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 two National Merit Finalists and one National Merit Commended Scholar! Additionally, once again we were named one of the Best High Schools in America by US News and World Report!
For those of you following the life of our school, you also know of our athletic and extracurricular successes last year. We were the City Champs in Boys' Swim and Dive, Boys' Cross Country, Girls' Cross Country, Girls' Golf, and Girls' Swim; we were the Centennial League Champions in Boys' Soccer, Girls' Bowling, Boys' Bowling, Girls' Wrestling, Girls' Cross Country, Boys' Cross Country, Volleyball, Girls' Basketball, Boys' Basketball, Boys' Golf, Softball, and Girls' Swim; we were Regional or Sub-State Champions in Boys' Soccer, Girls' Tennis, Volleyball, Boys' Bowling, Girls' Basketball, Girls' Wrestling, Softball, and Boys' Tennis; and we were the State Champions in Volleyball, 4-Speaker Debate, Boys' Bowling, and Girls' Wrestling. In addition, we had two State Wrestling Champs, Easton Broxterman-Boys' 113 lb. weight division, Landen Kocher-Munoz-Boys' 120 lb. weight division, and Brooklyn DeLeye was named Kansas Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year for a second year in a row.
Our extra-curricular and co-curricular programs continue to flourish. The WRHS Music Department received a 1-rating at the State Music Contest in Large Group. Our Theatre Department received 9 State Level Jester Awards for their production of 9 to 5 including: Outstanding Production, Supporting Performer-Addie Resch, Leading Performer-Mackenzie Smith, Orchestra Direction-Melissa Lambotte, Artistic Guest-Alex Castaneda, Stage Crew, Design Guest-Linnea Hoyos, Program DesignMaeghan Bishop, and Lighting Design-Evan Davison.
During the 2022-2023 season, our debate and forensics squads won hundreds of awards at invitational tournaments across the state, including a 7th consecutive state championship in 4-Speaker debate. We had 18 students qualify for the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Phoenix this June. Our speech and debate program are ranked 10th in the nation in terms of our chapter strength (a combination of number of competitors and success) with the National Speech and Debate Association.
Our staff received numerous awards throughout this past year: Brian Hensyel was named All-City Boys' Soccer Coach of the Year; Steve Buhler was named Shawnee County Football Co-Coach of the Year; Matt Swedlund was named City Cross Country Co-Coach of the Year; Kevin Bordewick was named All-County Girls' Basketball Coach of the Year, Centennial League Volleyball and Girls' Basketball Coach of the Year, and will also be inducted into the Shawnee County 2023 Sports Hall of Fame.
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.