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Board of Ed Defines Goals For District

New High School Bus Loop Construction Project Nears Completion

As the Garden City School District prepares for the year ahead, it will do so with a modernized mission statement that reflects the focus of the district as it opens an exciting new chapter in its rich history. At the Aug. 23 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen discussed why “Inspiring Minds, Empowering Achievement, Building Community” was the phrase selected to represent the district’s goals.

“We always talked about our mission statement as something that provides the reason that we’re here,” said Feirsen. “Why does the school district exist? It’s for the reasons in that mission statement. The mission statement was previously a fairly long piece of prose and we were looking to capture its spirit in a short phrase. We build a capacity for our students to learn. We empower them with the tools to succeed in our schools and beyond. We recognize that the schools are an integral part of the community. It’s a part of our mission to create not only the next generation of citizens who can serve the community, but also to reinforce the notion that Garden City is a special place and that the schools are a focal point in our community,” Feirsen added.

In other matters, residents were updated on the progress of the bond construction projects that have been ongoing in preparation for the 2011-12 school year. Representatives from BBS Architects & Engineers announced that the new bus loop at the high school, which will allow buses to park off-street while loading and unloading passengers, is near completion and should be ready in time for first day of school on Sept. 6. The exterior of the middle school also saw dramatic changes this summer, as a new footing and foundation were laid down. Additionally, the District’s phone system has been recently updated, enabling clearer voice communications with the public and between buildings. Superintendent Feirsen said that some of the ceiling and lighting work that was supposed to occur this summer has been pushed back to next year due to delays in the approval process.

Mr. Albert T. Chase, the assistant superintendent for business and finance, also announced that the district is looking into creative ways to bring in revenue, including auction-based sales of obsolete and surplus items. “These are items that we may have from time to time that there was really no market for,” said Chase. “In the past, we sold such items at a very local level and the audience was very limited. We’re hopeful that when we have excess equipment now, we can attract a wider audience with these auction sites. This is another outlet to bring back some money for items that we consider to be obsolete and other items that no longer serve a purpose to the district.”

In the public comment portion of the evening, Garden City resident Leo Stimmler thanked the board for helping the district achieve high marks on the 2011 Newsweek ranking of the top high schools in America. “Garden City ranked No. 115 of the 1,600 schools listed,” said Stimmler. “More than 10,000 schools were reviewed, and most of them didn’t make the list at all. These are remarkable numbers. Not only does it raise the value of my real estate, it makes me proud to be a resident here.”

The board will meet for a work session Sept. 13 at 8:15 p.m. at the Administration Building. Board of Education announcements, school news and weather announcements can be found at the Garden City School District website:  http:// www.gardencity.