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Friday Focus, Dec 20
Friday Focus, Dec 20
Phil Bressler
Friday, December 20, 2019

Today we wrap up our fall semester with a celebration of relationships and relevance, which are our school improvement goals. The relationship piece can be found throughout the building, as staff and students reflect on the completion of a semester with opportunity to spend time together without an agenda of grades and tests. It becomes a great day to celebrate being a Black Bear, giving our best, and looking forward to some time off ahead of what promises to be a great spring semester. It's found in our 8th graders showing off their roller coasters for their 7th grade peers and their families, which also is the focus of the relevance aspect: here's what we learned and here's how we're using it beyond a worksheet or a test.

Human Trafficking Assembly & Parent Meeting

On Sunday, January 5, Russ Tuttle from the Stop Trafficking Project will present Be Alert! for any parent who is interested in Human Trafficking, specifically the trafficking of our youngsters. The session begins at 7:00 in the Lyons High School Auditorium. If you have the chance, this is an excellent opportunity to get some insight about this topic ahead of what your teenager will hear the following morning. as we will transport our students to Lyons to hear Russ share with our teens about Human Trafficking, how to spot it, and how to notify adults who can help.

Winter Sports Update

When our heads hit the pillow tonight, the 2019 phase of the winter sports seasons will be complete. We have four young men who are part of our Wrestling coop with Lyons. Girls Basketball is undefeated headed into the break at 5-0 having won the Eagle Classic in Kingman last week, defeating the 8th ranked team in 3A (Haven) and dropping #2 in 3A last night with a xx-xx win at Cheney. The Boys' team is 2-2 heading into this evening's game against Belle Plaine in the Ora Shields. They finished second in the Eagle Classic last weekend, defeating 5A Valley Center on Friday evening to reach the title game.

Survey Thanks

Thank you to those of you who took the time to complete our survey and share your thoughts about our school, our strengths, and our opportunities for growth. We will begin reviewing this information and be ready to share results with all stakeholder groups in January. A preliminary glance suggests that all stakeholder groups surveyed hold our school, for the most part, in high regard, so there is agreement that our institutional foundation is solid.

Best Things I Saw This Month

I've retitled this section to make it a monthly feature, not because there aren't great things going on in our school weekly, but because many of the activities warrant more than a sentence or two and a picture. As such, when things deserve more space, it makes this tough to do on an every week basis. So here's your December compilation of the best things at Sterling Jr/Sr High School.


Rene Wilson was recently named to the 2020 Class of the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame. As a high school athlete, Rene was one of the very best, setting three state records that still stand today. Her remarkable achievements as a thinclad qualify her as one of the best performers in the history of the state. She will be honored and officially inducted this coming spring at a date and site yet to be announced. The picture here is of Rene, accompanied by three of her high school coaches, being honored at halftime of a recent basketball game.


Every once in a while, you get to sneak in the back door and listen to one of our performance groups in a final rehearsal where the pressure is zero. And it's truly amazing the effort and focus that they invest to provide our concert-goers with remarkable shows. Last week, our band shared their winter concert and the music was simply tremendous in front of a packed SJSHS Theatre.


This Tuesday, our choirs took their turn and filled the Methodist Church with an amazing set of songs in front of a full house. Both performances were great evenings of enjoyable music performed by our kids, each of whom is willing to play their role to make the whole something fantastic. And for the price of admission, which is zero, the entertainment is unrivaled.


I love it when our kids get the opportunity to give back to a community that seldom, if ever, fails to step up and support them and their school. Tuesday morning, DFYIT delivered a trailer full of good to support Goodfellows in their Christmas food drive, helping out families who need a little help to get through the holidays.


And today, our 8th graders will be presenting their rollercoaster projects in the South Gym. The coasters are part of a project-based learning unit where all four JH core teachers have collaborated to include each of their disciplines in a month-long learning experience that culminates with the conclusion of the fall semester. Stay tuned for more pictures in our Live Feed later today.

Events through December 31


  • Fall Semester Ends; Dismissal at 12:30
  • HS Boys' Basketball vs. Belle Plaine (4:30/6/7:30)

Next Friday

  • Winter Sports Practices resume

Saturday, Jan 4

  • KMEA State Band Auditions

Sunday, Jan 5

  • Be Alert Parent Presentation, Lyons High School, 7P

Monday, Jan 6

  • Spring Semester Begins
  • Be Alert Student Assembly, Lyons High School, 9A

Tuesday, Jan 7

  • HS Basketball @ LaCrosse (4:30/6/7:30)

Wednesday, Jan 8

  • SHS Blood Drive, South Gym

Thursday, Jan 9

  • JH Basketball @ Moundridge

Friday, Jan 10

  • HS Basketball vs. Bennington (4:30/6/7:30)

Saturday, Jan 11

  • Wrestling @ Ellsworth, 9A

Upcoming Events

  • 1/15: Learning Communities, School Dismissed at 12:30
  • 1/18: SHS Booster Club Dance, Commons, 8P
  • 1/20: No School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • 5/9: Class of 2020 Commencement Exercises, OSAC, 11A
  • 5/19: Spring Semester Ends, 11:30A