EnglishSpanish

McAllister Retires

thumbthumb

After 41 years, Steve McAllister saw his last group of students leave his classroom at Syracuse High School on Thursday, May 18. Instead of a big sendoff, McAllister chose to test himself in a 60 mile race.  An avid bicyclist, Steve loaded up his bicycle and headed for Hico, TX to join his friend from grade school, Albert Sweany, to ride in the Gravel Locos. 
As the name implies, you have to be a little crazy but “Mac” was up to the challenge. The race involves three routes, 30, 63 and 155 miles. “Thirty is not competitive, I do that around here, so we decided to do the sixty-mile race,” said Steve, 
“All the road was gravel! Albert finished, and he turned around to ride with me to the finish line, because he wanted to help me make it to the end. Part of the race we even had to walk our bikes through water, I was so glad for it to be over and I wondered if I was ever going to get to the finish line!” Steve added, “Albert wanted me to train but it was hard for me with teaching and coaching, but I will train and be ready next year!” Sweany described the race as 700 riders in bone jarring gravel with mud thrown in, some steep climbs and a river crossing! 
Steve was born in Beloit, near Cawker City where his father was a Methodist minister. After four years they moved to Sedgwick and his father made the decision to join the Air Force which involved a move for the family to Las Vegas where he was Chaplin for the Thunderbirds. 
His dad was then given an isolated assignment in Korea and given a choice to move with his family for three years, or spend one year by yourself, “He went by himself, so we moved to Belle Plaine my sixth-grade year, where my grandmother lived, it was tough being without him.”
After his assignment in Korea, his dad was stationed at McConnell in Wichita, so they continued living in Belle Plaine where he went to school until his sophomore year when his dad’s next assignment took them to Newbury, England. 
He graduated from London Central High School in High Wycombe in 1978, returning by himself to the United States to attend Southwestern College in Winfield, “Mainly because my parents and grandparents went there,” he added, “My parents and brother Mike stayed in England another year.” 
While there he began his degree in business administration, “But I discovered I did not like to be precise to the penny, so I changed majors to history, finding out you can’t do much with that degree, so I changed to history and government,” he said. He also played football his freshman year and tennis for three years. 
That is where he and his wife Rhonda met. “Our freshman year, we were in classes together, but I tended to be more radical, I had long hair, kind of a seventies  hippy!” laughed Steve, “I don’t know what she saw in me!”
Their sophomore year they were in the same history class and were paired together. “She attended chapel on Wednesdays and church on Sundays and even though I was a preacher’s kid, I wasn’t much into that, but she asked me to go to chapel, so I said okay, I guess.” That was the beginning of their future, marrying in the summer of 1982. 
After graduation he began applying to several schools and took a job in Lewis, a small 1-A school where he taught for six years and also coached football, track and quiz bowl, what is now known as scholar’s bowl. Rhonda worked at the Coop as a secretary and then as an insurance agent at a bank. That is where their first son, Bryce, was born. 
“But we could tell it wasn’t going to last, the school was so small,” said Steve. The couple spent their summers while in college, helping Rhonda’s parents, Kenny and Ann Palmer on the farm in Syracuse. “We would go to Kendall, and that is where I met Susan Houck, a teacher, and she let me know when there was an opening at Syracuse.”  
That was 1988 when he was hired as junior high social science and coached junior high football and basketball for six years. “I was waiting for Don Richter to retire; I even told him he should retire so I could have his job!” 
Richter did retire and Steve took his job as social studies teacher in addition to high school athletics director from 1994-2008. “When I became AD, they did not want me to coach, so I gave up football and basketball but helped Ron Ewy and Ron Richardson coach cross country.” 
They welcomed their second son, Blake, in 1992 and Steve began coaching basketball when Blake was in second grade. “When those kids got to junior high, I coached with Kent Brown and those boys went on to have successful high school basketball seasons.”  
As if he did not have enough to do, he began coaching scholar’s bowl, taking the team to state seven years in a row. Recently, local Magistrate Judge Chris Velez has been helping him, something the two of them plan to continue doing. 
Finishing his career, he taught freshman and senior economics, head cross country coach, scholar’s bowl coach and when spring came, he was head junior high track coach. 
“When I am teaching, I felt like I had to coach, it’s neat to see kids in both environments,” said Steve, “Teaching kids when they “get it” is exciting!” When asked if he was going to miss that, he responded, “Definitely! I will miss the whole thing, especially seeing the kids in the hallway.” 
His wife Rhonda has been retired for five years and when asked why he retired, Steve said, it’s time! “We look forward to seeing the boys more who live in the Denver area, and living here, it’s four and a half hours to family in Wichita and four and a half hours to Denver.”
I have really enjoyed teaching here, we have great kids and Syracuse is a good community,” said Steve. 

 

 

NEWS

thumb

A Trip of a Lifetime

On Monday, May 27, Memorial Day, at 11:00 pm, 14 students and three sponsors boarded the yellow school bus bound for the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, destination, Washington, D.C.  Students making the trip this year were Reid Mathias, Charley Maune, Paige... [More]

thumb

Mr. Z Says Goodbye

Retiring junior/senior high school principal Paul Zuzelski aka Mr. Z’s story begins when Z was at a meeting in central Kansas. He was given the phone and told he needed to talk to this person.  “It was Jerry Burch, superintendent here at USD 494 asking if we... [More]

Kansas Launches Summer EBT Program to Improve Food Access for Kids During Summer Break

The summer EBT program doesn't roll out until mid to late July. Summer in Hamilton County began this week. Questions or comments should be directed to Erin La Row at 785-220-8167. Food Pantry board member Lora Horton said, "The demand for food in Hamilton County is outpacing... [More]

thumb

Summertime in Syracuse

For students in school, summer has officially begun and on most everyone’s mind is "when is the pool going to open?"  If you have driven by, it is obvious the pre-season work is still progressing, and according to board member Amy Dikeman the pool was cleaned last... [More]

thumb

COUNTY LIBRARY RECEIVES DONATION FROM DREAM FIRST BANK

Macy Crum has been a Credit Analyst at Dream First Bank for the last three years and loves her job.  "The atmosphere is great. I love working with people and numbers," she said. Crum, a 2017 Holly High School graduate went on to K-State for her secondary math degree and... [More]

thumb

Phillippy Joins Younger Law Firm

“When you’re looking for a firm, a lot of people are inclined to go to the big flashy advertising firms, but with any ultimately service-oriented profession, it’s nice to have someone you can see if you need to,” said Christopher. Christopher Phillippy,... [More]

thumb

Blue Sky Bookkeeping Open For Business

Blue Sky Bookkeeping Services is open for business at 105 N Main Street, Syracuse, Kansas.  Nicole Salm, a bookkeeper for over 12 years, decided to open a storefront on Main Street in Syracuse. She purchased the building in the middle of March when she and husband, Justin... [More]

thumb

SCOULAR DONATION HIGHLIGHTS COMMUNITY NEED

In the last year with food prices and inflation rising, food pantries are being strained more and more.  According to Lora Horton, the need outweighs the product.  "Right now we are okay but we could always use more. With COVID money, we received monthly boxes of commodities.... [More]

More News


OPINIONS

All that I have

Have you ever felt out of sync? The world seems to be moving easier for the people around you. Yet you are a little agitated, confused, and running around like a  chicken with your head cut off?   That was my week last week.    Every tiny thing that could... [More]

Right Where I'm Supposed To Be

It’s Sunday morning as I began writing this. We had a wonderful Saturday at a livestock show.   After the show we saw a tire on the trailer was ruined. We didn’t have a jack but my husband was going to try to make it home. I called someone I knew that had connections... [More]

Mob Mentality

Summer is well underway and busy as always. But I am surprised at the emotions coming from what seems like little changes.   For someone who grew up in dramatic fashion like moving in the middle of the night, police at your door,  never seeing people again, you would... [More]

Float

Do you ever have one of those days, weeks, months when life isn’t flowing very well? Little things start to unravel leading to bigger things and soon you are struggling to find which way is up?  Life moves faster and faster and you can’t catch your breath. ... [More]

Don't Wait Till It's Perfect

Here we are, the last week of school. Just like every year, some graduated preschool, Kindergarten, eighth grade promotion, high School, college and more,  As we wrap up field trips, play days, awards assemblies, and prepare for summer, we won't have this moment again, whatever... [More]

Broken People

I had a pretty good weekend! My daughter did well in her livestock showing, she played a piece by Bach in a piano recital. My greatest accomplishment was backing up the trailer at the barn. For some of you that is no big deal.  But my fear is so great that I don't think... [More]

It's Okay To Fall Apart Sometimes

It's May! I had a rough end of April. And a lot of it was public. Some people ask why? Many people choose to keep it inside and put on a public face. I cannot. However I choose to use this challenge/gift for the good.  When my daughter showed livestock this weekend, she... [More]

Reach down and lift someone up

I got out of my comfort zone last week and attended a publishing conference in Colorado Springs. I had anxiety going in wondering what it would be like. My fears fell apart and I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to have made the journey.  I learned a tremendous amount.... [More]

More Opinions

SPORTS

thumb

LEWIS HEADS TO STATE TRACK

Qualifying members of the high school track team traveled to Hill City Thursday, May 16 to compete in the 2-A regional meet against 15 teams, Ellinwood, Ellis, Hill City, Hoxie, Lincoln, Meade, Medicine Lodge, Oakley, Plainville, Smith Center, Stanton County, Sublette, Thomas... [More]

thumb

BULLDOGS TAKE SECOND AT REGIONALS - HEADED TO STATE

The Syracuse High School boys golf team battled breezy conditions on Monday May 13 competing in the 2-A Regional meet on their own Tamarisk Golf Course.  Adjusting to windy conditions and competing at home paid off for the Bulldogs Monday, placing second, qualifying... [More]

thumb

STATE GOLF RESULTS

State golf on Monday had the Varsity Bulldogs miss playing in the finals as a team by one stroke. They finished seventh out of twelve teams.  On Day 1, Brody Keller shot a 92 missing day two by two strokes. Ian Brummett shot a 95, Mason Scott  and Johnny TeVelde shot... [More]

thumb

JH BASKETBALL WINS

Junior High Boys Basketball A, B, and C teams travelled to Elkhart on Monday, November 21. The A team won 41-34, B team won 26-21, and  C team lost to Elkhart 13-20. Head Coach Vance Keller said, “Elkhart was a tough win for both the A and B teams but both grinded... [More]

thumb

LADY BULLDOGS BORDER WARS CHAMPIONS!!

The Lady Bulldogs were undefeated during the Border Wars, defeating Eads on Friday, 42-7 and Walsh on Saturday 62-5, bringing their record to 3-1. But the winner wasn’t announced until Tuesday evening. Syracuse Athletic Director Josh Johnson explained, “It came down... [More]

thumb

JH Basketball Season Underway with JH Boys sweeping Lakin

Monday night at home at the Herndon Gym, the Junior High boys swept Lakin! Head coach Vance Keller said, “We’re a young team with only six eighth graders and 12 seventh graders. We’ve had six total that started the season with injuries so we haven’t had... [More]

thumb

Senior Night Volleyball

Three Syracuse High School volleyball seniors were honored on Tuesday, October 5, during the volleyball tournament at Syracuse.  Kaetlin Thomeczek, daughter of Joe and Dami Thomeczek has played volleyball since the third grade, playing with Syracuse Youth Activities Association... [More]

thumb

HS Track

Head coach Steve Navarro said, “The coaching staff has really enjoyed working with this group of kids this year. They have been putting in hard work despite some less than stellar conditions for practice and meets. We are excited to see what they can do now that we are... [More]

More Sports

OBITUARIES

thumb

Loren William Youngers

Loren William Youngers, age 68, of La Veta, CO, passed away on May 29th, 2024. Loren was born September 11th, 1955, in Kingman, KS, the son of George and Evelyn Youngers.  He was predeceased by his parents, his sister Doreen Amon, and niece Anne Marie Youngers. He is... [More]

Gene Wagner

 A graveside service for Gene Wagner will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 7, 2024 at the Holly, Cemetery with Deacon Allan Medina officiating. Ralph Eugene Wagner was born on September 23, 1942 in Syracuse, Kansas to Bernard and Kathryn (Boden) Wagner.  He passed... [More]

thumb

Ronald Thompson

A graveside service will be held for Holly, Colorado resident, Ronald Thompson, at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the Holly Cemetery in Holly, Colorado.  His family asks those wishing to attend to follow in procession from Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly to... [More]

Calvin Friesen

A memorial service for Calvin Friesen will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, May 18, 2024 at Lamar Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1811 S. 6th Street, Lamar, Colorado with Pastor Ted Williams.  Per Calvin’s request, cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation.... [More]

thumb

Eva Grace Phillips

A Funeral Service for Holly, Colorado resident, Eva Grace Phillips will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 10, 2024 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly, Colorado.  Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery.  Visitation for Eva Grace will be held from 4:00 p.m.... [More]

thumb

Judy Crum

Judy Crum, 82, of Federal Heights, Colorado, went home to be with the Lord on April 26, 2024 at St. Anthony North Hospital in Westminster, Colorado. She passed in peace, surrounded by her loved ones.  Judy Kay (Matkin) Crum was born on March 17, 1942 in Flora, Illinois to... [More]

Ed Crum

Graveside services for Ed Crum will be held at the Holly Cemetery in Holly, Colorado at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 13, 2024.  Per Ed's request there will be no visitation. Edward Dean Crum was born on July 31, 1949 in Lamar, Colorado to Clifford and Lucille (Frazer) Crum.... [More]

thumb

Jimmy Ray Dowell

Jimmy Ray Dowell, 73, passed away peacefully on April 5th, 2024 at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka Kansas with his family by his side. Jim was Born on September 2nd 1950 to Charlie and Gaylene (Schockey) Dowell of Syracuse Kansas. He married Loveta (Lindsey) on August 13, 1972... [More]

More Obituaries

View All Obituaries