Garden City High School receives Civic Advocacy Award

Hannah Kipp

Sugar Beet Staff Reporter

The Kansas Department of Education notified Garden City High School they would be one of the eight schools in Kansas to be a 2018 recipient of the highest level award of the Civic Advocacy Network. Out of the eight schools who were awarded, Garden City High School was one of only two high schools receiving the award. In order to be a contender for this Kansas contest, each school had to submit evidence of excellent civic engagement. The evidence submitted fell under six different areas. Among the areas were instruction in government, history, law and democracy, incorporation of discussion social issues and events within the classroom, design programs that provide students with opportunities to volunteer within their community, offer extracurricular activities, encourage student participation in school governance and encourage student participation in mock elections. 

According to Steve Nordby, head principal, “Each of the assistant principals has a different area to write up and be in charge of explaining how we do what we do,” Nordby explained that Garden City High School got the highest level of excellence in all six areas. Some of the evidence that was submitted was of clubs and activities within the high school who demonstrated great civic engagement including StuCo. 

Eresay Alcantar, arts and communication senior, said, that “Being apart of STUCO definitely helps because we do so much community service and are always trying to do things to give back to the community.” 

An example of StuCo community was the “Empty Bowls Project” where StuCo and LiveWell partnered together to have a dinner for Food4Kids. 

Another example of how Garden City High School gives back to the community is through the Buffalo Coffee cart. Paul Lappin’s program  has donated over $10,000 in proceeds to various charities and philanthropist, including families in need. In addition, more evidence came from social studies mock elections and the public service academy project, which culminated in a simulated trial. Those activities also included community member involvement. Students had the opportunity to learn about values that are hard to find in many other schools in Kansas. 

Ryleigh Whitehurst, trade and health senior, said “Some of the easiest values for a GCHS student to obtain is activeness and selflessness. There are many opportunities for a student to join a club, sport, or theater production. In our clubs there is a huge push for volunteerism and giving back to the community, which is where selflessness comes into play.” 

The award will be presented to Garden City High School on Sept. 17 in Topeka, KS.

Hannah Kipp is a health and trade academy sophomore. Contact her at

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