Mayah Mumpower | news editor
Wabaunsee’s push for a bond to fix school buildings is no longer an issue, as the district has found a more palatable solution for voters.
The USD 329 school board voted April 1 to combine with the Mission Valley school district, creating the new Wabaunsee Valley district.
In addition to cutting costs, combining the schools allows new opportunities for students.
“We can increase ag classes and add courses on cheese production to prepare students to join the local economy,” teacher Danny Davis said.
At this time, all staff members will keep their current positions, but a newly-implemented student evaluation will determine who keeps their job after next year.
Coaches are excited about new opportunities for their teams. To make the unification more equal, sport facilities will be used from each school throughout the year, including home basketball games in Maple Hill, Paxico and Eskridge. Due to the lack of lights at Mission Valley’s fields, only the Alma baseball fields will be used for games.
Rather than alienating half the district by choosing the Chargers or Vikings as a mascot, the school approved the Curds. “It’s a way to honor one of the county’s biggest exports,” teacher Jason Miller said. “As a Packer’s fan, I already have several cheese heads so it will be an easy transition.”
Local contractor Paul Schutter has been hired by the combined school board to update the Wabaunsee County Fairgrounds to house all students.
“It’s the nicest building in the county,” Schutter said. “If we use the shop classes for labor, we can avoid raising anyone’s taxes.”
Wabaunsee Valley will open its doors to young curds in August 2022.