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Sunday Blog: Talking WHA, Tracy resignation, Valedictorians, new football format and Deflategate

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first_img4. New football format…The Kansas State High School Activities Association appears to be tinkering with the football format again. The three-team district format will be eliminated in Class 6A and 5A in 2016.  Instead, there will be eight regular season games and then on the final weekend there will be a 32-team tournament format in which every team in the state will be seeded 1 through 16 and play one another. In other words, everyone gets into the playoffs in 6A and 5A. Class 4A, for which Wellington is a part of, will stick with the three-team district format. Kansas is not exactly a progressive new-concept kind of state. But this proposal seems to have come from former planet Pluto. I’ve never heard such a thing – everyone makes the playoffs as if it is a post-season basketball tournament.And, you know what. It just might work.The district format has been much misaligned over the years for numerous reasons including tying up high school team schedules. This new format will allow Class 6A and 5A schools more flexibility and play teams they haven’t played before.Bishop Carroll head football coach Alan Schuckman was quoted as saying he likes the idea because for the first time in history his school can go out and play a team outside the Wichita City League.Now about those post season single elimination baseball and softball tournaments… 2. Tracy’s resignation…John TracyI was disappointed to see council member John “B.J.” Tracy resign from the city council.Tracy has been an excellent member. He has been thoughtful, independent, and has brought a unique form of intelligence to the table. The council will miss him dearly.My big objection is him not finishing out the term. While I realize Tracy has acquired new responsibilities as the Sumner County 911 Director, something that has changed since he ran for office, he still has an obligation to the voters to finish out his term — as do all elected officials.The council now has the dutiful task of choosing a new council member during what is a rather unusually turbulent time for the governmental entity. I’m hoping the council can appoint someone who has a genuine interest in fixing whatever ills the city of Wellington is having and not be consumed with a political agenda. And we all know, there’s a lot to be fixed at the moment. 3. Valedictorian…Congratulations to all Sumner County graduates in 2015. This is indeed a great group of seniors graduating.Will we eventually have students sign up to be Valedictorian?If I have one complaint, though. Wellington High School has way too many Valedictorians. There are seven this year. While all of them are deserving of the honor, I can’t help but think we have six too many. Valedictorians should go to the top one student. That’s what makes the designation so special.Rumor has it, there could be 14 Valedictorians in 2016 at WHS.Again, please don’t take this as putting down the students. But this is not right.And this is due to an extremely flawed policy enacted by the Wellington school board in June 2013 when the board eliminated weighted classes to determine class rank. In yesteryear, a student was rewarded an extra point for taking honors and college classes. Instead, in 2013, the board went with a GPA based strictly on the Kansas core curriculum of English, Math and Social Science. So essentially everyone who took those classes and got straight A’s ended up in a tie.Thankfully, the board, has changed the policy upon the recommendation of Wellington High School principal Adam Hatfield. Starting in 2019 (this year’s incoming freshmen) WHS is implementing a Cum Laude program for which students are given an award much like you see in college. The program will combine GPA, ACT score, Kansas scholars, and AP Honors Classes to determine if someone is Cum Laude or not (see story here)I have even a better idea. Let’s go back to a weighted GPA and offer a plethora of honors courses — both “in school” and with AP — as we have in years past. And let’s name one Valedictorian and one Salutatorian at WHS. by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for May 17, 2015…1. Not quite yet…The Wellington Housing Authority board made significant steps May 7 when it called in independent auditor Cynthia Warren for a special meeting to issue a report in hopes of resolving the six-month controversy at Wheat Capital Manor. What was significant about the meeting is it brought some perimeters to the controversy, and provided the general public, including myself, some clue to what the fuss has been all about.WHA administrator and Manor overseer Melissa Hamlin was absolved of all wrong doing except for not withdrawing $6,755 in 2014 from her and another employee’s paycheck to cover their spouses in the company healthcare plan (see story here).The question the board must answer is whether there was malice.Melissa HamlinDid Hamlin intentionally not withdraw money in defiance to the board’s instructions, or was this simply a misunderstanding and/or an accounting error? Considering the turmoil of the past six months within the board and who knows how much longer before, it might be a question too difficult to resolve. Perhaps, the best thing to do is make a plan for the two employees to repay the money, enact new policy and move on.While it appears closure to this overblown controversy is nearing, two things still bother me. Firstly, I’m not sure if this is standard practice with various governmental boards, but why would an administrator be in charge of his or her own paycheck? A similar type of controversy occurred with the Wellington Library Board a year earlier. Former Wellington Public Librarian Kim Wiens, who retired is accused of paying herself too much vacation time (see story here). It appears every organization, whether it be public or private, probably should have some kind of safeguard checks and balance system in place.Secondly, I’m also still bothered by Wellington City Manager Roy Eckert’s removal of Kelli McComb as chairman of the WHA board on March 5, 2015. He stated in the letter that McComb was being removed for misfeasance, nonfeasance or malfeasance (see story here).  Misfeasance is defined as a willful inappropriate action or intentional incorrect action of advice. Malfeasance is defined as a willful and intentional action that injures a party, Nonfeasance is defined as the failure to act where action is required.I still don’t know exactly what this means in this instance. Was Eckert removing McComb for investigating the matter, or for not removing Hamlin in a timely fashion?I will continue to invite Eckert for a public interview or for him to write a guest editorial to explain his position.As for the Manor itself. I, like about everyone, hope the issue is close to resolution quite simply for the residents living there. What has impressed me most in this ordeal, is how the Manor residents have demonstrated their love for Ms. Hamlin. It’s a dynamic that you don’t always see in this time of acrimony and unrest. People won’t rally around a person they do not like.Still, the WHA board has a duty to resolve the matter of the insurance issue, and have the temerity to adopt policies so further similar controversies can be avoided.center_img 5. Shout out of the week…Tom BradyOther than the Class of 2015, I’m also giving it this week’s shoutout to the ending of “Deflategate” the most boring, hypersensitive controversy of all time – or at least the last month. Can we all get a grip on these two facts?1) We are arguing about PSI pressure in footballs.2) In the game in question, New England beat Indianapolis 45-7 in the AFC Championship game. If Patriot quarterback Tom Brady was throwing beach balls, the Colts weren’t winning that game.Enough already, world!Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (28) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. -2 Vote up Vote down resident2014 85p · 273 weeks ago Regarding Wheat Capitol Manor – who approves the mileage reports, k-tag expenditures, home internet bills (home internet ??WHY?? what other business managers have home internet paid so they can watch the business from home. I bet the Vantage Point and Michigan St. apartments don’t pay any home internet) and cell phone bills. Are these all Administrator approved and paid expenditures? There needs to be a check and balance here. Home internet service, k-tag, cell phone and mileage reports should be reviewed by the WHA board to verify that the cell phone is used for business and not personal use,and the k-tag has a matching mileage report entry that can be validated as a business expense, etc. That should be easy to do. I personally do not know if there is anything amiss, but it sure seems that there are a lot of “perks” to the job. If these perks are not in violation the current procedures, I for one, think policy needs to be reviewed and local auditing (more than just HUD policy audits) needs to be performed. At a minimum the insurance over-payment by tax paying entities should be repaid. It is money due to be returned. (It is unfortunate the Irey family is financially liable in this matter – I am sure he had no involvement in the meetings leading up to this “misunderstanding”, “error”, “poor judgement” or “theft”.) Report Reply 3 replies · active 273 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down tired · 273 weeks ago Everyone getting out the stir stick. Audit has been done. They advised the money was being paid back. End of story. Move on your beating a dead horse. Report Reply 1 reply · active 273 weeks ago +8 Vote up Vote down no one special · 273 weeks ago Leave it alone! Gezzzzz… Do you want the job or what? I realize this will get a lot of negative thumbs but really, how does this effect you? Weather it was a honest mistake or not it appears that the problem will be taken care. Yes, there should be a checks and balances system for the future. Report Reply 2 replies · active 273 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down tired · 273 weeks ago They advised the Internet is so the in house security system can be monitored. They advised no personal trios were used with the ktag. If she is conducting business and having to use her personal vehicle mileage should be paid. Why the witch hunt? This person has taken this business to a 98 % approval rating when it used to be half that. They can work out the details on the insurance. Life goes on. Report Reply 3 replies · active 273 weeks ago -10 Vote up Vote down resident · 273 weeks ago The WHA Board needs to explain to the community why Hamlins Salary and Health Insurance benefit when combined is greater than the Salary and Health insurance Benefit when combined for other local government employees including the chief of police, Fire Chief, city clerk, Sheriff and principals in our schools. Report Reply 1 reply · active 273 weeks ago +19 Vote up Vote down whsgraduate · 273 weeks ago I have to agree with the section about the valedictorian. What happen to that honor being the one person who was too of the class? I mean no disrespect to the kids at all and proud of them for their accomplishments. The definition of valedictorian is “a student, usually the one ranking highest academically in a school graduating class,who delivers the valedictory at thecommencement exercises.” So why can’t we allow that one person to have their moment they have worked so hard for. Again no disrespect to the kids. Report Reply 1 reply · active 273 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down SuCo Pride · 273 weeks ago It’s because there’s not easy way to determine the highest ranking academically in a class. Each of these students probably achieved the maximum 4.0 GPA possible in the WHS curriculum. Without the benefit of weighted Honors Courses, this will always be an issue for Wellington classes. Report Reply 2 replies · active 273 weeks ago +14 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 273 weeks ago I’m sensing the reason why Wellington has seven Valedictorians and possibly 14 of them next year is a few years ago some parent got butt hurt because his child was not Valedictorian and the rule was changed. And this parent was in a position of authority. People, there is always a reason why things are the way they are. There is a reason why we have seven Valedictorians when in the 1980s and 1990s and 2000s we had one. This is about politics, and again the kids will suffer. Report Reply 2 replies · active 273 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Larry · 273 weeks ago First the city of wellington should not be involved in running the Manor, and second when politics get involved, that is the best and fasted way to screw something up. Report Reply 0 replies · active 273 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down not meant in jest · 273 weeks ago Serious question: Do lower standards mean more “valedictorians”? Report Reply 2 replies · active 273 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! 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