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Craig Marshall

Partnerships are so important, especially in a small community like ours. We must work together to achieve significant improvements and move forward positively. Someone once said if you aren’t moving forward, you are moving backward. If you are staying the same, you are moving backward.


USD 244 has worked together with the City of Burlington and Coffey County to help increase daycare and pre-school opportunities in our community. The Burlington Early Learning Center (BELC) was a vision created by a community advisory group on daycare needs in our county and our board of education understanding how important this issue is for education in our community. The City of Burlington helped us achieve this dream with the downtown building for our central office. Coffey County helped us with some ESSER (COVID) funds during our start-up as this was a challenging time to start a business while a pandemic was going on. Other wonderful partners like the Walter and Evan Jones Testamentary Trust, Patterson Family Foundation, Wolf Creek/Evergy, Coffey County Economic Development, Trust Point Insurance, Coffey County Rotary, Coffey County Health Department, Coffey Health Systems, and gifts and grants from many too numerous to mention have helped us grow the BELC from 18 kids on the first day of operation to 52 currently with a waiting list of 40 kids.  This project has had such a positive impact on our community.


USD 244 and our board of education have benefitted from many community advisory groups over the past eight years. It is important for us to get information from the public and share what is going on in your school district for full transparency. Our COVID Advisory group helped us handle the most challenging issue I have been faced with as a superintendent. I would say we handled COVID as well as any district anywhere understanding we were not going to make everyone happy with all our decisions, but we were going to try and get kids back in school as safe as possible with the information we had during the pandemic. Our field turf advisory committee helped us improve an aging Wildcat Athletic Complex with a renovation that is second to none and benefits our school district and the USD 244 Recreation Center with their activities. We are so thankful for the financial contributions and working relationship we have with the recreation center.


I also want to mention the appreciation we have for our law enforcement in Burlington and Coffey County. They often do trainings and simulations in our schools to help them prepare for the unexpected. One specific training took place at BES on January 2, 2024. Police Chief Doug Jones, Sheriff Tom Johnson, and their staff are the best. We also have an excellent working relationship with Coffey Health Systems and their EMTs as they support us as needed with the many events we host in our schools.


A BES Community Advisory Group has been formed to help the board and me determine what our future needs are with growth in the community. BES is in good shape due to regular maintenance that has been overseen for many years by Mr. Margarito Solano, USD 244 Maintenance Director. However, improvements are needed with the 1983 and 1989 sections of this building. The questions we have been discussing are: Do we add on/renovate BES, or do we build a new BES? The advisory committee has met two times and will continue to meet. Much information has been shared and many questions have been brought to the table. There are many things to consider as we decide what is best for our students, staff, and community.


I continue to feel extremely fortunate to serve you as the superintendent of USD 244. Please contact me if you ever have any questions at or call 620-364-8478 EXT. 3040.




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Field Turf Article– 9-26-2022:  field_turf_article_9-2022.pdf

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620-364-8478 *3040