BEST Team Holds Interactive Expo

The Business Education Strategic Team (BEST) held an interactive Career Expo on Wednesday, October 9th at the 4H Building in El Dorado. 

The BEST Career Expo was held at the Butler County Community Building on October 9th
The El Dorado Chamber of Commerce hosted the event in partnership with area businesses.

The event was designed to provide high school students with the opportunity to engage in the interactive exploration of careers and industry.  It was a collaboration between the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, both El Dorado and Circle High Schools, local businesses, the Workforce Centers and Butler Community College. 

High school students had the exclusive opportunity to engage in hands on-learning until 3:30pm at which time college students, parents, and the general public were welcomed.

“Being able to align business needs with corresponding educational pathways is important, and a primary goal of the BEST committee,” said Teresa Bergen, committee chair.

According to a report from Worldwide Interactive Network, Inc. (WIN) a career readiness resource organization, “In many states, education, economic development and workforce development policy largely function separate from one another.  As separate sets of policy, they often conflict and, consequently, do not maximize their impact on the overall economic health of a state or region. States should align these three policy areas into a single strategy they term the ‘Educonomy.’” 

Furthermore, the WIN report stated that understanding a region’s educonomy requires “identifying business and industry talent needs, understanding the current and emerging occupational and job-specific skills that are in demand, and take an inventory of the quantity and quality of people willing and able to seek employment in critical occupations.”

Some of the area employers participating in the expo included: 

Butler Community College

Susan B. Allen Memorial

Kansas Department of Transportation

Flinthills Services, Inc.

BG Products


Butler Electric Cooperative

Homestead Assisted Living & Memory Care

Kansas State University Global Campus

Hogoboom Oil Field Trucking

Everyday El Dorado


SERC Physical Therapy


Kansas Department of Corrections

Emprise Bank

Dustrol, Inc.

Stanfield Roofing

Mary Kay


Pro Kleen

Beran Concrete


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. 

Work on Tennis Courts to Move Forward

Mayor Haines recused himself by declaring a conflict of interest on the topic of the Tennis Courts to be built in North Main Park.  The City of El Dorado along with USD 490 have entered into an agreement to construct an 8 court tennis complex. As Vice Mayor, Wilkinson assumed chairmanship of the Commission for the discussions.  

A request for qualifications were mailed out to 16 firms, out of which, 5 submitted statements of qualifications. A review committee of 6 members (2 City of El Dorado, 3 USD 490, 1 At Large) reviewed and independently voted on 10 factors:

  1. Commitment of Interest to Project. Use your judgment to determine commitment based on submittal.

  2. Ability to perform the desired services within the time prescribed. Was the firm able to identify a timeline to
    complete the work for use within the next school year?

  3. Past performance of the firm. Your experience with the firm and their performance

  4. Approach to the Design. Your thoughts on how they identified their design process.

  5. Previous experience with Tennis Courts. Based on the submittal your opinion.

  6. Individuals Experience. Team members identified in submittal and their individual experience.

  7. Accessibility of Firm’s Office. Location of office to the project.

  8. Firm’s familiarity with project area. How familiar are they with El Dorado, did they investigate the site,

  9. Firm’s knowledge of design procedures. Was the firm able to identify their procedures?

  10. Other Factors. Please rank based on anything you deem important outside of the questions above. Please write that factor in the space below.

The cumulative highest ranking firm was Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC), who proposed a design build process to ensure the courts would be available for next fall.

Commissioner Lewis expressed his concern of the public’s perception of a conflict of interest.

Stating that PEC may potentially subcontract out the design work, for the restroom/concession building that will be at the tennis facility, to Gravity Works.  

Commissioner Guthrie agreed that there could be an issue with public perception but he cited poor execution by PEC on a previous project.  Commissioners Badwey and Wilkinson noted that they wanted local businesses to be considered for projects and not be automatically disqualified because of the public’s perception of a conflict.  Lewis changed his objection to concur with Guthrie’s assessment of poor execution on a previous project and the motion failed 2-2.

Mayor Haines returned to the Commission Room and upon learning of the motion’s failure asked if it was due to the the inclusion of Gravity Works as a potential subcontractor.  Determined to keep the project moving forward and have it ready for the students to play on this fall, as agreed upon with USD490, Haines withdrew Gravity Works from the bid. The motion passed 3-2. Commissioners Guthrie and Lewis opposed.

USD490 Superintendent Candidate | Darrel Kohlman

On Thursday, December 13, 2018, during a community reception at the administration office, Darrel Kohlman was introduced as the second candidate for USD 490 Superintendent.

Darrel Kohlman

Listen to the podcast or watch the video.

Each candidate spends the day in El Dorado beginning with a tour of the district. Afterwards, they will meet with the administration followed by a meeting with the Teachers Union. Next up on the agenda is the community reception and dinner. Finally, each candidate is formally interviewed by the Board of Education.