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Dragon Tales

April 2013

Thinking about Tomorrow Pittsburg High School students get to experience their dream job

Long-Lasting Partnership

Pittsburg Community Schools is honored for its partnership with Pittsburg State University

Saving Hope

Pittsburg State University students hope to help save the Lakeside Elementary auditorium

Stay Connected @PittsburgUSD250 Or 510 Deill Pittsburg, KS 66762


For the Love of Education

USD 250 announces a new principal for George Nettels Elementary.


Feeling the Future Pittsburg High School students experience a day in the life of their dream careers.


Keeping a Dream Pittsburg State University hopes to help USD 250 make a big leap in renovations of a district relic.


Students take notes at Via Christi Hosptial while learning about the medical field. More than 200 students participated in the annual Job Shadow Day.

PCMS Student Congress members read to a child during part of their time at The Family Resource Center.

Influencing Young Minds PCMS student group gets involved in the community. For six students at Pittsburg Community Middle School they take the role of being the administration’s eyes and ears on student issues. “They let us know how to better serve our student body,” says PCMS assistant principal Chris King. “They are our advisors in a sense.”

The role of a student congress is to listen to what students needs are and to help the administration learn of those needs. Those needs, whatever they may be, aren’t limited to just the classroom. Congress students have begun to engage with the community by taking on community service projects.

Recently, the students took time out of their day to visit The Family Resource Center or The Center. “This will open their eyes a little bit to step up as leaders,” said King. Many of the students commented on how the time spent in the community helps them see what is going on outside the walls of the school. King hopes to get more service projects put together, but the group is only able to meet on a limited basis. There is not a Student Congress sponsor per say, but King hopes that the impact he is able to make on the students of the group will carry on even if they meet sporadically. Children at The Family Resource Center enjoy the playground with a member of the PCMS Student Congress

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Perseverance and Leadership Turns into Opportunity

For the Love of Education

Mrs. Diane Jackson talks to kindergarten students about her new role as principal.


ecoming a principal was not Diane Jackson’s first intention when going into education. “All I ever wanted to be was a teacher,” Diane Jackson said. “It’s what I dreamed of being.” Jackson has been working at George Nettels for 21 years; 18 of which were as a second grade teacher. “Along the way, I began to be on more education committees and falling into leadership roles,” she said. “I had an assistant superintendent, about five or six years ago, pull me aside and say that I should consider going into education leadership.” Though she enjoyed the compliment, she didn’t really think much of pursuing that path until even more people began to comment on her leadership. “It wasn’t until mid-way through my career so far, that I 6 • Dragon Tales

really thought about it,” she said. “Even though I didn’t jump on the chance right then, more leadership roles were offered to me.”

teacher.” Jackson says the future of George Nettels is bright with the help of leadership examples she

“All I ever wanted to be was a teacher.” Diane Jackson George Nettels Principal She was selected to be in KanLead, a grant run class from the United States Department of Education for teachers in leadership roles. At the Monday, March 11th school board meeting, board members approved hiring Jackson to the position. “This is a great change,” she said. “I can do things now for the kids beyond what I did as a

has seen. “I want to do whatever is possible to help teachers reach classroom goals, so as a district we can reach our common goal of graduating high achieving students.” said Jackson. “Her knowledge of curriculum, students and staff, make her a great educator become principal at George Nettels Elementary,” said Superintendent Destry Brown.

Educated Partnership USD 250 Receives Outstanding Partner in Progress Award


n Tuesday, March 5th, 2013, Pittsburg Community Schools was named as the 2013 Rex Crowley Outstanding Partner in Progress. According to Pittsburg State University officials, the award is presented to recognize members of the Superintendent Destry Brown receives the Rex Crowley Pittsburg community Award from PSU President Steve Scott. “The Pittsburg school district is a who show leadership shining example in our commuthrough service to the university and the community through profes- nity.” “It’s an honor for the dissional and volunteer activities. trict to be chosen for this award,” “A school district plays a said Pittsburg Community Schools very large leadership role in the Superintendent Destry Brown. “We community,” said Pittsburg State continue to strive for academic sucUniversity President Steve Scott.

cess through community partnerships; with those, we are all able to help our students grow.” The Rex Crowley Award presentation is just part of a program put on by the Pittsburg State University Development office to kick off the university’s community campaign.

PSU President Steve Scott delivers a few remarks before announcing USD 250 as the 2013 Rex Crowley Outstanding Partner in Progress recipient.

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Sophomore Rachyl Russian interviews and takes notes while helping Morning Sun reporter Sarah Gooding

Today’s Students... Tomorrow’s Workfo Pittsburg High School sophomores participate in the annual job shadow day. Students learn about what opportunities are available in a career they may want to pursue.


ig dreams on what you want to be when you grow up often plague the minds of children. Whether becoming a police officer, doctor, lawyer, astronaut or other career that might seem fun, as a child there’s endless imagination to be whatever you want. Fast forward quite a few years and those children are in high school making it one step closer to filling out college applications and getting set to step foot into reality. For Pittsburg High School sophomore Rachyl Russian, journalism has become a path she’s chosen 8 • Dragon Tales

to pursue. “I like people and knowing what is going on in my community,” Russian said. “Journalism is an avenue I’ve thought about and it seems to fit.”

they want to enter. “This experience has actually taught me a lot,” Russian said. “I’ve realized you need math sometimes, people skills and to know what questions to ask.”

Russian and about 200 other sophomores participated in a day of job shadowing careers they felt fit what

Morning Sun reporter Sarah Gooding allowed Russian to help on the article about job shadow day as well

“Some have got summer jobs with some of these companies involved in our program.” ~ Koeta Bryant USD 250 School to Career Coordinator

orce as Pittsburg State University’s Apple Day pie contest. “I figured I would try it out,” she said. “At first I was scared but decided it was best to just get the experience of doing something outside of high school.” “I was impressed,” said Gooding. “She asked some really good questions.” While Russian was working with Gooding, Miranda Moore shadowed Morning Sun photographer Sean Steffen and also received handson experience. Both had a published piece in the newspaper the next day.

USD 250 School to Career Coordinator Koeta Bryant, says these experiences help the students see if the career they might have been thinking about is really a good fit for them. “Some students find out, ‘Hey, this is not what I want to do,’” Bryant said. “Some have got summer jobs with some of these companies involved in our program.” As for Russian, she feels like she’s chosen the correct career path for her. “I’ll probably go to Pittsburg State University for school, but after

that I plan to move to California for work,” she said.

Miranda Moore prepares her camera as Morning Sun photographer Sean Steffen watches.

Dragon Tales • 9

Elementary Artists

Students from all four elementary schools participated in the annual art show hosted at the Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium. Art included sculptures, paintings and pipe-cleaner interpretations.

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Save The Date May 10th, 2013 Memorial Auditorium • $10 per ticket - Performance Only • $75 per ticket - Reception, Feast, Performance • $250 - Friend of 250 - Special Recognition in Dragon Tales, Event Program & Admittance for Two (2) at Reception, Feast & Performance


Make checks payable and mailed to: USD 250 Foundation 510 Deill Street Pittsburg, KS 66762

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Dragon Tales • 11

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Auditorium Encore PSU students hope the Lakeside Auditorium return to full-use B

uilt in 1926, as an elementary and junior high school, Lakeside school housed an auditorium with seating for 691 people. Now, the smell of age and the temperature of an emptier room are apparent when you enter the relic. Though structurally sound with its non-functioning electric floorlights and 60 plus-year-old draperies, the auditorium is in need of a facelift. Denise Bertoncino’s Family and Consumer Science students at Pittsburg State University are hoping to help with part of this Lakeside Principal Courtney McCartney shows PSU instructor Denise Bertoncino and PSU process. FACS junior Lynsey Sholders floor plans. “I did get excited to learn “but it has the potential to be a rich help make the auditorium function about being part of this experilearning experience and at the same as it was intended,” McCartney ence,” said PSU junior Lynsey time a real benefit to the commusaid. Sholders. “It has potential. It could nity.” “We want to get it (the potentially be beautiful!” Bertoncino says though auditorium) out there again to the this is a tremendous projpublic,” Bertoncino said. “Another ect, it will give her students lesson for our students to undermany different lessons instand is the impact they can have cluding event planning and on the community with their skills fundraising. in design.” The auditorium has been As part of the project, a spot of much needed repair students will be putting together a for some years; dwindling fundraiser for the auditorium renothe ability to use it due to vations, which is tentatively set for requirements for fire safety May 2nd. and ADA issues. Bertoncino and others Due to fire code and ADA issues, the auditorium Lakeside Principal Courtinvolved in the project would like is rarely used. It sat 691 people before having some removed to create a classroom. ney McCartney says there have to hear from Lakeside alumni about been many groups try to help with what they remember from the old Sholders says being a part of renovations in the past. She says auditorium. this project will help her not only when she heard from Bertoncino For more information about add to her resume but also an edge about wanting to do the project the fundraiser or the project, conwith many facets of interior and with her students, she got excited. tact: graphic design. “We really appreciate the Denise Bertoncino, dbertoncino@ “It is going to be a masstudents’ interest and their desire to, 620-235-4458 sive undertaking,” Bertoncino said, Dragon Tales • 13

Pittsburg Community Schools 510 Deill • Pittsburg, KS • 66762

Dragon Tales April 2013