LOUISBURG — You might say the 300 employees of Louisburg USD 416 were the 2021 citizens of the year.

Joel Viterna, president of the Louisburg Chamber of Commerce, told those who gathered for the Chamber’s annual dinner Thursday, Oct. 4, that instead of handing out the customary citizen of the year award, this year the Chamber was recognizing Louisburg USD 416 for overcoming the challenges the district has faced in navigating the pandemic. The district has kept its doors open and maintained a safe, in-school learning environment.

More than 100 people gathered for the dinner at the recently opened Haven Event Space northeast of Louisburg. Some of USD 416’s administrators, teachers, department heads and school board members were on hand to represent the district.

Superintendent Brian Biermann accepted the honor on behalf of the school district, which at 300 employees is the largest employer in Louisburg.

“I appreciate the recognition of our school district, our staff, and our school board,” Biermann said. “Thank you to the Louisburg community, thank you to the Chamber for supporting the school district and our kids.”

Biermann walked around the room introducing each member of the Louisburg USD 416 staff, and he talked about their role with the district.

The pandemic has presented formidable challenges for districts across the United States during the past 18 months.

“I’m so proud that we’ve never closed our doors, we always stayed open,” Biermann said. “Obviously, there are all different thoughts when it comes to COVID but we were committed that we were going to stay open, we were going to do everything we could.”

Biermann said there is not a playbook that teaches the staff how to deal with a pandemic.

“None of our teachers went to school on how to teach during a pandemic,” Biermann said. “So I can tell you that every one of our teachers has grown because of it and become stronger teachers.”

Biermann talked about the 7 Mindsets program the district has implemented this year, and he encouraged Chamber members to incorporate the nationally known program in their own businesses and organizations.

The 7 Mindsets program is designed to promote self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making, according to 7mindsets.com.

The mindsets are: everything is possible, passion first, we are connected, 100 percent accountable, attitude of gratitude, live to give and the time is now.

During the dinner, the Chamber presented USD 416 with a $1,000 check for the district’s Teammates mentoring program. The donation is proceeds from the Chamber’s annual Louisburg Cider Run.

Biermann said the district touches most community members in some way.

“From our teaching staff, our bus drivers, our custodians, paraprofessionals, food service staff you name it, we have great, great people,” Biermann said. “Obviously, a great community to call home as well.”

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.


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