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 Madi Varnell and Jordan Kruse. At BCMS, Madi is involved in W.E.B. Cares, cross country, track and yearbook. Away from school, Madi enjoys participating in youth camp. At BCMS, Jordan is involved in football, Stuck on Art Contest, holiday window painting, W.E.B. Cares and the scholastic art and writing contest. Away from school, Jordan enjoys baseball, reading and drawing.             

Students of the Month from Pleasant Lea Middle School are Elaina Twenter and Kevin Silva Nuñez. At PLMS, Elaina is involved in Black and Gold Choir, musical, awards show, Reflections Contest music entry and talent show. Away from school, Elaina enjoys piano, voice lessons and her church youth group. At PLMS, Kevin is involved in the musical. Away from school, Jordan enjoys his church youth group.   

Students of the Month from Summit Lakes Middle School are Rita Pham and Mathew Kimaku. At SLMS, Rita is involved in magazine sales as captain. Away from school, Rita enjoys swimming and taekwondo. At SLMS, Mathew is involved in choir, jazz band, band and CyberPatriot competition. Away from school, Mathew enjoys soccer. tennis, church youth group and volunteering with Harvesters.     

Honorees to be inducted into Lee’s Summit High School Hall of Fame

Five distinguished alumni will be inducted into the Lee’s Summit High School Hall of Fame at a banquet scheduled for 6 p.m. April 14 at Lee’s Summit High School. Alumni being honored for the 2017-2018 school year are Terry Sappenfield, Class of 1963; J.R. (James) Hobbs, Class of 1974; Charles Duane Muckey, Class of 1980; Jennifer Elliott, Class of 1990; and Jori Jones Robinson, Class of 1995.

Cost for the banquet is $25 per person, and reservations are required. For more information, call (816) 986-2107 or e-mail melodye.wehmhoener@lsr7.net.

Lee’s Summit High School has inducted distinguished graduates into the school’s Hall of Fame for 22 years. Plaques featuring the honorees are displayed on the wall of fame at Lee’s Summit High School, which is located just outside the James T. Brockman Lecture Hall.

The LSHS Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee of graduates and staff. Alumni are eligible for this honor 10 years after graduation. Nomination forms for the 2018-2019 school year are available by calling (816) 986-2000. They should be returned to the high school at 400 SE Blue Parkway, Lee’s Summit, MO., 64063.

Terry Sappenfield – Class of 1963
Mr. Sappenfield earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in chemical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Mr. Sappenfield joined Enjay Chemical/Humble Oil & Refining (now Exxon Mobil) where he developed the Appropriation Request and Economic Justification for a Major Olefins Expansion (MOX).  The project provided the basis for further manufacturing and market growth in the decades to come. In 1975, he was transferred to Exxon Mobil Chemical Headquarters in Houston with assignments of increasing responsibility in business planning, supply/demand planning and coordination, technology development and application, and domestic and international sales and marketing. Mr. Sappenfield later represented Exxon Mobil Chemical globally to  customers and suppliers with focus on Carbon Black Feedstock, Normal Paraffins and C4/C5 Olefin products. During the final year of his more than 37-year Exxon Mobil career, he served as a loaned executive to the Houston Gulf Coast United Way where he handled major United Way marketing responsibilities. He retired from Exxon Mobil in 2006, but has remained active and involved in both civic and social organizations. He is a rabid Houston Astros and Mizzou Football fan and also enjoys working out at the Sports Club, hunting, fishing, boating and an occasional round of golf. Terry and his wife, Nancy, have two adult children and four grandchildren.

J.R. Hobbs – Class of 1974
Mr. Hobbs earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Kansas and a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He began his career as an investigator with the Jackson County Public Defender’s Office and then as an assistant public defender. Mr. Hobbs later became a shareholder in a major Kansas City law firm where he tried both civil and criminal cases. Since 1991, he has been a shareholder in a boutique litigation firm with emphasis in criminal defense now known as Wyrsch Hobbs & Mirakian, P.C. His caseload is primarily in white-collar criminal cases, state criminal matters and complex commercial litigation. While his practice is focused in the Midwest, he has appeared in courts throughout the country. Mr. Hobbs has earned numerous recognitions including American College of Trial Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, Best of the Bar, past recipient of the Lon Hocker Award, past recipient of the KCMBA Congenial Counselor Award. He also teaches at UMKC Law School, speaks at countless CLE seminars, serves as a board member and former president of the UMKC Law Foundation and assists with various high school debate and trial teams. Within the community, he has been involved in Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Woods Chapel United Methodist Church. Mr. Hobbs and his wife, Dori, raised three sons and adopted three daughters from a Russian orphanage.

Charles Duane Muckey – Class of 1980

Captain Muckey received a bachelor’s degree in aviation technology from the University of Central Missouri and became a certified flight instructor. At Kansas City Aviation Center, he taught flight and ground school to both primary and instrument students. In 1989, Captain Muckey started his 27-year airline career, logging over 17,000 hours while flying domestic and international flights. Throughout his career, Captain Muckey has landed in more than 50 countries around the world, flew college and professional football and basketball teams, transported Kentucky Derby horses and even delivered dolphins to SeaWorld in Florida. He has obtained an Airline Transport Pilot rating in the Boeing 727, B737, B757 and B767. While flying the B767 he had the honor of flying our United States Troops and other allied soldiers around the world. Captain Muckey now flies an air ambulance aircraft for Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. This allows him the opportunity to continue his passion and career in aviation and help families and their children seek medical attention. In the local community, Captain Muckey has served on the Lee’s Summit Social Services Board for several years and donates his time to his church. He lives in Lee’s Summit with his wife, Barbara, and they have two grown children, Laura and Nathan.

Jennifer Elliott – Class of 1990

Dr. Elliott completed the six-year bachelor’s/MD degree program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. After medical school graduation, she completed a residency in anesthesiology, serving as chief resident in her final year of residency and then in a pain management fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard University in Boston. Subsequently, she returned home to Kansas City and began practice at Saint Luke’s Hospital on the Plaza. She has served in numerous roles during her time at Saint Luke’s, including more than 10 years as a member of the Institutional Review Board. She is presently director of Chronic Pain Management at Saint Luke’s. Dr. Elliott  has mentored many residents at the UMKC School of Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology and has achieved the rank of professor of anesthesiology. She is the author of many published articles and served as the lead editor of a book entitled “Handbook of Acute Pain Management.” She resides in Prairie Village, Kansas, with her husband, Michael, and six-year old son, Elliott.

Jori Jones Robinson – Class of 1995

Colonel Robinson was a distinguished graduate from the  U.S. Air Force ROTC program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, earning a bachelor’s degree in communications, as well as later earning master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma and George Washington University. She is a career military officer with assignments in Texas, Germany, Arkansas, Washington, D.C., the Pentagon and Maryland. Colonel Robinson was a distinguished graduate from Intelligence Officer School and is a highly decorated Cyberspace Warfare officer. She has commanded airmen at the Squadron and Group level and is currently a vice wing commander where she oversees more than 1,400 airmen in the execution of flying and cyberspace combat operations. She has worked directly for the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the secretary of the Air Force, the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the U.S. Cyber Command. Colonel Robinson has deployed and supported operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, South China Sea and North Africa. In 2015 she was selected as a National Security Fellow at Harvard University where she completed a yearlong intensive studies program focused on increasing the security of critical infrastructure in cyberspace. Within the community, Colonel Robinson is a former vice president and current member of the PTA and a member and speaker for the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association. She is also a member of Women in Computing and was a mentor to fifth-grade grade students at Meadow Lane Elementary. Colonel Robinson and her husband, Brett, live in Maryland with their three sons.

PLMS students selected for National Middle School Honors Orchestra

Elite group to perform at Carnegie Hall

Four Pleasant Lea Middle School students were recently named to the 2018 National Middle School Honors Orchestra. Students selected are Angel Brock​, viola; Isabel Julo, cello; Kailee Loffer, violin; and Aaliyah Roland, violin.

The elite group will perform on June 23 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The orchestra members were chosen by a selection board after a thorough audition process and include students from 44 states, Canada, Isle of Mann, Mexico and Taiwan.

In addition to the four named to the orchestra, Grace Davis, violin of Pleasant Lea Middle School, is a first runner up for the group.

PLMS students selected for the Carnegie Hall performance at (from left) Angel Brock, Kailee Loffer, Isabel Julo and Aaliyah Roland.

LS R-7 School District, LS Police Department join forces to present A Community Conversation on School Safety

The community is invited to attend A Community Conversation on School Safety from 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 25 at the Lee’s Summit City Hall, 220 SE Green St.  The event is co-hosted by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and the Lee’s Summit Police Department.

Police and school officials will present information about school and community safety efforts, followed by  a question-and-answer session featuring a panel including leaders from both organizations.

Presenters and panelists at A Community Conversation on School Safety will include Dr. Dennis L. Carpenter, Lee’s Summit R-7 superintendent; Travis Forbes, Lee’s Summit Police Department chief; Sgt. Chris Depue, Lee’s Summit Police Department public information officer; Dr. Rexanne Hill, Lee’s Summit R-7 director of student services; and Ryan Hall, Lee’s Summit R-7 supervisor of safety and environmental services.

The community event will be videotaped by the City of Lee’s Summit and shared by both organizations following the meeting.

For more information about Lee’s Summit R-7 school safety efforts, you may visit the district’s webpage

Hazel Grove Elementary celebrates exceptional contributions of black Americans

Hazel Grove Elementary students recently celebrated the exceptional contributions made by black Americans. The celebration included an all-school assembly, which was planned, organized and executed by students from all grades.

The Lee’s Summit High School Jazz Trio, featuring Josh Nazworthy, Justin Henson and Kellen Merrell, also participated in the assembly. Students chose to honor Buck O’Neil, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Simone Biles, Joan Higginbotham and Langston Hughes at the event.

Mia Meyer recognizes Joan Higginbotham during the assembly.









Grayson Groves honors Buck O’Neil.









Caden Rains recognizes Barack Obama.









Dominic Pabon honors Langston Hughes.

Lee’s Summit R-7 PTAs/PTSAs participate in National Arts in Education Program

Students honored for outstanding creative work

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District students recently participated in PTA ReflectionsSM, a national arts in education recognition program. Through their schools and PTAs/PTSAs, students submitted creative works inspired by the 2017-2018 Reflections Program theme, “Within Reach.”  

For more than 40 years, the national PTA Reflections Program has encouraged students across the nation and in American schools overseas to explore their artistic talents. PTA emphasizes that all children deserve a quality arts education and encourages students to pursue artistic expression through participation in the annual Reflections Program.

Students in preschool through 12th grade are invited to create and submit works of art in the areas of dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography and the visual arts.

The top three winners at the school level were submitted to Missouri PTA for state judging.

R-7 winners included Addy Reno, third place, dance choreography, intermediate grade, Summit Pointe Elementary; Ella Miller, honorable mention, dance choreography, intermediate grade, Longview Farm Elementary; Sasha Plowman, first place, dance choreography, middle school, Bernard Campbell Middle School; Alexandra Falke, fifth place, dance choreography, middle school, Summit Pointe Elementary; Keaton Bond, fourth place, film production, intermediate grade, Longview Farm Elementary; Camden Bond, honorable mention, film production, intermediate grade, Longview Farm Elementary; Zadon Magee-Simpson, honorable mention, film production, middle school, Hazel Grove Elementary; Hannah Borgstadt, first place, music, primary grade, Longview Farm Elementary; Hailey Laudie, honorable mention, music, primary grade, Longview Farm Elementary; Clara Elizabeth Kueny, honorable mention, music, intermediate grade, Longview Farm Elementary; Emma Stabno, first place, music, middle school, Summit Lakes Middle School; Helton Walker, second place, music, middle school, Cedar Creek Elementary; Jenna Puls, fourth place, music, middle school, Summit Lakes Middle School; Tanner Kenney, fifth place, photography, primary grade, Cedar Creek Elementary; Lauren Sinks, honorable mention, photography, intermediate grade, Longview Farm Elementary; Ellie Hutchin, second place, photography, middle school, Cedar Creek Elementary; Thomas Davis, honorable mention, photography, middle school, Mason Elementary; Kemper Halferty, second place, visual arts, primary grade, Longview Farm Elementary; Knox Spencer, third place, visual arts, primary grade, Mason Elementary; Chloe Smith, honorable mention, visual arts, primary grade, Cedar Creek Elementary; Kaisee Harman, third place, visual arts, intermediate grade, Mason Elementary; William Brown, honorable mention, visual arts, middle school, Summit Lakes Middle School; Myah Frashier, honorable mention, visual arts, middle school, Mason Elementary; Christopher Montgomery, fourth place, visual arts, special artist category, Mason Elementary; Allyson Nichols, honorable mention, visual arts, special artist category, Mason Elementary.

The Theme for 2018-2019 is “Heroes Around Me.”  For more information about the Reflections program next year or to volunteer at your local school, please contact the school’s PTA president. The program is made possible thanks to numerous volunteers throughout the district.

Lee’s Summit R-7 families host students from Chile

Families from the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District recently hosted students and adult mentor/teachers from Chile. A total of eight students and two adults from Colegio Weston Academy in Santiago, Chile visited the Lee’s Summit area March 2-15.

The visitors spent time with Spanish classes at all Lee’s Summit R-7 high schools and middle schools, and Spanish teachers led tours and planned daily events for the group.

Metro-area outings included The Plaza, featuring a scavenger hunt; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; World War I Museum; Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum; Kansas City Market; Royals Stadium; Kansas City Zoo; a historic site in Topeka, Kan.; Kansas state capitol; Downtown Lee’s Summit including a visit with the mayor and a tour of Lee’s Summit Fire Headquarters; and a bowling activity.

The students were hosted by 10 Lee’s Summit R-7 families. This exchange visit culminates the three-year exchange with Chile. A new exchange with a school in Madrid, Spain, will launch in the 2018-19 school year.

The visit was coordinated by Robin Villa, LSNHS Spanish teacher and Lee’s Summit R-7 Modern Language Department chair, and Maria Pabon, Lee’s Summit High School Spanish teacher.

Students visited the Kansas City Zoo.







The visiting students on the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.







Students from Chile participated in bowling while visiting Lee’s Summit.


PLMS selects March High 5 Award winners

The Physical Education Department at Pleasant Lea Middle School selected the High 5 winners for March. Winners are (from left) Joseph Bachman, Most Improved Eighth-grader; Grace Distefano, Outstanding Eighth-grader; Ava Roca, Most Improved Seventh-grader (not pictured); and Jackson Goold, Outstanding Seventh-grader. Dr. Janette Miller (center), PLMS principal, presented the students with their awards.

The school’s Partners in Education, Lee’s Summit Medical Center and Mazuma Credit Union, sponsor the award. The High 5 Award was designed to promote academic excellence among students of PLMS. Mazuma Credit Union presents the students with a gift card for Chipotle, and Lee’s Summit Medical Center provides an Andy’s Custard gift card.

Trailridge Elementary receives flag flown in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan

Major Scott Siems, who was recently deployed in Afghanistan with the U.S. Air Force, donated a flag flown in his airplane during several missions to Trailridge Elementary School.

Major Siems’ son is Gavin, a student in Shauna Shipman’s first-grade class. During his visit to Trailridge, the major shared information with the first-graders about his plane, an A-10 Warthog fighter plane.

During Major Siems’ deployment, Mrs. Shipman’s class made him cards and sent them to Afghanistan. The donated flag was flown in his airplane.

Board of Education names new principals for Hawthorn Hill Elementary and Summit Technology Academy

The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education approved the employment of two new principals at the organization’s March 15 meeting.

Dr. Troy Hogg, currently principal at an elementary school in Kirkwood, will serve as principal at Hawthorn Hill Elementary for 2018-19. He is replacing Carol Germano who is retiring in summer 2018. Dr. Jeremy Bonnesen, currently assistant principal of Summit Technology Academy, will serve as principal of the Academy next year. He is replacing Elaine Metcalf, who is also retiring in summer 2018.

Dr. Hogg has worked for W. W. Keysor Elementary in Kirkwood since 2015 and previously worked as a principal, assistant principal and teacher in the Columbia, Sedalia, Osage and Jefferson City school districts. In addition, he served as an exchange teacher in Japan from 2000-2003. He was named a Missouri STARR Teacher by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1997-98 and was selected as the Osage R-III School District Teacher of the Year for 1995-96. Dr. Hogg earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Lincoln University, his master’s degree in elementary administration from William Woods University, his educational specialist degree from the University of Missouri and his doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from MU.

Dr. Bonnesen has served as the assistant principal at Summit Technology Academy for the past four years. He previously served as the Lee’s Summit R-7 lead middle school lead counselor, as lead counselor at Pleasant Lea Middle School and as an English and Spanish teacher at Pleasant Lea Middle School. Before coming to Lee’s Summit, he worked as an English and Spanish teacher at Oak Grove High School. Dr. Bonnesen earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary English from the University of Central Missouri, his master’s degree in school counseling from the University of Central Missouri, his education specialist degree in educational leadership from Saint Louis University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Louis University.

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