Attendees to the Gardner Chamber’s Coffee Networking Event received a tour of the Gardner Edgerton High School’s Tech Center, Wednesday, September 7. The automotive, woodworking, welding departments and more were highlighted during the visit. Staff photos by Lynne Hermansen

Lynne Hermansen
Attendees to the Chamber coffee event, Wednesday, September 7 met members of the school district at the Gardner Edgerton High School’s culinary center known as ‘Bistro 403.’
Superintendent Dr. Brian Huff was unable to attend due to illness.
Frank Bell has been the principal for Gardner Edgerton High School for three years and said the school year was off to a great start.
“I’m happy to be back,”he said.

Melissa McIntyre, director of student support services, shows off the wood fired pizza oven in the Gardner Edgerton High School culinary school Wednesday, September 7.

Bell said he took a break from education for awhile and has worked and served with the Olathe Chamber.
“Who doesn’t want to see businesses doing something positive for schools,”he said. “The community really stepped up and created wonderful opportunities for them.”
Tim Brady, Gardner Edgerton Schools Foundation director, said one reason kids have a great experience in the district is because of the support of parents and community.
“I love this town, businesses and organizations,”he said.
Brady highlighted the foundation’s We Care Fund that assists students and families going through difficult times.
He said they are also planning on starting innovative teacher grants.
“We want to take care of the needs of those associated with the school district,”he said.
Melissa McIntyre, Director Student Support Services, said administrators were equally as passionate.
“We couldn’t be more proud of these facilities,”she said. “We are hoping to head up events again in the Bistro.”
McIntyre said her favorite part is how the new culinary and tech centers was the change it illicited in kids.
“They are excited to be at school now,” she said. “It is an important gift to our kids.”
McIntyre said the district is planning to host a career fair for students but in the same traditional manner.
“It usually doesn’t take root,”she said.
McIntyre said Broadcast Journalism students will come out to a featured business and interview them. Every Monday they will show a video to the student body and the following Tuesday the featured business will come in with a table to meet up with students and answer questions.
“We dont want it to be job recruitment,”she said. “Here’s where it could grow if you chose this line of work.”
McIntyre said they hope to feature a range of 12 to 14 career pathways-medical professions etc. throughout the school year.