Lee’s Summit R-7 community group travels to Jefferson City to advocate for public schools
Citizens share district’s legislative platform, discuss public education funding and issues
Members of several Lee’s Summit R-7 School District community groups traveled to Jefferson City April 20 to talk to state elected officials representing this area, advocating for adequate and fair funding for public schools and other legislative priorities.
Individuals making the advocacy trip were representatives of the R-7 Board of Education and Citizens’ Advisory Committee. The group consisted of Phyllis Balagna and Jackie Clark of the Board of Education; Dr. Dave Benson, interim superintendent; Dr. Brent Blevins, deputy superintendent; Elaine Bluml, Jaime Lyon, Mark Van Blaricum, Genevieve Boehm and Carrie Williams, all of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee.
The group met with the following legislators: Sen. Will Kraus, Sen. John Rizzo, Rep. Rick Brattin, Rep. Mike Cierpiot, Rep. Gary Cross, Rep. Donna Pfautsch, Rep. Rebecca Roeber, Rep. Rory Rowland, Rep. Joe Runions and Rep. Dan Stacy.
During the meetings, the community members focused on the district’s legislative priorities for the 2017 Missouri General Assembly session and discussed pending legislation.
The R-7 School District’s complete list of legislative priorities is available on the district’s website. This website also includes a Toolkit for Advocacy, legislators’ voting records and contact information for elected officials. Community members are also invited to sign up for the district’s legislative electronic advocacy newsletter.
Lee's Summit West coaches honored by Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association
Michael Schieber and Kevin Harrison, both of Lee’s Summit West High School, were honored by the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association at an April 6 banquet.
Mr. Schieber was one of two coaches to receive the Eddie Ryan Award which honors the top boys and girls coach in the Greater Kansas City area. Mr. Harrison received the Walt Tylicki Memorial which recognizes longtime educators and coaches who have devoted an entire career to helping people become better athletes and students.
Mr. Schieber has served as the LSWHS head boys basketball coach since the school opened in 2004-05. He has led the Titans to six conference titles, five district titles and three final fours. His LSWHS teams have averaged an outstanding 19 wins per season and his overall career record is 249-105. This year, the Titans won second place in Missouri Class 5. Prior to moving to Lee’s Summit West, Mr. Schieber served as an assistant coach at Lee’s Summit High School for four years.
"I am very humbled to have received this award,” Mr. Schieber said. “This is a reflection of the great student athletes we have had here at Lee's Summit West, my great coaching staff and our parents who have done so much to support us. I accepted on behalf of all of these wonderful people. It is their award."
A high-school basketball coach for 35 years, Mr. Harrison has coached basketball in Fort Osage, Kirksville and Raytown. Within the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, he has served as assistant boys basketball coach at Lee’s Summit High School, as head boys basketball coach at Lee’s Summit North High School and currently as varsity assistant boys basketball coach at Lee’s Summit West High School. His teams have captured several conference championships with Lee’s Summit North winning third place at the state tourney in 2011 and Lee’s Summit West finishing as state runner-up this year. In addition, Mr. Harrison has coached golf throughout his career with his teams winning 11 conference championships.
“I have had the pleasure of coaching basketball in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District for 26 years,” Mr. Harrison said. “I would like to thank all the coaches I have worked with, the parents who supported our programs and most of all the student athletes who are the reason I enjoyed each and every day in the gym.”
Summit Technology Academy students capture awards in Project Lead the Way Showcase
Several teams from Summit Technology Academy recently captured awards in the Project Lead The Way High School Senior Showcase. A total of 379 senior capstone projects were submitted from 33 metro-area schools in the areas of engineering and biomedical sciences.
The Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Senior Showcase highlights students completing the PLTW courses, engineering design and development or biomedical innovations. These students have completed up to four PLTW courses during high school, culminating in a senior capstone project. This rigorous project enables them to collaborate with their peers, using the skills and knowledge they have gained to look at solutions for real world problems.
Winning in the engineering category, from Dr. Paul Rutherford's engineering design and development course was Team 360 Storage consisting of Avery Payne, Connie Wentworth, Kenzie Settle and Jake O'Bryan. They created a device on the wheel of a wheelchair for accessible storage to solve the current problem of lack of adequate storage on a wheelchair. The team received a $2,500 scholarship.
Winning in biomedical sciences, from Peggy Hinzman's Biomedical Innovations class was Lydia Jefferson. Lydia's project tested the impact of lead on circulation in zebrafish embryos to learn more about the problem of lead in water adversely affecting human body systems. She will receive a $2,500 college scholarship. Amy Yang and Isabel Baughn won second place and will receive a $1,500 dollar scholarship with their project that studied the correlation between school health policies and disease outbreaks in schools. Their instructor was Dr. Kevin McCormick.
Through the Senior Showcase, three Summit Technology Academy teams placed in the top 10 for the engineering projects and 13 of 14 Summit Tech teams placed in the top 10 (which included several ties) for biomedical science projects. Only the top three of the top 10 in each category earn scholarships, and three Summit Tech teams received scholarships.
The Project Lead the Way Senior Showcase also includes the Innovator Award, recognizing innovativeness and marketability of project ideas. Summit Technology Academy had two engineering teams win this award. Team 360 Storage and Empowered Tent (consisting of Jacob Schnitzlein, James Roy, Alex Wood and Christian Greeff) were each honored with this award.
These winners are invited to attend the summer Make it REAL Workshop over the summer, hosted by local entrepreneurs from KCSourceLink and the Center for Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the world of entrepreneurs and product development from these mentors.
Optimists recognize elementary "super citizens" for January
Elementary student winners of the January Optimist Super Citizen Award were recognized recently at Lee's Summit R-7 grade schools.
The award is presented monthly to students in R-7 elementary schools. Mason Elementary School conducts a monthly “Character Counts” awards program in cooperation with the Lake Lotawana Optimist Club, and these winners are recognized in separate articles.
Super Citizen winners are selected by teachers based on criteria set by the Optimist Club and the school staff. The award is usually based on the Optimist Creed, although each school's staff may determine criteria for some months.
Students receive the award from Optimist members during either a PTA meeting or another school presentation. The Optimist Club is a local civic organization dedicated to youth. It meets weekly and is open to both men and women.
Winners (listed in order from kindergarten through sixth grade) are:
- Cedar Creek: Charlotte Doran, Ayden Reid, Luke Goforth, Julia Van Blaricum, Lilly Brown, Ciara Linder and Emma Stabno.
- Greenwood: Noah Berry, Luke McCrea, McKinley Cook, Vivian Ramer, Calista Castellano, Aiden Leven and Stella Ramer.
- Hawthorn Hill: Brady Rzeszut, Neylan Foster, William Knapp, Evelyn Fortner, Macey McBride, Sofia Davila and Mia Guidolin.
- Hazel Grove: Hudson Gantt, Harper Evans, Marley Fleming, Drake Brownsberger, Lily Trout, Clarity Qualls and Ben Cammarata.
- Highland Park: Lilia Linneman, Mekhi Woods, Mason Ewing, Grace Collier, Jimmy Ngo, Caden Dickson and Samuel Wells.
- Lee’s Summit: Finn Rice, Kylie Morris Gideon Mennemeyer, Dylan Freeouf, Adaline Herbert, Kaitlyn Stewart and Natalie Scribner.
- Longview Farm: Cassie Brandt, Isaac Murdock, Gigi Hinkle, Carlie Williams, Ruby Hartwig, Evan Davis and Parker Bradford.
- Meadow Lane: Luke Crislip, Brody Hill, Jillian Gulick, Corvin Dawkins, Ariana Visnich, Sam Simpson and Kassidy McQueen.
- Pleasant Lea: Nick Herrington, Falon Ferrara, Cody Devaney, Piper Miller, Leo Lin, Alyssa Stephenson and Dylan Huff-Wolford.
- Prairie View: (Due to Prairie View’s large size, two Super Citizen Awards are presented in each grade level each month). First set: Andrew Mize, Genesis Cuyuch, Colby Fensom, Caden Rockhold, Ronan Hodes, Aiden Duncan and Weston Kelley. Second set: Jonathan Jeffries, Mackenzie Luper, Keagan Schneider, Connor Hill, Jamison Leith, Lexi Anway and Jaxon Young.
- Richardson: Taylor Wood, Molly Brickell, Olivia Hux, Luke McCrary, Sylvia Hughes, Anthony Nguyen and Jameson Love.
- Summit Pointe: Lola Mayer, Paige Morris, Zachary Tanaka, Seren Snow, Taylor Fitzgeral, Lacey Bishop and Michelle Tran.
- Sunset Valley: Elaina Borden, Cooper Schauer, Jullian Coonce, Mason Hughes, Braeden Howard, Colten Parsons and Grant Wasko.
- Trailridge: Areanna Johnson, Sophie Nees, Ryder Votaw, Izzy LaFleur, Caden Bichsel, Arthur Schieszer and Max Spurck.
- Underwood: Liam Rowden, Gavin Ward, Laila Johnston, Zeke Carollo, Drew Melching, Emily Yacaginsky and Katie Allison.
- Westview: Maggie Quaintance, Hensen Danuser, Jaelyn Garcia, Tyler Holman, Vivian Harbit, Kaylei Stahl-Winch and Skylar Pryor.
- Woodland: Gracin Skeen, Mackenzie Wilhelm, Blake Hayes, Hallie Brotherton, Haley Whitacre, Jordy Urbina-Guardado and Calahan Williams.
Students receive a certificate, an Optimist Super Citizen T-shirt and certificates for free gifts from local businesses. Parents of winners receive a bumper sticker stating "Parent of an Optimist Super Citizen."
The award is sponsored by the Lee's Summit Optimist Club. It is designed to recognize students with varied talents.
R-7 middle schools recognize Students of the Month for February
Lee’s Summit R-7 School District middle schools recently recognized their February Students of the Month. Students of the Month are recognized based on outstanding citizenship, conduct, attitude and school involvement.
Students of the Month from Bernard Campbell Middle School are Kinsey Fiedler and Cody Nunn. At BCMS, Kinsey is involved in basketball, track, orchestra, violin, yearbook and is a science lab assistant. Away from school, Kinsey enjoys competitive softball. At BCMS, Cody is involved in ukulele club, scholar bowl, the school play and concert choir. Away from school, Cody enjoys CyberPatriot competition.
Students of the Month from Pleasant Lea Middle School are Kendall Boone and Uzair Malik. At PLMS, Kendall is involved in volleyball and Tiger SMARTS. Away from school, Kendall enjoys competitive volleyball. At PLMS, Uzair is involved in WEB CARES. Away from school, Uzair enjoys CyberPatriot competition, soccer and cricket.
Students of the Month from Summit Lakes Middle School are Makenzie Powell and Blake Lilly. At SLMS, Makenzie received and award of excellence and was champ of home room. At SLMS, Blake was champ of his homeroom. Away from school, Blake enjoys baseball, fishing and student ministries at his church.
Pam Brady of Hazel Grove Elementary named KC metro-area Counselor of the Year
Pam Brady was recently named the Greater Kansas City School Counselor Association’s Elementary Counselor of the Year. A counselor at Hazel Grove Elementary, Mrs. Brady will be honored at an April 27 awards banquet at Stoney Creek Inn.
In nomination forms, Mrs. Brady was praised for her kindness, for her dedication to enriching the lives of others and for serving as an advocate for students. At Hazel Grove, she has coordinated Christmas at the Grove, a celebration that assists needy families in the school; manages the school’s BackSnack program through Harvesters Community Food Network; and coordinates staff volunteers at Coldwater’s No Hungry Kids summer barbeques. She also conducts Chat and Chew sessions for students needing assistance in building peer relationships.
“Pam steps in and assists in meeting the needs of all of our students whenever she is needed,” said a colleague. “Encouraging students to be the best version of themselves is something that Pam dedicates time to each and every day.”
Mrs. Brady has served as counselor at Hazel Grove Elementary for 16 years. She previously worked as a counselor in the Grandview School District and as a teacher and counselor for a district in southwest Missouri. At Hazel Grove, she is co-sponsor of Student Council, coordinates the Optimist Award program and helps organize service activities such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients and Ronald McDonald House’s Tons of Tabs. She previously coordinated the school’s Student Assistance Team. At the district level, Mrs. Brady serves on the R-7 Emergency Response Quality Focus Team.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and her master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Lincoln University.
Mason Elementary first-grader named honorary Nutrition Council member for above-and-beyond community service
The Lee’s Summit R-7 Nutrition Council recently honored Levin Moore, a first-grader at Mason Elementary, for going above and beyond during a spring community-service project.
Levin, who is currently not a member of Nutrition Council, was inspired by the organization’s pet-focused charitable drive. He and his mother created a video that they posted on Facebook seeking donations. All items gathered from these efforts were donated to the Furry Kids Refuge and KC Pet Project.
The Mason Elementary first-grader was presented with an honorary Nutrition Council certificate at the April 18 meeting. Lori Danella, R-7 Nutrition Services assistant director, made the presentation before the group and shared information about his giving spirit.