Students Learn About Careers at Westar Energy

Would you like to look into your future?  Seven high school students are getting that opportunity this summer as they spend two weeks at Westar Energy.  The students are from Topeka High, Topeka West and Highland Park.  During their time at Westar, they will learn about the utility company and how science, technology, engineering and math  (STEM) play an important role for those employed by Westar.

 The program helps students in Topeka Public Schools, but also benefits Westar.  “In five to ten years, we will be losing 50-60% of our work force, so how do we recruit the next best and brightest,” said Westar Recruiter Kim Konecny.  “We want them (students) to understand that STEM is going to be important in K-12 to be successful.”

One of the objectives of the program is for students to come up with a plan to get students of all ages excited about possible careers at Westar.  The students presented their plan to Westar and Topeka Public School staff at the end of their two week program.

Topeka West student John Works was one of those involved in the Westar program.  “I think it was an excellent program.  There were a lot of new opportunities I did not know that Westar had.  I learned about many jobs like power marketing and what they do here and what it has to do with saving customers money.”

Last year, ten high school students were involved in the Westar program.

20 Years for Foundation Tournament

The Win Tidwell golf tournament hosted by the TPS Foundation hit the 20 yr mark with the tournament that was held June 20th. This tournament began under the TPS Administrators Association led by fellow administrators Dale Cushinberry & Jeff Litfin to honor a colleague, Win Tidwell who had died. Several years later the Foundation was asked to continue the tourney and has done so ever since.
Fittingly at the twentieth yr celebration, 20 teams participated at the tournament held at the Firekeeper golf course. The weather while a bit windy was otherwise perfect for the day filled with good company, fun and food.
Tournament winners awarded Prizes included:
1st Flight:
First Place
Denny Payne
Jonathan Payne
Gregg Sherwood
Tim Payne
Second Place
Ron Brown
Pat Cooke
Shawn Streeter
Chris Albert
Third Place
Frank Tecumseh
Jerry Tuckwin
John Tuckwin
Second Flight
First Place
Eric Napue
Tony Turner
Donnie Maney
Doug Duffy
Second Place
Marc Deever
Frank Buetel
Jeff Frank
Third Place
Rebecca Morrisey
Vicki Vossler
Lori Roenbaugh
Brenda Soldani
Closest to the School House
Brenda Soldani
Longest Putt
Chase Myer
Closest to the Line
Kevin Kirmse
Closest to the Hole
Nick Butler
Longest Drive
Josh Mays
Stay & Play Pkg
Todd Smith
Best Dressed Female
Rebecca Morrisey
Best Dressed Male
Donnie Maney

Pamela Johnson-Betts
Executive Director
Topeka Public Schools Foundation &
TPS Ombudsman
Visit our TPSF Website at:

TPS Foundation Hosts Debate Prize Winners

Three Topeka high School seniors were honored June 11th for being selected to receive the Topeka Public Schools Foundation’s 2013 Christopher S. Edmonds Prize in Debate and Forensic Excellence.  The scholarship fund was established by its namesake, Mr. Chris Edmonds, a former Topeka High School debate student, to recognize and reward the work of students in this area of study and to encourage continued interest in debate and forensics. 

Honored at a reception hosted by the Foundation were Leo Espinoza, Karly Hanna and Luis Garcia.  Leo is the recipient of a full tuition scholarship to Yale University.  He is the son of Leobardo and Martha Espinoza.  Karly has received a full tuition scholarship to Elmhurst College.  She is the daughter of Kirsten Goodman and John Hanna.  Luis is the recipient of a Gates Millennium full tuition scholarship to the University of Southern California.  He is the son of Elodora Garcia and Jose Heccules.

TPS Foundation board members and staff, along with Topeka High debate coach Pam McComas, greeted Karly and Leo and their families.  Luis was unable to attend.  The students were presented a certificate of achievement and a scholarship check.

Reception For School Board Members

Join us as we honor three school board members for their many years of service to Topeka Public Schools.  Doug Glenn, Ned Nusbaum and Hal Gardner will be leaving the board of education at the end of June. We will be honoring them at a reception on Thursday, June 20th from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Burnett Administrative Center at 624 SW 24th Street.  The reception will be held prior to their last regular school board meeting.  The reception is open to the public.

Trojan Plaza Dedication and Concert

On Sunday, June 30, at Topeka High School, 800 SW 10th, the new Topeka High Trojan Plaza will be dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 pm. The annual Patriot Chimes Concert, played by Jerry Anderson (THS 1967) on the Deagan Chimes will immediately follow the ribbon cutting.

The THS Class of 1961started fundraising efforts for the Trojan Plaza in 2011 when they celebrated their 50th Reunion. Brick pavers will cover the area surrounding the Trojan Statue. 7 granite benches and landscaping will also compliment the area. The Topeka High Classes of 1957, 1959, 1962 and 1964 sponsored four of the benches.

Special guests for the evening are Adrian “Pudge” Whited (THS 1948) and Mrs. John Alberg (widow of John Alberg, THS 1948) who donated the Trojan Statue.

Bring a lawn chair, a blanket, and enjoy brown bread custard from G’s Frozen Custard.

Housekeeping Excellence Awards

The 2013 Housekeeping Excellence Awards were given out tonight at the board of education meeting.  The award is the result of inspections of every school twice a year looking at 72 specific check points that include how clean classrooms, hallways and bathrooms are inside the school.  The inspectors also look at landscaping around each school as well as how clean the parking lot and front entrances are.

A winner is selected for elementary, middle and high schools.  The winner of the elementary category is Joe Flower and Ezra Lewis of Sheldon Child Development Center.  Colleen Riggs and Marc Garcia from Robinson won the middle school award.  In the high school category, the award went to Gary Sumner and Mike Benkosky of Capital City Schools.

Featured Post

Neighborhood Veteran Volunteers to Help Keep Kids Safe: September Above & Beyond Award

On a rainy Wednesday morning, Matthew Davis is found in a neon yellow jumpsuit and army boots directing school buses, cars and students safe...