WHS secretary, teacher prepare for parenthood

Two staff members will be adding to their families soon. Secretary Carrie Boeckman and history teacher Jess Rutledge are the new parents-to-be. The Charger spoke to each of them about the upcoming changes in their lives.

What are you most looking forward to?

Rutledge: I think just seeing my son grow up. Seeing him go through all the stages of life. Just excited to see him grow.

Boeckman: I’ve always, always wanted to be a mom and so after we lost the first baby, I’m so excited that everything has gone well this time and that dream of mine is finally coming.

What are you least excited for?

R: Diapers. Changing diapers.

B: Puke and poop and you know, all that side of it.

Are you scared about anything?

R: Obviously you don’t want to mess it up. It’s a human baby. It doesn’t have the ability to correct the problem itself.

B: Becoming a parent is scary because you are the one solely in charge of this little person. It’s up to us to make sure everything goes ok. We haven’t done it before so we don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into so it’s just the fear of the unknown.

Are you looking forward to waking up in the middle of the night?

R: Honestly I wake up two or three times anyway (to eat), now I’ll just have a smaller version of me who wants to eat too.

What kind of parent will you be?

R: I don’t even know how to answer that. I hope a good one. One that’s going to be able to help my child, but stern so my child learns the right things from the wrong things. I hope to be a successful parent.

B: I know that my husband is going to be the parent where baby is wrapped around his finger, so I feel like I’m going to have to be sort of the disciplinarian. I don’t want to be that person, but I see myself taking on that role.

Your spouse?

R: She’s 100 percent going to be the loving and nurturing one. She is with our dogs. That’s just her nature.

How will your pets react?

R: I hope they react well. They seem really intrigued by my wife now that she’s pregnant. They love little kids, they’ve been around them, especially my deaf dog.

B: My dogs have been around other kids and done really really well around them. I think they’re going to be very protective but also very gentle.

What kind of prep do you have done for the baby?

R: We got the nursery ready and registering for what seems like endless products that you need to have for a baby. Just kind of reading up on it as much as we can. My wife and I are going to take a class in March for parents for the basics.

B: We have the nursery done and all that but because we don’t know what baby is, we don’t have any clothes really. All that stuff is going to have to come afterwards, which is kind of intimidating. We do have daycare set up and we can start that in June. We’re just going to be winging it for awhile.


R: His name is going to be Ty Allen Rutledge.

B: If it’s a boy, his name is going to be Camden, if it’s a girl her name is going to be Clara

How did you feel when you found out you were having a boy?

R: I was really excited regardless to find out that my baby was healthy, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to find out my first kid is going to be a boy.

Is he going to play football?

R: I hope so, but if he wants to be in chess club that’s cool. I’ll get better at chess and help him get better at that. I just want to support whatever he wants to do.

Favorite dad joke you’re excited to use?

R: Oh my gosh I have so many. Probably like whenever says “I’m ___” and then I can be like “Oh hi ___ I’m dad!” That’s going to be my go to.

Why didn’t you find out the gender?

B: One, there’s not many natural surprises left in life for people. This is one of them. We just wanted that moment of the doctor saying it’s a boy or girl. Also with losing our first one, we didn’t care what gender was we just wanted it to be healthy. I think its a girl personally, my husband thinks it’s a boy, but we would be excited with either.

— Emma Frey, @_emmafrey_

The parents and grandparents at WHS have advice for Rutledge and Boeckman

Diane Breiner — Enjoy every minute of every age, they grow up faster than you think.

Brandi Miller — Always sleep when the baby sleeps and make good deals with your spouse. Like “I’ll do the dishes, if you change the diapers.”

Lisa Hull — The most important thing is to sleep when baby sleeps. Most people try to catch up on things in that time, but you’ll ever get caught up anyway so it’s not worth it. And when you start to think about a second child, just know it’s really not twice as much work… but an exponential amount of work.

Jeanne Perry — Just always try and remember to take a deep breath. Don’t stress about the dishes or laundry as much. Always take time to be in the moment with them.

Jan Hutley — Spend as much time with them as you can, they learn more from you than you realize.

Laura Delfelder — When it gets hard or you’re just having a bad night, just remember that this is just a phase. Look at big picture and remind yourself it’s just a moment.

Brendan Praeger — Get lots of children’s books to read. They get old fast. After going through “Goodnight Moon” 200 times, anything will seem like a good alternative.

Band, choir teacher Richard Philbrook to retire at end of year

Music teacher Richard Philbrook directs the choir on February 13. Philbrook is retiring at the end of the year after 43 years in education. Photo by Kendyl Bolinder

Music teacher Richard Philbrook has announced his plans to retire at the end of this school year.

Philbrook has taught 5-12th grade at Wabaunsee for 11 years, but has been teaching band and choir for a total of 43 years. His favorite thing about Wabaunsee is the students, and the special bond he’s formed with them over the years.

“That’s not just the requisite answer. That is truly how I feel. I have never taught where, top to bottom, the students were as kind, considerate and respectful as they are here. You guys are just nice people, seriously. So many of my colleagues never got to experience people like you, and I feel sorry for them,” Philbrook.

“He’s very dedicated to music. I’ll miss his stories,” junior baritone player Brendan Dugger said.

“I’ve had him since fifth grade. It’s going to be weird adapting to someone else’s teaching style,” junior trumpeter Falish Willier said.

WHS principal Jan Hutley and WJH principal Steve Oliver are interviewing candidates to fill Philbrook’s position.

After his retirement, Philbrook plans to travel and spend more time with his family, and will occasionally step in as a substitute teacher as needed. He will continue performing in professional music groups.

— Kendyl Bolinder, @Bolinderkendyl

Wabaunsee district hires social worker

Wabaunsee gained a new staff member, Melissa Watson, as the district Crosswinds School-Based Case Manager.

Watson will continue working with her current Crosswinds clients, some of whom are in Wabaunsee schools. She will provide social and emotional support to any K-12 students. In the future, she hopes to provide group work and in-service trainings.

Annie Frank, who is employed by the district’s service education cooperative with Rock Creek and Wamego, will still work primarily with students on IEPs.

Watson said her role will provide several benefits to the district. “The number one benefit will be bridging the services between the school and Crosswinds. I will be able to provide services to students that might not be able to get services and facilitate the referral process for Crosswinds. Another benefit is I am more accessible for crisis situations and I am able to implement necessary interventions.”

Staff members have been instructed to complete a Google Form recording observations of students displaying red flags. They will refer any students who exhibit alarming behaviors, such as isolation or other apparent struggles to Watson. Teachers are urged to call, text, or email her in crisis situations, when immediate help is needed.

“I am working with teachers and principals to identify crisis situations that may need immediate assessment and interventions that I can provide,” Watson said.

— Kendyl Bolinder, @BolinderKendyl

Technology director, English teacher to leave WHS

Two Wabaunsee staff members will be leaving the district for new opportunities.

Technology director Austin Lawrence announced he is leaving after nine years serving on the Wabaunsee staff. Lawrence accepted a job as I.T. Director at Hanover-Barnes-Linn school district in Hanover, where Lawrence and his wife Cindy are from. They plan to build a house and raise their family there. Cindy, who currently teaches fifth grade math and science at Paxico Middle School, will stay until the end of the school year.

“What I’m excited about with this new job is that it’s basically an opportunity to come in and improve another school district,” Lawrence said.

Although Lawrence is excited about this job opportunity, he says he will miss Wabaunsee greatly.

“The things we go through in life are sometimes bittersweet, and we all have them. This is one of those moments for me. I really cannot put into words how great all of you have been over my nine years here. You are a great group of people to work with and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors,” Lawrence said.

English teacher Laura Delfelder will be attending Veterinary School at Kansas State University this fall. She has wanted to be a vet her entire life, so this was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. She is excited to continue her education, because she really enjoys learning. She’ll be at WHS for the rest of the year.

What Delfelder will miss most about teaching is her students.

“I’m gonna miss my students. That’s like the one thing that makes me almost want to cry thinking about,” Delfelder said

“I’m going to miss my English classes, but can’t wait to move onto the next chapter.”

— Kendyl Bolinder, @BolinderKendyl

New P.E. teacher starts at WHS

P.E. teacher Garret Eck works in the weightroom during body fitness. Eck graduated from Emporia in December. Photo by Sierra Quathamer.

Eck hopes to promote fitness

New P.E. teacher Garrett Eck’s workout habits show that he is passionate about his subject.

“I decided to go into body fitness because I was originally out of shape and it really brought back my life and I wanted to help people get back in shape and push themselves in the weight room,” Eck said.

Eck replaces interim teacher Shanna Perine, who held the position for the first semester this year.

Eck attended Cloud County Community College to play baseball where he got his associates of science. After CCCC he went to Emporia State for his Bachelors of science in secondary education and minor in coaching. Eck student taught at Emporia High School and was an assistant football coach.

Eck, who graduated from Marysville in 2013, was intrigued by the job at Wabaunsee because it is a small school like where he is from and it was a great opportunity to teach right out of college.

His goals for the semester include getting more weight classes and more students in class instead of just having a couple of students in each period.

Challenges Eck has faced from starting later in the year are that the students already have a routine that they were used to and learning everybody’s names.

“My biggest goal for the year is to turn things around to get the kids to where they want to lift. They just want to go play games out in the gym. I want to get more kids in weights overall,” Eck said.

— Laurel Barber, @Lawl_e_20


New Spanish teacher starts at WHS

Spanish teacher David Amer addresses his Spanish 1 class. Amer graduated from Washburn in December. Photo by Sierra Quathamer.

Amer hopes to have fun in class

New Spanish teacher David Amer looks forward to teaching at Wabaunsee.

Amer filled the teaching position held previously by Kathy Hendricks who had served as an interim Spanish teacher. Along with all Spanish classes, Amer will also be taking on a freshman adviser base class and serve as a freshman adviser.

Amer, originally from Kansas City, is a graduate of Bishop Miege High School. Amer participated in baseball, football and wrestling in high school. He also enjoys working on cars and working out. Amer’s current hobbies include spending time with his fiancé, listening to music and following Royals baseball. “I also like to cook, play guitar, and am training my dog so she can be a therapy dog one day,” Amer said.

After high school, Amer moved to Topeka and attended Washburn University where he earned a degree in Spanish with an emphasis in Education. Amer student taught at Seaman High School this past semester.

Amer decided to become a teacher after helping coach the baseball team at Bishop Miege during the summer of his freshman and sophomore years of college. “I really enjoyed the experience of being able to work with young people,”Amer said, “and I know high school especially is an important time to have positive supportive influences in your life. I hope to be a positive and supportive person to students here and help them get where they want to go in life.”

Amer is looking forward to a good year at Wabaunsee. “I chose to come to Wabaunsee because it is a great opportunity to gain experience fresh out of college,” Amer said, “and I have the support and chance to try some non-traditional Spanish methods in the classroom. My goal for this semester is to teach you guys a lot of Spanish, have fun in class and have a lot of smiles.”

— Hannah Mumpower, @Hlmump01

WHS hires Spanish, P.E. teachers

WHS hired two new teachers at Monday night’s board meeting.

David Amer will replace Kathy Hendricks as Spanish Teacher. Hendricks has only been teaching on B days, so some adjustments may be made to next semester’s schedule.

Garrett Eck will take over the P.E. teaching position currently being filled by girls head basketball coach, Shanna Perine.

The board also hired Kolby Harris and Adam Laubert to coach junior high boys basketball.



WHS hires new librarian

WHS welcomes graduate Whitney Lynch to fill Library/Media Tech position.

Lynch, a 2009 graduate and daughter of Paxico Middle School Social Studies and WHS Cheer coach Cheryl Lewis, has returned to the halls of Wabaunsee to fill the Library/Media Tech position previously held by Heather McCreight. McCreight moved to Wabaunsee Junior High to fill the Library/Media Tech position there.

This is Lynch’s first Library. “I have never been a librarian before,” Lynch said, “but I’m learning.”

Lynch’s favorite memories of Wabaunsee include winning the state championship in softball her sophomore year and cheerleading. Lynch said her hobbies are her kids. “I have three of them,” Lynch said, “They are 9, 5 and 1 so they keep me pretty busy, but I also enjoy reading and sports.”

Lynch enjoys reading Nicholas Sparks books in her free time.

— Hannah Mumpower, @Hlmump01

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