The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, December 18th. 
Middle School Principal Brian Regelin introduced Science Teacher HaLea Messersmith who presented information on the second year of Blended Learning in the science curriculum at CMS and CHS. Messersmith and Integration Specialist Patty Wolfe have been working together on the blended learning concept beginning with the science curriculum and it may be expanded to other subject in the future.
“We blend because it allows us to work more one on one with our students, allows students to collaborate and assist in peer teaching an ownership and gives students choices on how to best learn based on their individual learning style,” explained Messersmith. “We utilize the ‘Flipped Model’, mostly  in the high school where students get material outside of class and then bring it back to class with questions, the ‘Flexible Play List’ for students who prefer to self-pace and the ‘Station Rotation Model’ that works well and fits our district’s technology model.” 
“The Blended Learning Model is working well as we switch our science standards and also fits well with our Marzano program,” Regelin added.
During Regelin’s administrative report he noted that the teacher in-service on January 3rd would be for MS/ HS technology. On January 19th a speaker will be presenting the Ten Action Steps to Help Students With Poverty during the all day in-service.
Regelin reported that middle school students had recently taken the Nebraska Career Connections Survey and that this program will remain in place for each student through their senior year.
“The SMASH Paper Product and Toy Drive was once again successful this year as was the Middle School Book Fair,” according to Regelin. 
“Instructional Rounds have been completed for the semester and the middle school has two new students,” Regelin stated.
Technology Director Dave Evertson presented an update on the elementary device program, explaining that students in Grades 3-5 will be ‘ready to roll’ on Chromebooks with one cart available per grade level.
Evertson introduced High School English Teacher Woody Blackmore and student  Jade Buss who provided an informational presentation on the usage of Google Classroom and Actively Learn in his classroom.
“There are so many advantages to these two instructional tools,” Blackmore explained. Blackmore can get on Google Classroom at any time and see who is working on their homework and check progress. 
Elementary Principal Dale Henderson reported that the 5th Grade Honor Choir, directed by Music Teacher Erica Wieseler has been busy with performances. 
“We have started ‘Mindset Monday’s in the elementary this year with a 5th grade student leading the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a staff member making a positive announcement to begin each week,” Henderson said. “We have given out numerous character award yard signs to students with all of these being well-deserved.”
CEEC Director Jill Beckenhauer reported that the scores from the state evaluations were very good. “We are well above the state average in all categories except for hand washing, and we’ve devised a plan to improve in that area,’ Beckenhauer noted.
Beckenhauer commended Tricia Regelin and Brianda Prado for all that they do for our preschool program.
High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer reported that his days have been busy doing evaluations for the nine non-tenured staff. “Each non-tenured staff member needs to be evaluated six times with their summative evaluation completed in March or April,” Beckenhauer said. 
“I also walk through each classroom twice per month and have been meeting with Guidance Counselor Bruce Hird and Assistant Principal/Activities Director Jordan Cudney and staff members for academic outreach for our at-risk students,” Beckenhauer stated.
Beckenhauer noted that the Speech Team has begun their season and were successful at their home invite on December 16th.
Superintendent Joel Applegate told members of the board that the administrators want to show them what is going on in their classrooms with presentations like they had tonight from Messersmith, Blackmore and Buss.
Applegate reported that the quarterly Lunch Advisory Board had met and that the goal of less chicken meals was achieved during the month of December. The advisory board and IPAA! Food Service also discussed a possible ‘2nd Chance Breakfast, ‘Grab & Go Lunches’ and more pasta meals for athletes. They will meet in February.
The Consent Agenda was approved as presented.
Under Action Items, the resignation of High School Art Teacher Kent Ross at the end of the 2017-2018 was accepted with thanks from the board members. Ross will be completing his 13th year in Cozad, his 42nd overall. 
The request for a donation to OpenSky was denied, as board members did not want to donate taxpayer’s money.
Superintendent Applegate provided an update on the HVAC/Locker Room projects and reported that Engineer Ed Kucirek, from Ralston would be coming to take photos of the present electric and gas lines in the locker room.
“Whoever gets the bid should do it based on the mechanical drawings but also needs to utilize the photos,” Applegate explained.
January bids are sought for the locker and boiler rooms. Applegate hopes that work will begin in May and be completed by October for the boiler room renovations.
The district will be receiving a bid from Weathercraft after inspecting the high school roof. Earlier this school year there was some leakage and damage on the high school roof. Applegate suggested that it might be prudent to complete the needed high school roof repairs and then complete roof inspections at CEEC, Cozad Elementary and Cozad Middle School in the future.
The board entered Closed Session for evaluation of Superintendent Applegate. They then returned to Open Session and shared the results with Superintendent Applegate. Renewal of his contract will be discussed in February.
The next regular meeting for the Board of Education is scheduled for Monday, January 15, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
The Lexington Bloodmobile will be held on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 201 East 8th in Lexington. 
For appointments call Mag Fagot at 308-320-3280.

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Stepping onto the big stage and performing to the best of your ability was a feeling of accomplishment for the Cozad High School Play Production team as they were awarded with the 2017 Class B State Runner-Up accolades on Friday during the State Championships held in Norfolk at the Johnny Carson Theatre. 
After performing on Friday afternoon, the cast and crew didn’t have much time to deliberate with each other on how they performed, as it was just an hour later that they were unveiled as the State Runner-Up. “When the performance was over, there was a feeling of completion, a feeling that we had taken the season to its natural conclusion. When the team was announced as the Runner-Up, it was all a blur,” expressed Cozad Play Production Director Kyle Vincent. “We were grateful that the cast and crew had the opportunity to be recognized for all their hard work.” 
The cast and crew of Chasing Fogg along with the directors was a compilation of many different scenes that were specific to the talents of the Cozad actors and actresses that continued to seek excellence. “It’s been an open secret that we wrote Chasing Fogg ourselves. After a summer of reading numerous scripts that didn’t really suit our group of students, we decided to tell an interesting story and build the text of the play to suit our actors. As directors, we completed the plot outline and most of the dialogue before rehearsals started. Our actors had free reign to change the dialogue or rewrite scenes to fit the actor/character,” stated Vincent. “We spent a lot of time as a cast improvising scenes that eventually made it into the show. Consequentially, the show was never the same twice. The cast continued to add new pieces right up until the night before the state performance.”
Along with winning the State Runner-Up accolades,  Melissa Estrada and Carrie Osborn were lauded with the honors of being Outstanding Performers. One step further up the ladder, Carrie Osborn was unveiled as the 2017 Class B Most Outstanding Female Performer. 
Doing their specific part to the best of their ability were the cast and crew all season long.  “This current group is extraordinarily creative and we worked hard to match their talents with the script,” stated Vincent. 
Members of the Cozad State qualifying Play Production on stage team are: Melissa Estrada, Abby Worrell, Omar Carlos, Garrett Savick, Misty Waltermire, Aaliyah Wilkins, Carrie Osborn, Katelyn Calhoun, Isabel Schaefer, Trevor Linn, Skylar Rogers, Riley Tilson, Emily Siebenhor, Kaden Garcia, Natalie Engel, Landry Geiger, Jadyn Hardee, Becca Shaffer, Alaine Canas, Grace Cargill, Haley Cargill, Chloe Donahey, Belle Hagan, Mariana Hermosillo, Sarai Hermosillo, Alex Huertas, Jakob Kostman, Claire Kostrunek, Hunter Kussman, Cassie Martinez, Biz Tvrdy and Morgan Wenburg. 
Behind the scenes as members of the Stage Crew for Cozad’s production were: Jennifer Rodriguez, Megan Burkholder, Anna McCracken, Nick Meredith, Kelly Mohler, Trey Mundell, Sage Eckard, Tre Sumrall, Quinn Salleng, Liz Demilt and Taylor Hoff. 
The Cozad Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge, Number 2250 has selected Lexington’s MaKenzie Johnson and Leigh Anne Lehmann of Eustis/Farnam as the recipients of the Elks Teens of the Month for December. 
The pair of students have maintained stellar academic portfolios at Lexington and Eustis/Farnam throughout their high school campaigns. 
MaKenzie is the daughter of Ryan and Jennifer Johnson. Johnson maintains a 4.67 GPA at Lexington High School and currently ranks as the Second highest GPA out of the 219 students in the LHS Senior Class. 
MaKenzie Johnson is a very busy young woman while exceeding an elite standard in the classroom that has empowered her to be on the Super A/All A’s list every week in high school. MaKenzie was lauded with the honor of being a Scholastic Award winner and Student of the Semester as well.  She earned the spotlight of being a Triple Threat with no absences, involved in activities and had all A’s. 
MaKenzie Johnson has been deeply involved in the Destination Graduation program all four years of high school. She has been on the Student Principal Educational Advisory Committee since her sophomore year. This past year, MaKenzie earned the honor of being among the top 10 percent in the State of Nebraska for MAPS Math. 
MaKenzie has been an AWANA leader for the past couple years and has volunteered at many events along with completing community service efforts as well. 
As a pertinent member of the Lexington High School Annual Staff, MaKenzie has been the Editor in Chief of the Yearbook since her sophomore year. 
Johnson has participated in Softball, Track, Powerlifting as well as being a member of the Liberty Belles Dance team. MaKenzie has been a team captain for the Liberty Belles the past two years. As a member of the Liberty Belles dance squad, Johnson has lettered each year and earned the recognition of being a NDA All-American. She has earned numerous All-State and All-GNAC honors in Softball along with being a four year letterwinner. During the winter months while dancing with the Liberty Belles, MaKenzie competes in powerlifting where she has lettered twice and was the State Runner-Up this past season after finishing fifth overall in 2015. 
“MaKenzie is one of those students that teachers dream of having in their classroms. Not only is she incredibly intelligent, but driven as well,” expressed Lexington High School Science Instructor Michael Zarate. “She has her personal goals set very high and is willing to put forth the effort necessary to meet them and often push them to new heights.”
Leigh Anne Lehmann is the daughter of Kelly and Pam Lehmann. Leigh Anne maintains a 99.19 GPA while being a very active student in a variety of activities at Eustis/Farnam High School. Lehmann is currently ranked #1 in cumulative GPA in her Senior class. 
Superior grades have propelled Lehmann to be on the High Honor Roll throughout her prep years at Eustis/Farnam High School. She has also earned the Eustis Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month accolades in September. Leigh Anne was inducted into the National Honor Society as a Sophomore and she currently exceeds the requirements to be in the highly esteemed organization. 
She has assumed leadership roles for her class throughout her tenure at Eustis/Farnam. She was the Junior Class President this past year, a position Lehmann currently holds for the Senior Class as well. During her Sophomore campaign, Leigh Anne was her classes Student Council Representative after being her classes secretary as a freshman. 
Lehmann has been involved in the Eustis/Farnam Student Council, Speech team and FFA programs for all four years of high school. She is currently the FFA President. Leigh Anne has achieved great success as a member of the FFA program with first place finishes in state competitions for Food Science and Meats Evaluation. This past year she was third overall in the state as a individual in Food Science and as a Junior was the indiviudual state runner-up in Meats Evaluation. 
Even during the Summer months, Leigh Anne has participated in activities that have boosted her portfolio by becoming a Hugh O’Brien Youth (HOBY) Leadership Ambassador in 2016 and then being a Girls State Representative this past Summer. She is currently an Ambassador for the Behavorial Health Education Center of Nebraska. 
Along with her busy schedule, Lehmann has made time to be a member of the Eustis/Farnam Cross Country, Basketball and Track squads. She has earned letterwinner status in all three sports as well. She has been a NCPA Academic All-State partipant in Cross Country the past two years. 
Both MaKenzie and Leigh Anne deserve the utmost attention as Elks Students of the Month for December as a result of their Superior and well-rounded portfolios. 
The commute across Dawson County and surrounding areas just got easier as RYDE Transit has unveiled two new routes along with their already established routes that could directly affect the mobility of TRIBUNE-Area residents. 
RYDE Transit will make it easier for patrons to travel to Eustis, Farnam as well as a separate trip from Lexington to North Platte. 
RYDE Transit now has a Tuesday route that leaves Lexington and travels to Eustis and Farnam and then north to Gothenburg on Highway 47. The route leaves Lexington at 8:30 a.m. and arrives in Gothenburg approximately at 10:05 a.m. The stop in Eustis is slated for 9:15 a.m. and then in Farnam at 9:35 a.m. The bus will then depart Gothenburg at 2 p.m. and arrive back in Lexington at approximately at 4:15 p.m. with stops in Farnam being at 2:40 p.m.  and Eustis at 3:15 p.m. The round trip fare is $10 with one-way fares being just $5. 
The RYDE Transit Bus is slated to travel from Lexington to North Platte with stops in Cozad, Gothenburg, Brady and Maxwell on the second and fourth Thursday of each month with the exact details still being worked out on the new route. The bus is slated to leave at 7:45 a.m. and arrive in North Platte at approximately 9:50 a.m. and then depart North Platte at 2:30 p.m. to return to Lexington with arrival being close to 4:35 p.m. It has yet to be released when this new route will be available. The round trip fare for the trip would be $8. 
It is still asked that you call at least 24 hours to (308) 324-3670 in advance to schedule your trip, just like any of the other RYDE Transit transportation services that are currently available in Lexington, Sumner, Eddyville, Elwood, Overton, Elwood and Cozad. 
The idea for this new service grew from the statewide public transit coordination initiative organized by the Department of Transportation with transit agencies, community leaders and human services agencies across the state of Nebraska, all focused on public service and improving cost transit effectiveness. 
Questions or concerns with the new routes can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or (308)-865-5677.