On behalf of the staff and administration of Washburn Rural High School, I am excited to extend to you our best wishes for a productive and exciting new school year. Let me assure you that the educational opportunities for students at WRHS are excellent, both by reputation and by the measured accomplishments of our students.
We enjoy one of the best reputations of any public high school in the State of Kansas! Last year, for example, we produced six National Merit Commended Scholars!
For those of you following the life of our school, you also know of our athletic and extracurricular successes last year. We were the State Champions in Girls' Golf and 4-Speaker Debate; we had 6 individual State Champs: Tarrin Fisher (Boys' Swimming) in the 200 yard IM (and he set a State record in the 100 yard breaststroke), Bishop Murray, Gunnar Murray and Gavin Carter (Wrestling), Blake Massey (Boys’ Bowling), and Parker Beal (Boys' Golf); we were the Regional Champions in Boys' Soccer, Girls' Golf, Girls' Tennis, Girls' Soccer, Boys' Golf, Softball, Baseball, and Girls' Bowling; we were the 2017-18 Centennial League Champions in Boys' Soccer, Girls' Tennis, Boys' Golf, Girls' Soccer, Boys' Golf, Girls' Swim & Dive, and Girls' Golf; and we were the Sub-State champions in Volleyball.
Our extra-curricular and co-curricular programs continue to flourish. Our Air Force JROTC unit received "Exceeds Standards" on their evaluation last year. Our Band completed a fabulous trip to Orlando, Florida. 152 band students participated in the "You're Instrumental" Workshop as a combined concert band at Disney's Hollywood Studios and marched down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom Parade. Our Debate and Forensics squads won close to 500 team and individual awards. Our Debate program is ranked 8th in the nation and 1st in the state. Our cheerleaders received numerous awards at camp including the Superior Team Recognition Trophy and the Traditions Award. The Dancin' Blues won several awards at three events—most notably The Sweepstakes award at Miss Kansas, The Winners Circle at KSPEC, and they placed in Division 1 with their Home Routine at summer camp. Our Thespians were named a Gold Honor Troupe, and Washburn Rural Chorale received a "1" rating at the State Large Group Contest for the 33rd consecutive year!
Our staff received numerous awards throughout this past year: Connie McGinnis was named Kansas Thespian Society Region III Teacher of the Year, Karl Eliason was the USD 437 representative for Kansas Teacher of the Year, and Kelly Younger was named the KASSP Region 1 Assistant Principal of the Year. Matthew Swedlund (Cross Country), Brian Hensyel (Boys' Soccer), and Kevin Bordewick (Volleyball) were named City Coaches of the Year. Damon Parker (Wrestling) was named Centennial League Coach of the Year, Jared Goehring (Boys' Golf) was named All-League Coach of the year, and Kevin Bordewick celebrated his 800th win in Volleyball. The parents, staff, students, and community which WRHS serves have much to be proud of. It was a truly exciting year!
In the coming year, I invite you to become a partner with us in your child's education, and in doing so, learn more about their "home away from home": Washburn Rural High School. Attend their athletic events. Go to their concerts. Ask them about their school work. Talk with their teachers. Ask how you can volunteer in our building. By developing a deeper understanding of all that is available to your students at WRHS, you will help us to unlock the extraordinary potential within each one of them.
We look forward to the upcoming year with great hope and an unwavering belief in the promise of our young people. We wish all of you the very best! If we can ever be of service to you, please do not hesitate to call.