Miss Bernadine SittsBernadine Sitts
October 24, 1913 - October 6, 2011

Bernadine Sitts was born October 24, 1913, on a farm in McPherson County. She earned money during high school by doing housework and grading papers for teachers for 25 cents an hour. She taught from 1933-36 at a rural school in McPherson County; from 1938-48 at Lincoln High School; and from 1948-82 at Garden City High School, where she was known to work long hours.

During her tenure at Garden City High School, Bernadine served as advisor for the yearbook, was selected as a Honorary Chapter Farmer by Future Farmers of America students and as an Honorary member of Thespians. She has spent her lifetime helping students, giving her the distinction of "mothering" generations of Garden City children. Her list of former students who still reside in Garden City ranges from city commissioners to medical doctors, dentists, farmers, architects, bankers, lawyers, teachers, and more. Architect Mick Gibson, who helped design this facility, is one of Bernadine's former students.

Bernadine has earned many other honors in recognition of her commitment to education. She received the Kansas Master Teacher Award in 1964 and was elected to the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame in 1996. Bernadine received a key to the city and a proclamation declaring October 23-30, 1995, as Bernadine Sitts Week. She retired from teaching in 1982, at which time she began a "second career" through volunteer work at church. At this job she also spends countless hours.

About the decision to name the school after Bernadine, Board of Education member Bill Clement said, "The most outstanding thing about Bernadine is she continues to do everything she can for many people."

Her response to the naming of the school in her honor was, " I received a tribute...when some of you former students, parents and the members of the Board of Education made the decision to name one of the new schools the Bernadine Sitts Intermediate School. My wish is that you may feel that you have had a part in this endeavor and that these facilities may provide opportunities for children/youth to receive an education for many years."

For many years, she arrived at the school in various ways to celebrate her birthday with staff and students. She has arrived by horse and carriage, a fire truck, motorcycle, helicopter and more.

Bernadine Sitts School History

Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center was designed by Gibson, Mancini, Carmichael & Nelson Architects and opened in January 1997. BSIC is one of two schools in USD 457 where only 5th and 6th graders attend. Our school is named in honor of Bernadine Sitts, a long-time Garden City educator. The school is located off Third Street about three-fourths of a mile south of the U.S. Highway 50 By-pass. The school population numbers between 525 to 585 students.


During the fall of 1996, all the fifth graders from the six feeder schools and the one team of six graders from the country school who were moving to BSIC in January 1997, submitted nominations for the school's mascot. From the nominations, the field of possible mascots was narrowed. The students then voted by secret ballot to select the English Bulldog as the school's symbol.

The students were not aware of this, but interestingly, the English Bullpup had been the McPherson High School's mascot during the years that Miss Bernadine Sitts was a high school student there.

The bulldog has been described as, "mild and kind, a peaceful dog, showing goodwill and friendliness to everyone it encounters": fitting characteristics for the students at Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center to hold in esteem.