LSNHS, LSWHS music students preparing for spring performance at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Music students from Lee’s Summit North High School and Lee’s Summit West High School are preparing for a Sunday, March 12 performance at Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Thanks to a collaborative effort with the Kauffman Center, students in band, choir and orchestra will perform at the world-renowned facility with each school music department assigned a specific performance time.

Through the partnership, the Kauffman Center is providing the facility at cost and will not be making a profit on the student performances. In addition, the center is returning all ticket proceeds to the schools’ Music Parents organizations as a fundraiser. Hawthorn Bank is a diamond sponsor for the concert. Platinum sponsors are Stinson, Leonard, Street; Gale Communities; B&B Theaters; Rockhill Orthopaedics; and Henderson Engineering.

The LSWHS groups will perform at 2:30. That same day, the LSNHS groups will perform at 6:30 p.m.

Ticket prices for each concert are as follows: $20 for Orchestra and Parterre; $15 for Mezzanine; $10 for Grand Tier. Tickets will go on sale Jan. 12.

The special event will allow all students in the schools’ programs to perform in the Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall, providing the student musicians with an experience to remember for a lifetime. The schools’ Music Parents organizations anticipate selling out the 1,600 seats for each concert.

Music Parents are seeking both private and corporate sponsorships to meet the organization’s $14,000 goal for this event. With the assistance of the sponsorships, proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated by the Kauffman Center back to the Music Parents organizations to continue to benefit students in the music programs.

The Music Parents organizations have established three levels of corporate sponsorship — $2,500, $1,000 and $500 — with each level offering various opportunities for recognition and marketing. In addition, parents may also contribute as a sponsor for $250.  For more information about the sponsorship opportunities, contact Phyllis Edson at or Juneitta Brumley at

Tickets will go on sale January 12 and can only be purchased online through the Kauffman Center Ticket Office at

Chamber and R-7 School District sponsor spring recognition program for educators

Deadline is Jan. 26

When you hear the phrase “outstanding teacher,” who comes to mind? You may want to nominate this person for the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Teaching/R-7 Teacher of the Year Award.

Twelve R-7 teachers will receive the Excellence In Teaching Award. Each award recipient will also become a finalist for the R-7 School District’s annual Teacher of the Year Award. The district’s Teacher of the Year goes on to compete in the Missouri State Teacher of the Year program.

Any teacher, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, and any guidance counselor or library/media specialist is eligible for the program. Due to the Missouri Teacher of the Year guidelines, guidance counselors and librarians are only eligible for the Excellence In Teaching Awards. They will not be considered for the Teacher of the Year Award since the state program is restricted to classroom teachers only.

Former Excellence In Teaching Award winners who are nominated again are eligible to submit an application to be considered for the Teacher of Distinction Award. Up to three Teachers of Distinction may be selected, and those recipients will also interview for Teacher of the Year.

All recognized teachers will be selected by a committee composed of R-7 staff and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the community. The 12 Excellence In Teaching winners and three Teacher of Distinction recipients will be announced in late March and honored at an April 12 reception. The Teacher of the Year will be announced at the reception.

Nomination forms will be sent home with R-7 students in January. Anyone wanting a form may also visit the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District website at and select the Excellence In Teaching and Teacher of the Year option or call 986-1017. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 26.

Community invited to attend ‘School Safety Seminar: Preventing and Responding to Possible Active School Shooters in LSR-7’

Meeting to be held Jan. 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

During the 2016-17 school year, all Lee’s Summit R-7 School District staff members continued asirt-community-meetings-jan-2017participation in a hands-on training called Active Shooter / Intruder Response Training (ASIRT). The training program, created by Strategos International and implemented in Lee’s Summit last school year, has been used successfully by many school districts and other organizations across the nation and within the Kansas City metropolitan area. In addition to providing R-7 staff members with skills and hands-on training, ASIRT meets and exceeds requirements in Missouri law for this type of training.  

The ASIRT training features a community component, and parents and guardians are invited to attend the session being offered during this school year. This presentation called “School Safety Seminar: Preventing and Responding to Possible Active School Shooters in LSR-7,” is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at Lee’s Summit West High School.

The R-7 School District is using a train-the-trainers approach, and staff members will participate in training sessions conducted by R-7 employees, school resource officers and DARE officers who have completed a 40-hour program providing them with the materials and skills to conduct training at schools. Each staff member will complete a refresher course scheduled throughout the school year.

Each ASIRT training includes a presentation as well as practical hands-on training. The sessions are designed to bridge the gap between responding law-enforcement officers and school employees in an active shooter situation. Staff will learn principles that can be applied in any scenario, including at a school or a community setting. In addition, the course will provide employees with additional skills related to prevention, reporting and protection of students and staff during the critical moments before law enforcement arrives at a crime scene. Also included is what to expect from officers once they arrive.

The ASIRT training is part of a comprehensive focus on school safety within the R-7 School District that includes emergency response training and drills, school resource and DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officers, a thorough Emergency Operations Plan, positive working relationships with area law-enforcement and fire departments and a Campus Crime Stoppers Tips Line (816-986-1450).

BCMS students selected for Be the Change Award

Emma Thieme and Eli Atkinson were selected to receive the Bernard Campbell Middle School Be the Change Award for November. Kristina Parrish and Sorai Santiago were selected for the Bernard Campbell Middle School Be the Change Award for December.

The criteria used for the award includes demonstrating exemplary behavior and displaying a positive attitude in the classroom and hallways, displaying a positive attitude toward teachers and other students, and exhibiting outstanding character at BCMS. The students also received a token of thanks from the school’s business partner, Summit Bank of Kansas City.

dcbcms-bethechangefornvdcPictured are (from left) Dr. Sherri Lewis, BCMS principal; Emma Thieme; Kristina Parrish; Rosa Milazzo of Summit Bank; Sorai Santiago; and Eli Atkinson.


LSNHS Student Council donates books to Kansas City elementary school

As part of the Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, the Lee’s Summit North High School Student Council was challenged with picking a “Do Good December” project.  The student council seniors chose to collect gently used books to donate to Center Elementary School in Kansas City.  

The seniors collected over $150 in donations and 350 used books. Student Council wrapped all of the books and delivered them after school on Dec. 19.  

Stacey King, principal of Center Elementary, stated, “I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you again for blessing my students today! Without exception, all were excited and happy to receive the offering of love through a good book.”


Campbell Middle School to recognize all former girls basketball players on Jan. 17

Special event is in honor of school’s 25th anniversary

In honor of Bernard Campbell Middle School’s 25th anniversary, the girls basketball program is planning a special recognition at the Jan. 17 game. All former BCMS girls basketball players are invited to attend a brief ceremony, scheduled around 4:45 p.m., just before the A team game, at Bernard Campbell Middle School.

The BCMS Mustangs will compete against the Pleasant Lea Middle School Tigers. If you are interested in attending or would like more information, contact Stu Reece, BCMS girls basketball coach,

LS R-7 students to participate in Lee’s Summit Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Jan. 16

School groups include the LSHS Jazz Band and BCMS choir

Several Lee’s Summit R-7 student groups will participate in the City of Lee’s Summit’s annual Dr. Martinjnls-mkl-graphic2017 Luther King Jr. Celebration, scheduled for Jan. 16 at the Pavilion at John Knox Village, 520 NW Murray Road. The pre-show will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the program starts at 6 p.m. The community is invited to attend this free event. This year’s theme is “One Voice for Freedom” with a focus on unity, collaboration and community.

The pre-show will feature the Lee’s Summit High School Jazz Band. Performances and presentations during the program will include Bernard Campbell Middle School choir, the One Voice for Freedom Dance Troup, the National Anthem from Lee’s Summit Police Department Officer Nathan Cantrell, an honor guard including Lee’s Summit Police and Fire Department staff members, a welcome from Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads, prayers by the Rev. Kip Nelson of Legacy Christian Church and the Rev. Mike Dillingham of The Truth Ministries. The One Voice for Freedom Mass Choir will lead “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

The celebration will feature a keynote address from Bob Kendrick, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president. As part of the Dr. King celebration, one of the museum’s traveling exhibits will be available for view during the 5:30 p.m. pre-show as well as after the program.

This annual event is planned by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Planning Committee and is one of the key activities of the City of Lee’s Summit’s Human Relations Commission. For more information about the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, contact the City of Lee’s Summit at (816) 969-1010.

Summit Pointe Elementary Student Council raises more than $2,000 for LS Social Services

Summit Pointe Elementary Student Council recently organized a community-service project to benefit Lee’s Summit Social Services during the holiday season. Known as “Coins for Christmas,” the school goal was to raise $1,500 to purchase toys for families served through Social Services.

By the end of the service project, students, staff and families raised more than $2,000. Student Council members took a field trip to the Lee’s Summit WalMart on Dec. 19 to purchase the toys. The donated toys were on display at Summit Pointe Elementary and are being delivered to Social Services.

If students met the $1,500 fundraising goal, two staff members — Dr. Heather Kenney, principal, and Brooke Morehead, assistant principal — promised to become human sundaes during the school’s annual holiday assembly.

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Lee’s Summit R-7 Leadership Academy develops leaders for school administrative positions

A total of 19 Lee’s Summit R-7 staff members are participating in the school district’s recognized Leadership Academy, a unique internship program designed to grow and develop leaders currently working within the district. The program began in 2013, and this year’s participants are the third cohort.

Through the Leadership Academy, participants meet once each month to prepare for future administrative positions while also learning how to better serve as mentors and leaders in their current jobs.

The internship program provides R-7 certified staff with the opportunity to experience best practice, gain insight into administrative procedures and processes and develop leadership skills that are necessary for a successful career in administration, said Dr. Jeff Miller, R-7 associate superintendent for Human Resources who also initiated the program.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the success we’re having in putting our energies into growing our current staff as future administrators,” Dr. Miller said. “The employees completing this program have an appreciation and understanding of school leadership. The Leadership Academy also helps us retain qualified employees who are able to fill administrative roles as they become open.”

Andrew Hookie, a teacher at Sunset Valley Elementary, praised the program for its real-world learning experiences, focusing on leadership in practice.

“This has been a truly rewarding experience,” Mr. Hookie said. “I’ve really enjoyed the Leadership Academy and the ability to work with the great team of R-7 administrators. Each class topic is uniquely different in how it relates to the variety of things a building leader will face.”

Heather Hamilton, a teacher at Great Beginnings Early Education Center, said she applied for the program to expand her leadership skills and help her achieve her career goals.

“I was interested in participating in the Lee’s Summit R-7 Leadership Academy to help me with expanding my leadership skills so that one day I can be an educational leader who can instill, in teachers, the passion for continuous learning, ultimately impacting students and families, in a positive way,” Mrs. Hamilton said. “I feel that the Leadership Academy has provided these opportunities, by allowing me to shadow administrators, and through conversations and dialogue, with my colleagues, during the Leadership Academy sessions.”

Leadership Academy participants this year include Nancy Bartlett, Ashley Barton, Tori Barton, Becky Bien, Beth Bock, Kendra Burke, Mary Fleming, Matthew Hague, Heather Hamilton, Kim Hartman, Andrew Hookie, Julie James, Evonne Medrano, Nicole Nowlin, Brian Ray, Rachel Smith, Lindi Todd, Kelli Trask and Brianna Wessley.

Employees participating in the program come from all areas within the school district and include elementary, middle-school and high-school teachers; counselors; and instructional technology and curriculum specialists. To join the program, the staff members are required to complete an application process.

Within the year-long program, employees participate in nine monthly sessions focusing on topics such as school culture and instructional program; learning environment; collaboration with faculty and the community; and integrity, fairness and ethics in learning. The sessions feature several guest experts sharing information from various areas of the school district. In addition, participants must complete a group project and three administrative job shadows, attend several Board of Education and other administrative district meetings and maintain a Leadership Academy portfolio. The Leadership Academy also includes several textbooks and other resources.

dcleadershipacademyphotoR-7 Leadership Academy Class of 2016-17 participants.

Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education approves 2017-18 school calendar

The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education approved the school district’s 2017-18 calendar at its Dec. 15 calendar-2017-18meeting. The complete calendar for the 2016-17 school year as well as the 2017-18 calendar may be viewed at

The first day of school for 2017-18 will be Aug. 16. Winter break will be Dec. 21 through Jan. 2 for students. School staff members will return to work Jan. 2 with classes resuming Jan. 3. The last day of school — pending snow days — will be May 17. Any snow days will be made up beginning May 18.

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