LSHS student among top three finalists in national film competition

Jaci Herron, a student at Lee’s Summit High School, is among the top three finalists for the Girls fbLSHS-JaciHerronImpact the World Film Festival. The winner will be announced March 28 at a ceremony at Harvard University.

Jaci was the only high-school student to be named a finalist. Her film is called “Emerging,” and was made through her broadcasting class at LSHS. In the film, three LSHS seniors share their leadership experience as they emerge as the next generation of female leaders and role models.

Campbell Middle School students give to those in need

Bernard Campbell Middle School’s 2014-15 theme is “#ibelong,” and students, staff and families have been working together on creative and innovative ideas geared toward service.

For example, Student Leadership Council, led by teachers Todd Arasmith and Christy Fansher, is raising funds for the Mustang Nation Backpack Program.  This program contributes food and other household items to BCMS families in need. To accomplish this goal, the BCMS Student Leadership Council held a drawing and sold approximately 900 tickets with all proceeds dfbBCMS-KatieReeceonated to the Backpack Program.

Drawing winner was student Katie Reece (pictured), who won tickets to this summer’s One Direction concert in Kansas City. Instead of keeping the tickets, Katie sold her tickets in order to selflessly donate proceeds of the ticket sales to the BCMS Backpack Program.

In a related effort, the school’s basketball team recently contributed to the local Harvesters. According to Coach Stu Reece, the team volunteered several hours, packing more than 300 boxes to go to needy individuals. The team also donated more than 300 pounds of goods. Pictured working at Harvesters are (from left) Katie Shatzer, Kaylie Rock, Halle Hill and Mallory Meers.

fbBCMS-HarvestersThese are a few powerful examples of how students at BCMS make a difference in the lives of others and plan to do so for a long time to come, said a school spokesperson.

Longview Farm Elementary Families donate over 3,000 items for families in need

Stallion Ambassadors at Longview Farm Elementary recently held a donation drive for the Kansas City Ronald McDonald Houses and the Children’s Mercy Butterfly cart. Items collected included snacks, candy, soaps, shampoos, toothbrushes, toothpaste, coffee, teas, hot chocolate, gift cards and a variety of other items.

The students also brought in over $250 in gift cards for families. Many families leave home quickly in emergency situations and do not have time to pack items they may need while their child is in the hospital.

Students created over 300 snack bags for families to take with them to the hospital as a convenience. In addition to the snack bags, many of the things collected will be available on the Children’s Mercy Butterfly cart for families with children in critical condition.

Longview Farm students sorted the toiletries and other donated items at their Stallion Ambassador meeting before school on Feb. 23.

Carrie Bryant, a fifth grade teacher at Longview Farm, said, “I have personally been on the receiving end of the benefits of Ronald McDonald House of Kansas City.  Words can’t express the comfort it gave during difficult days.”


Woodland dismissing at noon Feb. 27 due to power outage

We have an important message for parents of students at Woodland Elementary. Due to a power shortage at our school today, we will be dismissing all students at noon. School buses are transporting bus riders home with the buses leaving our school at approximately noon. Car riders will be available to be picked up at noon. Students enrolled in Kids Country will be transported to Sunset Valley Elementary where they will spend the rest of their regular Kids Country day. Students on the third-grade field trip are returning to Woodland and may be picked up at noon at Woodland Elementary. In addition, there will be no early-childhood preschool held at Woodland today. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Due to the power outage, which happened at approximately 9:15 a.m., we have been without power for the remainder of the day, have lost phone service and temporarily lost some of our water and sewer services. Due to the lost phone service, please contact our School District Office at (816) 986-1000 if you need anything communicated to Woodland staff members. Woodland parents have been informed via a SchoolMessenger call. Thank you.


Teacher’s positive influence will last a lifetime

The Story Project features personal stories about our students and their accomplishments in school.
If you would like to submit a story about your child, visit

Greenwood Elementary teacher is shining star in student’s lifeJaudaeJohnsonWithMrsStewartFeb2015
My daughter Jaudae Johnson started Greenwood Elementary back in August 2014. Jaudae was the new kid, and she felt out of place because of the transition to a totally new environment. Jaudae had some struggles in the beginning and throughout the year. But with help from Mrs. Annette Stewart — including her sternness combined with her warm, compassionate, caring personality – we have seen a big difference. Mrs. Stewart goes above and beyond to make sure that every student is treated equally. Mrs. Stewart helped Jaudae understand and realize who she really is and how much of an influence and impact she can have on her peers. Mrs. Stewart also works with Jaudae to help strengthen her identity, time management skills and life skills. Jaudae has improved so much by being in Mrs. Stewart’s class in terms of academics, attitude, personality and self-control. She is also a better leader. Mrs. Stewart and Jaudae have built such a warm bond that on Jaudae’s birthday Mrs. Stewart surprised Jaudae and showed up. Jaudae just couldn’t believe her eyes when the doorbell rang and I opened the door and on the other side was Mrs. Stewart. She took time out of her busy schedule on her day off to stop by to wish Jaudae a happy birthday. Jaudae was so happy, saying, “Out of all my years in elementary I never had a teacher come to my birthday party. I’m so honored to have a teacher like Mrs. Stewart.” As a parent it makes me feel great that my daughter has a nurturing teacher who will tell her when she’s wrong and also praise her when she’s right. Mrs. Stewart has taught Jaudae so much that will stay with her for the rest of her life. All it takes is one shining star to brighten someone else’s sky and to make a world of difference. That bright star is Mrs. Annette Stewart. Let your light continue to shine now and forever more. Thank you so much, Mrs. Stewart. We love you. From Jaudae Johnson and Family

–Submitted by Aisha Thompson

Kindergarten teacher helps student get off to a great start

The Story Project features personal stories about our students and their accomplishments in school. StoryProjectLOGOfinalIf you would like to submit a story about your child, visit

Student shines at Hawthorn Hill Elementary thanks to kindergarten teacher
Most parents worry when they send their littles off to kindergarten… it’s natural and expected. In August 2007, our first child Lanie started kindergarten under circumstances her dad and I hadn’t “planned” for. She’d been diagnosed with ADHD, OCD and Anxiety Disorder and was under evaluation for an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She was placed in Beth Pickard’s class, and it was the perfect match for Lanie. We knew immediately that Lanie would shine there. In October 2001, she was officially diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Change and transition of any kind are hard, but for Lanie they can be debilitating. We were terrified of first grade and Beth knew that. She called us a few days before school started and offered to meet us at Hawthorn Hill Elementary to personally walk Lanie from kindergarten to her new home in first grade. She did this on her personal time for Lanie … for us. She showed her around, pointed out the things that were the same and different and did whatever she could to reassure all of us that she would be amazing in first grade. Mrs. Pickard is something special and we will be forever be grateful to her for taking that walk with us.

–Submitted by Terra Barrows

PTA Kids First Town Hall meeting to be March 5 in Lee’s Summit

A Kids First Town Hall Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. March 5, hosted by Missouri PTA and the Lee’s PTAMissouriSummit Council of PTAs. The meeting will be at Longview Historical Mansion, 1200 SW Longview Park Drive in Lee’s Summit.

RSVPs are appreciated for this event as refreshments will be served. To RSVP or for more information, please contact

A moderator will be facilitating the meeting and will be asking questions related to Missouri PTA’s top priorities for local control of schools, funding for early childhood education, increased parental engagement and tax credits for tuition to parents of nonpublic school children.

Missouri PTA represents more than 70,000 members statewide and is a member of the National PTA organization. The mission of the Missouri PTA is to positively impact the lives of all children and families by using a powerful voice for all children; being a relevant resource for all families and communities; and being a strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child. For more information, go to

Celebrating PTA Founders’ Day

The Lee’s Summit Area Council of PTAs were joined by Lee’s Summit R-7 school principals in a celebration of PTA Founders’ Day during a Feb. 23 reception. Founded in 1897 as the National Congress of Mothers, PTA (Parent Teacher Association) continues to serve as a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities and a strong advocate for public education. Today’s PTA includes millions of families, students and school staff members devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. Within the R-7 School District, PTA organizations are active at all 18 elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools.


In the photo, Jacque Gragg, PTA Council president, talks to PTA leaders and school district administrators.





fbPTAfoundersDayMcGeheeIn the photo, Dr. David McGehee, R-7 superintendent, thanks PTA leaders.

Nate Smith receives national debate coaching award

Nate Smith, debate coach at Lee’s Summit High School, recently received a Second Diamond Award fbLSHS-NateSmithphotofrom the National Speech and Debate Association. The association’s diamond award recognizes a professional career that combines excellence and longevity.

Awards are based on coach points received, and Mr. Smith had received 4,250 points as of mid-January. Coaches receive one-tenth the points earned by their students and one-tenth the points earned as a student member of the Association. After a minimum of five years as a National Speech and Debate Association member, a coach who attains 1,500 points is awarded a first diamond with a second diamond for 3,000 points and a third for 6,000. Five years must pass between each diamond award.

On June 18, Mr. Smith will be recognized at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Dallas, Texas. Each year, the tournament draws more than 5,000 students, coaches and parents from across the nation.

Mr. Smith has served as debate coach at Lee’s Summit High School since 2004.

Lee’s Summit R-7’s Missouri Innovation Campus featured in new book ‘Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy’ focuses on partnerships

The Missouri Innovation Campus, located in Lee’s Summit, was featured in a new book released during February. “Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy” includes a chapter dedicated to the Missouri Innovation Campus, a partnership operated by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, the University of Central Missouri (UCM) and Metropolitan Community College (MCC) with high involvement from industry-leading business.

The new book, released by STEMconnector on Feb. 18, focuses on the employer-driven partnerships demanded by 21st century STEM (science technology engineering math) education and workforce development. The publication includes 62 education, business and non-profit leaders sharing proven models that support the necessary STEM education and workforce development revolution, according to publishers.

The book is available on and in bookstores nationwide.

The Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) is located within the R-7 School District’s Summit Technology Academy, which prepares high-school students for college and high-demand careers. Since beginning in fall 2012, the program has been recognized nationally for accelerating the time it takes students to graduate from college while dramatically reducing the cost of a college degree.

MIC students earn their associate degree just after high-school graduation, receiving their bachelor’s degree two years later – all while participating in high-tech paid internships. Currently, the MIC includes approximately 55 students in three programs — systems engineering technology, engineering technology/design and drafting, and computer science – software development.

The Missouri Innovation Campus, as well as Summit Technology Academy, are continuing to grow in both enrollment and in the number of programs offered. To address this growth, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and the University of Central Missouri have worked together to develop a plan designed to save money for taxpayers while creating a school designed specifically for the needs of all students. A new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus facility is included on the R-7 School District’s April 7 no-tax-increase bond issue. The facility would be owned solely by the R-7 School District with UCM paying approximately 60 percent of the cost through a lease agreement.

To learn more about the no-tax-increase bond issue, including both the new STA / MIC facility as well as other Lee’s Summit R-7 school improvements, visit the district’s website at

fbMICinBookPhotoStudents at the Missouri Innovation Campus are able to earn a high-demand college degree at an accelerated pace – at virtually no cost to the students and their families.

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