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LSR7 Schools Roundup

LSR7 Schools Roundup

LS R-7 hosts Young Authors Primary Conference at Underwood Elementary

Lee’s Summit R-7 students from kindergarten through third grade were honored for their writing and artwork at the district’s Young Authors Primary Conference. The event was held April 11 at Underwood Elementary.

from Lee's Summit R-7 School District

Approximately 150 students were honored for their writing and artwork. A special guest at the event was Jason Sivewright, author, and Kevin and Kristin Howdeshell, illustrators, for “The Night the World Turned Royal Blue” and “The Year a Royal Dream Came True.”

The annual event is coordinated by the Lee’s Summit Reading Council for elementary students in all R-7 School District schools. Underwood Elementary is organizing and hosting the event this year.

LSNHS National Honor Society volunteers to help beautify their school

Approximately 35 members of the Lee’s Summit North High School National Honor Society donated several hours on April to help beautify their school. The students constructed a vegetable garden on the south side of the building, pulled weeds and spread mulch throughout the campus.  

National Honor Society will maintain the vegetable garden throughout the summer and will donate anything harvested to Feed A Need and Lee's Summit Social Services. With the help of a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society grant, the LSNHS Science Department will help complete this project by fencing in the garden area. Science classes will maintain the garden during the school year and will provide the plants. Students from the school’s science of nature classes assisted by starting the plants from seeds and donating them to the project.

To watch a video about the day, click here.

PLMS teachers meet with Lee’s Summit Teacher Academy members

Several teachers from Pleasant Lea Middle School recently met with students involved in the Lee’s Summit Teachers Academy. The academy includes students from all Lee’s Summit R-7 high schools and middle schools.

During March, Teachers Suzanne Wiley, Katrina McLeod, Joel Staponski, Todd Fenske, Robbie Vaughn and Aaron Layendecker met with students in the newly formed club to talk about why they chose education as a career path, their experiences as teachers and why they enjoy working with middle school students.

The students -- Bianca Stewart, Jayln Close and Katie McKitterick -- are among the first students at Pleasant Lea Middle School to join the Lee’s Summit Teachers Academy. During the presentation, the academy students had the opportunity to ask questions of the teachers.

The new club was initiated by Dr. Jeff Miller, R-7 associate superintendent for human resources, to help encourage students to consider teaching careers. Marcy Hess and Kim Hamadi are the sponsors of Lee’s Summit Teachers Academy at PLMS. The sponsors said they hope to inspire students to return to Lee's Summit School District as future teachers.  

On May 1, all middle-school Lee’s Summit Teachers Academy members will travel to Great Beginnings Early Education Center and Summit Technology Academy to learn more about these programs.

New administrators named by Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education

Three new administrators were named at the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District Board of Education meeting on April 13. They include Dr. Jennifer Corum, who will serve as the district’s assistant superintendent of elementary instruction; Dr. Chad Hertzog, new principal for Lee’s Summit West High School; and David Mitchell, who will serve as principal at Summit Lakes Middle School. All three will begin their new jobs on July 1.

Dr. Corum will replace Dr. Katie Collier, who was recently named Lee’s Summit R-7 associate superintendent of instruction and leadership. Dr. Hertzog is replacing Dr. David Sharp, who is leaving Lee’s Summit West to become the district’s assistant superintendent of secondary instruction. Mr. Mitchell will replace Dr. David Carlson, who is leaving Summit Lakes Middle School to become the district’s executive director of classified personnel.

Dr. Corum is currently executive director of elementary education for the Liberty School District. She previously served as director of curriculum for the Park Hill School District, as an elementary principal and as a sixth- and fifth-grade teacher. In addition, she has served as an adjunct master’s education professor for Northwest Missouri State University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Park University.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Cornell College, her master’s degree in educational administration from Emporia State University and her doctorate of education from Saint Louis University. Dr. Corum has also earned National Board Certification for Teaching Standards and received the Exemplary Leadership Award from the Northland Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Corum will join Lee’s Summit R-7 as Dr. Kephart after her June wedding.  

Dr. Hertzog currently serves as assistant principal/activities director at Lee’s Summit High School. He previously worked as an assistant principal and mathematics teacher at LSHS. In 2012, he was named the Assistant Principal of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Missouri Principal’s Association.

A Lee’s Summit resident, Dr. Hertzog earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, his master’s degree in secondary administration from the University of Central Missouri and his doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Louis University.

Mr. Mitchell is currently principal at Raymore-Peculiar East Middle School. He previously worked as middle school principal and assistant principal in the Independence School District as well as principal of the Independence middle level summer program.  Prior to beginning his administrative career, Mr. Mitchell served as a teacher at the elementary and middle school levels in Independence and Columbia. In 2005, he was named the Greater Kansas City Missouri Principal’s Association Principal of the Year.

Mr. Mitchell earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his master’s degree in education administration and his specialist degree in school administration, both from the University of Central Missouri. He is currently working on his doctorate degree in  educational leadership from William Woods University.

Michael Haase, Tavish Whiting and Annie Norris named District 5 Lee’s Summit VFW Teachers of the Year


Annie Norris, Michael Haase and Tavish Whiting, all Lee’s Summit R-7 teachers, were recently named District 5 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Teachers of the Year. The recognition program is conducted through the VFW Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.

Mrs. Norris, the VFW Elementary Teacher of the Year, is a second-grade teacher at Westview Elementary. Michael Haase, the Middle School Teacher of the Year, is a social studies teacher at Summit Lakes Middle School. Tavish Whiting, the High School Teacher of the Year, teaches American government at Lee’s Summit North High School. All three were selected by the VFW Post 5789 of Lee’s Summit as local winners, advancing to the regional competition this spring.

As District 5 winners, the three teachers will compete for the state award. The VFW’s District 5 includes all school districts in Jackson County. The Lee’s Summit R-7 teachers received their local and district awards at an April 12 meeting at the Lee’s Summit VFW Post 5678.

Mrs. Norris has worked at Westview Elementary since 2009. Each year, she works with her students on a project to recognize local law enforcement officers and military personnel (both active and veterans) by writing meaningful thank-you letters. Her class also completes a yearly community service project to benefit Heifer International and she serves as her school’s facilitator for Partners In Education. “Annie’s commitment to citizenship and patriotism goes beyond just lessons in class,” stated the nomination form. “She is a dedicated teacher who motivates her students to become involved young citizens.”

“My goal is that every child leaves my room understanding the importance of kindness,” she said. “As a class we discuss and recognize those who serve our communities and our country every day.”

Mr. Haase has served as a social studies teacher at Summit Lakes Middle School since 2004. He also has served on the School Improvement Team and Site-Based Leadership Team and was a co-sponsor of the SLMS Student Council. Before joining the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Mr. Haase served in the United States Army for three years and taught social studies in the Center School District.

“He has a strong sense of purpose and is very proud to be a veteran of the U.S. Army,” stated the nomination form for Mr. Haase. “Michael takes an active role in our school’s yearly Veterans Day activity that honors fallen soldiers in the War on Terror. He is very passionate about U.S. government and teaching students the importance of being responsible citizens. Michael is truly dedicated to the positive and responsible education of the students in his classes.”

Mr. Whiting has worked for the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District for 22 years. At LSNHS, he teaches American government, comparative government, contemporary issues and economics. He serves as the coordinator for R-7 Votes, a mock election conducted in all R-7 schools during presidential elections. In addition, Mr. Whiting was  member of the R-7 curriculum writing team for American government, contemporary issues, economics and comparative government; served on the writing team for the state-mandated constitution exams; and has been actively involved in The Missouri Bar Education Program.

Mr. Whiting was praised for his leadership, teaching style, dedication and passion for his subject. “He is willing to continuously work for his students and to set an example for the staff he works alongside,” stated the nomination form. “He is an exceptional role model.”

LSNHS to host Senior Citizen Prom April 29

The Lee’s Summit North High School Student Activities Advisory Council will host a Senior Citizen Prom from 6 to 8 p.m. April 29 at the high school, 901 NE Douglas Street.

The event is free for all area senior citizens, and there is no need to RSVP. Beverages and snacks will be provided.  A prom king and queen will be crowned during the event.

LSNHS student receives Missouri Award for Outstanding Citizenship

Maleah Ahuja, A Lee’s Summit North High School student, received the Missouri Award for Outstanding Achievement in Citizenship at an April 17 banquet in Jefferson City. The award is presented by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Bar.

Maleah is one of only 15 students within Missouri to receive the award. The criteria for the award is established by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

City begins process of filling empty District 4 Council seat

City begins process of filling empty District 4 Council seat

Change in leadership doesn't mean a pause in Parks dept. improvements & development

Change in leadership doesn't mean a pause in Parks dept. improvements & development