August 18th, 2018
Liberal Local News

Salome Thomas-EL to speak at USD 480 Monday

salome thomas el• Special to the Leader & Times


“Every child needs someone to be crazy about them.” 

These are the words of Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning teacher and principal, and nationally recognized educator.  They shape his life-long commitment to answering the question, “How do we ensure that every child achieves their greatest potential?” This question lies at the heart of the national dialogue on education policy, the day in and day out work of school personnel, and the hopes of every parent. Central to this challenge is how we succeed with children who are facing the most serious barriers to success: poverty, violence, neglect, and low expectations.  

Principal Thomas-EL will share his powerful message with USD 480 teachers and staff Monday at the Liberal High School Jim Maskus Auditorium during the annual “Welcome Back” event. 

Principal Thomas-EL speaks to groups around the world and frequently appears on C-SPAN, CNN, and NPR Radio. He has studied in Cambridge and London, England and is currently a doctoral candidate. He has received the Marcus A. Foster Award as the outstanding School District Administrator in Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania’s distinguished Martin Luther King Award.  Educational Leadership and Reader’s Digest Magazine recognized Principal EL as an “Inspiring American Icon.” Principal EL has also appeared on “The Oprah Radio Network.”

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‘Make them prove it’

LHS set for upcoming season with chip on the shoulder for football

Liberal Redskin football coach Jason Dunlap addresses the preseason all sports pep rally in The Big House Monday. Dunlap discussed last year’s 6-3 record, 2-2 in the Western Athletic Conference and having six returning All-WAC players for this year’s team. Despite that, the Redskins are picked last in the Western Athletic Conference. Dunlap challenged his players that if those teams were picked to be better than the Redskins to “make them prove it” before he dropped the microphone to a roar of the crowd that included players, parents and fans.


Senior Kim Alarcon steps down to join other seniors on the football team. Alarcon, a standout soccer player for the Lady Redskins in the spring is suiting up with the Redskins this fall. Dunlap said “this is a first for me,” as a coach of football with a female athlete on the team, but Alarcon has demonstrated her athletic ability in basketball and soccer, which could provide a weapon in the kicking game.


Six seniors join Liberal Lady Redskin volleyball coach Taryn Dinh during the preseason pep rally in The Big House Monday. Last year, there were no seniors on the Lady Redskin volleyball team, and now Dinh will have six. Dinh explained how the Lady Redskins participated at team camp at the University of Nebraska this summer, and the Lady Redskins will open their season Aug. 25 at the Hutchinson Tournament. L&T photos/Earl Watt

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USD No. 500 Kansas City shortchanges teachers (again)

GUEST COLUMN, The Kansas Policy Institute


The Kansas City, Kansas school district – USD 500 – spent just 1.2 percent more on teacher pay during the 2018 school year according to data provided by the district in an Open Records request.  That’s the same percentage increase for the total payroll, but there are some eye-opening outliers.

Superintendent Cynthia Lane took home an eye-popping $458,200.  That’s a 97 percent increase over the previous year, which the district attributes to cashing in unused sick leave and vacation pay upon her retirement.  Another double-digit increase – 13.6 percent – went to Assistant Superintendent Robert Strickland.

The adjacent table shows several administrators had pay gains between 3 percent and 5.6 percent.  Cynthia Lane’s executive secretary only received a 1.8 percent boost, but the fact that someone in that position is paid almost $94,000 is itself remarkable.