Showing posts from November, 2017

Topeka West Student Earns 4-H State Title

Livestock and crafts are the first things that come to mind for many when discussing 4-H. However, Topeka West sophomore Claire Coultis invested her time in a less typical facet of the positive youth development and mentoring organization. Coultis chose reading as a focus for her two-year, award winning project.
As an eighth grader at Jardine Middle School, Coultis had no idea that her project would become nationally recognized. Coultis’ journey to Kansas 4-H state champion began with a brainstorming session with her mother, Barbara Coultis. They discussed how to conduct a reading project in a unique way that had not yet been attempted.
“There is a negative stigma with the reading project that it’s all book reports,” Coultis said. “I thought we could do a lot with it that other people didn’t think of.”
She planned and led various programs within Topeka, expanding reading programs for her peers, read children’s books to preschoolers, wrote book reviews for the Shawnee County Public …

Faces of 501: Darlene Hughes-Palmer

Topeka Public Schools has celebrated American Education Week this week, and today concludes the celebration with honoring one of our substitute teachers, Darlene Hughes-Palmer. Hughes-Palmer retired in 2014 after 32 years at TPS. She has substitute taught for the past three years, currently her assignment is at Pine Ridge Prep, a preschool within the district. 
“I’ve come full circle in my career. I started teaching Head Start in 1976 and have taught at every level from grade school to high school and now I’m back to teaching Pre-K students. When teaching the Pre-K level, you don’t have to teach to re-teach. We make sure that they have the basic skills to not only be successful here but throughout their educational career. They can start school and not have to play catch-up the rest of their way through school. I’ve had the opportunity to teach in three different school districts and in three different states. Two of those school districts were in a desegregation order. The main differ…

Faces of 501: Fernando Adams

Senior Master Sergeant (retired) Fernando Adams, has worked for Topeka Public Schools since August 2012, as an Aerospace Science Instructor at Highland Park High School. In addition to the teaching position, Adams, one of the Air Force JROTC instructors, has also coached the softball team, in addition to helping start the junior varsity program.  Before starting his position for TPS, he served active duty in the United States Air Force for 26 and a half years, working in construction and facility management, where he was stationed all over the world, including stops in Oklahoma, Illinois, Mississippi, South Dakota, Guam, Korea, Japan, Portugal and Germany. Adams is a graduate of the University of Maryland and is originally from Jackson, Miss., coming to Kansas when his son was a student at Kansas State University. 
"I'm from a large southern family, I was number eight of eleven kids, all of my older siblings graduated high school and went straight to college, I broke the mold …

Meadows Elementary Students Work Together on Student Council

With agendas and pencils in hand, 31 Meadows Elementary School students met for their monthly student council meeting to discuss fundraising opportunities and to decide how to spend the raised funds. In October, after a school-wide vote, the student council chose to have a water bottle refilling station installed at their school. Being a part of the student council allows students to experience responsibility, develop clear communication skills and engage in their own education.

Ashley Garcia, fifth grade Meadows teacher and student council sponsor, explains, “Students will care more and participate more if they have a buy in. I think we need to give them a chance to become leaders and make decisions. They will care more about their school and their education if they are a part of it.”

The water bottle filling station will provide students and staff with another source of clean water and will essentially replace throw away cups and bottles, reducing unnecessary waste. The water bottle …

Faces of 501: Christopher Wagner