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December 13, 2018
Harvey County IndependentDecember 13, 2018 Harvey County Independent

Alstrom announces retirement plans

Posted 12/13/2018

By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—USD-440 Superintendent Tom Alstrom announced this week, his plans to retire at the end of the current school year.

“Halstead’s been really, really good to me and I appreciate all they’ve done and I hope we’ve moved in the right direction for everybody in the community,” he said.

Alstrom said he felt the district was positioned well for a transition. It’s in good financial shape and is moving forward in technology, he said. Plus, it has quality administrators and teachers.

“We’re hitting redesign in all three buildings and we’ve got good quality administrators in all three of the buildings,” he said. “We’ve been really fortunate having good teachers and it just seems like a good time to transition somebody else in that can maybe take us to the next level.”

The decision to retire was a tough one for Alstrom and one he began considering, last school year. He decided to make the announcement in December to allow the district enough time to find his replacement before his contract is up at the end of June.

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Red Sea leads to win at Sedgwick Geography Bee

Posted 12/13/2018

Fifth-grader Maverick Stauth proudly displays his certificates and medal after winning the Sedgwick Geography Bee. He beat out students from the fourth through eighth grades.Fifth-grader Maverick Stauth proudly displays his certificates and medal after winning the Sedgwick Geography Bee. He beat out students from the fourth through eighth grades.By Bill Bush

SEDGWICK—It took six tiebreaker questions before fifth-grader Maverick Stauth emerged as the 2018 Geography Bee Champion in Sedgwick, last week.

Seventh-grader Tanner Heckel took second place and eighth-grader Aby Garrett took third place.

During the first round, contestants took a turn answering different questions about state capitals.

In the second round, each contestant answered the same question by writing their answer on a white board. The first four contestants were eliminated in the second round – fourth-grader Arabella Taylor, sixth-grader Sabrina Bogunovich, fifth-grader Alivia Burns and fourth-grader Chloe Million.

For the third round, participants returned to individual questions and answer, but this time the questions were from all around the world. Three more dropped out – eighth-grader Jadelyn Pohlman, sixth-grader Kevin Watkins and seventh-grader Avery Stauth.

In round four, the three remaining contestants had to answer a question on the white board, using a map provided.

Round five returned to individual oral answers. Eighth-grader Aby Garrett was eliminated to win third place.

This set up the championship round between M. Stauth and Heckel. They each answered the same three questions on a white board, but at the end of the round, the two remained tied, setting up sudden-death questions.

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Ford wins Burrton spelling bee with 'custard'

Posted 12/13/2018

Eighth-grader Brooke Ford took first place in Burrton’s spelling bee, last Wednesday. She was presented her trophy by Elementary School Principal/Superintendent Joan Simoneau. Eighth-grader Brooke Ford took first place in Burrton’s spelling bee, last Wednesday. She was presented her trophy by Elementary School Principal/Superintendent Joan Simoneau. By Jared Janzen

BURRTON—Knowing how to spell creamy desserts, like pudding and custard, paid off for eighth-grader Brooke Ford. These were among the words she spelled correctly to win Burrton’s spelling bee, last Wednesday.

She correctly spelled pudding, poodles, distorted and signals in the first four rounds. She then faced Jace Martin in the finals, whose words had been soggy, tangled, cleats and universe. Martin then misspelled “guidance,” and Ford spelled it and “custard,” correctly for the win.

When asked which of her words had been the trickiest, Ford didn’t have an answer.

“They all seemed easy,” she said.

Ford will go on to represent Burrton at the Harvey County Spelling Bee, next semester, which Burrton will host. She said she hadn’t practiced at all to prepare for last week’s spelling bee, but she thought she’d study for the upcoming county bee.

“Probably,” she said.

Other participants in the bee included third-grader Emily Mueller, fourth-graders Taylor Froese and Elijah Fox, fifth-grader Elizabeth Hill, sixth-graders Rebekah Hill and Lucy Embree, seventh-graders Jude Barnes and Harley Delgado, and eighth-grader Peyton Rimbey.

Words that tripped these students up were shiny, gremlin, artistic, siren, tireless, boasted, scratched, shriek and majestic. One student was eliminated in round one, five in round two, and two students in both rounds three and four.

All students at Burrton in grades three through eight had been given a spelling test beforehand, and the top two from each grade qualified for the spelling bee.

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