Crossroads adds adult ed program

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Register/Bob Johnson
Above at left, Becky Carlson listens while Iola Commissioner Bill Shirley reads a resolution Tuesday honoring Carlson for being named to a national coaching hall of fame. Above at right, Loretta Arnold, left, and Angie Linn were named USD 257 instructors of the year.

Adults will have opportunities to earn a high school diploma at Crossroads Learning Center starting this fall.
USD 257 board members approved expansion of the alternative learning center’s scope Tuesday night. Those 18 or older whose high school class has already graduated will be able to enroll in the program.
“We have no way of knowing until fall how many, if any, adults will enroll in the program,” said David Grover, Iola High School principal. “I don’t know if it will be three or four, 20 or 50.” A similar program in Cherryvale has drawn substantial numbers, he said.
Dr. Craig Neuenswander, USD 257 superintendent, noted that nearly 17 percent of county residents 25 and older do not have high school diplomas. Yet when many of them attended school, fewer credits were required for graduation, he said. Crossroads requires 21 credits, the minimum now required by the state.
Grover said studies show lifetime earnings can be $350,000 higher for individuals with high school diplomas.
Hours are planned to fit the schedules of working adults, who more often have free time in late afternoon or evening. Adults will also have the option of off campus, computerized classes.
For several years the center has served students who have problems adjusting to traditional school environments. They attend daytime classes.

BOARD members also signed on to an extension of Iola’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program, which gives property tax refund advantages to home and business owners who make improvements of more than $5,000. The refund is 100 percent the first six years and returns of 80-, 60-, 40- and 20-percent the next four years.
The city is completing a program in which six people participated. The new program will encompass most the city, save new developments along the north edge.
Angie Linn, first-grade teacher at LaHarpe, Linda Heffern, math teacher at the middle school, and Loretta Arnold, journalism and English instructor at the high school, were recognized as teachers of the year, an honor bestowed by their peers. Also Becky Carlson, who will be honored nationally for her basketball coaching expertise, was recognized by a city proclamation read by Iola commissioner Bill Shirley, a former administrator in the district.
Resurfacing parking lots in Riverside Park has moved driver’s education to a high school parking lot, Neuenswander told board members. He said 56 students are enrolled, which requires another teacher in addition to Jack Morrell. Following an executive session, board members named Steve Taylor as a second instructor. They also accepted the resignation of Becca Plaschka, an elementary counselor.