Thumbs up
Smoky Valley student wins spelling bee
Congratulations to Kate Evert, seventh-grader at Smoky Valley Middle School for winning the McPherson County spelling bee.
Seven McPherson County students participated in the competition Saturday at Eisenhower Elementary School in McPherson.
Those students were Marquette Elementary School, fifth-grader Abbie Hudson and sixth-grader Jonathon Hort; Eisenhower Elementary School student Lily Parker; and Smoky Valley Middle School students, Evert, eighth-grader Katie Patterson, fifth-grader Cade Schneider and sixth-grader Rachel Weis.

Police K-9       unit gives demonstration to students
Thanks go to K-9 officer Richard Rogers, his police dog, Bruno, and fellow officer Tyler Peterson for the presentation they gave to Roosevelt Elementary School students Tuesday.
The visit was part of a unit surrounding the book “Officer Buckle and Gloria” by Peggy Rathmann, which describes the partnership of a K-9 unit.
We appreciate officers Rogers and Bruno and all they do to protect the city of McPherson and its residents.

St. Joe students help paint mural
Several thanks are in order concerning a recently dedicated mural project at St. Joseph Catholic School. The murals depict scenes from the Bible.
Naomi Ullum, professor of art at Central Christian College, helped the students paint the 5-panel mural, which now hangs in the school commons.
The partnership was made possible by the donation of a parishioner.
The gift was additionally special in that St. Joseph does not have a regular art teacher on its campus.
Ullum and the students did a wonderful job on the project, which is sure to be enjoyed for many years to come.

Arts groups merge
Congratulations to the McPherson Arts Council and the Visual Arts Alliance of McPherson for successfully merging into the McPherson Arts Alliance.
This new group promises to emerge as a stronger united force in support of local arts.
Consider joining the organization today or taking one of its educational classes.
For more information, see the alliance’s website at

Foundation   creates grant  library
Thumbs up to the McPherson County Community Foundation for creating a new grants library.
The library will be open to non-profits, individuals seeking entrepreneurial or economic development opportunities, and teachers, among others.
Becky Goss, foundation director, said she hopes the availability of the resources may help bring as much as $600,000 in additional grant funding to the community.

Thumbs   sideways
USD 418           approved         for waiver
The McPherson district received a two-year waiver of state testing for grades eight through 12.
The districts will be allowed to administer the ACT in high school and the ACT EXPLORE in grade eight in lieu of Kansas’ state assessments and use them for accountability decisions.
The waiver was approved through the 2013-2014 school year. The district has shown its commitment to a formula for education that generates the best results for its students. The approval of this waiver is proof of this.
We are only saddened the U.S. Department of Education did not approve the waiver for grades six and seven. USD 418 asked to use the EXPLORE test, which is more advanced test for the sixth- and seventh-graders, and the Department of  Education turned them down.
We hope the department will ultimately give USD 418 a waiver for grades 6-12.
— Cristina Janney for The McPherson Sentinel Editorial Board