard. Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members and their families decided to step outside that social norm and volunteered to help clean up Oak Hill Cemetery, outside of Quenemo. Melvern Jr. Highline members and their families spent the afternoon of April 20, 2019, picking up sticks and raking leaves to spruce up this old cemetery.

MdCV FFA hosts family and friends for annual chapter banquet

MdCV officers, new and retiring, front from left, Chloe Volkman, Alaina Marsh, State FFA Sentinel Garrett Craig, Kaelin Criqui, Kathryn Vaught, back, Danny Rice, MdCV FFA advisor, Bayleigh Lacey, Sadie McGowin, Koby Vanderpool, Wyatt Lingenfelter, and Frank Warner. MdCV FFA photo.

The annual Marias des Cygnes Valley FFA Chapter Banquet was held on Friday April 11, 2019. Approximately 100 people, including members, families, and friends, gathered in the Melvern Community Center for pork chops and a potluck meal, awards and the installation of the 2019-2020 chapter officers.

An invocation from Frank Warner was followed by the dinner consisting of pork chops, sponsored by Don and Janise Hook, and side dishes and desserts brought by our members and their families. Following the dinner and chapter scrapbook video produced by Kathryn Vaught, the chapter officers president Chloe Volkman, vice-president Brookelyn Janssen, secretary Kathryn Vaught, treasurer Bayleigh Lacey, reporter Frank Warner, sentinel Alaina Marsh, and advisor and KSU student intern Cassandra Ebert began with opening ceremonies. KobyVanderpool, chapter student-council representative, introduced special guest speaker Garrett Craig, Kansas FFA Sentinel, with his speech “Focusing and Committing to Your Talents and Passion”.

Other guests included members of the USD 456 Board of Education, Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Principal Ben Gordon, members of the MdCV Ag Education Advisory Board, Joe and Shirley Litchtenauer, Dale and Peggy McCurdy, Jeff and Merrilyn Casten, Jennifer and Peter Roy, Janae and Caleb McNally, Jarah and Mike Hauger, and Joe and Shirley Lichtenauer.

Kid cooks heat up the competition at Smoke in the Spring Kids-Q

A young chef carefully turns in her entry for Kids-Q to KCBS reps, from left, Dave and Peg Rogers, Linda and Dennis Polson, Mark Collier, and not pictured, Kim Collier, as local judges wait in anticipation. Jan Williams photo.

It’s a part of Smoke in the Spring that most folks don’t know is going on Friday evening, but you can bet there are some young cooks that have a watchful eye on their smokers for about three hours while everyone else is out enjoying the community barbecue party.

In the annual Kids-Q Competition, kid chefs compete in two age divisions, 10 and younger, and 11 and older. The cooks must be sponsored by one of the competition teams and cook their entries on site. At the cook’s meeting, the cooks are each given one pound of ground beef, donated this year by Allen Meat Processing, Allen, Kan., to cook however they choose.

Others who make Kids-Q possible are 24 local celebrity judges, who are instructed on the Kansas City Barbeque Society judging process before the kids’ turn-in time of 8 p.m. The kids contest is not a KCBS sanctioned part of Smoke in the Spring, but it is conducted according to KCBS rules and scoring. Judges are sequestered in the community building during the judging process.

At turn-in, the chefs bring their samples to the turn-in window at the community building, where the judging is conducted. The samples go to one of four tables of six judges each, where they are scored according to appearance, taste, and texture or tenderness. The judging process is the same as the sanctioned contest the next day.

Here are placing and payout results for the Smoke in the Spring Kids-Q held April 12, 2019:

Clark Crew wins third grand championship at Osage City

Travis Clark, Clark Crew BBQ, left, accepts his grand champion awards Saturday from contest organizer Corey Linton, right, and Amy Linton.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – A Yukon, Okla., barbecue team has become the first team to be a three-time grand champion at the Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship, at Osage City, Kan, after claiming that title again Saturday.

Clark Crew BBQ, with head cook Travis Clark, has been sweeping barbecue championships across the Midwest the last few years, and added another Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship to that tally after a tight competition among top cooks on April 13, 2019, at Jones Park, in Osage City. The team previously won grand champion at the Osage City competition in 2016 and 2017.

Clark Crew squeezed out last year’s grand champs, Hogline BBQ, Dustin and Mary Reese, of Owatonna, Minn., who claimed reserve grand champion this year. Coming in third overall was Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Rub, Chris Hoisington, of Olathe, Kan.

USD 421 hires Marcotte as new superintendent

Brad Marcotte

LYNDON – The Lyndon USD 421 Board of Education filled the district’s opening for a new superintendent on Friday, but created a vacancy at the high school at the same time. The board announced today that it hired Lyndon High School Principal Brad Marcotte as superintendent of the district.

Marcotte will replace USD 421 Superintendent Charles Coblenz, who is retiring at the end of this school year. The board began its search for a new superintendent after Coblentz announced his retirement plans. The board made its decision at a special meeting April 5, 2019, after interviewing four candidates during special meetings last week.

Coblentz has worked the Lyndon district for two years; he had previously served as superintendent in Easton, Kan., since 2006. Upon retirement, he will have been 44 years as an educator. He said he was looking forward to spending more time with his family and toward new opportunities outside the field of education.

Marcotte has been LHS principal since 2005, after he had earned a master’s degree in building leadership at Emporia State University in 2004. He was a graduate of Northern Heights High School and received a bachelor’s degree from ESU. He began his teaching career at North Lyon County as a middle school and high school science teacher, and spent one year at Washburn Rural Middle School. He recently earned endorsement to serve in a district level position. His duties as superintendent begin on July 1, 2019.

Marcotte and his wife, Erin, have three children, Brayden, eighth grade, Reanna, sixth grade, and James, fifth grade. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, and gardening.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas