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Teachers get welcome to town





Teachers weren't the only new staff welcomed at the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce teacher reception Tuesday evening.

Two administrators, Kathy Taylor, Thomas More Prep-Marian principal, and Dean Katt, Hays USD 489 interim superintendent, also are new to the job.

The reception, a casual get-together for the business community and Ellis County educators, has taken place for 25 years, said Tammy Wellbrock, executive director of the chamber.

This year, a record number, approximately 180, signed up to attend.

"It's a really wonderful thing to do for the education community, to show support," said O'Loughlin Elementary School Principal Nancy Harman.

"It feels good to be appreciated," said Sharon Howard, a Washington Elementary School teacher.

It gives educators a chance to meet others, not only in the district, but at the other schools, Howard said.

Katt, who has been USD 489 interim superintendent since Sept. 1, introduced seven new staff members.

"It's nice to meet all you guys," he said. "I'll be around."

Taylor said she had nine spots to fill for the school year.

"Three-fourths of the faculty had new classes or other (new) responsibilities, so we all feel new."

Ellis USD 388 has three new teachers.

Don Benjamin, dean of the North Central Kansas Technical College Hays campus, introduced five new staff members.

Fort Hays State University President Edward Hammond asked for a show of hands of those who work at or have degrees from FHSU.

A sea of hands went up.

"We're responsible for making other schools possible and successful," he said.

Provost Larry Gould said FHSU has a total of 55 new staff this year.

"It's a great way to get to know people in the community," said Carol Ellis, a new assistant professor in the communication disorders department.