Upcoming Events And Past Involvement In Our Communities
Upcoming Events And Past Involvement In Our Communities
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Colby team serves at the Sunflower Festival's popular BrewFest
Our Colby team enjoyed serving drinks at BrewFest during last weekend's Sunflower Festival in Colby. We are proud to sponsor this exciting annual event.
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USD 297 district teachers receive gift cards from Western State Bank
Our St. Francis team surprised every teacher in the district with a $25 Amazon gift card to kick off the school year. We're beyond appreciative of our teachers and important work they do to educate and help shape the children in our communities.
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Western State Bank announces substitute teaching program to benefit employees, USD 457

Persistent staffing shortages are affecting school districts across the nation, often leading teachers to feel burned out and students at risk of missed learning opportunities. To help address this challenge, Western State Bank in Garden City recently announced a substitute teaching program that will benefit its employees and the local school district.

Through the program, Western State Bank will pay for employees to become certified as substitute teachers, and award additional paid-time-off (PTO) days allowing employees to participate in the program without cutting into their existing PTO.

“Our children and our future workforce are directly affected by the staffing shortage,” Western State Bank President Tyler Whitham said. “The district is working hard to find creative solutions. If we can assist by simply ensuring there are additional responsible, caring adults present to help educate these children and to allow teachers to take much-needed time off, then that’s what we’d like to do.”

As USD 457 kicks off the 2022-2023 school year, the district continues to face multiple teacher vacancies, many of which are being filled by long-term substitutes. According to USD 457 Human Resources Director Dr. Joe Alcorta, this leaves the district with a challenging substitute teacher shortage.

“Generally, educators don’t want to have to take time off,” USD 457 Superintendent Dr. Mike Dominguez said. “But life happens, and we hope to support our teachers by putting this in place. We are very, very humbled that Western State Bank would approach us with this possibility. We’re excited, and we know it’s going to work. We hope other businesses choose to get involved.”

More than half of Western State Bank’s 120 employees work at the bank’s headquarters in Garden City. Many are in non-customer-facing office positions, allowing for more flexibility with work schedules.

“We see this as a benefit to both the school district and our employees,” Western State Bank Human Resources Manager Allie Medina said. “We already have a generous PTO allowance and multiple bank holidays when school is still in session. Now employees have the chance to bring in additional income on their days off, and spend more time with their children if they choose to sub in their classrooms.”

Western State Bank will assist employees with the certification process through an on-site event scheduled for Monday, Aug. 29. The Garden City Police Department and St. Catherine Hospital staff will be in attendance to conduct fingerprinting and TB skin test reading. 

Whitham said that he hopes to share what they’ve learned about the certification process and provide consultation on how the program could be implemented in other organizations.

“We just hope that our program will inspire other businesses and organizations to follow suit,” Whitham said. “We believe this is a challenge our community has the power and resources to help address.”

For more information about Western State Bank’s substitute teaching program, contact Western State Bank Public Relations and Marketing Director Sarah Waller at swaller@wsbks.com. For more information on substitute teaching certification, visit gckschools.com or contact Lisa Sander at lsander@gckschools.com.

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Dodge City team provides new district teachers with classroom supplies
Our Dodge City banking center team surprised new Dodge City Public Schools teachers with backpacks full of teacher supplies to kick off their first school year.
Best wishes to all the educators out there who are gearing up for a busy school year. We appreciate all you do!
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Western State Bank Sponsors Inaugural Builders Golf Tournament
We were proud to act as Presenting Sponsor for the Southwest Kansas Builders Association's Inaugural Builders Golf Tournament at Southwind Country Club. Golfers enjoyed complimentary cigars from the WSB Stogie Stop.
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Garden City team draws a crowd at GCCC Student Orientation
Our Garden City staff had a great time at the 2022 Garden City Community College student orientation. Our station featured corn hole and a prize wheel with dorm food prizes.
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Leoti team serves community at annual Customer BBQ
Thanks to everyone who attended our annual Customer BBQ! We enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces and getting the chance to connect with you.
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Colby team acts a major sponsor of Colby Air Show
The Colby Air Show was a hit! We had a great time and were thrilled to be part of such an exciting, family-friendly event! Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers who worked to make it possible.
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Garden City team serves at Beef, Beer & Boots
We had a wonderful time connecting with our customers, friends and neighbors at the Western State Bank Beer & Boots in event Garden City! This fun-filled Beef Empire Days event features live music, food trucks, a steak cookoff, and a beer garden. 
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Colby team serves at Brew Fest 2021
Our Colby team enjoyed serving attendees at Brew Fest during the 2021 Sunflower Festival. Pictured is Western State Bank Loan Officer Matt Smith & his wife Randi.
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