Teachers give summertime for district improvements, trade rulers for paintbrushes
At the end of each school year teachers Dave Durkin, Joe Hanna, Brian Kraus and John Woodward trade in their rulers and chalk for paintbrushes, shovels, sanders and any tools they need to complete projects around the school district.
For several years the four schoolteachers have worked each summer making improvements or maintaining area school building and grounds.
"We do quite a bit each year," Durkin said.
Principals, district staff and the superintendent will make a list of jobs that can't be done during the school year and then turn it over to the teachers.
The jacks-of-all trades, who are paid by the school district, work on multiple tasks each summer.
One year they endured the heat and painted the entire interior of Eudora Middle School.
"I didn't want to see anymore paint after that summer," said Durkin, who is district athletic director and teaches physical education at the high school.
Students and teachers have probably used and seen their handiwork, although not always knowing the identity of the craftsmen.
Kraus, a counselor at the high school, says he enjoys the work and the financial benefits, but it also has other rewards.
"It's always easier, at least I think so, to work for something you'll see benefit yourself, the students and teachers," he said.
The four have sanded and prepped gym floors for refinishing, installed irrigation drains, assembled computer desks and this summer painted a Cardinal-red stripe around the walls of the high school gymnasium.
"We usually pour concrete each year, but for some reason we didn't," said Durkin.
The 170-feet by 12-feet concrete driveway at the high school was a project they worked on last year. They've even mow the grass when groundkeepers go on summer vacation.
"It does seem like we pour a lot of concrete each year," Kraus said