Summit Technology Academy hosts Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

Seventh-graders learn about high-school engineering classes, interact with women engineers

A total of 63 Lee’s Summit R-7 seventh-graders attended Summit Technology Academy’s first-ever Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day, held Feb. 2 at the school. The students were from Bernard Campbell Middle School, Pleasant Lea Middle School and Summit Lakes Middle School.

During the event, seventh-graders heard about high-school engineering classes from female high-school students. They also had the opportunity to interact with women engineers from Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell, Henderson Engineering, HNTB, Leigh & O’Kane, Sprint and Ultrax Aerospace.

Through teamwork and innovation, the girls ended the event with a design challenge to create a catapult to launch a mini marshmallow the furthest distance.

Summit Technology Academy staff members are planning to make the day an annual event and hope to expand the activities next year.

Town Hall to focus on Lee’s Summit R-7 School District

Community invited to attend Feb. 26 meeting or listen to recorded podcast

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District is joining forces with Link 2 Lee’s Summit to present a Town Hall from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, at the Missouri Innovation Campus, 1101 NW Innovation Parkway. All interested community members are invited to attend. Link 2 Lee’s Summit, a podcast and online news service, will provide a recording of the Town Hall following the meeting, both available at

Panelists from the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District include Dr. Dennis L. Carpenter, superintendent; Dr. Katie Collier, associate superintendent of instruction and leadership; and Dr. Judy Hedrick, associate superintendent of business and operations. Town Hall hosts are Jason Norbury and Nick Parker. The conversation will focus on several topics, including the district’s quality instructional programs and school district facilities as well as the district’s goals and plans for the future.

“We appreciate this opportunity to continue to engage with our citizens,” said Dr. Carpenter, “and look forward to hosting this event at our new Missouri Innovation Campus. Meaningful involvement of our families and community members is the foundation of our school district’s success, and this Town Hall offers our stakeholders another opportunity to hear directly from the school district and to participate in this two-way conversation.”

“These public recordings of our conversations are a big part of the podcast’s mission to encourage and celebrate community involvement,” said Mr. Parker, who is also publisher of Link 2 Lee’s Summit. “Community involvement comes in many forms. My co-host, Jason, and I believe that involvement starts with being an informed citizen and voter. To that end, we want to do as much as we can to provide residents with access to public officials and the issues and opportunities facing our community.”

Lee’s Summit R-7 residents have multiple avenues to participate in the Town Hall and shape this conversation, including contacting Link 2 Lee’s Summit through Facebook (, Twitter (@lstownhall) or e-mail ( with suggested questions for the panel. Attendees will also be invited to submit questions during the hour-long event.

In addition to being available at, the weekly Town Hall podcasts are offered through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher Radio or your favorite podcast app.

Westview Elementary receives $1,000 thanks to Corinne Drummond’s fourth-grade class

Students win first place in their grade level in KC Healthy Kids’ I Am Here photo contest

Fourth-graders at Westview Elementary won $1,000 for their school through the KC Healthy Kids’ I Am Here photo contest. The students, who are in Corinne Drummond’s class, submitted photo stories showing how their community helps or hinders healthy habits.

Mrs. Drummond’s class is in the running for a $2,500 grand prize. A peer-judged “Shark Tank” style pitch contest will determine the grand prize winner. Awards will be used to promote student wellness by creating a Naturally Healthy League with emphasis on sports, arts, gardening and healthy choices.

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.

 Third- through eighth-grade students from six counties in the metro area were invited to participate.

KC Healthy Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of Greater Kansas City’s children, will present winning classrooms with $1,000 first place awards at a ceremony March 6 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.

The awards ceremony will take place during KC Healthy Kids’ Champions for Health youth summit. At this all-day conference, 200 students who participated in the contest will learn to speak out for healthier food in schools, walkable communities, urban farms and gardens and more.

Lee’s Summit R-7 dashboard provides quick-reference, go-to website

Site includes facts about student achievement, finances, human resources, support services and community involvement

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District website features a quick-reference dashboard as part of the district’s efforts to better inform the community about student achievements and district statistical information.

The dashboard, which features interactive numerical displays and graphs, is available at It features six screens – student achievement, student data, human resources, finance, support services and community involvement. Examples of information are ACT college-entrance scores, graduation rates, district enrollment, cost per pupil comparisons and student technology.

The R-7 dashboard was recommended several years ago by the district’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan Team, a broad-based group that helps develop the school district’s five-year strategic plan. School district groups involved in providing feedback for the dashboard included the Citizens’ Advisory Committee, Business Roundtable and PTA Council. District staff members from a variety of departments helped provide information for the dashboard.

KC Wolf talks to Lee’s Summit R-7 Elementary Nutrition Council

Kansas City Chiefs mascot focuses on healthy eating and the importance of physical activity

Dan Meers, also known as KC Wolf, talked to members of the Lee’s Summit R-7 Elementary Nutrition Council at the group’s Jan. 30 meeting. Mr. Meers, a Lee’s Summit resident, is the long-time mascot for the Kansas City Chiefs football team.

During his presentation, Mr. Meers discussed his role as a mascot as well as how important it is for him, the Chiefs players, students and adults to eat healthy and to exercise daily. These factors are important in our lives every day to stay healthy and strong. He added we only have one body — we can’t change it out like we change our clothes, so we have to take care of it. Mr. Meers also recommended getting enough sleep, following the MyPlate example for daily eating and limiting sugars and fats.

The KC Chiefs mascot praised the Elementary Nutrition Council’s recent food drive to benefit Lee’s Summit Social Services. Hawthorn Hill Elementary collected the most items with 2,036.

Nutrition Council includes student representatives from all 18 Lee’s Summit R-7 elementary schools. The members meet monthly to provide feedback about school meals and also serve as ambassadors for healthy eating habits within their schools.

Dan Meers, KC Wolf, talks to Lee’s Summit Elementary Nutrition Council members.





Hawthorn Hill Elementary staff and students pictured with KC Wolf are (from left) Scott Smith, physical-education teacher; Jennifer Eastep, cafeteria manager; and Henry Lee and Kamryn Sariah, both sixth-graders.

R-7 staff and students receive Reflections of Character Awards

Several Lee’s Summit R-7 staff members, students and volunteers were among 13 local citizens receiving Reflections of Character Awards at the Jan. 25 Lee’s Summit Mayor’s Character Breakfast. The awards are presented to community members who are nominated based on character traits.

R-7 employees presented with the awards were Sarah Graff, Lee’s Summit North High School math teacher and tennis coach, recognized for generosity, and Dave Eames, a local graphic artist and part-time designer for the district’s Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation, recognized for citizenship.

Students honored at the event were Karrigan Blankenship, a student at Summit Pointe Elementary, respect; Hayden Mitchell, a student at Lee’s Summit North High School, sportsmanship; and Dawson Kruser, a student at Sunset Valley Elementary, appreciation.

Rex Brown and Bob Crance were recognized for cooperation. Both are long-time mentors and volunteer coaches for the Lee’s Summit High School robotics team.

PLMS selects January High 5 Award winners

The Modern Language department at Pleasant Lea Middle School selected the school’s High 5 winners for January. Winners are (from left) Val Fry, Outstanding  Eighth-grader; Max Whisner, Most Improved  Eighth-grader; Ofelia Luna, Outstanding Seventh-grader; and Bryson Elliott, Most Improved 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 a Taco Bell gift card.

PLMS selects December High 5 Award winners

The Science Department at Pleasant Lea Middle School selected the school’s High 5 winners for December. Winners are (from left) Aaliyah Roland, Outstanding  Eighth-grader; Raven Ryan, Most Improved  Eighth-grader; Hannah Tai, Outstanding Seventh-grader; and Alex Lynch, Most Improved 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 a Taco Bell gift card.

LSHS Courtwarming royalty announced

Lee’s Summit  High School will celebrated courtwarming Jan. 26 and 27, including a school assembly, basketball game and dance. The theme for this year’s spirit week and dance was the 1920s “A Roaring Good Time.” The king and queen, Seth Romi and Lindsey Allin, were crowned at the game on Friday night. Mr. and Miss Spirit competition winners, Andrew Mitchell and Emily Williams, were announced at the assembly on Jan. 26. Courtwarming royalty included in photo are (from left) Logan Hopson (freshman), Brea Hurst (freshman), Hunter McDonald (sophomore), Mallory Butler (freshman), Kyle Gerding (freshman), Sophia Spallo (sophomore), Aaron Wilson (sophomore), Katie Spallo (sophomore), Riley Nofziger (junior), Stephanie Janczewski (junior), Noah Koontz (junior), Bailey Prier (junior), Joey Belmore (senior), Julie Sexton (senior), Andy Huffman (senior), Gabby Eyre (senior), Charlie Rao (senior), Jada VanDuyne (senior), Lindsey Allin (senior), Evan Sanders (senior), Olivia Rodriguez (senior), Seth Romi (senior), Erica Milligan (senior) and Erik Holm (senior).

LSHS 1988 boys and girls basketball teams to be honored at Feb. 9 game

The Feb. 9 Lee’s Summit High School boys basketball game will include a 30th anniversary celebration of the 1988 Tiger girls and boys basketball teams, each of which finished second in the state that year. The recognition will take place before the varsity game, which is vs. the Lee’s Summit North High School team, beginning at 7 p.m. at the LSHS Field House.

The 1988 LSHS boys and girls basketball teams went a combined 58-3 on their way to a pair of second-place state finishes. The girls team, led by the “legendary” Larry Jansen, went 28-2 on their way to a 12th consecutive district title and fifth final four appearance in 10 years. They featured standout play from Cindy Bricker, Sonya Harlin, Julie Pinson and Shelly Metzger.  

The 1988 boys team were led by Hall of Fame Coach Glen McDonald and ran off 30 consecutive victories on their way to the state championship game. Key players included Tim Connors, Mike Patterson, Darren Phillips, Jason Weddle and Patrick Richey.

Get Social









District Newsletter Signup


Other News Publications