A few education-oriented items from around the area, and beyond:
Keith Diaz Moore will be in The News Center later this morning to answer questions about his plans for schools.
At 11 a.m., visit LJWorld.com to participate in our online chat with Diaz Moore, an associate professor and associate dean of graduate studies at Kansas University's School of Architecture, Planning & Design.
He's one of nine people campaigning for four available seats on the Lawrence school board, and he'll be the fourth candidate to sit in and answer questions live.
I'll be here, moderating the chat. That means posting the questions that you ask for him to answer. You can submit questions from now up through the end of the chat, which will be expected to last an hour.
To ask a question, just follow the links that are posted alongside this story. You can send in questions for future chats, too, or go back to read transcripts of previous chats.
The general election is April 5.
The Lawrence school board will conduct a formal public hearing March 28 to help determine whether to close Wakarusa Valley School next year, one of the consensus — and certainly contentious — recommendations forwarded last month by the Lawrence Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force.
That promises to gather a crowd that night at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive.
No word yet on whether the meeting agenda will include other recommendations that have drawn plenty of attention for different reasons: Recommended names for the district’s four junior high schools, buildings that are set to become middle schools July 1.
Board members, on a 4-3 vote, decided to pursue new names for the schools. They had hoped to receive recommendations for names that would be different from the directional nature of the existing names.
Rick Doll, district superintendent, has said that he would expect to receive formal recommendations from school principals “sometime around spring break,” which is next week. And principals of the four schools already have said their school communities would prefer to retain the roots of their building names:
• South Junior High School would become South Middle School.
• Southwest Junior High School would become Southwest Middle School.
• West Junior High School would become West Middle School.
Only Central Junior High School has offered a different tack, supporting the incorporation of the building’s original name — Liberty Memorial High School — in whatever comes up next.
The recommendation forwarded by the school’s Site Council Committee: “Central and Liberty be combined such as Central Liberty Middle School, Liberty Central Middle School, (or) Central Middle School, Liberty Memorial Building.”
We’ll see if that recommendation comes up for approval March 28 — that’s the first meeting after spring break — or, more likely, sometime in April.
How’s this for military proficiency...
Paul Bender, a graduate of Lawrence High School, managed to:
• run 100 meters.
• run 1,000 meters.
• run 3,000 meters.
• swim 200 meters.
• complete a shot-put throw and long jump.
• shoot a 9 mm pistol.
• complete a 12-kilometer road march.
That sounds challenging enough, but by meeting established times and other performance criteria for all such events — in full combat uniform for the road march, no less — Bender earned the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency.
Bender, a junior studying geography at Kansas University, earned the gold badge during a two-day competition earlier this month at Pittsburg State University, where cadets from ROTC units at Kansas University and other regional schools were competing.
Overseeing the competition was German Army Sgt. Maj. Matthias Lueck, who bestowed proficiency badges to 38 cadets who completed the events within established standards. In all, 68 cadets participated.
“All of the cadets who earned the gold badge are now authorized to wear the badge on their uniforms for the rest of their careers,” said Maj. Aaron Cornett, executive officer for Army ROTC at KU. “It is a foreign award, but one that is authorized for wear on the U.S. Army uniform.”