Graf joins the Keystone team

Graf at Keystone

Photo by Rick Nichols
First-time administrator Lindsey Graf is ready to put her experience to work for the good of students served by Keystone Learning Services.


by Rick Nichols
Anyone who has worked in the field of Special Education for any length of time knows full well that it takes a team of dedicated professionals working together to produce positive outcomes for either children or adults with mental and quite possibly physical limitations.
At Keystone Learning Services in Ozawkie, that team now includes the former coach of McLouth High School girls’ basketball squad, Lindsey Graf, whose responsibilities on the court were secondary to those she had in the classroom as a Special Education teacher.
Graf, who was a SPED instructor from the 2008-2009 school year through the 2014-2015 term, officially became an assistant director of Special Education for Keystone on June 15. She essentially replaces Alicia Kheir and will be working closely with the other assistant director for the program, Mary Livingston.
“I’m excited,” Graf told the paper last week during an interview in her office, pleased to have secured what she considers to be her first true administrative job as an educator. Graf was MHS’s Activities Director during her years with McLouth USD 342, a position that had the use of an office attached to it, but she certainly didn’t look upon herself as really being an administrator then.
As the AD, Graf was in charge of the athletic programs and other extracurricular activities at the school. The position required her to work numerous evenings as well as some Saturdays.
“For me, it’s (the new job) going to be a complete change with no sports and somewhat more normal hours than what I’ve been used to,” she remarked, eager to operate at a different pace for a while.
At Keystone, Graf will be overseeing the delivery of Special Education services to students in four of the eight school districts affiliated with the interlocal, Valley Falls USD 338, Oskaloosa USD 341, Atchison County Community USD 377, and the McLouth district. She also has other duties associated with the John Dewey Learning Academy, which is located in Ozawkie, and the Youth Experiencing Success program.
Livingston, who is beginning her fifth year with Keystone, will take care of the other four districts, Jefferson County North USD 339, Jefferson West USD 340, Perry-Lecompton USD 343, and Easton USD 449. She, too, will be involved with the JDLA and the YES program.
Since joining the Keystone team Graf has been busy planning in-services for members of the staff and hiring people to fill available positions. In fact, she was scheduled to do seven interviews of her own the day after she was interviewed by the paper for this story.
After graduating from Leavenworth High School in 1997, Graf attended Friends University in Wichita, receiving a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 2001. She has since earned a master’s degree in school counseling through Wichita State University and a master’s degree in school administration through Emporia State University. She took classes offered by Emporia State to obtain her SPED license.
Graf brings 14 years of experience in public education to her new position. She first taught at Goddard High School, where she was a history instructor for four years, then went on to the Tonganoxie school system. She was employed by USD 464 a total of seven years, the first three as a counselor at Tonganoxie Elementary School and the final four as a SPED teacher at Tonganoxie High School. She also did some coaching while at THS.
The 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years found Graf working for USD 342. Her brother, Jason, also was on the faculty at MHS, but he, too, has moved on having landed a job to teach business at Yates Center High School beginning next month.
Although Graf won’t be coaching a basketball team this coming winter, she remains very interested in school sports. “I still plan on going to a lot of games, even at McLouth,” she said.
A big fan of the Kansas City Royals, Graf was at Kauffman Stadium last week for the team’s first two games against the Pittsburgh Pirates and fully intended to be on hand for the final game of the three-game series as well. She also cheers for the KU Jayhawks during the college basketball season and the Notre Dame football team.
A native of Leavenworth, Graf now lives in Tonganoxie with her two dogs. Her parents, Ray and Donna Graf, still reside in Kansas’ oldest community and are retired.

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Posted by on Aug 12 2015. Filed under Featured, The Independent, The Vindicator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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