Butler Community College Cancels May Commencement Exercises

Butler Community College has decided to cancel its in-person commencement ceremonies which were scheduled for May 13 – 15, 2020. This includes Nurses’ Pinning, Order of the Purple and Graduation exercises.  

Regretfully, we make this announcement as the faculty and staff at Butler share in the disappointment of the current day circumstances.

Celebrating the personal growth of our students is always a highlight for us as well. Butler is reviewing alternative ways we can celebrate the academic accomplishments of our students and we will release those details at a later date.

Butler Community College Closed to the Public

Admissions, Advisors, Faculty still prepared to assist students 

EL DORADO, Kan. – As of March 18, at 5 pm, all Butler Community College locations officially closed to the public, but staff are ready to assist remotely. Butler extended its spring break another week and is set to resume classes on Monday, March 30 in a fully online format. 

Students have been sent home for the remainder of the semester or are finding alternative housing with the assistance of residence hall staff. 

“We have worked with the Grizzly Villas across the street, as well as many other area apartment complexes, who are extending special offers to our students to ensure they have a place to go that is safe and affordable, said Kelsey Reed, director of Residence Life. “Fortunately, most of our students have been able to return home.”  

With all of this, Butler Community College remains open for business as college employees have shifted to working remotely. The college is also utilizing its experience with online platforms to grow its connectivity for virtual student support services. The latest is a Facebook page called Butler Student Support Through COVID-19.  

“We are also still providing assistance to anyone who has questions about attending Butler,” said Dr. Jessica Ohman, associate vice president of Student Services. “Our assistance is just provided differently. Admissions and Advising staff are fully accessible through phone calls and emails.” 

In addition, Butler’s Critical Incident Management Team continues to meet daily to assess the latest information. Visit www.butlercc.edu/coronavirusfor the latest announcements.

EHS DECA students place at regionals

Several El Dorado High School student placed at the regional DECA competition at Newman University on January 22.

L-R: Jake Johnson, Erin Wranosky, Louie Tipton, Kinley Nielsen, Katie Fox, Ellie Tharp, Daisee Kohman, Jackson Schell, Trip Baker
Louie Tipton and Erin Wranosky placed first in Hospitality and Tourism Team Decision Making.

Katie Fox and Ellie Tharp placed second in Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making.

Kinley Nielsen placed second in Marketing Communications Series.

Daisee Kohman placed second and Trip Baker placed third in Principles of Marketing.

Jackson Schell placed third in Business Financial Services.

Jake Johnson placed third in Hotel and Lodging Management.

KSDE Hears Computer Science Task Force Recommendations

In a partnership with Flagship Kansas.Tech and Code.org, Miss Southwest Sierra Marie Bonn, along with technology industry leaders Joy Eakins, President of Cornerstone Data and Luis Rodriguez, KeyCentrix LLC, and Code.org and Project Lead the Way facilitator, Jessica Asbury a teacher at Piper East Elementary School, advocated for the adoption of the Kansas Computer Science Education Implementation Task Force Recommendations.

Board of Education Representatives listened to public testimony and received the Computer Science Task Force Recommendations at the January 2020 board meeting.

They urged the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Board of Education to adopt the recommendations.

The Kansas Computer Science Education Implementation Task Force was formed in June 2019 with the mission of creating recommendations for the Kansas State Board of Education to further computer science education throughout Kansas. 

Those recommendations are: 

Recommendation 1: KSDE creates a dedicated Computer Science education position 

Recommendation 2: KSDE should encourage all schools to offer computer science 

Recommendation 3: Computer Science should satisfy a core graduation requirement 

Recommendation 4: Create Licensure Endorsement

Recommendation 5: Arrange Funding

Katie Hendrickson, Director of State Government Affairs for Code.org, said “Code.org and our Advocacy Coalition (advocacy.code.org) are thrilled with the recommendations from the Kansas Computer Science Task Force. These five recommendations align with the policies recommended by our coalition, and, if adopted, would make significant progress in ensuring that every student in Kansas has access to a high-quality computer science education. We applaud the efforts by the state board and department of education and look forward to supporting their work expanding computer science across the state.”

“For Kansas to lead the world in the success of each student,” said Flagship Kansas.Tech Executive Director Lisa Roberts Proffitt, “it is imperative that we offer each one the opportunity to learn computer science so that they are prepared for every career. We need to support these opportunities for our students to thrive in their home state by providing each student with the opportunity to take computer science.”

Sierra Marie Bonn advocates for STEAM education and engagement to empower the next generation of innovators, through her initiative “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” 

Sierra Marie Bonn speaking to the Kansas Department of Education’s Board of Education, where she was advocating for the adoption of the Computer Science Task Force Recommendations.

Bonn shared her experiences with computer science classes at Wichita State University, where she attends college and the lack of coursework that was available to her at the highschool level.  

“I didn’t take a computer science class in highschool, I didn’t take a computer science class until my sophomore year of college. In high school, we were fortunate enough to be issued individual computers to use for writing reports and for doing research, but the only official training we received was a half-day orientation at the beginning of 9th grade.” Bonn said.  

“We need policy change in education now,” Bonn said.  

“Nearly everything I know how to do on a computer is self-taught. When I entered my first Computer Science class in college, I realized I was far behind my peers.  The Biomedical Computer Applications class taught me very basic programming and 3-D drafting skills, but more importantly, it taught me how to think in algorithms and to view the world as a series of systems. Once I had that realization, my learning, my leading, and my life shifted,” she told the Board. 

Bonn began her college career as a biomedical engineering student, but after learning about computer science and how technology pervades nearly every field, she realized that by changing her major she could focus on the innovation that Computer Science brings. 

“Unfortunately, with the major change,” she said, “I fell even further behind my peers. While I don’t mind playing catch-up, it made me think of all the other students out there who don’t currently receive a well-rounded STEAM education to set them up for success in the innovative workforce. That’s how I began advocating for STEAM education and engagement through my social initiative, Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” 

sunflower science
Bonn facilitating “Sunflower Science” with students at Sullivan Elementary in Ulysses, Kansas.  

Bonn enters school classrooms, Girl Scout camps, and college campuses across the country to provide students a variety of workshops to help them realize their potential for innovation. 

“One of my favorites is an algorithm activity that I do with the third graders, where we learn about how to structure algorithms through potting vegetable plants,” Bonn said. “This shows the students that computer science is important, not just for tech jobs, but for anything they want to do.” 

“We are in the era of innovation,” Bonn told the Board.  “In order for us to continue progressing as a society and growing our innovative workforce, we must set our students and future innovators up for success. Everyone deserves a basic understanding of Computer Science. 

“This is why the policy recommendations are so important,” Bonn said.  “They will begin to ensure that students have access to computer science in K-12.” 

The Mission of the State Board of Education is to prepare Kansas students for lifelong success through rigorous, quality academic instruction, career training and character development according to each student’s gifts and talents. The Kansans CAN Vision is to “Lead the World in the Success of Each Student.”

The KSDE Board of Education will make their decision on the recommendations at the next meeting which will be held in Topeka, at the Landon State Office Building, Board Room, Suite 102, 900 SW Jackson, on February 11th and 12th. 

Bonn is asking all Kansans to contact their Board of Education representative and ask them to adopt the Kansas Computer Science Education Implementation Task Force Recommendations. 

According to the KSDE website, “The Kansas State Board of Education consists of 10 elected members, each representing a district comprised of four contiguous senatorial districts. Board members serve four-year terms with an overlapping schedule.”

Kansas State Board of Education

Janet Waugh – District 1

715 N. 74th

Kansas City, KS 66112

(913) 620-5062 (cell)


Steve Roberts – District 2

9126 Riggs Lane, Apt. B Overland Park, KS 66212

(913) 302-8185 (cell) 


Michelle Dombrosky – District 3

14248 W. 157th St. Olathe, KS 66062

(913) 782-1835 (home) 


Ann E. Mah – District 4

3351 SE Meadowview Dr. Topeka, KS 66605

(785) 266-9434 (home)

(785) 231-0823 (cell)


Jean Clifford – District 5

102 Drury Lane

Garden City, KS 67846

(620) 275-4317 (home)


Deena Horst – District 6

920 S. 9th

Salina, KS 67401

(785) 827-8540 (home)

(785) 822-5521 (cell)


Ben Jones – District 7

PO Box 266

Sterling, KS 67579

(620) 278-6063 (cell)


Kathy Busch – District 8

238 N. Ridgewood Wichita, KS 67208 (316) 682-5718 (home) 


Jim Porter – District 9

501 S. 7th

Fredonia, KS 66736

(316) 617-6779 (cell)


Jim McNiece – District 10

1213 Manchester Court Wichita, KS 67212

(316) 729-9742 (home)

(316) 708 5752 (cell)




BCC Nursing Students Pinned 

El Dorado, Kan. – The purple gowns began to flow into Butler Community College’s gymnasium to the traditional Pomp and Circumstance and the tears of joy seemed to flow instantly from family members who supported them. Sixty-five Nursing graduates filed onto the floor to take their place as Butler’s Fall Nursing Class of 2019.

The ceremony, held Thursday evening at the College’s El Dorado campus, marked the one-year anniversary of Butler and the University of Kansas Nursing celebrating dual graduates of both their programs.

This December, five graduates also received their University of Kansas BSN degree as part of a Butler associate degree in nursing (ADN) and KU Nursing partnership launched in 2016. During the ceremony, Jennifer Beall, Nathan Aung Maran, and Madison Cary of Wichita, Halie Rose Smith of Yates Center, and Melissa Wedel of Andover were presented their KU Nursing cords by Christy Streeter, Dean of Health, Education and Public Services at Butler.

Five Butler Community College nursing school graduates also received their University of Kansas BSN degrees last week during the annual pinning ceremony held at Butler’s El Dorado campus. They are pictured from left to right: Halie Smith, Yates Center; Madison Cary, Wichita; Nathan Aung Maran, Wichita; Melissa Wedel, Andover; and Jennifer Beall, Wichita. These students mark the third class of graduates under the partnership between the two nursing powerhouse institutions.

This group marks the third class of KU graduates as part of the nursing-school partnership. Students earn degrees from both institutions when they enter the Butler and KU Nursing programs at the same time and simultaneously complete face-to-face course work at Butler and online instruction through the KU Nursing program. With the aid of faculty members from each college, students receive both their associate degree in nursing and their bachelor’s degree in nursing at the same time.

The ceremony included a welcoming address from Dr. Beth Eagleton, Butler Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health, and greetings from Lance Lechtenberg, Butler Board of Trustee member; Kim Krull, Ph.D., president of Butler Community College; and Lori Winningham, vice president of Academics.

Trustee Lechtenberg pointed out this class is now part of an alumni base which has graduated from a top 10 nursing program in the state as designated by RegisteredNursing.org. In addition, he noted that 95% of the graduates already have jobs. This class is well on its way to meeting the expected Butler tradition of a 100 percent job placement rate within six months of graduation.

Pictured left to right are Kelsey Schlageck of Wichita, class president, and Rachael Henry of Park City, class vice president and Butler Student Nursing Association membership chair, share a smile prior to their Nurses Pinning Ceremony held at Butler Community College last week.

Kelsey Schlageck of Wichita, 2019 Class President, addressed her fellow nurses and expressed her gratitude on behalf of the class to Butler’s faculty for their dedication, commitment and patience as each of them worked to achieve this milestone. 

“Thank you doesn’t begin to scratch the surface.”

“I gained an immense amount of knowledge. . . and confidence in my abilities to critically think,” she said. She also shared moments and insight of being a nursing student and a nurse that delighted those with the professional knowledge. 

Rachael Henry of Park City, 2019 Nursing Class Vice President, lead the class in reading the International Council of Nurses’ Pledge.

Since 1965, Butler Nurses have received a pin upon graduating with an associate in applied sciences in nursing degree. The practice of pinning nurses began in the late 19th century in London. By 1880, the symbolic rite was brought to Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Since then the practice has become commonplace at nursing school graduations.

Besides receiving graduate nursing pins, the following recognitions were presented:

American Red Cross

Two graduates were recognized for volunteer efforts by members of the American Red Cross, Central Plains Blood Services Region.


Medical Reserves Corps Award

Four graduates completed an online program for Public Health Preparedness and volunteer work through the Butler County Health Department.


Mentoring Program

Nine students were commended by Butler faculty for participating in a mentoring program that enables third and fourth semester nursing students to mentor first and second semester nursing students.

Nursing Graduates by Hometown: (all awards denoted, see award legend below)

Andale: Nicole Robben

Andover: Desiree Firsching, Melissa Wedel (KU, M)

Bel Aire: Elizabeth Sells (M), Hanna Wilkinson

Clearwater: Brooke Winter (M)

Derby: Paige Adams, Charles (Brad) Bagby, Tara Greiving, Peyton Madison, Jennah McKee

El Dorado: Jessica Horner, Taylor Lawrence (MRC), Katie Schwartz, Destiny Smith

Eureka: Rebecca (Hamilton) Samuals (MRC), Kate McDonald, Halie Smith (KU)

Goddard: Morgan Bowen, Michaela Cinotto,

Halstead: Jordan White

Haysville: Jessica Warren, 

Leon: Kerri Young (M)

Maize: Ashley Lawrence

Newton: Melissa Tennyson 

Park City: Rachael Henry, Class Vice President, M, BSNA Chair

Peabody: Courtney Schmill          

Potwin: Whitney Lowmaster (MRC)

Rose Hill: Leah Smith

Towanda: Lydia Hepburn, Charity Hon

Valley Center: Julia Kuepfer, Erica Willis

Wichita: Diana Aguilar, Jennifer Beall (KU), Emma Bennett, Yasmin Bennett, Kelsey Schlageck (Class President, M), Kyle Broz, Lindsay Buckert, Madison Cary (KU), Katherine Castellanos, Skylar Downes, Cheyenne Edwards, LoRisa Fouch (+, M), Katlyn Fox, Michelle Harper (M), Briana Higgins, Monalisa, Liyumba, Nathan Aung Maran (KU), Mychala Money (MRC), Kelsey Olson, Rachel Patterson, Jennifer Roe, Ricardo Sanchez, Stephanie Schumaker (M), Sarah Shaw, Linnea Smidderks, Baylee Smith, Kayla Smith, Angela Sung, Ariel Troutman, Elayna Wall, Audrie Warnick (+)

Winfield: Leah Dunn

Yates Center: Halie Smith (KU) (formally of Yates Center, now living in Eureka)

Pictured left to right are Kelsey Schlageck of Wichita, class president, and Rachael Henry of Park City, class vice president and Butler Student Nursing Association membership chair, share a smile prior to their Nurses Pinning Ceremony held at Butler Community College last week.

(KU) – Butler ASN graduate and KU Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate

(BSNA) – Butler Student Nursing Association officers

(+) – American Red Cross Recognition

(MRC) – Medical Reserves Corps Award Recipients

(M) – Mentoring Recognition


Sam Binter Tennis Complex

The Ribbon Cutting and Dedication hosted by the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce was held Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 5:30pm.

Among the guests in attendance was former Superintendent Sue Givens, along with current school board members and City Commissioners.  The tennis court project was a joint venture between the City of El Dorado and USD490.

Mayor Vince Haines and Superintendent Teresa Tosh shared remarks with the crowd before USD490 School Board President, Norm Wilks help Mayor Haines cut the ribbon.

Mayor Vince Haines and USD490 Board of Education President Norm Wilkes cut the ribbon at the dedication of the Sam Binter Tennis Complex located on North Main Street. 

Sam Binter, left, and USD490 Superintendent Teresa Tosh with the comparative plaque. 

USD 490 2019-2020 Board Appointments

While certainly not a new face at the USD 490 BOE meetings, Superintendent Teresa Tosh has been attending meetings since she was hired earlier this year.  However, this was her first monthly board meeting since assuming the helm from Sue Givens who retired at the end of June.  

During the meeting Kimberly Koop, Director of Information Services was recognized by the board for the BG Stadium Annual Report she submitted.  The report earned a National School Public Relations Award.  

Actions taken by the Board included the Reorganization of the Board of Education for 2019-2020.  A resolution to extend terms of current officers of the board was approved, as were board appointments. 

Those appointments were: 

Melissa Smith was appointed Clerk of the Board and Human Resources Assistant Sherry Bilson was appointed Assistant Clerk of the Board

Director of Human Resources Lynda Sharp and Human Resources Assistant Sherry Bilson as KPERS Representatives

Wendy McAdoo as Board Treasurer for the 2019-2020 School Year 

Melissa Smith as District Food Service Program Representative

Kathy Robertson as Hearing Officer for Free and Reduced Meal Application Appeals

DeAnna Pierce, Elementary Assistant Principal as Local Consolidated Plan Coordinator

Norm Wilks as KASB Governmental Relations Representative

Heather Nichols as Representative to the Special Education Cooperative Board

Vicki Coash as the Ex Officio Representative to Partners in Education Foundation Board of Directors. 

Superintendent Teresa Tosh as the District Freedom of Information Officer

Director of Information Services Kim Koop as District Records Custodian

Norm Wilks and Tom Storrer as Board Representatives on the 2019-2020 Negotiations Team.

Tom Storrer to serve on the District Leadership Team for 2019-2020

Norm Wilks and Monty Hughey to serve on the Educational Facility Authority of Butler County for 2019-2020, with Tom Storrer as an alternate

2019-2020 School Site Councils Representatives:

Skelly Elementary School—Vicki Coash

Blackmore Elementary School— Sharon Waugh

Grandview Elementary School— Monty Hughey

El Dorado Middle School—Heather Nichols 

With the 2019-2020 school year beginning on Tuesday, August 13the for grades PreK-6 and 9 and Wednesday, August 14th for grades 7, 8, and 10-12, walk-in enrollment begins on August 5th.  New Teacher Orientation will be held that day as well and an all-staff meeting will be conducted on August 6th.

The next Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, July 29th at the DIstrict Office.