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Employees recognized for thirty years of service: a look back

Employees recognized for thirty years of service: a look back

This spring, the Wichita Public Schools will recognize 505 employees for their long-time dedication to our district. 51 of those employees are completing their 30th year of service. Click here to see a list.

What was happening in our district 30 years ago during their first year on the job?

  • Stuart Berger was superintendent of schools (1987-92) and during his first year, he gained the Board’s approval to initiate a number of extensive redistricting/grade reorganizations that would move ninth-graders to high schools and move sixth-graders to the current junior highs, which would become middle schools.
  • In Nov. 1987, the Board of Education revised the district’s policy on pupil discipline to include the statement “Spanking is not an acceptable form of disciplinary action,” thus eliminating permission for use of corporal punishment as a disciplinary alternative in grades K-9.
  • In Feb. 1988, the Board of Education unanimously approved the AIDS education curriculum that had been developed by an advisory committee comprised by representatives from the medical community, health and youth organizations, public service and county agencies, Kansas universities, religious organizations, parent groups and school district staff.
  • In Oct. 1987, business leader and philanthropist Dick DeVore announced the creation of the Excellence in Public Service Award program to recognize outstanding public service employees, including those from the Wichita Public Schools. He said it was fitting to recognize “our educators, who spend more time with our children than we do. As they shape and mold our children, they play a vital role in all of our futures.”
  • History was made at East High School in February 1988 when, then chemistry teacher Tim Phares, and four East students created superconductive disks and then tested them – the disks levitated magnets. At that time the technology was relatively new, with most research and development occurring in the university laboratories and private facilities. East was one of the first high schools in the Midwest to successfully fabricate superconductive materials. Today, Phares is Director of Environmental Services.
  • In Oct. 1987, the entire Staff Development Division moved to the old Knight Elementary School building at 3030 S. Osage. This facility featured several work rooms, a Make-It-and-Take-It Room, a multipurpose room for meetings, a laminating room and computer lab – an early predecessor of the Joyce Focht ISC until 1991 when it reverted back to classroom use as the Lewis Open Magnet School. As part of the 2008 bond issue, Lewis was replaced by a new building, James V. Enders Elementary.
  • The cost of a school lunch for elementary students was $ 1.10.

Employees who celebrate their 20-, 30- and 40-year anniversaries of service this year were invited to the district’s Retirement and Longevity Banquet. If you have any questions about your years of service, please contact Diana Price, Human Resources Records Technician, 973-4625.

A list of those being recognized for 40-years of service will be posted in May.