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Ray Hemman's blog

HHS fall sports preview Friday

            With the start of school, pre-season sports activities continue at Hutchinson High School.

            The annual preview night for fall sports is combined with the annual Blue-Gold football scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 26, at Gowans Stadium. During the evening, fall sports teams and their coaches will be introduced.

            The event begins with the HHS dance team and cheerleaders performing at 6 p.m., followed by the Salthawk marching band performing the National Anthem on the field at 6:10 p.m. with fall sports teams introduced at 6:15 p.m.

USD 308 staff begins 2016-17 school year

Rusty Hilst 50-year teacher
Rusty Hilst honored for 50 years
in education at HHS.

The more than 900 Hutchinson Public Schools staff members formally began the 2016-17 school year with the annual opening convocation Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016.

During the convocation, Brooke Stover, wellness program supervisor for the Hutchinson Clinic, made a presentation on Adverse Childhood Experiences. An estimated 1 in 4 students has been exposed to trauma. Such experiences can impact a student’s learning.

Also speaking during the opening convocation was motivational speaker Davis Laughlin.

Several educators were honored during the event. The Davis Foundation made its annual Teachers of the Year Awards. The elementary winners were Melissa Law, kindergarten teacher at Morgan Elementary School, and Jenni Winters, third grade teacher at Morgan.

The middle school winner was Tabetha Gray, FACS teacher at Hutchinson Middle School – 7.

4-year-old pre-school has openings

Hutchinson Public Schools has vacancies for a high-quality pre-school program serving 4-year-olds. The program is designed for families who have certain educational risk factors.

Applications are being taken for the program at the Administration Center, 1520 North Plum, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Classes begin Aug. 17 and run half-days Mondays through Thursdays at Lincoln, Avenue A and Graber. The program has both morning and afternoon sessions.

State law requires vaccinations

Vaccination logo            Kansas state law requires all students to be vaccinated prior to attending school each year or to provide annual documentation of one of two exemptions. Most of those vaccinations are required prior to kindergarten with another major update of vaccinations typically before entering seventh grade.

Jim Preston named Salthawk baseball coach

Jim Preston

A Salthawk alumni has returned home to coach baseball.

Jim Preston was named Hutchinson High School head baseball coach for the 2016-17 school year. Preston is a 1974 graduate of HHS.

District website updated

            With more families accessing the internet via phones and tablets, Hutchinson Public Schools has unveiled its new mobile-device-friendly website. Still at, the new website is designed to be as usable on a smart phone or tablet as it is on a laptop or desktop computer.

Superintendent encouraged by session, asks Legislature to comply with court order

With legislative committees returning to Topeka this week, Hutchinson USD 308 Superintendent Dr. Shelly Kiblinger hopes legislators approve a constitutional plan to meet the state’s obligations to the state’s students and taxpayers.

Dr. Kiblinger said Tuesday she hopes legislators will act swiftly to keep schools open. Thursday, legislative committees will begin meeting ahead of the special legislative session, which begins on June 23. Legislators, she said, will have a second opportunity to pass a school finance formula that is constitutional.

McFadden, Rodriguez crowned winter royalty

Winter Royalty 2016

Brady McFadden and Alex Rodriguez were crowned Salthawk winter royalty Friday (Feb. 5, 2016) during the Hutchinson High School vs. Maize basketball games.

Other king candidates included Lucas Dunbar, Jack Howard, Trace Manns, Marques Tafolla and Dominic Wesley. Other queen candidates included Connor Atkinson, Taja Casanova, Izzy Godinez, Julia Henry and Molly McKinney.

The final activity of homecoming week was a dance in the HHS Cafeteria after Friday’s games.

District Schools Recognized with Challenge Awards

Students in three USD 308 schools are being recognized for outstanding achievement in reading and math.

The Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force has named Graber, Hutchinson Middle School and Hutchinson Magnet School at Allen as among the 99 schools in 34 Kansas public school districts as recipients of the 2015 Challenge Awards.

HHS Students Honored in Scholastic Art

Three Hutchinson High School students are being recognized in the 2016 Scholastic Art Awards Program.

Awards went to: 

•Gold Key: Julia Hardenburger, junior, sculpture named “Between Two Lungs There Was Release”
•Silver Key: Jessica Burgey, senior, painting named “Over Board”
•Honorable Mention: Devin Porting, senior, sculpture named “Sunning Seal”
Hardenburger and Burgey are students of Darren Morawitz while Porting is a student of Debra Ringler.