Summit Technology Academy captures CyberPatriot Awards at national competition

Teams from Summit Technology Academy and Lee’s Summit North High School qualified for the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot national competition, held March 11-15 in Washington, D.C. This was the third year in a row that students from Summit Tech qualified for the competition, and students from the school won several awards.

Summit Technology students compete in the open division of CyberPatriot and had to be in the top 12 out of 978 teams in the United States and Canada to make it to the national level competition. The Summit Tech team spent a year preparing and training in remote competition rounds, hardening operating systems, defensive cyber security and server and network administration.  The national competition is an in-person defensive competition utilizing techniques in cyber security, computer forensics, digital crime scene investigations and Cisco networking.

Summit Tech’s Team Sudo won the Champions of Cisco Networking Award (for the third year in a row), as well as winning third overall in cyber security. All team members received a $1,000 scholarship from Northrup Grumman, the presenting sponsor, and a $1,500 scholarship from the National Security Agency (NSA).

This is Lee’s Summit North’s second year to qualify for nationals, and the team has been the Missouri state champion in the all-service division the last two years. In 2014, the school had one team qualify. Two teams from LSNHS qualified this year, and North was the only Air Force ROTC school district program to have both of its eligible teams represented at nationals. More than 1,000 teams compete to qualify for 13 positions at nationals in the all-service division.

The CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created by the Air Force Association to inspire high school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.

For more information, visit CyberPatriot VII (

mrCyberPatriotSTAphotoPictured are  Bernie Skoch, commissioner, CyberPatriot; Lisa Oyler, instructor/coach, Summit Technology Academy; Henry Londre; Jason  Cain; Dalton Campbell, team captain; Kathy Warden, corporate vice president and president Northrup Grumman Information Systems; Cooper Leabo; Cliff Martin; John Madick, mentor, Epiq Systems; and Scott Van Cleef, Air Force Association’s chairman of the Board.



Last day of school for LS R-7 is Wednesday, May 27

This final day will not be a late-start Wednesday

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s last day of school will be Wednesday, May 27 (pending no further school cancellations). The day will be an early release day for all schools. Unlike other Wednesdays during the regular school year, the last day will not be a late-start day.

This school year included one snow day – Dec. 18 – resulting in the last day being moved back by one day to May 27.

The first day of classes for 2015-16 will be Wednesday, Aug. 19, which will also not be a late-start day. All Wednesdays during the school year, with the exception of the first day, a mid-October parent conference day and the last day (if the last day falls on a Wednesday) will continue to be late-start days.

To view the complete calendar for this school year and the next year, visit

BCMS hosts Family Literacy Night to encourage reading and writing

Close to 90 people attended a Family Literacy Night, hosted by Bernard Campbell Middle School March 12. Held in the school’s library, the event included information and sponsorship assistance from the school’s business partners – Mid-Continent Public Library, Paradise Park and Summit Bank of Kansas City.

During the event, Mid-Continent Public Library staff members signed up families for library cards and helped individuals check out e-books and other digital items. Paradise Park provided information about educational events and family passes, and Summit Bank provided a gift certificate and prize basket. Other prizmrBCMSfamilyLiteracy1es included books, Kansas City Royals tickets and an Amazon Kindle.

BCMS teachers conducted an online book trivia contest, and the school’s Science Department and Robotics Club created an interactive digital maze. Language Arts Department staff discussed books with attendees. Library staff members encouraged families to explore the MakerSpace and Code Lab where students are introduced to computer programming and engineering concepts.

“We appreciate the support of our business partners and teachers as we expand our students understanding of literacy,” said Nathan Miller, BCMS librarian. “We want students to be competent readers and writers; we also want them to be able to create and interact in a digital world.”


Highland Park Elementary staff raises money for student battling leukemia by kissing a goat

Upon hearing that Brian Galvez, a kindergartener at Highland Park Elementary, was diagnosed with leukemia, students and staff immediately began efforts to show support for Brian and his family. The slogan they took on was “Go BIG for Brian!” Teachers put out the motivator that for every $100 raised, a teacher would kiss a goat. Students eagerly raided piggy banks and placed their change and bills in buckets placed by the doors when they came in each morning. Sixth-grade students took on selling orange and blue “Go BIG for Brian” bracelets. The colors represented the colors for leukemia.  Jeannette Foley, a sixth-grade student, even made homemade bracelets and key chains to sell. In less than two weeks, $3,482 was raised! On March 13, the whole school met on the playground to watch 34 teachers and staff kiss a goat. Brian and his family were able to join the students and staff members for the event which made it even more special.  Brian’s dad also got in on the goat kissing.  –Written by Highland Park Elementary students

                                                                                                                                                                        mrHPEGoatKiss 2

Lori Burbee, kindergarten teacher, kisses the goat.







mrHPEGoatKiss 3Megan Black, a cadet teacher, takes her turn kissing a goat.







mrHPEGoatKissWithBrianGPictured from left with Brian Galvez are Ginger Wood, Michelle Hug, Ana Karl and Ann Boone.








Principal Jodi Mallette kisses the goat at the special event.

Twelve Lee’s Summit R-7 School District teachers receive Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Teaching Awards

To be recognized at April 2 community reception

Twelve Lee’s Summit R-7 School District educators were recently named Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Teaching award winners. Recognized teachers are Elizabeth Bock, Lee’s Summit North High School; Colby Cantrell, Woodland Elementary School; Kristen Cordes, Hazel Grove Elementary School; Jamie Hatfield, Bernard Campbell Middle School; Kristin Blair Jackson, Lee’s Summit High School; Susan Julo, Highland Park Elementary School; Amy Krinke, Lee’s Summit West High School; Dee Ann Owens, Longview Farm Elementary School; Steven Perry, Lee’s Summit North High School; Jen Posson, Summit Pointe Elementary School; Kari Swezy, Cedar Creek Elementary School; and Linda Welling, Cedar Creek Elementary School.

All 12 recipients will be honored at a reception and program scheduled from 4:30 to 6 p.m. April 2 at the Longview Mansion, 1200 SW Longview Park Drive. The reception is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the R-7 School District, and all students, parents and community members are invited to attend. At approximately 5 p.m., a brief program highlighting each of the 12 Excellence In Teaching Award winners as well as the three Teachers of Distinction will begin.

The recognized teachers were selected by a committee composed of R-7 staff and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the business community. Excellence In Teaching winners are also finalists for the R-7 Teacher of the Year program and will participate in an interview with the selection team.

Mrs. Bock is a science teacher at Lee’s Summit North High School.  She has taught in the district for 13 years. She works with her students toward one goal – learning chemistry. Mrs. Bock has been on several curriculum writing teams including Integrated Chemistry and Physics, Biology I, Chemistry I, as well as the textbook selection team.  She also serves as a Bronco Smart sponsor.

Miss Cantrell teaches second-grade at Woodland Elementary School and has been a teacher in the district for 11 years. She has served on several committees including Math Curriculum Writing Team, Math Essential Standards Team and Elementary Progress Report Team.  She has integrated technology into her classroom through Google Hangouts with the Bronx Zoo and a Canadian classroom. Miss Cantrell has also received four PEAK grants through the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation.

Mrs. Cordes is a first-grade teacher at Hazel Grove Elementary School and has been an educator formrExcInTeachDeliveryTeacherStudents 22 years. While working with first-graders, she designed and implemented the “Read to Me” homework program which is also used by her colleagues. Mrs. Cordes participates in activities at Hazel Grove and also volunteers her time with Coldwater and the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation.  She is a two time recipient of Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation PEAK grants.

Mrs. Hatfield has been a Spanish teacher at Bernard Campbell Middle School for the past six years and has worked in the R-7 district for 19 years. She was awarded the 2010 National Consortium for Teaching about Asia Travel Scholarship, which allowed her to travel throughout China while learning about the country. She recently organized and led two trips to Europe for middle schoolers. Mrs. Hatfield is also a 2007 recipient of the R-7 Learning for Life Award, a monthly recognition awarded by the district.

Mrs. Jackson is a science teacher at Lee’s Summit High School and has been an educator for 18 years, including seven years with Lee’s Summit R-7. As a chemistry instructor, she wrote a successful proposal to integrate technology into the science department for research, collection, analysis and research. During the summer, she instructs workshops for students wanting to expand their knowledge of chemistry. Mrs. Jackson also co-advises the LSHS Scholar Bowl.

Mrs. Julo is a life skills teacher at Highland Park Elementary School and has been teaching for eight years in the district. She serves on several committees at Highland Park including the Lighthouse Team and Partners In Education. Mrs. Julo created “Functional Fridays” curriculum for the students in her classroom, which has since been adopted by other classrooms in the R-7 district.  She also hosts and facilitates R-7 District Life Skills Collaboration for her colleagues.

Mrs. Krinke is the director of choirs at Lee’s Summit West High School and has been a teacher in mrExcInTeachDeliveryTeacherPrincipalLee’s Summit for seven years. During her time at LSW, she has refined the music literacy program for each choir class to develop fundamental music literacy skills.  Her choirs have performed nationally including in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.  Mrs. Krinke also serves as a mentor through the Missouri Choral Directors Association.

Mrs. Owens teaches first grade at Longview Farm Elementary School and has been an R-7 teacher for a total of 18 years. Besides Longview Farm, she has also taught at Cedar Creek and Underwood Elementaries. Mrs. Owens currently serves on the Buddy Classroom and 10-Year Celebration committees at Longview Farm. She has previously been part of Partners In Education, Visionary Team and Derby Day committee.

Mr. Perry is the director of choral activities at Lee’s Summit North High School and has been an educator with the R-7 district for 30 years. During his time with the district, he has led students on 13 musical performance tours throughout Europe including England, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Germany and Greece. Mr. Perry is also a former recipient of the R-7 Learning for Life Award.

Mrs. Posson teaches special education at Summit Pointe Elementary School and has been teaching in the district for eight years. She serves on several teams at Summit Pointe including PBS, Response to Intervention, and Behavior Supports/Interventions.  She facilitates the Problem Solving Team and co-facilitates the Student Assistance Program Team. Mrs. Posson also helps raise awareness for TST, Autism, and Downs Syndrome.

Mrs. Swezy teaches third grade at Cedar Creek Elementary School and has taught in R-7 schools for 19 years. She has previously taught at Prairie View Elementary. While at Cedar Creek, she piloted a co-teaching model in her classroom to fully integrate students on individualized learning plans. Mrs. Swezy also represented the district as a member of the Missouri Professional Learning Communities Consortium.

Ms. Welling teaches art at Cedar Creek Elementary School and has been an educator for 36 years, 18 years with the R-7 district. She has received two PEAK grants from the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation to establish an art library in her classroom.  She is a published author in Arts & Activities magazine and has won several leadership awards through Artsonia. Ms. Welling also received the R-7 Learning for Life award in 2012.

In addition to the Excellence In Teaching Award winners, other finalists for 2015 Teacher of the Year include Teachers of Distinction, former Excellence In Teaching recipients who were nominated for the award again this year. The Teachers of Distinction interviewing for Teacher of the Year are Todd C. Arasmith, Bernard Campbell Middle School; Stacey Bryant, Underwood Elementary School; and Vickie Metzler, Lee’s Summit High School. The announcement of the 2015 Teacher of the Year will be made at the April 2 reception.

No-tax-increase bond issue on April 7 ballot for Lee’s Summit R-7 schools

$40 million issue would benefit all students and schools, expand nationally recognized program, protect investment in facilities and save money

Lee’s Summit R-7 voters will cast ballots on a no-tax-increase bond issue as well as Board of Education candidates on Tuesday, April 7. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The $40 million issue includes:

  • Construction of a new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus
  • Numerous school improvements in the areas of classroom instruction, safety and security, health and wellness, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) renovations and special education
  • Playground safety upgrades to all elementary schools’ soft play areas and replacement of deteriorated play equipment
  • Maintenance projects at numerous sites designed to protect the district’s investment in its school facilities.

The no-tax-increase issue was reviewed by the district’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee, Business Facts-AboutBondIssue-OurSchoolsJPGRoundtable and PTA Council with each group providing feedback on the recommended components.

New Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus

A major portion of the bond issue would include construction of a new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus with Lee’s Summit R-7 funding approximately $17.5 million of the facility’s cost. Thanks to a partnership with the University of Central Missouri (UCM), the school district and university are planning to construct and operate a shared facility. Under the plan, R-7 will pay approximately 40 percent of the new school with UCM paying the remaining 60 percent. Based on the agreement, Lee’s Summit R-7 will be the sole owner of the school which will house Summit Tech / Missouri Innovation Campus (STA / MIC) as well as UCM programs currently located in the UCM Summit Campus. UCM will pay for their space through a rental agreement.

The shared facility would reduce operating expenses for the R-7 School District, allowing the district to move STA / MIC from leased space into a building owned by the school district. The R-7 School District has leased space for Summit Tech at a favorable rate due to a tax abatement for a local business center that dates back to the late 1990s. This low-cost lease will expire when the business facility comes onto the tax rolls in 2018, and R-7 officials have been looking for an alternative that will be both more affordable and designed specifically for the growing educational programs. Due to the anticipated increase in rental costs with the expiration of the tax abatement, it is estimated that construction of the shared facility would save approximately $9 million for the school district over the next 20 years.

School improvements

Approximately $5.44 million within the bond issue would fund improvements at numerous R-7 schools. Elementary improvements include Greenwood Elementary ADA access and gym renovation; Hazel Grove Elementary kitchen renovation; Longview Farm Elementary concrete at kindergarten wings; Lee’s Summit Elementary health room renovation, drop-off lane and kitchen renovation; Meadow Lane Elementary track upgrade/repair and basement renovation; Mason Elementary gym expansion, classroom renovation, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access; Pleasant Lea Elementary health room/office renovation; Prairie View Elementary north gym isolation; Richardson Elementary additional parking; Trailridge Elementary restroom sink replacement; and Underwood Elementary cafeteria renovation.

Middle school improvements include Bernard Campbell student entry doors replacement and locker painting, Pleasant Lea locker replacement and Summit Lakes sound system. High school improvements include Lee’s Summit High School science classrooms renovation, Lee’s Summit North entry re-design (safety/security) and Lee’s Summit West restrooms/concession area for baseball and softball area. Special-education projects include Highland Park Elementary life skills classroom restrooms and Miller Park Center upstairs renovation, gym floor upgrade and kitchenette.

Close to $17.06 million in maintenance projects included in the bond issue were identified with the help of school principals and an architects’ audit. These numerous projects would impact each R-7 school. Also included are playground safety upgrades to all elementary schools’ soft play areas and replacement of deteriorated play equipment at each site. Other maintenance projects targeted for schools are flooring, carpet, ceilings, painting, roofing, paving, mechanical, doors, windows, FOBS, backflows, water sanitizing and masonry.

Construction schedule

If the bond is endorsed by at least four-sevenths of R-7 voters, construction on the Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus would begin soon after the election with the new school opening in August 2017. The school improvements and maintenance projects would also begin soon after the election with the majority of projects complete by either fall 2015 or fall 2016.

For more information, visit the district’s bond issue web page at:


Four R-7 School District seniors named to Missouri Scholars 100

Four Lee’s Summit R-7 School District high school seniors were recently selected for the 2015 Missouri Scholars 100, a statewide program that honors 100 of Missouri’s top academic students in the graduating class of 2015. Students will be recognized at a luncheon in Columbia on April 26.

R-7 students selected are Chris Mitchell of Lee’s Summit High School, Alexander Lynn of Lee’s Summit North High School and Alexandria Meyers and Allison Tsay, both from Lee’s Summit West High School.

Missouri Scholars 100 is sponsored by the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals. Schools across Missouri are invited to nominate candidates for this state-wide recognition. The selection is based primarily on a formula using the student’s grade-point average (GPA) and ACT or SAT college-preparation score. Each nominated student had to first meet criteria of an “academic decathlon,” which included 10 events designed to assure the academic strength of the student. To meet the decathlon requirements, the student must have a minimum GPA of 3.75, a minimum ACT score of 29 or a minimum SAT score of 1,900, be ranked in the upper 10 percent of the class and have taken upper-level courses in mathematics, science, English and foreign language. The student must also have excellent attendance, be an exemplary school citizen and be involved in school activities.

“Students who are selected to this program have taken a rigorous course of study and maintained the highest academic standards,” said Phil Lewis, executive director of the principals’ association. “The Missouri Association of Secondary Principals wants to celebrate the achievements and success of these students and their schools.”

LS CARES to present Parenting the Love and Logic Way

Two classes offered – traditional version and course geared for early childhood

Lee’s Summit CARES is presenting two sessions of Love and Logic Parenting Courses this spring.

Parenting the Love and Logic Way, including an updated curriculum, will be presented from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, April 16 through May 14 at Lee’s Summit Elementary School, 110 S. Green St. The course is $42 per participant, and previous participants will pay just $10 for the new program manual.

The course is designed to help parents put an end to arguing, whining and backtalk while encouraging their children to listen and be more responsible and respectful. This course is facilitated by Kerri Gray, M.S., LMFT, or Jan Nelson, M.A., both of Rediscover.

The second course, Love and Logic Early Childhood: Parenting Made Fun will be offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, April 14 through May 12 at Great Beginnings Early Education Center, 908 NE Bluestem. Thanks to support from the United Way, the course is just $30 with no cost for previous participants of the class.

The early childhood course focuses on reducing power struggles, helping children treat each other with respect, eliminating arguing and whining, disciplining without creating a scene and encouraging children to listen. The course is taught by Kerri Gray, M.S., LMFT, of Rediscover.

Both courses are offered in cooperation with the R-7 School District. For more information, contact Bev at ReDiscover at (816) 347-3259 or visit www.LSCares.Org. Scholarships are also available to qualifying residents who live within the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.

LS Educational Foundation hosts Taste of Lee’s Summit to benefit R-7 schools and students

Annual event raises $125,000

The Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation hosted the 16th annual Taste of Lee’s Summit on March 7 to raise money in support of excellence in education in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District community. Held at The Pavilion at John Knox Village, the event raised an estimated $125,000.

The popular, sold-out event included both live and silent auctions, a Flower Power Grand Prize Board, a Dine-Around Package and an opportunity to help provide classroom PEAK Grants and technology through the Fund-A-Cause portion of the evening which showcased and exceeded a matching $5,000 grant opportunity from the H.B. Oppenheimer Foundation. The Foundation also shared information on how to become a Legacy Donor through estate and/or endowment gifts.

More than 630 guests and 75 volunteers also had the opportunity to sample cuisine from the following businesses: Bleu Burger, ‘Bout Thyme Deli, Costa Vida, Edible Arrangements, The Egg & I, Fig Tree Cafe and Bakery, Habanero’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, Mingle, Neighborhood Cafe, Outback Steakhouse, Summit Grill and Bar, Summit Hickory Pit BBQ, Waldo Pizza, Yogurtini, County Beverage Company, Hy-Vee and Post Coffee Company.

Volunteer event co-chairs were Bill Baird and Chip Moxley. A number of area organizations also generously helped sponsor Taste of Lee’s Summit, including annual Friends of the Foundation Sponsors at five different participation levels.

Superintendent’s Circle Sponsors include CCR Roofing, JE Dunn, Bob and Marlese Gourley, Legacy Touch, Major Saver, Meyer Music, H.B. Oppenheimer Foundation, Paradise Park, Jane and Bob Rutherford, Chris and Audra Storms, Summit Custom Homes, LLC and Tingle Flooring.

Benefactor sponsors include George K. Baum & Co., CBIZ, CEAH Realtors, GEHA, Landers’ Vision, Metcraft Industries and Steve and Kristy Young.

Leader sponsors include Kent and Wendie Kirby, Saint Luke’s East Hospital and Summit Bank of Kansas City.

Patron sponsors include Arvest Bank, Atcheson Lawn and Landscape, BAIRD Group Real Estate, Bank of Lee’s Summit, Capital Construction, Carl and Jean Chinnery, Central Bank of the Midwest, Commerce Bank, DLR Group, Edson Research LLC, Larry and Trish Frevert, Hollis & Miller Architects, Jerome and Toni Horne, Hy-Vee, Dr. David McGehee, Thomas E. Moore, DDS, P.C., Piper Jaffray and Company, Stu and Teera Rogers, Charles and Beth Rosemergey Orth, Steppin’ Out – The Studio, Jim and Mary Stilley, UMB Bank/Financial Corporation, Greg and Anna Vahrenberg, Bob and Candy White.

Event sponsors include Brad and Sandy Cox, University of Central Missouri, Dave Cross Motors, Minsky’s Pizza and Hunt Midwest.

The Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation is a non-profit, 501c3 organization established to raise and manage resources in order to expand and initiate educational opportunities for Lee’s Summit R-7 students and staff. For more information, contact Sheryl Franke, Foundation Director at 816-986-1015 or visit

Hazel Grove Elementary receives $1,000 thanks to fifth-grade students

Students win first place at their grade level in KC Healthy Kids’ I AM HERE Youth Photo Contest; $1,000 awards are to be used for health and wellness promotion at schools

Hazel Grove Elementary fifth-graders in Cheryl McLaughlin’s gifted class recently captured a first-place award in the KC Healthy Kids’ I AM HERE Youth Photo Contest. The award includes $1,000 for the students’ school with the award money earmarked for health and wellness promotion at school.

The Hazel Grove students submitted pairs of captioned photos showing how their community helps or hinders healthy habits. Their photos depicted a “kinder-garden” of salad fixings, first aid care in the health room, health screenings at the school’s annual health fair, the school’s running club (sponsored by Carla Krebs) and school recycling efforts.

KC Healthy Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of Greater Kansas City’s children has awarded $1,000 first-place awards for I AM HERE, the nonprofit’s first-ever youth photo contest designed to empower students to speak out for healthy communities. The awards were presented at a March 4 ceremony at The Gallery Event Space in downtown Kansas City. For information about the contest or awards event, visit

Event proceeds help KC Healthy Kids empower communities for healthy eating and active living. Funds raised also benefit Greater Kansas City’s schools through I AM HERE’s cash awards.

Research demonstrates that the communities in which we live, work and play impact our health, said KC Healthy Kids officials. Without a healthy environment, children and adults alike are more likely to suffer from obesity or the many chronic diseases affecting the United States.

Through the contest, teachers helped students think critically about how their surroundings – walking trails or broken sidewalks, safe playgrounds or blighted lots, schoolyard gardens or fast food restaurants – impact their health.


Student winners from Hazel Grove are pictured with Cheryl McLaughlin, gifted education teacher, and Dr. Chris Troester, principal.







jnHGEphotoContestGroupWithMissTeenStudent winners from Hazel Grove are pictured with Cheryl McLaughlin, gifted education teacher, and Dr. Chris Troester, principal, as well as Miss Teen Kansas.






About KC Healthy Kids

Since 2005, KC Healthy Kids has worked to improve the health of Greater Kansas City’s children. They partner with communities and organizations to advance policies and environmental changes that support healthy eating and active living.

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