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USD 297 St. Francis has two buses that need to be disposed of. USD 297 will be accepting sealed bids for the two buses. The buses being removed from the USD 297 fleet are the 1995 and 1997 Indian activity buses.
Please contact Mark Penka (785-332-8180) or Jerry Whitmore (785-332-8190) to view the buses. Bids are due no later than July 8th at 11:00 a.m.
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Twenty-one St. Francis student-athletes have achieved recognition as three-sport letter winners for the 2018-2019 school year. Two achievements that seldom happen should be mentioned. Jordyn Faulkender, Lyden Lampe, and Mia Morrow are three sport letter winners as freshmen. Also, senior Lauren Johnson was a three-sport letter winner all four years of her career.
Those students earning varsity letters for their performances in three sports are listed below.
Cody Baxter - Football, Basketball, Track
Gregor Burr - Football, Wrestling, Track
Lauren Johnson - Volleyball, Basketball, Track
Lindsey Johnson - Volleyball, Basketball, Track
Richard Johnson - Football, Basketball, Golf
Connor Keller - Football, Basketball, Track
Tiernan Poling - Football, Wrestling, Track
Karly Bandel - Volleyball, Basketball, Track
Brady Dinkel - Football, Basketball, Track
Alondra Gomez - Volleyball, Basketball, Track
Adam Krien - Football, Basketball, Track
Jayce Nider - Football, Wrestling, Track
Hannah Zimbal - Volleyball, Basketball, Track
Jesse Baxter - Football, Basketball, Track
Shadryon Blanka - Football, Wrestling, Track
Emma Johnson - Volleyball, Basketball, Track
Colton Neitzel - Football, Basketball, Track
Kobe Tice - Football, Wrestling, Track
Jordyn Faulkender - Volleyball, Basketball, Track
Lyden Lampe - Cross Country, Basketball, Track
Mia Morrow - Volleyball, Basketball, Track
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The 2019 Kindergarten Promotion was held on Friday morning, May 10. Twenty students received their kindergarten diplomas for teacher Lori Rieger during the ceremony. The students performed several musical selections and each student explained what they wanted to be when they grew up. The program was enjoyed by all who attended.
Students receiving diplomas during the "Beach Party" Promotion ceremony were: Tysson Andrist, Trip Boles, Cooper Buffington, Harper Butler, Avea Fiedler, Maddox Krien, Coltynn Ludowese, Jace McAtee, Brently Moree, Madison Ochsner, Tate Raile, Britney Rethke, Max Rieger, Avery Schultz, Lane Schultz, Riley Siegfried, Sammy Spell, Kaylyn Stephens, Kinslee Workman, and Kash Zimmerman.
Below is a very short video clip from the ceremony.
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The St. Francis Indians won the Northwest Kansas League championship on Thursday, May 9, in Oberlin. The Indians amassed 174 team points to easily out-distance all other teams. The 2019 championship marked the 5th straight NWKL title for the Indians. The Lady Indians placed 6th in the NWKL Track Meet with 36 team points. St. Francis had several NWKL champions including Jordan Raby (100 meters and 400 meters), Brady Dinkel (200 meters), Cody Baxter (300 meter hurdles), Shadryon Blanka (shot put), and Tiernan Poling (pole vault). The 4 X 100 meter relay team of Keigan Taylor, Isaiah Lee, Cody Baxter, and Adam Krien also won. Hannah Zimbal won the NWKL championship in the girls 400 meter dash.
St. Francis scored 174 team points to win the boys team championship. Hoxie placed second with 134 points. The remainder of the NWKL boys teams finished in the following order: 3rd - Wallace County 70, 4th - Dighton 62, 5th - Greeley County 35, 6th - Quinter 31, 7th - Decatur Community 30, and 8th - Rawlins County 14.
St. Francis Indians placing in the NWKL Meet are listed below.
Cody Baxter - 1st in 300 meter hurdles (42.78), 2nd in 110 meter high hurdles (17.12)
Jesse Baxter - 2nd in shot put (41' 11'), 4th in discus (115' 9")
Shadryon Blanka - 1st in shot put (42' 0"), 2nd in 110 meter high hurdles (17.36), 2nd in triple jump (41' 3.5")
Garin Cooper - 4th in triple jump (36' 4"), 5th in long jump (17' 5")
Brady Dinkel - 1st in 200 meters (23.92), 2nd in 100 meters (11.76), 3rd in 400 meters (53.68)
Adam Krien - 3rd in javelin (132' 0")
K.C. Krien - 5th in 800 meters (2:17.69)
Isaiah Lee - 3rd in long jump (18' 2"), 3rd in triple jump (37' 1.5")
Jayce Nider - 5th in 400 meters (54.96)
Tiernan Poling - 1st in pole vault (12' 9")
Jordan Raby - 1st in 100 meters (11.71), 1st in 400 meters (52.19), 3rd in 200 meters (24.15)
Keigan Taylor - 5th in 100 meters (12.13)
Kobe Tice - 2nd in javelin (132' 4")
4 X 100 meter relay - 1st (46.94) - Keigan Taylor, Isaiah Lee, Cody Baxter, and Adam Krien
4 400 meter relay - 3rd (3:55.05) - Jordan Raby, Cody Baxter, Brady Dinkel, and Jayce Nider
4 X 800 meter relay - 3rd (9:50.95) - Bryce Raby, Eli Mills, Gregor Burr, and Dario Montrone
Hoxie won the NWKL girls championship with 174 team points. Wallace County was second with 117. The rest of the field finished in the following order: 3rd - Rawlins County 89, 4th - Quinter 53, 5th - Decatur Community 44, 6th - St. Francis 36, 7th - Dighton 28, and 8th Greeley County 15.
St. Francis Lady Indians placing in the NWKL Meet are listed below.
Jessica Confer - 6th in discus (92' 3")
Emma Johnson - 4th in 400 meters (1:09.17)
Kara Maybury - 6th in 1600 meters (6:37.29), 6th in 3200 meters (14:41.90)
Mia Morrow - 5th in triple jump (29' 2.75"), 6th in 100 meters (14.33)
Hannah Zimbal - 1st in 400 meters (1:04.24), 4th in 800 meters (2:50.47)
4 X100 meter relay - 3rd (55.35) - Mia Morrow, Lindsey Johnson, Emma Johnson, and Hannah Zimbal
4 x 400 meter relay - 5th (5:18.14) - Kattie Wurm, Elena Salgado, Emma Hackler, and Karly Bandel
4 X 800 meter relay - 4th (13:08.71) - Lyden Lampe, Jordyn Faulkender, Alondra Gomez, and Hadleigh Hilt
The track teams will compete in the Regional Track Meet on Friday, May 17, in Hill City.
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Hunter Helton, senior at St. Francis Community High School, loves being outdoors. Hunter liked to spend his free time hunting, fishing with friends, or building things.
Helton plans to go to Canada right after high school to be a hunting guide and outfitter. Helton will also work on the family farm after a year, while working he will be making the decision to join the U.S Navy or not.
As well as being outdoorsy, Helton is also sporty. Helton loves to play football with his teammates and was number 34 on the varsity football team. Helton says that his favorite part of his senior year has been football because he loves the sport and loves being part of the team.
Helton uses the quote, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” to motivate him at all times.
Helton’s advice to the underclassmen is to participate in sports and activities. Helton has a lot of good experience in elective classes to keep him busy. Helton is partaking in FFA, wood shop, Ag. Mechanics, and sports. “It keeps you out of trouble and you learn a lot of life lessons,” adds Helton.
Loyal, dependable, more than just a friendly faceread more
Senior Brice Hays describes himself as a laid back guy who would do anything to help someone in need.
Hays is a son of Brenda Hays and has three brothers: his twin, Kaleb, along with Dusty (32) and Chase (32). Brice plans to attend Fort Hays State University to study business to prepare for his future.
Connor Keller, senior, said Hays is loyal and dependable.
“Brice, no matter what you know, he loves you, and will always have your back no matter what. He’s just a really good friend.”
Senior Richard Johnson agreed with Keller.
“He’s honest and will always have your back no matter what,” said Johnson.
Whenever you see Hays around town he has the biggest smile on his face, whether at school or at his after school job at the grocery store. However, unknown to many, Hays has struggled with depression.
Hays is not alone. In the United States, almost one-fifth of students have reported thinking seriously about attempting suicide.
“Because of what I’ve gone through,” Hays said. “I would do anything to help someone in need. I wouldn’t want anybody at all to go through the stuff that I did. And I don’t care who it was, if I don’t know them or I do. I would be okay with talking with them. I would help anybody out with that.”
On Christmas Eve in 2016, Hays said he drove out to a field and texted his brothers and his mom that he loved them. He pushed a shotgun to his head with a shell in the barrel and pulled the trigger. The shell was a dud. Hays survived. His brother Kaleb deciphered his text message as a cry for help and found him in the field and took him home.
In April 2017, he was sent to the ER because of a drug overdose. After getting dismissed from the hospital, Hays checked into a mental hospital.
Hays sought out professional help and was clinically diagnosed with bipolar, severe depression and anxiety. While he said he didn’t want to discourage anybody suffering from getting professional help since it helps lots of people, he hasn’t found the right professional help yet.
“Professional help was just pushing me pills and sending me to therapists and it was just tearing me apart,” Hays said. He said he stopped taking the pills because he didn’t feel like the same person. “I couldn’t be the same person they twisted my head around. If I couldn’t fight the battle myself, I thought why is this a battle I should be fighting?”
However, Hays found healing and support in his family, particularly his mom.
“My mom,” Brice said. “She’s everything to me. She’s very strong. Whatever she’s going through, she’ll always help you.”
Brice said he realized life was worth living after he realized how much he was hurting his family and how much they cared about him.
“When you finally notice that it hurts your family almost as much as yourself, it really makes you question why you would even let them go through that,” Hays said. “I had a few family members talk to me after that and it hit me that there were a lot of people out there who cared about me and loved me and there’s always help. I’ll always struggle with depression at times but I learned how to control it a lot more.”
Brice advised anybody struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts to tell someone and be real with yourself.
“If you’re going through stuff, don’t put on a mask and stuff it down,” said Hays. “Always be real with yourself and the people around you. Otherwise, the more you cover it up with your mask, the more it will tear you down.”
Given the fact that I have experienced similar dark roads, I know how hard it is to talk about this kind of stuff. As Brice’s cousin, when I found out that he had tried to overdose, it got me down but I was just more happy knowing the fact that I still had him in my life.
Brice has been there for me a lot but that’s not the main thing I’m trying to get across. It’s the fact that, no matter what’s going on, if you’re thinking suicidal thoughts, reach out to anyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s family or your friend just seek out help. There is always a bigger positive at the end of that negative. If you ever say to yourself I can just push the feelings down and go on from there, you’re wrong. The more you shove it down the more it’ll hurt. So, never shove those feelings down. Talk about them as soon as possible. Suicide is never the option. There are so many good things to life that you haven't discovered yet and most of the times they are worth pushing through for. If you are ever thinking suicidal thoughts, keep in mind there are always people who love and care for you.
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Kind. Calm. Powerful. Smart. Hilarious. Talented. Loving. Smart. These eight words embodied Jessica Confer, senior.
Jessica has been going to school in St. Francis since preschool, and said she is very happy to graduate from here before she goes off to Fort Hays State University next fall. She said she has had many great memories from high school.
“When I was a freshman, I was in the band room and Sydney Sundstrom came running in and she didn't see my feet sticking out and she tripped and fell and she laid there almost the whole class period. We could not stop laughing,” said Confer. Confer said her sophomore year has been her favorite year of high school because “I loved all my classes and it was just a very memorable year for me.”
Confer plans on majoring in education, and then getting her master’s degree so she can be an administrator. She wants to start out as a teacher, preferably fourth or fifth grade, then work her way up to superintendent or principal. She picked FHSU because she said she feels like it is the best fit for her.
Confer’s Volleyball Coach ShayLinn Zweygardt said she enjoys having Jessica as a player, because she is “an amazing volleyball player” and “she is also a great team player that encourages others and tries to bring energy when the team is down.”
Lindsey Johnson, senior, said she enjoys being around Jessica because they have been close since preschool and “she gets my weirdness.”
Lauren Johnson, senior, said that she like being around Jessica because they can always joke around and she always has Lauren laughing.
Confer’s mom, JeanAnn Confer, was her grade school music teacher and she loved having her as a teacher.
“Sometimes she embarrassed me,” said Confer, “but other that that she was a lot of fun.”
This summer her mom went through chemo and she helped her as much as she could.
“She helps and supports me so much and it was my turn to help her.” said Confer.
When Confer found out that her mom had stage three cancer her first reaction was disbelief. She quickly realized that her mom wouldn’t be able to make it to a lot of her activities.
“I had to take a lot of responsibility with the cooking and cleaning around the house to help her out,” said Confer.
All in all, Confer has had to grow up quickly, but it has only strengthened her to become the individual she is today.
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For Senior Cody Baxter, a life-of-the-party type of kid, going to college is the adventure he’s looking for. Baxter will be going to Bethel College to play football and pursuing a Bachelor’s degree majoring in business. After college, Baxter plans to start a hunting and guiding business with friends who live near Emporia. The business will be a hunting show. For now, the episodes will be strictly on YouTube but other networks are in the future.
“TV. That’s our goal,” said Baxter.
He plans to continue living in Emporia. Baxter’s soon to be coworkers are only a short drive away so he feels this will be the best decision for his future. Realizing soon he’ll be five hours away, Baxter thought about his classmates.
“We’ve been on a journey since kindergarten till now. I’ll miss most of my class so much.”
Being in a room surrounded by he and his buddies makes it clear to see that they have a connection. For many of the boys they have been friends since the beginning.
“Our families have been close forever. We just feed off each other’s energy,” said Senior Connor Keller.
Baxter is one who not only keeps his friends easily but also makes them with ease.
Senior Richard Johnson, who has lived in Saint Francis for just over one year said, “Even though I haven’t known him forever, we have some of the funniest stories. Cody is a ball of fire.”
Around SFCHS, Baxter is known for his energy. During football, wrestling, and track, he assists the team by, not only, playing well but also keeping spirits high. Throughout class, he brightens his peers’ days with his expressive personality and sense of humor.
“Cody keeps you on your toes. He has an irrepressible sense of humor,” said History Teacher Steve Jenkins.
Baxter’s biggest inspiration has been his mom.
“She’s really tough. She raised two boys by herself,” said Baxter.
Cody Baxter’s daily energy shows his ambition to get things done. He is inspired to be successful in his new career venture like his mom, Judy Baxter, who’s put in time and effort to go through schooling to become a successful veterinarian.
“She works hard everyday and never complains. I try to work hard and not complain too,” said Baxter.