The student news site of Great Bend High School

Panther Tales

The student news site of Great Bend High School

Panther Tales

The student news site of Great Bend High School

Panther Tales

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GBHS Principal Retires After 41 Years


Tim Friess, Great Bend High School’s Principal, is retiring after 41 years of working in the district 428. His journey to become principal for GBHS was fairly long but let me walk you through it. Friess wanted to be a coach at 16 years old but realized in order to be a coach you have to be a teacher. Friess decided he’d be a teacher and a coach. He spent the first two years in Great Bend dividing his time between being a physical education teacher at GBHS and an adaptive PE teacher at the elementary schools. He continued being a PE teacher for the next 11 years at Lincoln and Washington schools. 

Did he get to be a coach? Yes. Friess coached freshman basketball for 13 years. He then tried for an administrative role in 1996 as assistant principal. He had also spent 8 years as a varsity football assistant coach. He was then appointed head coach for three seasons (1988-90). Friess received his final promotion in 2008 to principal of GBHS. 

From one article, Friess stated, “I never considered myself in charge of anything like that. It took me away from the kids a little bit, which I tried not to let that happen. Teaching and being in the classroom is a lot different than being in an office away from kids a lot of the time.” 

Junior, Alex Grabast said, “He’s a cool and easily respectable guy and he’s open minded to everyone.”

Sophomore, Sheridan Johnson said, “My opinion on Mr. Friess is good. He’s very kind and cares for us kids a bunch.”

Friess wants to spend his free time with his wife and four grandchildren. There’s no doubt he will miss his coworkers and the district he’s spent time with for the majority of his life. Friess will be missed at Great Bend High School.

“Friess was nice enough to allow us to drop classes, while the new principal may not. I’d rather have Friess. I feel this new principal may not give as much leeway as Friess did while also helping us be most successful,” Grabast said.

“He has influenced me to walk the halls with a smile and be involved. I feel like the high school will be a little different and it will take some time getting used to a new principal, but I haven’t really heard anything about him,” Johnson said.

Now starts a new chapter for Great Bend High School and Brock Funke. Fortunately, it’s not Funke’s first time being a principal or a teacher for that matter. He’s had past experiences that first started at Park Elementary School in 2011. He began as a Teacher/Instructional Coach then later returned to his hometown in Washington, Kan., in 2019 to be a secondary Social Studies Teacher and Junior High/High School building Principal since 2020. The school wonders how things might be changed next year. It’s a play-it-by-ear kind of thing until everything gets organized and ready for a new year with a new principal.

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