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News for 4/24/2019

You’re Invited!

The bell and chime choirs of the St. John Lutheran Church, Kensington, Norton United Methodist Church and the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Stuttgart will be presenting a Spring Concert this Sunday April 28 at 4:00pm at the Huck Boyd Center. The choirs will perform individually and as a group. The concert is free for the public to enjoy.

Mark Your Calendars

Alumni of Kensington and Thunder Ridge- The invites have been mailed out for the Annual Alumni Banquet. The banquet is scheduled for May 25 at the American Legion Hall in Kensington honoring all years ending in 4 and 9. If you are a graduate of West Smith County or Thunder Ridge High School and you have had a change of address, please contact Staci Foreman at the District Office to make your reservations and update your info. Call 785-476-2218 or email

Athol Homecoming Get Together Planned

Everyone with Athol ties is invited to attend an Athol Homecoming Get Together on Sunday May 26, 2019 at the Athol Community Hall from 2-4 PM. There will be a program at 3:00 PM to share special memories, talk about the community and enjoy refreshments. Please mark your calendars and plan to come and share memories with everyone who has Athol ties.

This get-together is not just for Athol alumni graduates anymore. For many years, Athol High School graduates have hosted a biennial event on Memorial Weekend. Because Athol High School closed in 1955, all of the living graduates are 80 years or older. This group of Alums still wants to get together but their numbers are getting smaller and more difficult to plan an event. At their last Alumni get together in 2017, they decided to move the event to an afternoon time for everyone who has ties to Athol, not just graduates.

Donna Johnson (476-2691) and Dianna Rice (695-2399) agreed to help with the planning of this event. They can be contacted for more information. We hope this will give everyone with Athol ties a chance to see the Community Hall again and catch up with former Athol residents as well as former Athol High School and Grade School graduates. Mark your calendars for Sunday May 26, 2019 from 2-4 pm to reconnect with your Athol friends. Please consider this your invitation to attend.

Bienhoff Graduate of Duke University

Laura Beth Bienhoff, daughter of Paul and Deb Bienhoff of Kensington, graduated from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business with a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) in December 2018. She completed her degree through Fuqua’s Global Executive program (known as GEMBA) and was named a Duke Scholar for her program. Duke Scholar designation is awarded to the top 10% of each class. She will participate in graduation activities in May 2019 on campus in Durham, North Carolina.

The GEMBA program is for working professionals with a minimum of seven years of management experience. The program combined virtual classes with intense in person coursework sessions, known as a residency. The program consisted of a total of five residencies; two on Duke’s campus in North Carolina and one in Shanghai, China; Lima, Peru; and Berlin, Germany. The international residencies combined coursework with corporate visits (such as the US Embassy in Berlin and a zipper factory in Lima) and cultural activities (such as cooking lessons in Shanghai and exploring the Berlin Wall). Bienhoff took additional vacation time to visit the Great Wall of China, the famous Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, China, and Machu Picchu in Peru.

Bienhoff lives in Houston, Texas and has worked for ExxonMobil since graduating from Kansas State University in Chemical Engineering.

Laura Beth Bienhoff graduated with an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in December 2018.

[Berlin Wall] A section of the East Side Gallery, which features murals on remnants of the Berlin Wall.

[Bienhoff at Great Wall of China] Bienhoff at the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China outside of Beijing, China.

[Machu Picchu] Machu Picchu, the famous Inca remains, in Peru.

[Terracotta Warriors] Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, China. These life-sized sculptures were created and buried in 210-209 BCE with the first Emperor of China to protect the Emperor in the afterlife. The largest uncovered pit (where this photo was taken) covers an area of 750 feet long by 203 feet wide.

BOGO Book Fair THIS Week!

The Kensington Community/School Library is hosting a BOGO Scholastic Book Fair this week to promote summer reading. Providing books at buy one, get one FREE prices, we hope that parents can stock up on great reading materials to keep their children practicing those important reading skills through the summer months. We hate to see our students suffer from the dreadful ‘Summer Slide’. During this fair we also encourage families to preregister for our summer reading programs. The fair will be open through Saturday, hours are: W- 8:00am to 5:00pm, Th- 8:00am to 4:00pm, F-8:00am to 5:00pm, and S-9:00am-2:00pm.

Keep reading kids, and plan to attend our fun, library programs this summer!

Mother/KAY Banquet

The 2019 Thunder Ridge High School Mother KAY Banquet was held on the evening of Monday, April 15, in the high school gymnasium. The theme this year was “Come Fly with Me” with navy and gold-colored decorations. The social hour began at 6:30 with the banquet starting at 7:00.

KAY President, Raegan Boden welcomed everyone and Maggie Nech blessed the meal. The scrumptious dinner was catered by Gene’s Heartland Foods from Smith Center. The menu consisted of lettuce salad, smoked brisket, new potatoes, Brookville corn, dinner roll and cheesecake for dessert. The powerpoint, created by Jaden Boden and Raini Hrabe, highlighted the numerous events and activities the club participated in throughout the school year. Special guests were Pastor Dave Hutson and Mrs. Annie Adams, who entertained everyone with their musical talents. Following the entertainment, Mrs. Billings recognized the high point earners: Gold Award – Leah Bienhoff, Jaden Boden, Raegan Boden, Brittany Atchison, Maggie Nech; Silver Award – Ivy Corbett, Brennan Kirchhoff, Elizabeth Hardacre, Madelyn Davis, Raini Hrabe, Wysteria Corbett, Destiny Shook, TyLynn Blank, Iva Rust, Maycee Westbrook; Honorable Mention: Jordyn Vales, Brice Hendryx, Cameron Hendryx, Layne Pettijohn, Pricilla Villarreal, and Kristal Rice.

Senior KAY members attending were recognized by Mrs. Boden. They are: Leah Bienhoff, Raegan Boden, Dalton Christenen, Wysteria Corbett, Katelynn Fowler, Landon Gering, Brandon Grauerholz, Jeran Hale, Elizabeth Hardacre, Brice Hendryx, Layne Pettijohn, Kenda Reimer, Matilyn Riley, Tharen Salner, Brandon Shaw, Destiny Shook, Mariah Stauffer, and Karen Torres Jovel. The annual “fashion show” followed with Mrs. Billings emceeing. The evening concluded with the members reciting the KAY Pledge and Elizabeth Hardacre gave the closing. Forty-seven KAY members attended, along with sixty-two guests. The KAY sponsors are Mrs. Kathi Boden and Mrs. Robin Billings. KAY photo credit to Robin Billings.

Gold Award for Highest Points Earners: Leah Bienhoff, Jaden Boden, Raegan Boden, Brittany Atchison, and Maggie Nech.

Senior KAY recognition: (back row) Elizabeth Hardacre, Leah Bienhoff, Raegan Boden, Landon Gering, Brandon Grauerholz, Jeran Hale, Brice Hendryx, Kena Riemer; (front row) Mariah Stauffer, Wysteria Corbett, Layne Pettijohn, Matilyn Riley, Brandon Shaw, and Tharen Salner.

KAYS hosted Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 20: (left-right) Joseph Ferguson, Mark Ferguson, Brice Hendryx, Brittany Atchison, Maycee Westbrook as the Bunny, Kristal Rice, Madelyn Davis, Leah Bienhoff, and Jonathan Ferguson.

Kids on the hunt for Easter Eggs!

Easter Bunny Maycee Westbrook pictured with Isaac and Kassie Wagenblast.

TR School Activities/Dates


Wed. 24- 5th/6th grade to Water Jamboree @ Harlan Lake – Republican City, NE 9:15am (lv @ 8:30); Pre-K to visit Kindergarten 8:45-10:45am; 4th grade bused to the GS for Band Presentation 9:30am

Thur. 25- Safe Driving Program @ HS for 7th/8th grades 1:00pm

Fri. 26- 8th Grade to NCK Tech in Hays 9:00am (lv Ktown 7:30 & Agra 7:45)

Mon. 29- 3rd Grade bused over to visit 4th Grade @ MS 1:00pm (lv @ 12:50); Instrument Display for 4th grade 7:00pm @ MS

Tue. 30- MS Track @ Beloit St John’s 9:00am (lv K-town 6:40; Agra 6:50; Kirwin 7:00)


Wed. 1- MS Achievement Assembly and Art Open House/5th grade Wax Museum 8:30am; 5th-8th Physicals @ Phillips County Medical Clinic 1:00pm

Thur. 2- Last Day for 8th grade; 7:00pm 4-8 Spring Program at auditorium in Agra

Fri- 3- 8th grade trip to Kearney-Big Apple; 3:00pm HS Track Meet @ Mankato

Sat. 5- TRHS Graduation Ceremony @ 3:00pm in HS gym

Mon. 6- MS Promotion Ceremony @ 7:00pm in gym at Agra

Tue. 7- LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! 12:15pm dismissal for summer break; 1:00pm PTL Track @ Rock Hills (Mankato)

Thur. 9- NPL Track @ Rock Hills (Mankato) 3:00pm

American Legion Menu

The special for this Friday at the Kensington American Legion will be scalloped potatoes with ham, fried cabbage with bacon and onions, and broccoli salad. We will also have creamy macaroni salad and a fresh strawberry cake roll for dessert. We'll have our regular menu as well. Please let us know if we can make your supper to go by calling 785-476-3204. Hope to see you Friday evening!

Weekly Inspiration

When fear knocks, let faith answer the door. - Robin Roberts

It's not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters. - J.M Lawrence

Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. - Plato


Please get your news items to Erica no later than Monday morning at 10:00am. News submitted after 10:00am will be in the paper the following week. Send your info to Erica Barnes at with subject line: NEWS; or feel free to call 785-476-8185. To see the full, in color, version visit

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