History In Halstead

Name:
Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Reflections on the Spring Sports Season

I am the golf coach here at Halstead and I always love the spring sports season. Golf is more of an individual sport and there is not as much pressure on the athletes as with basketball or some of the other sports. There is also more time for personal interactions with the kids on the course and a lot of time to try and mentor these young adults. Overall I think some of my best teaching happens on the course and it often time has nothing to do with the game of golf. Instead, its talking about how to deal with pressure, finding solutions to problems, risk management and lots of social skills. I like the idea of achievement tests and I think standardized tests are important and essential, I just wish that there was a way for me to also show the growth my golfers have in these other areas throughout the years.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Agriculture Today

Although I have only lived in south central Kansas for six years, there is little doubt that substantive changes have occurred over the years here in the agriculture industry. Being about twenty five miles from Kansas’ largest city, Wichita, means that we are starting to see a change in demographics. More and more of our students’ parents work in Wichita and use Halstead as a bedroom community to commute from. These families enjoy the small town atmosphere that stresses community life. There is still a large amount of farmland in the area but fewer students plan on entering the industry. I only know of three students in the past six years that are currently farming. Many of the students whose families own farms are planning for other careers. Our school no longer has a FFA program and during a recent career day nobody represented the farm industry. Another changing aspect that is also reflected in Douglas Hurt’s book American Agriculture is the disappearance of a strong town main street. Halstead’s main street businesses struggle at times since it has become easy to travel to Newton or Wichita. Those interested in farming would have to go through the local coop or the Harvey County Economic development Council but the best information would probably come from heading down to the town coffee shop and talking to some of the local farmers. One of the nice aspects of Halstead is that the town respects privacy but is always open to giving advice and help when needed.

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