Students and staff host 13 lemonade stands over five-day period to fight childhood cancer
Students and staff members from Greenwood Elementary recently raised more than $10,200 to help in the fight against childhood cancer. The school hosted 13 lemonade stands from April 21-25 with all proceeds going to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF).
Students kicked off the charitable drive at an April 21 assembly. The school’s numerous fundraisers included lemonade stands at community locations as well as a competition between classrooms. The classroom contest raised more than $2,000.
Community supporters of the fund drive included Fellowship Greenwood Church, Martin Marietta Rock Quarry, Greenwood PTA and Tom Marshall of Realty Executives. Businesses and organizations hosting lemonade stands for the drive included Casey’s General Store, Fellowship Greenwood Church, Greenwood Mercantile, Greenwood Antique Mall, Big Creek Antique Mall and As Time Goes By. The school also hosted lemonade stands.
Staff members were impressed by students’ commitment to the cause including one student hosting her own lemonade stand at home to raise more than $200. Other examples include a student conducting her own fundraising to raise more than $150 and a student bringing his entire piggy bank to contribute.
Funds raised through ALSF pay for medical research to find cures for childhood cancer. Through donations to the Foundation, $50 will pay for one hour of research, $400 pays for one day, $2,000 pays for one week and $8,000 pays for one month.
LSN & LSW alliance win first place at Missouri robotics championship
An alliance consisting of Lee’s Summit North High School and Lee’s Summit West High School robotics teams captured first place at the Missouri FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship, held May 13 in St. Louis.
During the state championship’s three-year history, LSWHS Team Titanium has won three state championships. This is the first state championship for the LSNHS Broncobots.
At the state contest, which included 24 of the top robotics teams in Missouri, teams were pre-seeded based on their performances at qualifying events held earlier in the season. The LSNHS team earned the No. 1 seed by winning the Kansas City Regional and by being semi-finalists at the Iowa Regional. At the state championship, the LSNHS Broncobots selected LSWHS’s Team Titanium as their alliance partner.
The LSNHS/LSWHS alliance won the state event by winning the final two matches, 328 to 238 and 387 to 333.
At the state championship, Team Titanium was also voted Missouri Robot of the Year by their peers. This was a fitting tribute to a robot and team that came just three points short of winning the World Championship a few weeks prior.
Lee’s Summit High School’s Team Driven qualified for the state event and was ranked No. 6 based on the team’s performance during the competition season. Team Driven was ranked third at the Greater Kansas City Regional and were quarter-finalists at the event and were ranked second at the Bayou Regional and were semi-finalists.
At the state championship, Team Driven was selected by the No. 5 alliance. The LSHS team was able to efficiently deliver gears to the airship but mechanical issues from alliance partners kept Team Driven out of the semi finals. Team Driven did receive the Innovation Award based on votes collected from the other competing teams at the event.
LSN students win Heart of America Shakespeare Sonnet Contest
Three Lee's Summit North High School sophomores won the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival Sonnet Contest, held during May. Jack Gatti won first place, Jillian Jamaleddin won second place and Robin Conrad won third place for their poems.
The students were recognized at a May 13 reception at the Johnson County Library by Matt Rapport, Heart of America Shakespeare director of education. All three students are in Kim England's Advanced Studies 10 English class. Their sonnets will be published on the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival website later this spring.
Lee’s Summit R-7 students nominated for Starlight Theatre’s Blue Star Awards
All three Lee’s Summit R-7 high schools have captured nominations for Starlight Theatre’s Blue Star Awards program. Nominations were announced during mid-May. Winners in each category will be announced May 25 at a public ceremony at Starlight Theatre.
A total of 42 area high schools received nominations in this 15th annual Blue Star Awards program.
Local nominations include:
- Elizabeth Bennet as Ursula in “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” from Lee’s Summit High School, outstanding actress in a supporting role
- Jenell Johnson as Oda Mae Brown in “Ghost the Musical” from Lee’s Summit North High School, outstanding actress in a supporting role
- Jessica Haney in “Disney’s Mary Poppins” from Lee’s Summit West High School, outstanding female ensemble member
- Garrett Richardson as Officer Wallace in “Ghost the Musical” from Lee’s Summit North, outstanding male ensemble member
- “Disney’s Mary Poppins” from Lee’s Summit West, outstanding costume design and construction, tier 2;
- Elizabeth Bennett from Lee’s Summit High School, Rising Star Scholarship-female.
Starlight’s Blue Star Awards, modeled after Broadway’s Tony® Awards, marks its 15th anniversary with the 2016-17 school year. Sponsored in part by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the educational program annually recognizes achievement and excellence in high school musical theatre. This year, a total of 52 high schools producing 59 musicals (a new record) participated.
The culmination of the program each year is the annual Blue Star Awards Ceremony at Starlight Theatre. This year’s awards ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. May 25. The ceremony is free and open to the public. Parking is $5 per vehicle.
“The Blue Star Awards is Starlight Theatre’s largest and most recognized musical theatre education program,” said Rich Baker, Starlight president and CEO. “As we prepare to celebrate the 15th class of Blue Star Awards nominees and winners, we also applaud every one of the 5,000+ high school students and teachers who worked so hard and shared their special talents to entertain audiences across our city and beyond!”
A panel of three adjudicators attended the musical productions of each participating school during the fall 2016 and/or spring 2017 semesters. These judges provided critiques of both performance and technical categories to Starlight’s Education Department. Additionally, their comments were compiled and shared with each school’s theatre teacher and students; in all, more than 1,000 pages of commentary were sent to the 52 participating schools. The Blue Star Awards Nomination Committee, made up of select adjudicators, met for a total of 42 hours to deliberate and select final nominees and award winners.
Several nominated schools and students will perform on Starlight’s stage at the May 25 awards ceremony. Performances will include a number from each of the six schools and musicals nominated for outstanding overall production, as well as musical medleys performed by the 12 nominees for outstanding actor and actress in a lead role.
A final highlight of the annual Blue Star Awards Ceremony is the awarding of Rising Star Scholarships to two high school seniors. The $2,500 college scholarships are presented to one male and one female senior who contributed the most to his or her high school theatre department and demonstrated exceptional theatrical achievement.
Greenwood Elementary has new Buddy Bench thanks to students
Two students from Greenwood Elementary worked together to create a Buddy Bench for the school’s playground. The students -- first-grader Maddox Hillmer and fifth-grader Skylar Diehl -- worked on the project during the school’s Genius Hour.
During Greenwood Elementary’s weekly Genius Hour, first-graders meet with their fifth-grade buddies and are encouraged to discover and follow their passions and to help others.
Maddox and Skylar shared the idea with Greenwood’s mayor and were partnered with the City of Greenwood’s Utility Department. City staff members coordinated the building of the bench. The students and city staff members first created a supply list and sketched the plan for the bench with the help of Kirt Grahl and others from the Utility Department.
Equity Bank of Lee’s Summit donated a $150 gift card to Home Depot for materials, and the two students helped city staff members build the bench during early May. Later this year, the bench will be painted.
Maddox and Skylar shared, “We want to build a bench where kids can go sit if they are having troubles finding someone to play with at recess. Sometimes it's hard to find someone. If you sit there, other people will see and ask you to play."
R-7 middle schools recognize Students of the Month for May
Lee’s Summit R-7 School District middle schools recently recognized their May 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 Athena Thies and Austin Yarbrough. At BCMS, Athena is involved in chamber orchestra. Away from school, Athena enjoys soccer and piano. At BCMS, Austin is involved in track, student council and robotics. Away from school, Austin enjoys baseball, basketball, church youth group and volunteering with Coldwater summer lunch program.
Students of the Month from Pleasant Lea Middle School are Macy Melton and Isaac Nickens. At PLMS, Macy is involved in cross country, track, young author’s contest, awards assembly, WEB CARES and is the basketball manager. Away from school, Macy enjoys competitive dance and summer swim team. At PLMS, Isaac is involved in cross country, basketball, awards assembly, jazz band and WEB CARES. Away from school, Isaac enjoys soccer and football.
Students of the Month from Summit Lakes Middle School are Morgan Pietig and Kendall Rivero. At SLMS, Morgan is involved in cross country, track, Summit Lakes Singers and basketball. Away from school, Morgan enjoys her basketball and softball teams. At SLMS, Kendall is involved in football. Away from school, Kendall enjoys playing baseball and volunteering for Harvesters.
R-7 middle schools recognize Students of the Month for April
Lee’s Summit R-7 School District middle schools recently recognized their April 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 Madison Goff and Cameron Lillard. At BCMS, Madison is involved in cross country, basketball, track, orchestra and concert choir. Away from school, Madison enjoys soccer and swim team. At BCMS, Cameron is involved in football, basketball, track, cross country and chamber orchestra.
Students of the Month from Pleasant Lea Middle School are Raegan Clark and Troy Huffman. At PLMS, Raegan is involved in Tiger Travelers, Black and Gold Choir and the school musical. Away from school, Raegan enjoys participation in the Kansas City Film Festival. At PLMS, Troy is involved in cross country, football, school musical, awards assembly and Black and Gold Choir. Away from school, Troy enjoys football and lacrosse.
Students of the Month from Summit Lakes Middle School are Reese Nagel and Jeff Kounkel. At SLMS, Reese is involved in cross country, Summit Lakes Singers and orchestra. Away from school, Reese enjoys soccer and her swim team. At SLMS, Trey is involved in football. Away from school, Trey enjoys playing football.
R-7 middle schools recognize Students of the Month for March
Lee’s Summit R-7 School District middle schools recently recognized their March 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 Eriel Morey and Conor Thornbrugh. At BCMS, Eriel is involved in basketball, track, volleyball and concert choir. Away from school, Eriel enjoys piano lessons and horseback riding. At BCMS, Conor is involved in football, track and scholar bowl.
Students of the Month from Pleasant Lea Middle School are Mallory Butler and Austin Robb. At PLMS, Mallory is involved in volleyball, cross country, cheerleading and track. Away from school, Mallory enjoys her competitive swim team. At PLMS, Austin is involved in football, basketball, track, Black and Gold Choir, band, student council and WEB CARES. Away from school, Austin enjoys competitive basketball, competitive baseball and football.
Students of the Month from Summit Lakes Middle School are Shiloh Ehlert and Trey Sharp. At SLMS, Shiloh is involved in choir, band, archery and the school musical. Away from school, Shiloh enjoys her church youth group. At SLMS, Trey is involved in cross country and track.
Lee’s Summit R-7 students selected to attend Missouri Fine Arts Academy
Lee’s Summit R-7 School District students selected to attend the Missouri Fine Arts Academy are Alton Shumate of Lee’s Summit High School; Amanda Schilling of Lee’s Summit West High School; and Miranda Chaffin of Lee’s Summit North High School.
The Missouri Fine Arts Academy is a unique three-week, residential summer program for exceptional Missouri artists who have completed their sophomore or junior year of high school. Initiated in 1996, the program offers students the opportunity to enhance their skills in such fields as dance, visual arts, theatre and music while participating in a stimulating series of interdisciplinary and co-curricular activities. Students are nominated by their high schools to attend the Academy, complete an essay and submit a portfolio.
This year’s Missouri Fine Arts Academy will be held this summer on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield. It is funded through program fees, grants, endowments, scholarships and private donations.
LS R-7 students participate in Special Olympics Torch Run and Field Day
Approximately 100 students with special needs participated in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s Special Olympics Torch Run and Field Day May 5. The annual event, held at Prairie View Elementary, involves students from all Lee’s Summit R-7 schools.
The special day began with the arrival of the torch runners, members of the Lee’s Summit Police Department who carry the Special Olympic torch to Prairie View. The officers are greeted by the students who wave posters and cheer the runners during the last leg of their journey. Members of the police force then join the students for lunch at the school.
The event concludes with a Special Olympics field day for the students with contests such as frisbee throw and cup stacking. The events are tailored for the students with special needs. Students from Sunset Valley and Prairie View Elementary volunteer to assist the athletes during the field day.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a fundraiser for Special Olympics with police officers throughout the nation raising close to $50 million annually.
KC Scholars announces first-ever scholarship recipients
27 Lee’s Summit R-7 students to receive college funding
KC Scholars, a new scholarship and college savings match program, recently announced its first-ever scholarship recipients, 77 percent of whom will be first-generation college students.
A total 27 of the 608 metro-area scholarship recipients are from the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Recipients come from 74 high schools in the six-county Kansas City region: Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte in Missouri.
The program, developed with input from 70 Kansas City community partners and incubated out of the Kauffman Foundation, aims to help low- and modest-income students, as well as adult learners, finance and complete a college education. Among all first-year scholarship recipients, 83 percent have an estimated family contribution to college of $4,000 or less.
Lee’s Summit High School juniors receiving the traditional scholarships, which are up to $10,000 per year, are Kaylee Bake, Andrew Collins, Jayci Goodwin, Nataly Mallma, Lauren Eason and Julie Bussen.
Lee’s Summit High School freshmen receiving the college savings account scholarships are Nicole Jacobsen, Jayda Edgar, Daniella Archdekin, Lorenzo Turney, Alyssa Harmon, Talli Cannon, Nickolas Hammond, Brittney Nino, Luke Michel, Hailee Howard, Aubriana Duvall, Sydnee McDonald, Felix Anudike, Hannah Hukriede, Violet Esquivel, Shawn Oldham, Megan Cross and Eghosasere Ogbevoen.
Lee’s Summit West High School juniors receiving the traditional scholarship s are Conner Berens, Emiline Stewart and Charles Jones.
“KC Scholars has achieved more than we could have hoped for in its first year to help low- and modest-income students and adult learners in our community realize their dreams of college,” says Beth Tankersley-Bankhead, executive director of KC Scholars. “We are proud to share in our recipients’ excitement as they take this important step in continuing their education.”
KC Scholars is a true community collaboration, driven by the belief that all students – regardless of income, age or ethnicity – deserve an opportunity to earn a college education. With the help of 117 community scholarship application reviewers who span five generations, KC Scholars is able to award the following in 2017:
- 285 Traditional Scholarships: awarded to students currently enrolled in 11th grade. Awardees will receive up to $10,000 per year, paid directly to the college, renewable up to five years.
- 91 Adult Learner Scholarships: awarded to adults ages 24 and older who have previously earned at least 12 college credits but did not receive a postsecondary degree. Awardees will receive up to $5,000 per year, paid directly to the college, renewable up to five years.
- 70 College Savings Match and Incentive Scholarships: awarded to ninth-graders for whom a 529 college savings account will be set up and seeded with $50, and who are also eligible for a 4:1 match on savings, up to $7,000.
- An additional 162 awardees will have a 529 college savings account, seeded with $50, set up in their name.
“KC Scholars is helping to build a college-educated workforce in Kansas City,” says Gwen Grant, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City and KC Scholars Implementation Committee member. “It’s amazing to see what has been accomplished in the first year of this program. We are already working to expand donor support and community involvement so that we can continue KC Scholars for generations to come.”
For more information about KC Scholars and to remain abreast of next year’s application cycle, visit www.kcscholars.org.
About KC Scholars
Kansas City Scholars (“KC Scholars”) is a scholarship and college savings match program, with the mission to increase postsecondary attainment in the greater Kansas City metro area. KC Scholars provides three types of scholarships – Traditional, Adult Learner and College Savings Match – to low- and modest-income youth and adults in Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte (MO), Johnson and Wyandotte (KS) counties. KC Scholars is a community-driven initiative, supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For more information, visit kcscholars.org and follow KC Scholars on Twitter and Facebook.