Superintendent’s Note

Wow, what a month, time really does fly when you are having fun. I want to thank everyone on the Hay Springs staff, Board of Education and the community of Hay Springs for making the first few weeks of school start so smoothly. As the first three weeks of classes near completion students and teachers are fully engaged in the teaching and the learning process. Administrative meetings have begun and the budgeting process for 2019-20 is well underway. The community of Hay Springs is blessed to have a very caring, qualified and dedicated staff. A quote I heard several years ago “Students do not CARE what you KNOW, until they KNOW that you CARE” is very applicable today more than ever. You can rest assured that the staff and the Board of Education and Administrative team at Hay Springs Public School truly cares about your students. We are here to provide the highest quality of education possible and are dedicated to continue to search for providing additional opportunities for student learning. The support of parents and patrons of the district always enhances the student learning process. Rural America is an excellent example of it taking a community to raise a child and the educational system in our small communities’ plays a huge role in the development of our youth into productive citizens of the future. Academic achievement and student involvement in inter and extra-curricular activities do not happen without the educational system and parents working together to support the entire process.

As we begin the 2019-20 school year I would like to highlight a few of the activities that have taken place in the first few weeks.

  • Teachers and students are continuing to make adjustments to our school environment as we begin our second year of the NPBIS (Nebraska Positive Behavior Intervention Support) program.
    • After staff members attended training with the Nebraska Department of Education this summer the PBIS Team has reviewed the successes of the program in its first year and worked with staff during in-service days to incorporate their input as we move forward.
    • One of the additional things that came out of their summer PBIS meeting was the inception of the idea that if teachers and to feel appreciated they should have a comfortable work space where positive relationship between staff members can develop and grow. That concept was further developed and the result has been the development of a student/staff media lounge area adjacent to the staff work room on the third floor where the textbook library had been housed. Text books have been moved to the classroom with some storage still available in the workroom. I would like to thank all staff and students that assisted in this process.
  • Hay Springs school hosted our first back to school pool party complete with a Bar-B-Que in the park and school classroom visits.
  • Student involvement in activities is began with great participation numbers in football and volleyball and a small number involved in cross country.
  • The Hawks start the football, volleyball and cross country season with Homecoming week activities this week. One of the week’s activities is our “Student SOAR Day“ where the 6th-12th grade students spent Wednesday afternoon completing school improvement activities under the direction of Mr. Hagge and the student council.
  • Additions to the curricula include Mr. Lechtenberg teaching two Agricultural Science classes which will allow us to get the Hay Springs FFA reinstated. This has brought a lot of excitement to the 19 students that are enrolled in Ag classes.
  • Continued upgrading of technology for students and staff to provide additional learning opportunities.
  • Continued use of the distance learning and online technology to provide additional opportunities to enhance student learning. We have students enrolled in Home Design and Housing, Spanish I & II and Art through the distance learning system.
  • One of the highlights of the 2018-19 was the start of our “Beef to Hot Lunch” program, thanks to the support of our local beef producers and businesses. This program will continue in 2019-20 so if you have an interest in supporting this program by the donation of a beef or in other ways please contact school office or any member of the Board of Education.
  • We will be continuing our ASP (After School Program) for Kdg -5th grade students

As we progress through the year know that your support and involvement in your student’s education is vitally important. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s academic performance or activity involvement, please remember to follow the appropriate chain of command. Initially contact those most closely involved as the first opportunity to get accurate information and create resolution to the problem. If after discussion with classroom teacher, coach or direct student supervisor you are not satisfied that there has been any resolution to the issue contact the individual supervising those individuals. If those initial contacts do not produce any acceptable results, please stop by the office or give me a call to discuss your concerns. I truly believe that all members of our staff make the best decisions possible to guide your students toward success in academics and activities. Together we are better than any one of us can be alone.

I am requesting your support as parents on the student’s arrival and pickup time at school for your students. Breakfast is served at 7:30 and supervision is provided for students eating at the time but the playground supervision does not take place until 7:45. If your students are not eating breakfast please do not deliver them to school prior to 7:45. The elementary instructional day is completed at 4:00 and students are dismissed at that time. We do not provide after school playground supervision so students should not remain on the playground or at school after 4:00 unless arrangements have been made with their classroom teachers.

Breakfast serving time for High school students is from 7:30 -7:50. Students wishing to eat breakfast at school need to arrive prior to 7:50 which will allow them to consume breakfast prior to instruction beginning at 8:00 am. All individuals must enter the building through the door by the office during the school day for security reasons.

Just a reminder that if your children accompany you to school activities or attend on their own please have a discussion with them prior to attendance that they should sit in the appropriate area and observe the game. Hay Springs staff will assist you in enforcing that process but your cooperation and the cooperation of your students is greatly appreciated. Staff members attending the game want to watch the performance of our students and not spend the evening patrolling students.

Your support is greatly appreciated.
Mr. Lechtenberg


Hay Springs Public School has entered its second year of NPBIS (Nebraska Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports). PBIS is a universal school plan to establish a POSITIVE culture in our school community for students and staff. Research has shown that positive interactions with students directly impact positive school culture. PBIS also gives us continuity! Every staff member is using the same language in regards to behavior, building unity within our school community!

During our staff workdays, we revisited the common areas and the behaviors associated with each of those behaviors. Each group took a specific area and took time to rework them a bit-keeping what worked well and making adjustments as needed. It was an opportunity for new staff members to learn the language and expectations as well as remind those who helped create them last year what was decided! Then as groups we figured out ways to teach these behaviors to the students of Hay Springs Public Schools. During these work days we always try to incorporate a little fun!

In October we will begin moving PBIS into individual classrooms. Of course the HSPS teaching staff has not waited for us to tell them to make positive interactions with students in their classrooms a priority, they often times do that naturally on their own! We will simply provide a framework and offer some tools for the classrooms and then let the teachers keep doing what they do best!

PBIS is always adding and changing the way we are doing things. Keep an eye out for new developments as they are happening!

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 4th quarter Super Pass winners:

Brayden Binger

Kaden Langford

Ava McKillip

James Scherbarth

Sam Hindman

Laney Smith

Ashley Tobiasson

Gabe Varvel

Lilly Dorhorst

Cooper Johnson

Kaylee Kaiser

Talan Smith

Dylan Young

Jarhett Anderson

Jordyn Anderson

Abigail Russell

Jaiden Anderson

Spencer Kadlecek

Kaleb Miller

Bailey Scherbarth

Chaz Twarling

Ruth West

Rylee Wolken

Katelin Agler

The Super Pass for 2019-2020 Quarter 1 changed a bit! Here are the requirements:

0 Ineligibility
1 or fewer Tardies
2 or fewer absences
0 office referrals
5 Hours of Community Service

Community Service forms can be picked up from Adriene in the office or Mrs. Heiting in the 1st grade classroom. Once a form is completed, make sure to turn it into Mrs. Heiting in the 1st grade classroom!

Students who meet these requirements will receive:

Middle Level

  1. 1 Free Tardy
  2. Drop lowest grade on a daily assignment
  3. Front of the Line for Lunch
  4. 1 free supervised period on campus (preapproved)
High School

  1. 1 Free Tardy
  2. Drop lowest grade on a daily assignment
  3. Thursday Hawk Nest Privileges (7:30-8:00)
  4. 2 Open Campus Lunches
  5. Free Half Day Off of School (pre-approved; responsible for all work missed)


4-H Opportunities

Achievement Application & Career Portfolio
This year the 4-H Council is allowing the Junior and Intermediate age divisions to be eligible to complete either the Achievement Application or the Career Portfolio. These are due September 30th. The Senior division must complete the Achievement Application in order to be eligible for State Awards. By completing these applications, youth are eligible to win additional $25 cash prizes presented at the Achievement Banquet in October. The Achievement Application can be found at the following website: Youth will need to select a curriculum area. To complete the Achievement Application, youth have a maximum of 3 pages to include the following information: collective 4-H experiences, 4-H experiences within the last year, 4-H Leadership Experiences, Non 4-H Leadership Experiences, Community Involvement, and Career Spark.

Hay Springs Junior Robotics
This year the Junior Robotics theme is BoomTown Build. The Junior Robotics program is for youth ages 6 to 10 interested in learning more about robots and problem solving through STEM. This group meets once a week after school from 4 to 5:30 at the Hay Springs School. They then attend a competition in January. Please contact Melissa Mracek at 402-322-0655 if you think your child is interested in participating by September 16th. The first meeting will take place around the first of October.

Shooting Sports Practice
Shooting Sports practice for BB Gun and Air Rifle will start on October 7th. They practice from 3:30 to 7 depending on when the youth show up. During October through December, practice is held the first and third Mondays of the month. In January they will start practicing every month and start attending the Panhandle Best Shoots. Youth need to be registered for 4-H to participate. Parents need to sign waivers the first meeting. Please contact Bruce Salisbury or Donna and Kevin Jech for more information.

Baking Basics
Baking Basics is back!! The first session will take place on Friday, September 13th starting at 10 am and will end at 3 pm. The youth will have the opportunity to cook and start working on their sewing project for the year. The fee for this workshop is $10. Please register by September 6th by contacting Melissa Mracek at or (308) 327-2312. This event is open to anyone interested in baking and sewing projects.

Friendly Festival Pajama Party

Friendly Festival is sneaking up on us again!  Once again, Hay Springs High School FBLA will be sponsoring their annual “Kids Night In, Parents Night Out” Pajama Party on both August 23-24(Friday night) and August 24-25(Saturday night) from 7pm-8:30am.  See the flyer by clicking the link below for more details, and REMEMBER, you can SAVE $10 by pre-registering!

FBLA Pajama Party Flyer

HSPS Beef to Lunch Program

I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone who had played a role in the success of the Hay Springs Beef to Hot Lunch program during the 2018-19 school year. The program began by meeting with the western region of the Nebraska Cattlemen in the fall of 2017 in which Mrs. Shavona Henry, member of the Hay Springs Board of Education, and Mr. Lechtenberg the Superintendent attended. Following that meeting, the possibility of establishing this program to support our School Lunch Program was discussed at the Board of Education meeting. With the approval of the board the process began to move forward. Mrs. Henry contacted several area beef producers and we held our first meeting in the school cafeteria. Area beef producers who attended planning meetings included Brian and Muffy Forney, Travis Binger, Alisha Smith, Tara Rasmussen, and Greg Heiting. It appeared, to be obvious that we would have beef producer support to provide high quality locally raised beef for our student lunches. Next we met with Mr. Lambert, the Superintendent at Bridgeport Public School, and had a discussion about the processor they use and the particulars of the program. We then invited Denny Hoagland, the owner and operator of KDK Meats at Bridgeport, to speak at our Board of Education meeting about the slaughter process, packaging and delivery from the locker to the school. All local beef donations to the school lunch program had to be processed in a Federally inspected processing plant.

As the buzz about the potential to have locally raised beef for school lunch meals spread and individuals were contacted about support for the program, we received donations in-kind for freezers from BNSF Railroad and Russ and Sue Lechtenberg, delivery from the ranch to the locker from Greg Heiting, and from the locker to the school freezer by Forney’s, Jen Young, and School personnel. Security First Bank and First State Bank made donations to assist in covering the processing costs. The major donations came from the local beef producers who have donated to this program and include: Sheridan Livestock Auction Co., Judd and Brandy Hoos, Hinn Ranch XT, Marcy Cattle Company, Zach Kraenow Cattle Company, S&V Registered Angus–Don and Mary Vannetta, and Greg and Megan Heiting. We have had a total of seven beefs donated over the past year. We have improved the quality of our school lunch program.

In August and again on the last day of school in May Security 1st Bank brought their grill up and grilled burgers for our students to kick off the beef to lunch program. The school lunch program has utilized this locally grown beef in roasts, hamburgers, taco meat, and a variety of other meat menus. The cooks have developed a burger Thursday where locally grown beef is served every Thursday during the school year. Since the majority of the school lunch program utilizes ground beef in one way or another, the most acceptable quality of beef animals have been cull middle aged cows that have had 60-90 days of feed. We have had some higher quality beef animals donated and they are very much appreciated, but they will still mostly be utilized as roast or ground beef. If you are a beef producer or are involved in an agribusiness that supports our area beef producers, or are supporters of our educational system and are interested in supporting this Beef to School Lunch program please contact the school at 308-638-4434.

On behalf of the Hay Springs students, faculty, staff, kitchen personnel and the Board of Education I want to express gratitude for the tremendous generosity and support of our educational system in getting this program started. As a school district, we are so blessed to have the overwhelming community support of our patrons. — Mr. Lechtenberg

Excellence In Teaching Award Nominations

The Excellence in Teaching Award is sponsored by Security First Bank along with the American Legion.  This award seeks to encourage and recognize the professional and leadership excellence of Hay Springs educators essential for quality education, increase awareness of the positive aspects of education in Nebraska, and promote pride in the school and community.  Please print, fill out, and submit your nomination by Monday, May 6th, 2019.

Excellence In Teaching Nomination Form

Give Back to the Community Day has been rescheduled to April 24th

“Give Back to the Community Day”  has been rescheduled from April 10th to April 24th due to grounds being too wet and more upcoming rain and possible snow. We are seeking businesses, groups, organizations and elderly who are in need of help. Please help spread the word!