Gordon-Rushville High School

Gordon-Rushville High School

810 North Oak Street

P.O. Box 530

Gordon, Nebraska 69343

Phone: (308) 282-1322

Fax: (308) 282-2207

Website: www.grmustangs.org 


Gordon-Rushville High School is located at 810 North Oak Street and the alternative school, GRASP, is located at 817 North Oak Street in Gordon, Nebraska.  It houses students in grades    9 – 12 from the communities of Gordon and Rushville as well as surrounding rural areas.  This includes Sheridan and Cherry counties in Nebraska and Shannon County in South Dakota.


Lori Liggett, Principal

Ward Wacker, Activities Director

Deb Kearns, Special Education Director


Certified Staff

English: Candace Johnson, Marla Ledgerwood,  Joyce Ruse

Mathematics: Kacy Heiser, Terri Morris, Daneta Turnbull

Science: Tom Foral, David Morris

Social Science: Joel Nelson, William Paul, Ward Wacker

Foreign Language: Sandi Muirhead

Business: Kim Campbell

Computer Science: Janet Hill

Family & Computer Science: Kay Kruger

Agriculture/Woods: Maynard Conroy

Music: Ryan Lovell, George Meng

Art: Esther Wilson

Physical Education: Eric Roth

Special Education: Jill Simmons

Library: Jan Varn

Classified Support Staff

Secretarial: Sandy Johnson, Mary Jo Moore

Custodial: TJ Moore, Jerry Jackson, Greg Macumber, Fran Young

Paraprofessionals: Shelly Hardin, Marika Halverson, Lila Parks, Erika Perez, Amy Deines, Stephanie Stetson

Teacher Experience

During the 2009 - 2010 school year, approximately 48% of the teachers at Gordon-Rushville High School have their master’s degree.  This is above the state and district average.

Student Enrollment

Student enrollment at Gordon-Rushville High School was down slightly from 186 students in 2008-2009 to 177 students in 2009-2010.


The student population is comprised of 84% White, not Hispanic students, less than 1% Black, not Hispanic students, less than 1% Asian/Pacific Island students and 15% American Indian/Alaskan Native students.


Gordon-Rushville High School has 45% of its students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program.  This is below the district average but it is slightly higher than the state average.


The mobility rate for Gordon-Rushville High School for the 2009-2010 school year is approximately 12% which is below the district average and comparable to the state average.

Special Education Services

Since August, 2007, the Special Education Department of Gordon-Rushville Public Schools has seen growth in working toward the goals set by the special education team.  It is important to recognize that these program improvements are the direct result of the work of the special educators and paraeducators in collaboration with the regular education teachers, counselors, and administration.  Monthly Special Education Staff Meetings with the special education teachers are conducted after school dismissal.  Agendas reflect dissemination of information and to discuss the direction of the program and successes experienced within the classroom or extra-curricular activities.

Program Goals:

  1. To demonstrate an increase in reading performance across the curriculum with comprehension strategies for main idea.
  2. To demonstrate an increase in the use of standard English across the curriculum.
  3. To re-implement an effective transition process for students in special education at the high school.

Professional Development workshops were chosen to build skills of special educators to facilitate students in increasing their skill levels. All special education teachers have had the opportunity to attend the SPED Regional Workshop and the Tri-State Law Conference to gain information about the legalities of Special Education.  All teachers have had training in Step Up to Writing and an introductory workshop on Autism Spectrum Disorders Assessment.  Professional Development specific to high school needs were a Transition Summit, Transition Tune-up, Ziggurat Model for behavior intervention,  Boys’ Town FAME Model Reading Intervention, and the Corrective Reading program.

At the high school level there is one full-time special educator and two half-time special educators in collaboration with 5 paraprofessionals serving 25 students, who represent 14.2% of the high school student population. All special educators are case managers and responsible for coordinating the IEP process, documenting goal progress, and advocating the needs of individual cases for whom they manage.  It is a goal that each special educator has a case management load of approximately 15 to 20 students.  Special educators are responsible to implement, measure and record progress for all goals for which they are responsible, review and recommend goals to the IEP team based on present levels of performance, track and use the data generated through district assessment, and participate as teacher or co-chair for IEP meetings other than cases managed.  Developing quality IEPs and documenting services and progress will be a continued goal of the Department.

The Department uses a Consultative Model with regular educators in the four content areas of math, science, social studies, and English, as well as elective classes.  This model is built on the premise of inclusion of special education students in the regular classroom to the greatest extent appropriate for each individual learner.  All students come to the regular class with strengths and needs.  The IEP document reflects present levels of functioning, goals to addressed through specialized instruction, modifications and accommodations, and a course of study plan for each student.  We have also used the co-teaching method, pairing a special educator with a general education teacher in the area of science, due to the large number of “at-risk” and special education students in a required course.  The blended methodology increased the learning of all students.

The reading abilities of special education, “at-risk”, and incoming freshmen students are assessed using the Diagnostic Assessment of Reading.  According to these results, students are placed at various levels of the FAME program (Foundations, Adventures, Mastery; with Explorations embedded into the freshmen and sophomore level English for all learners) to build decoding and comprehension skills in reading and writing.

An Essential Skills course is offered the learner with an IEP or “at-risk” from the Student Assistance Team the opportunity to work directly with a special educator to improve study skills, organizational skills, and become more responsible for their learning.  Students are supported in the special education class through strategies and additional time to complete work in other courses, monitor grades and missing assignments, and receive additional instruction in areas of difficulty.

Re-implementing the Transition program is just beginning with the addition of a special educator with vocational interests.  The class meets daily to work on adult life and employment skills, with junior and senior students having the opportunity to “job shadow” one to two days weekly. An article in the paper would help with community awareness.  All eleventh grade special education students have taken the Career Scope Vocational Assessment, an assessment that has provided the vehicle for continued transition planning and goal development on individual IEPs. Course development for freshmen and sophomore students would build a continuum of skills and more time to learn the skills of self awareness, building self-esteem, self-advocacy, social communication, and student-lead IEPs.

Title I Services

Gordon-Rushville High School has a school-wide Title I program


Gordon-Rushville High School receives Carl Perkins Funds as part of a consortium and utilizes those funds in accordance with the guidelines of the grant.  Teachers are able to attend the NCE conference in Kearney and students benefit in many ways from these monies.  In addition to purchasing materials for the Baby Think It Over program, students have been able to experience digitally programmable sewing machines and embroidery machine, financial calculators, software for the plasma cutter in the industrial technology shop.

Curriculum Alignment

Gordon-Rushville High School began using TechPaths in 2007-2008 for curriculum mapping.  Maps are continually being developed for the courses offered and updated as courses change.

Advanced or Special Programs

GRHS has worked hard to add advanced programs to the curriculum for all areas of education.  Currently we have a HAL program as well as many CP and dual credit courses.  Course offerings at this time include:

CP: CP English, CP Speech, CP Success

Dual Credit: Medical Terminology, Body Structures & Functions, Micro Applications 1 & 2

Dual Credit NCTA Classes:  Animal management, Crop science, Micro-economics, Radiation safety, Agronomy, Natural Resources, Animal Care

There are many other courses offered as dual credit through Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis that students at GRHS have the opportunity to enroll in.

Alternative Education: Program is designed to assist students with credit recovery for grades    9 – 12 in order to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent.

Summer School: Gordon-Rushville High school offers summer school for both credit recovery and advancement as deemed necessary.


GRHS is in the process of continuously advancing technology in education. The High School is a fully wireless building with 2 mobile laptop carts.

We also have 3 mobile distance learning carts and 1 full time distance learning room. We utilize data projectors in most classrooms and have recently added 2 Promethean Interactive Boards.

GRHS has 2 conventional PC computer labs and 1 Mac video editing lab.

We are currently upgrading our website for more staff and student interaction. We also offer duel credit online college courses.

Elective Courses

These are courses offered in addition to the requirements in the four core curricular areas:

English: Composition, CP English, Novels, CP Success, CP Speech

Mathematics: Advanced Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus

Science: Chemistry, Physics, Science Seminar, Bio-Chemistry, Medical Terminology, Body Structures and Functions

Social Science: Mock Trial, Quiz Bowl, Psychology

Fine Arts: Intro to Theater, Drama, Chorus, Jazz Choir, Band, Commercial Music, Guitar, Percussion, Art, Art Appreciation

Ag/Shop: Welding, Metal Fabrication, Woods, Animal Science, Vet Science, Agricultural Business, Agricultural Science, Intro to Shop

Business/Computer Science: Entrepreneurship, School Publications, Accounting I, Computer Applications, Advanced Computers

Foreign Languages: Spanish 1, 2 & 3, German 1 & 2, French

Family/Consumer Science: Family Life, Advanced Foods, Housing, Child Development, Careers, Economics, Foods, Independent Living

Physical Education: Weight Training, Advanced Physical Education

Graduation Rates

In the 2009-2010 school year, approximately 98% of students graduated from Gordon-Rushville High School.

Reading Assessment

Gordon-Rushville High School administers the NWEA MAPS Reading Assessment and the NeSA – Reading Assessment.  During the 2009-2010 school year, approximately 77% of 11th graders were proficient on the state reading standards (they met or exceeded the standards).

Writing Assessment

Gordon-Rushville High School administers the NeSA – Writing Assessment.  During the 2009-2010 school year approximately 100% of 11th graders were proficient on the state writing standards (they met or exceeded the standards).

Mathematics Assessment

Gordon-Rushville High School administers the NWEA MAPS Mathematics Assessment as well as the ESU 13 STARS Mathematics Assessment.  During the 2009-2010 school year, approximately 94% of 11th graders were proficient on the state mathematics standards (they met or exceeded the standards).

Other Assessments

In addition to the traditional academic assessments, Gordon-Rushville High School also administers the following assessments.

 ASVAB & E-Compass – 11th grade

PLAN – 10th grade