Bethel Public Schools are in the process of acquiring a printing press for Bethel High School and Pottawatomie County Commissioners approved a quote for use of education sales tax funds in their regular meeting Monday, Sept. 16.

According to BPS Superintendent Tod Harrison, the printing press will be used for high school art students and teacher William Malouf will educate students on how to use it for projects.

"We have a large art program at Bethel. Mr. Malouf is dedicated to his students’ success," Harrison said. "The county (sales) tax dollars are available to provide these extra items that our students would not normally have access to. Our county schools are very fortunate to have such a supportive community."

According to Malouf, it was his idea to purchase the printing press to further the lessons he teaches on printing arts and to give students the opportunity to express themselves in a unique way.

"I think since my first day of teaching five years ago, I’ve wanted a printing press. It’s one of those wish list items that you always think about but never really think you’ll obtain," Malouf said. "I have always taught printmaking but have been limited to what I could teach because of not have a press."

Malouf explained BPS is purchasing the printing press from Conrad Machine Company for $4,843 and it will be custom made.

"It will benefit the district by allowing students to experience a brand new medium to create with," Malouf said. "The printing press allows multiple printing methods to be taught and our students will be able to gain a better understanding of the medium, as well as, gain a better understanding of printmaking throughout history."

The press will primarily be used by juniors and seniors Malouf said and in each class he will teach students all the steps to using and taking care of the machine.

Both Malouf and Harrison said the printing press will add to the already growing Bethel art department.

"The last two years we got our ceramics up and running and we have an area all setup for printing minus a press," Malouf said. "Bethel’s Art Department will be able to offer a much wider variety of art classes with this press and instead of having a printmaking project throughout the year, we could offer printmaking as a class in itself."

Malouf said the it will take four to six weeks for the printing press to be made. Once it is delivered to the school he said, Malouf looks froward to teaching students an older but not forgotten way of creating art.