Randolph Para Latest Above & Beyond Winner

Susan Rothschild is the latest winner of the Above & Beyond Award.  Susan has been at Randolph Elementary since 2006.  She became involved at the school as a parent of two children who attended Randolph.  “I was a volunteer, PTO president.  I was hired as a long term sub and later hired as a math paraprofessional teaching intervention,” said Rothschild.

Co-worker Angela Sayers nominated Susan for the award.  Angela wrote that Susan comes in early, stays late and gives up her plan and lunch times to spend with students and teachers as needed.  She works hard to see that the needs of all children are met.  Susan helps put together plans to enrich those students who are in need of more than just what the regular curriculum provides. She is also works part time at Stout Elementary School. 

Randolph Principal Neely Gower said, “She does phenomenal work.  She’s just like a teacher.  She really helps the students out tremendously.”

If you would like to nominate a co-worker, parent or volunteer who goes above and beyond to help our students and staff, fill out a nomination form which you can find on the district website under staff/forms for staff/district program forms/ TPS Above and Beyond

TPS Foundation Receives ONEOK Donation

The Topeka Public Schools Foundation has received a $5,000 donation from the Kansas ONEOK Foundation.  The money will be used to purchase a new ActivBoard for the Special Opps classroom at Topeka High School

Topeka High student Jack Hishmeh noticed that the classroom for special need students needed a makeover.  He recruited some friends to join him in the Special Opps Club.  With Jack’s leadership, he contacted local companies to help with repairs to the room.  The room is now bright and inviting due to new carpeting, newly painted walls and new cabinets.  Jack has encouraged other Topeka High students to become a buddy for a special needs student.

The ONEOK donation will allow buddies to interact with the special needs student by using the ActivBoard.  Executive Director of the TPS Foundation Pamela Johnson-Betts said, “We at the Foundation are overjoyed to add another community partner that positions us to expand the vision of Jack Hishmeh for the TPS Special Opps classroom.  ONEOK supported not only the project, but recognized their contribution had the potential of improving hundreds of student lives well into the future and for that we are grateful.”

Distinguished Staff to be Recognized April 10

The TPS Board of Education will recognize 2013 Distinguished Staff Award winners at a ceremony on April 10 at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. with the formal recognition following at 6:30. Click here for detailed information about this year's winners.


Snow Days Move Back Last Day of School

Topeka Public Schools built two snow days into its 2012-2013 school calendar.  So far this year, we have been out of school four days due to the weather.  In order to make up two snow days, the last day of school has been moved from Wednesday, May 22nd to Friday, May 24th.  Students will attend a half day on the 24th.  Students will then be on summer break until the 2013-2014 school year begins on August 13th.

Sport Stacking Competition

It’s not an Olympic sport, but it can test a person’s ambidexterity and hand-eye coordination.  I’m talking about sport stacking.  That’s where a person stacks cups in a pre-determined sequence, competing against the clock or another player.  It has become a very big deal on You Tube.

Students from Meadows, Bishop,Whitson and Highland Park Central Elementary Schools recently competed in a sports stacking tournament.  It was the idea of physical education teachers at Meadows and other schools throughout the district. Students could compete in the 9 or 12 cup category in five events.  Every school had at least one winner.

If there is enough interest among students, the sport stacking tournament could become a yearly event in Topeka Public Schools.

Cafe Serves Books On Its Menu

The second café of the year has opened in Topeka Public Schools, although this café won’t be open long.  The Kanza Café , which opened recently at the Kanza Education and Science Park, has delicious food on its menu.  The Seuss Café at Shaner Elementary is serving up books to its customers.

The activity to encourage reading is operated just like a real café.  Fourth and fifth graders welcome younger students to the café (the media center).  The students take orders to find out what book the customer wants. Then a cook prepares or gets the book and it is delivered to the table where it is read by a student.

Donna Robbins, a literacy coach, came up with the idea for the café.  “The only complaint I have had is there is no coffee.  The kids are asking, can we do this again next week,” said Robbins.  The café closes March 7th.

Topeka High Grad Recalls Ranch Life

Sam Carkhuff hadn’t been inside Topeka High since he graduated from there 20 years ago.  He returned last week from his home in Denver to talk to students about being an author and about his first book which recalls his experiences working on a Colorado ranch.  The book is titled Ranch Race.  “I use to tell this story, the ranch race, to the kids around the camp fire at night.  Someone said I should write that story down, so I did,” said Carkhuff.

Carkhuff graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in computer science.  He left that field for five years to work on the ranch.  He experienced a lot during that time, enough that he has five other books in progress.  All of them deal with ranch life and many have the same characters.  “It’s an exciting time, it’s been fun,” said Carkhuff.

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