Orin Friesen Shares History of Music in Kansas

The Kansas Oil Museum will hold the final presentation in their Summer Speaker Series “The History of Music in Kansas”  by Orin Friesen. 

Orin Friesen

This lecture will explore the rich history of music in Kansas and highlight songs and performers from the early days of the state up to the present time. 

After the lecture, the last “Concert on the Green” will feature Orin Friesen and the Diamond W Wranglers.  An ice cream social will be held prior to the concert and food trucks will be on hand. 

Call ahead or purchase tickets at the door: $10 admission for members, $15 for non-members.


Student Recognitions

The regularly scheduled meeting for El Dorado School District USD 490 provided an opportunity for Superintendent Sue Givens and Board members to recognize achievements of students who are performing at superior levels.

Kevin Monroe, orchestra instructor for El Dorado Middle and High School students reported on the Patriot League Music Festival. Several seventh and eighth grade band and orchestra students received I ratings at the Patriot League Music Festival on March 6. The orchestras performed at the USD 490 Performing Arts Center and the bands performed at Augusta Middle School.  


Violinist receive I Rating
7th grade violinists Jaeden Martin and Sean Kagle, both received I Ratings, were on hand at the School Board meeting.


Other students who received I Ratings (Outstanding), were:

  • 7th/8th grade orchestra
  • Cello/bass trio of Kayleigh Morris, Trista O’Connor, and Ashlynn Gomez
  • Band Quartet of Jerica George (bass clarinet), Reagan Baumgartel (bass clarinet),

 Pheydra Lynes (tenor saxophone, and Jillian George (bari saxophone)

  • Band Quartet of Michael Riddle (alto saxophone), David Mitchell (alto saxophone),
  • Pheydra Lynes (tenor saxophone), and Jillian George (bari saxophone)
  • Drew Veatch (snare drum)
  • Michael Riddle (alto saxophone)
  • David Mitchell (alto saxophone)

Students receiving II Ratings (Excellent) were:

  • 7th/8th grade band
  • String Quartet of Lilly Rogers, Alexandria Dunn, Avery Ash, and Avery Parsley
  • String Quartet of Savannah Lunsford, Haylee Payton, Shayla Powell, and Gracie Gomez

Two highschool students were recognized for achieving an ACT Score of 30 or higher.  Isabelle Haahr scored a 31 and Mahlon Hart scored a 30. Both students will have their names added to a plaque at the high school honoring their success.  

Isabelle Haahr, left, and Mahlon Hart, right.

Kelly Ankrom, EHS Business & FACS & Health and DECA sponsor gave a report on DECA regional successes and Scott Vang, Activity/Athletic Director gave updates on the district’s extracurricular programs.

Board Clerk Melissa Smith, reminded the Board of the positions coming up for election and the filing deadline. Of June 3rd.  Those Board members who are up for reelection are Rob Lane, Tom Storrer, Norm Wilkes and Monty Hughey.

Superintendent Givens introduced Kathy Robertson as the new Executive Director of Fiscal and Support Services beginning July 1, 2019.  

Board President Norm Wilks gave the Legislative Update and before adjourning Superintendent Sue Givens presented a resolution to accept a full price offer on the former Lincoln School Property. The Board approved the resolution to sell the property for $51,400.  

Upcoming calendar items include:

  • April 19 No School
  • April 22 No School – Professional Development Day
  • April 24 Administrative Professionals Day “do the work of the district”
  • April 29 Fifth Monday Board Meeting – Architect Presentations
  • May 5-10 Teacher Appreciation Week



Performing Arts Center | Through the Decades

After a year of construction and 80 years of history, the USD 490 Performing Arts Center was rededicated during a ceremony on Sunday, September 16, 2018.

With the script taken straight out of the annals of history, El Dorado High School Drama students reenacted yearbook memories while acting as tour guides through the decades, giving the audience a glimpse into days gone by.  

The program included music by the El Dorado High School Orchestra Ensemble, Encore and Jazz Band as well as El Dorado Middle School Drama Students and students from Blackmore, Grandview and Skelly.  

USD 490 Board of Education Vice President and EHS Class of 1984 Alumnus, Tom Storrer shared his joy at being “…part of the PRIDE…” and recognized all the EHS graduates and current students in the audience.  He then invited everyone to join the El Dorado High School Student Council members in singing the Alma Mater.

USD 490 Superintendent, Sue Givens, acknowledged Gravity Works and Simpson Construction for their dedication and persistence in creating a beautifully renovated building.  But stated it was the vision of the school board, whose courage and confidence brought the project to this day. Additionally, she recognized the Facility Task Force who crafted the plan to renovate the building and the Kid’s Committee, led by Sharon Waugh and Jean Plummer who ensured the board’s vision would be accomplished through the Bond Campaign.

A special song was presented by 1997 EHS Graduate Katie Banks-Todd as dedication to the building and joining her on stage to sing, “For Good” was Ms. Givens.

Following the program, guests were invited to tour the newly renovated facility.