York Board of Education hears from Esport state champions

YORK — The seats were filled in the York Public Schools district office for the board of education meeting on Monday.

The YHS Esports winter champion team made an appearance to talk about their season. This is the first year YHS has competed in Esports. Esports coach Scott Kohmetscher said, “This winter, we had two games and had two different teams competing for Clash Royale. They competed against every school [in the Nebraska Schools Esports Association] every week. We’d have practices Tuesdays and Thursdays, and these guys would come in, crank up the tunes, and play matches against one another.”

At the state tournament, YHS students Boe Fraser, Eisenhower Colburn and Danny Burgess rose to the top and beat Waverly High School, McCook High School, and Omaha Skutt Catholic in the multiplayer battle game of Clash Royale. All three students walked away with a scholarship offer from York University.

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Coach Ericson said several universities are offering full-ride scholarships to students who are serious about Esports. Ericson said, “We would be doing a disservice if we didn’t offer Esports for our kids. They have to uphold the academic requirements just like they do in football, basketball, volleyball and other sports. The communication, academics and teamwork involved. They aren’t just sitting at home in front of their gaming console, but they are in a room helping each other. To be in our first year and having a state champion team, it’s a big deal. It tells me a lot about the benefits of the Esports program.”

Kohmestcher said, “One thing I’ll add is that there are some kids on the team that don’t talk to anyone at school, but they will come after school and sit in a room and play video games with one another.”

Fraser, Colburn and Burgess then gave a Clash Royale crash course to the board members.

Reports given by the board members were light. YPS superintendent Dr. Mitch Bartholomew gave a budget update. Through Feb. 2023, YPS receipts are at $9,224,000.27 and disbursements are at $9,518,070.15. Bartholomew noted $151,858.61 has gone toward subs for those who were on maternity and medical leave. Bartholomew said Feb. was a respectable revenue month for YPS.

Bartholomew also presented a legislative update on LB48 for ESU Core Service funding. This bill could affect core service dollars to Nebraska ESUs. The second bill Bartholomew presented was LB516 that Bartholomew said, “provides funding for school districts for security-related infrastructure projects such as video surveillance systems and secure entry door locking systems” and “establishes a program and funding to hire mental health practitioners and school psychologists to deliver mental and behavioral health supports to students.” Both of these funding programs would enhance school safety in Nebraska schools.

The school approved the resignations of two educators, second grade teacher Shawna Culotta and York Middle School science teacher Melissa Manning.

Last item was the approval of teacher contracts for McKenna Gierhan who will be a first grade teacher at YES and Cheyenne Mangus who will be teaching art at YES.

The next meeting will be on March 27 at 7 p.m. in the YPS district office.

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