Jan Schultz | Johnson Publications
At the CCS board meeting earlier this month, Sheila Stromberger was presented a clock from Supt. Adam Lambert, right, and board president Jeff Olsen. COVID-19 restrictions, including masks, has been something the board has addressed the past year.
Outgoing member believes CCS board is in good hands
A 22-year member of the Chase County Schools board of education said it’s a little bittersweet to be stepping down after so many years.
“But it’s someone else’s turn. It’s time for some new ideas,” said Sheila Stromberger.
Monthly board meetings have been a constant on Stromberger’s schedule since she was first elected in May 1998 on what was then the Imperial Grade School (IGS) board.
One of three newcomers on the IGS board that year, she garnered the most votes.
She decided to run because of a desire to give back to her community.
“My kids were all in school, so I had the time to be involved,” she said.
“Education seemed like a good fit and I had an interest in that.”
In 1998, oldest son Ryan was in 6th grade, son Brock in 4th, daughter Jordan was a 2nd grader and youngest, Tanner, was in kindergarten.
Coincidentally, Ryan’s oldest child, Conner, is a 6th grader now. Tanner is married.
She was a board member when all four of her children graduated from high school here, and even got to sign some of their diplomas when she served as board president after reorganization.
As a board member, Stromberger witnessed the transition of rural K-8 districts in the county, reorganizing into the K-12 system now known as Chase County Schools. The new K-12 district became official July 15, 2005.
At the time, she was the president of the IGS board.
It was a big step, she recalls.
“But with the way the state was allotting state aid, it was hard for the small districts to justify the costs. It was a financial struggle,” she said.
She was proud how smoothly the transition went.
“All the school boards worked so well together,” she recalled.
Board members from the rural district initially joined the new K-12 board, along with board members from IGS and Chase County High School.
Years before the district’s reorganization, there were three separate board meetings held—the high school, then a joint meeting of both, ending with the IGS board meeting. It was that way when Stromberger joined the board.
It meant a long night for the superintendent, who was present for all three.
A nine-member CCS board remains today, although the original intent was to pare it back to six members—the same number that had comprised the separate IGS and CCHS boards before.
Stromberger said, however, board members liked the nine-member format.
“It’s worked well for us. It also spread out the work on committees,” she said.
She believes the CCS board has always included diverse members, representing agriculture, business, banking and self-employed people.
“It’s been a good mix of membership. The board’s in good hands now,” she added.
Stromberger did some figuring, and calculates she’s worked with more than 30 other board members during her 22 years, along with 11 different principals and seven superintendents.
She missed just one meeting during her tenure, and that’s because she was out of the country.
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