Pam Stranathan

Pam Stranathan

Pam Stranathan
USD 231 superintendent
This past year has been a tremendous year for Gardner Edgerton School District. From student successes to staff successes to District successes, USD 231 is excelling at all levels.
Each year, Gardner Edgerton students continue to amaze us with the diversity of their skills and talents. The number of student achievements over the past year is phenomenal. No matter great or small, when a student sets a goal and meets it with success, it not only brings confidence and knowledge, but also builds character and a stronger ambition to attempt and accomplish greater things.
Over the course of the past twelve months, 68 seniors were recognized by the KU Honors program for high achievement; Cooper McGuire received a $10,000 scholarship from Nordstrom; Seth Pesek won the state title for the third time as a state champion wrestler; GEHS Theatre Department received three nominations for Starlight Blue Star Awards; Emily Moore and Cooper Hart each received a $20,000 scholarship from H&R Block; Connor McGuire topped all Kansas pole vaults with a 15’6” foot earning him a state title; Jesse Molenda, Conner Phillips and David Shute were named Commended Students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship program; the GEHS Engineering team was a top five contender in the Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains Competition winning a $2,500 grant; and, this just in, the GEHS Engineering Team has placed among the top five teams in the nation outshining its competitors with a trip to the Design Challenge National Competition in April. These accolades are just a few of the many successes documented by our exceptional students.
Staff achievements have paralleled student achievements on a grand level as well. Many staff members have gone above and beyond in their duties and have received public acknowledgement for their work. These acknowledgements have come in the form of grant rewards, professional accolades, and regional and state recognitions. We applaud our staff for their dedication to their profession and to the students of Gardner Edgerton. They are truly the foundation and strength of this extraordinary school district.
The district as a whole has garnered great success as well over the past year. The communities we serve have supported the district in its effort to provide the best possible education to its youth by approving the Local Option Budget in 2015 and the bond issue in 2016. The 2016 bond issue includes components that will transform the landscape of the district to provide students with greater opportunities for learning and greater opportunities for future success. It is comforting, but yet mindful of the great responsibility, that we have the trust and support from our patrons to focus on what really matters… our kids.
The most recent achievement earned is the Kansas State Department of Education nomination for Wheatridge Middle School to apply to the National Blue Ribbon School Award Program. The National Blue Ribbon Award is the highest accolade an academic institution can receive nationally, and receiving a nomination is a tremendous honor. The nomination is a public acknowledgment and testament to the hard work and dedication of the students and staff at Wheatridge.
As a district, we continue to innovate and seek out the best curriculum, programs, educators, administrators and technology that we can reasonably provide to continue the flow of great education and achievements. With the implementation of the 1-to-1 Initiative this year, which provided a Chromebook to all high school staff and students; to implementing the Aspiring Administrator Academy, a professional development program for staff members pursuing a career in school administration; the District prides itself on being proactive in searching out and delivering the best tools for our staff and students to succeed at the highest level possible.
Together, we have shared many accomplishments and successes this year, and with great certainty and anticipation look forward to many more in the years ahead. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Gardner Edgerton School District community.