District Namesake Process

Updates


June 3 and June 4, 2021
The District Namesake Committee met on June 3 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm and again on June 4 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the USD 345 district office. The group worked through the Kansas Leadership Center framework to create a healthy process of community engagement around the district namesake issue.

The group separated into three subcommittees to begin organizing the following topics:

1. Historic Research
2. Capturing Stories/Experiences Related to the District Namesake
3. Electronic Survey

The District Namesake Committee will continue to work in subcommittees as they design and implement the three topics listed above. They will meet again as a group in mid-July to begin analyzing data.

Committee members Stephanie Konrade and Olivia Oliva will present an update to the board of education on June 14.

District Namesake Committee

May 11, 2021
Michelle Stubblefield, member of the Namesake Advisory Committee and Class of 1984, updated the board on the committee's work. Michelle talked about some of the initial meetings the group has had via Zoom to connect names with faces. They've shared their own perspectives on the challenge as they begin laying the foundation for what is expected of the group.

On May 5th and 6th, the group was introduced to the Kansas Leadership Center's leadership concepts. This involved diagnosing a situation, managing self, energizing others, and how to intervene skillfully.

The group has a retreat scheduled for June 3rd and 4th to diagnose the challenge as the group begins looking at ways to engage the community, develop a timeline, and create a narrative to move efforts forward.

Michelle comes from four generations of Vikings and states, "It's clear that this is going to be difficult work. There is a strong sentiment on both sides of the issue...we do not take this opportunity lightly. We all are very interested in providing a clear picture so that the board can make a fully informed decision and regardless of the decision, the community is able to move forward." Michelle reiterated the fact that the committee understands the importance of completing their work in a timely fashion.

May 5-6, 2021
District Namesake Advisory Committee will attend Kansas Leadership Training. 

May 4, 2021
District Namesake Advisory Committee Meeting

Attendees: Amy Calhoun, Eric Curls, Paula Frey, Stephanie Konrade, Curt Lewis, Candace LeDuc (USD 345), Ed O’Malley (KLC), Tina Kahn (KLC), Maren Berblinger (KLC).

Our District Namesake Advisory Committee had a quick meeting yesterday evening to touch base before their two-day training event. They talked about how they will be learning to speak the same language as they navigate this leadership challenge. They have been given reading material to review in preparation for the training.

During the next two days, they will join around 240 Kansans going through the same leadership training with varying leadership challenges within their community.

The questions from the group were technical in nature regarding the upcoming training event.

April 22, 2021
District Namesake Advisory Committee Meeting

Attendance: Amy Calhoun, Corey Dehn, Yvonne Etzel, Paula Frey, Stephanie Konrade, Curt Lewis, Michelle Stubblefield, Ed O’Malley (KLC), Tina Kahn (KLC), Maren Berblinger (KLC)

The District Namesake Advisory Committee had their first meeting to learn more about each other and the various backgrounds of the group. Committee members are excited to begin the process of engaging the public and ensuring all voices have an opportunity to be heard.

Members of the committee also shared their concerns about the community’s division on the topic of name change as they began discussions on the creation of a trustworthy process. Members stated their desire for a transparent process so the school community can see their voices are heard. They also discussed the importance of keeping the public updated of the committee’s work.

One committee member said, "This is not going to be an easy process, opinions are deep and the group understands the gravity of any decision. I think the group is comprised of proud alumni who are interested in ensuring all voices are heard and regardless of the decision everyone is committed to doing what is best for the district's future by helping the Board make an informed and thoughtful decision.”

Leadership training for the group begins via Zoom on May 5.

April 19, 2021
USD 345 Board approves $30,000 contract with Kansas Leadership Center to guide the District Namesake Advisory Committee through a community engagement process.

April 19, 2021
USD 345 Board approves a $5,000 grant from the Topeka Community Foundation to help pay for the Kansas Leadership Center's contract. The district will continue to look for additional funding opportunities. 

April 19, 2021
Ed O'Malley from the Kansas Leadership Center reviews next steps for the District Namesake Advisory Committee at the April board meeting.


Superintendent Update: April 1, 2021


USD 345 School Community:

In March, our USD 345 Board of Education gave me the directive to assemble an advisory committee, with the assistance of the Kansas Leadership Center, to help resolve the district namesake question. This advisory group will decide the overall timeline for the namesake initiative and will guide opportunities for the community to engage productively in an efficient and healthy process. The work of the committee is not to decide or recommend a decision to the board, but to guide and engage the community in a healthy process of discernment and learning so that the BOE can make the best decision possible.

I am excited to announce the 10 volunteers who will help our school community through this process. It is my hope that every walk of life in our community will see themselves, or viewpoints reflected in the various members of this committee. While there are different perspectives represented within this committee, all members have one thing in common--they are all Seaman High School alumni who care deeply about our school community. I believe we have a well-balanced group of individuals who have graciously committed to put in the time and effort necessary to guide and engage our community in a strong, healthy, and efficient process.

District Namesake Advisory Committee
Amy Calhoun, Class of 2004
Eric Curls, Class of 1985
Corey Dehn, Class of 1995
Yvonne Etzel, Class of 2001
Paula Frey, Class of 1988
Stephanie Konrade, Class of 1983
Curt Lewis, Class of 1975
Olivia Oliva, Class of 2022
Michelle Stubblefield, Class of 1984

Throughout this process, everyone in our school community will have an opportunity to engage. All updates and information will be available on the district website under the Board of Education tab. Please check this page as it will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

Thank you again to our volunteers and our school community. I know we all care deeply about USD 345 and I believe we will come out a stronger community as a result of this process.

Sincerely,

Dr. Steve Noble
Superintendent