Push is on to name LHS gym for coach
School board to vote on Johnsmeyer Gym at July meeting
Lansing The Lansing High School gymnasium will remain the same, but it may have a new name in the fall if Lansing School Board grants the request of several community members.
The board on Monday heard requests from five patrons to name the LHS gym after Earl Johnsmeyer, who was a business teacher, coach and counselor at the high school from 1948-1973. About five others came to support the proposal.
"I love to see that kind of support for anything that's on the agenda," board president Shelly Gowdy said.
June Foley, president of Lansing Alumni Association, said the official request for recognition came from the association, but the idea had come from members of the association and community. Of those polled at the association's annual dinner and dance last July, Foley told the board, the majority were in favor of naming the gym after Johnsmeyer. Foley said the gym was chosen because Johnsmeyer's basketball teams "did great things."
However, Foley said that Johnsmeyer's legacy was more than his coaching record. To her, she said the most significant contribution Johnsmeyer and his wife, Irene, made was to start the Lansing, Kansas, Scholarship Fund. The fund now provides 16 scholarships, eight of them funded by the Johnsmeyers.
Betty Klinedinst, a member of the alumni association, said Monday that the Johnsmeyers left their entire estate to the scholarship fund because they had no children.
Three friends of Earl Johnsmeyer also petitioned the board to name the gym after him. Ted LoPresti, a counselor at LHS who worked with Johnsmeyer, said he was confident Johnsmeyer, who died in 2002, would have been touched by the proposal.
"He would be so proud, so honored, because Lansing schools were so important to him and Irene," LoPresti said.
Ray Sherley, who was coached by Johnsmeyer and later returned to LHS to teach with him, said Johnsmeyer's basketball teams did have a great record, winning 98 games and losing only eight in his first four years. But Sherley said Johnsmeyer did more than just coach successful teams.
"He was a man who demanded great character out of people," Sherley said. "He also taught you to be a gentleman and be respectful of other human beings.
"I think Earl deserves a great deal of recognition."
Gene Young, who was in Lansing Kiwanis Club with Johnsmeyer for 20 years, told the board that three of Johnsmeyer's students had become coaches and two have been inducted into athletic halls of fame in Kansas and in Texas.
After listening to the petitions, board member Keith Rickard asked what standard procedure was for the board to go about naming the gym after Johnsmeyer. Supporters in the audience said that when the football field was named for Frank Graham, the board was petitioned in the same way. Klinedinst, a former school board member, said board policy stated the person had to be deceased to be honored in such a way.
The board will consider the request to name the gym for Johnsmeyer and take action at its July meeting.
In other action, the board:
¢ Adopted the agenda for Monday's meeting with the addition of audience participation and an executive session for attorney-client privilege regarding a construction management contract with J.E. Dunn.
¢ Thanked Keith Rickard and Jack Kochenour for their service to the board and honored them with plaques and engraved portfolios. Both said their board service had been a learning experience. Gowdy told them they would be missed. "You can always pull a Danny Zeck and go off for a couple of years and come back on," she said.
¢ Listened to acknowledgements from principals Jan Jorgensen and Steve Dike.
¢ Authorized transferring and encumbering funds for the fiscal year ending June 30.
¢ Approved a construction management contract with J.E. Dunn. The approved contract did not include financial estimates; a J.E. Dunn representative said the firm was waiting for a schedule so that it could determine the number of hours needed, which would determine the cost. In the motion to approve, board vice president Brian Bode said he and Gowdy would review the cost estimates when received, and he authorized Superintendent Randal Bagby to sign the contract with J.E. Dunn.
¢ Approved the parameters of an exchange program with China. The plan proposed included eight students and three teachers traveling to Kaifeng, China, in March 2006. Organizers said they hoped to have the visitors from China come during Homecoming week in October 2006.
¢ Approved service agreements with H&H Pest Control, Deffenbaugh Disposal Service and Peter Curran, attorney for Lansing School Board.
¢ Approved donations of $600 from Max Pfrimmer, a banner of the LHS alma mater from the LHS class of 2005 and a VCR/DVD player from 2005 LHS graduate Chris Maxwell for the film study class. Maxwell said the class studied older movies and not all could be found on VHS tapes, so having the capability to watch DVDs would expand the class's options.
¢ Approved early graduation requests.
¢ Approved technology acceptable use policy revisions.
¢ Renewed food service agreement.
¢ Approved hiring an additional assistant high school football and wrestling coach. Bagby said the position generally was added once the season started and the number of participants required the additional coach. This year, he said the teams are expected to have enough participants to require the additional coach, and the district would like to keep the coach who usually fills the position because other schools were recruiting him.
¢ Approved district property insurance proposal.
¢ Approved out-of-district student applications. So far, 96 out-of-district students have been approved for the 2005-2006 school year, Bagby said.
¢ Approved a proposal to lease four high-volume copy machines from Unisource Document Products for $1,612.50 per month.
¢ Approved teacher salary schedule and agreement as negotiated.
¢ Approved administration and classified salaries.
¢ Approved resignations, appointments, supplemental contracts and LHS summer school staff.