Lee’s Summit R-7 students selected to attend Missouri Fine Arts Academy

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District students selected to attend the Missouri Fine Arts Academy are Afton Shumate and Lilly Smith of Lee’s Summit High School; Amanda Schilling of Lee’s Summit West High School; and Miranda Chaffin of Lee’s Summit North High School.

The Missouri Fine Arts Academy is a unique three-week, residential summer program for exceptional Missouri artists who have completed their sophomore or junior year of high school. Initiated in 1996, the program offers students the opportunity to enhance their skills in such fields as dance, visual arts, theatre and music while participating in a stimulating series of interdisciplinary and co-curricular activities. Students are nominated by their high schools to attend the Academy, complete an essay and submit a portfolio.

This year’s Missouri Fine Arts Academy will be held this summer on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield. It is funded through program fees, grants, endowments, scholarships and private donations.

LS R-7 students participate in Special Olympics Torch Run and Field Day

Approximately 100 students with special needs participated in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s Special Olympics Torch Run and Field Day May 5. The annual event, held at Prairie View Elementary, involves students from all Lee’s Summit R-7 schools.

The special day began with the arrival of the torch runners, members of the Lee’s Summit Police Department who carry the Special Olympic torch to Prairie View. The officers are greeted by the students who wave posters and cheer the runners during the last leg of their journey. Members of the police force then join the students for lunch at the school.

The event concludes with a Special Olympics field day for the students with contests such as frisbee throw and cup stacking. The events are tailored for the students with special needs. Students from Sunset Valley and Prairie View Elementary volunteer to assist the athletes during the field day.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a fundraiser for Special Olympics with police officers throughout the nation raising close to $50 million annually.

R-7 middle schools recognize Students of the Month for March

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District middle schools recently recognized their March 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 Eriel Morey and Conor Thornbrugh. At BCMS, Eriel is involved in basketball, track, volleyball and concert choir. Away from school, Eriel enjoys piano lessons and horseback riding. At BCMS, Conor is involved in football, track and scholar bowl.

Students of the Month from Pleasant Lea Middle School are Mallory Butler and Austin Robb. At PLMS, Mallory is involved in volleyball, cross country, cheerleading and track. Away from school,  Mallory enjoys her competitive swim team.  At PLMS, Austin is involved in football, basketball, track, Black and Gold Choir, band, student council and WEB CARES. Away from school, Austin enjoys competitive basketball, competitive baseball and football.  

Students of the Month from Summit Lakes Middle School are Shiloh Ehlert and Trey Sharp. At SLMS, Shiloh  is involved in choir, band, archery and the school musical. Away from school, Shiloh enjoys her church youth group.  At SLMS, Trey is involved in cross country and track.

KC Scholars announces first-ever scholarship recipients

27 Lee’s Summit R-7 students to receive college funding

KC Scholars, a new scholarship and college savings match program, announced its first-ever scholarship recipients, 77 percent of whom will be first-generation college students.

A total 27 of the 608 metro-area scholarship recipients are from the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Recipients come from 74 high schools in the six-county Kansas City region: Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte in Missouri.

The program, developed with input from 70 Kansas City community partners and incubated out of the Kauffman Foundation, aims to help low- and modest-income students, as well as adult learners, finance and complete a college education. Among all first-year scholarship recipients, 83 percent have an estimated family contribution to college of $4,000 or less.

Lee’s Summit High School juniors receiving the traditional scholarships, which are up to $10,000 per year, are Kaylee Bake, Andrew Collins, Jayci Goodwin, Nataly Mallma, Lauren Eason and Julie Bussen.

Lee’s Summit High School freshmen receiving the college savings account scholarships are Nicole Jacobsen, Jayda Edgar, Daniella Archdekin, Lorenzo Turney, Alyssa Harmon, Talli Cannon, Nickolas Hammond, Brittney Nino, Luke Michel, Hailee Howard, Aubriana Duvall, Sydnee McDonald, Felix Anudike, Hannah Hukriede, Violet Esquivel, Shawn Oldham, Megan Cross and Eghosasere Ogbevoen.

Lee’s Summit West High School juniors receiving the traditional scholarship s are Conner Berens, Emiline Stewart and Charles Jones.

“KC Scholars has achieved more than we could have hoped for in its first year to help low- and modest-income students and adult learners in our community realize their dreams of college,” says Beth Tankersley-Bankhead, executive director of KC Scholars. “We are proud to share in our recipients’ excitement as they take this important step in continuing their education.”

KC Scholars is a true community collaboration, driven by the belief that all students – regardless of income, age or ethnicity – deserve an opportunity to earn a college education. With the help of 117 community scholarship application reviewers who span five generations, KC Scholars is able to award the following in 2017:

»   285 Traditional Scholarships: awarded to students currently enrolled in 11th grade. Awardees will receive up to $10,000 per year, paid directly to the college, renewable up to five years.

»   91 Adult Learner Scholarships: awarded to adults ages 24 and older who have previously earned at least 12 college credits but did not receive a postsecondary degree. Awardees will receive up to $5,000 per year, paid directly to the college, renewable up to five years. 

»   70 College Savings Match and Incentive Scholarships: awarded to ninth-graders for whom a 529 college savings account will be set up and seeded with $50, and who are also eligible for a 4:1 match on savings, up to $7,000.

»   An additional 162 awardees will have a 529 college savings account, seeded with $50, set up in their name.

“KC Scholars is helping to build a college-educated workforce in Kansas City,” says Gwen Grant, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City and KC Scholars Implementation Committee member. “It’s amazing to see what has been accomplished in the first year of this program. We are already working to expand donor support and community involvement so that we can continue KC Scholars for generations to come.”

For more information about KC Scholars and to remain abreast of next year’s application cycle, visit www.kcscholars.org.

About KC Scholars

Kansas City Scholars (“KC Scholars”) is a scholarship and college savings match program, with the mission to increase postsecondary attainment in the greater Kansas City metro area. KC Scholars provides three types of scholarships – Traditional, Adult Learner and College Savings Match – to low- and modest-income youth and adults in Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte (MO), Johnson and Wyandotte (KS) counties. KC Scholars is a community-driven initiative, supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For more information, visit kcscholars.org and follow KC Scholars on Twitter and Facebook.

Lee’s Summit R-7 students capture awards at Technology Education Association competition

Lee’s Summit High School and Lee’s Summit West High School recently captured awards at the 27th annual Technology Education Association of Missouri (TEAM) competition, held April 27, as well as the State Technology Education Association of Missouri contest, held May 8 and 9 in Osage Beach . Students winning the grand award qualify for the state contest, scheduled for May 8-9.

Lee’s Summit High School  had approximately 50 students qualify to go to the metro-area contest,  more than any other high school in the metropolitan area. Lee’s Summit High School wood shop teacher Tony Mixon also won Program of the Year for Missouri.

Two students tied for best of show at the metro contest– Logan Dahmer (LSWHS student who takes furniture making at LSHS) for his grandfather clock and Caylee Smith of LSHS for her harp. Several Lee’s Summit R-7 students are also invited to attend the Kansas City Home and Garden Show to display their larger projects.

LSHS students capturing grand awards and qualifying for state at the Kansas City area contest  include Elliot  Kump, Lupita Olivas, Caylee Smith, Gage Piggie, Jacob Connor, Ria Wyrick, Chana Ostrander, Sarah Howell, Nick Armes, Bobby Wallace, Austin Ross,  Zheng Zhengshuo, Cameron Fisher, Caleb Heeney, Logan Dahmer (Lee’s Summit West student who takes furniture making at LSHS),  Matthew Ross, Kieran Cunningham, Joseph Achugo, Cameron Schulenberg, Will Berger,  Kase Glidewell, Tanner Carpenter, Dylan Jordon and Adam Schmidt.

LSWHS students capturing grand awards at the metro contest and qualifying for state include Mick Bryant, Matt Borgmeyer, Sam Breshears, Daniel Schnelle and Trevor Grooms. Justin McEnroe and Emma Hannah both received runner up in their category.

At state, Lee’s Summit West captured two grand awards including Trevor Grooms with his kitchen hutch and Daniel Schnelle with his rocking chair.  

Sam Breshears, Matt Borgmeyer and Mick Bryant of LSWHS all received first place awards in their category at state.  

Logan  Dahmer with his grandfather clock.









Caylee Smith with her musical harp.









LSWHS students qualifying for state.





Trevor Grooms with his kitchen hutch and Daniel Schnelle with his rocking chair at state.  





Technology Education Association of Missouri Program of the Year Award presented to Tony Mixon of LSHS.

Lee’s Summit R-7 PTA Council provides funding for LS CARES anti-bullying program, awards scholarships

The Lee’s Summit Council of PTAs recently presented Lee’s Summit CARES with a one-time gift of $5,000 to expand anti-bullying programs in Lee’s Summit R-7 middle schools. Working with counselors at Pleasant Lea Middle School, Lee’s Summit CARES representatives are developing a program targeted for seventh- and eighth-graders.

Funding provided by the Council of PTAs will continue this effort and expand the program to the Bernard Campbell and Summit Lakes Middle Schools for both development and launch. During a recent meeting, Kerri Gray of Lee’s Summit CARES accepted the donation from Lisa Wright Murray, PTA Council president.

In addition, PTA Council awarded six $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors. The students completed an application form focused on scholastic achievement, extracurricular involvement, PTA membership and financial need. The applicants also wrote short essays on their plans for the future.  

Scholarship winners are Spencer Goldsmith and Ali Dowlatshahi, Lee’s Summit High School; Dawson Cole and Brenna Johnson, Lee’s Summit North High School; and Cameron Gonzalez and Casey Cunningham, Lee’s Summit West High School.

Lee’s Summit Council of PTAs represents all 24 PTA units within the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Presidents of each school unit are invited to attend monthly meetings where members offer education, address issues and work to promote and support Lee’s Summit R-7 students and staff members.


Kerri Gray (left) of Lee’s Summit CARES accepts a donation from Lisa Wright Murray, PTA Council president.

PLMS orchestra members selected to perform at NYC’s Carnegie Hall

Four Pleasant Lea Middle School Eighth Grade Orchestra members were recently selected to perform at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. The students are Cara Cha (viola), Fiona Martin (cello), Katelyn Johnson (cello) and Sophia Hoffman (violin).

The four student musicians were selected as junior finalists through a competitive audition process for the 2017 Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. They will perform with the Junior Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in June.

Junior finalists for the Honors Performance Series include students from 43 states, Canada, Australia and Taiwan. These students will have the opportunity to play with some of the best middle school musicians from around the world, learn from renowned conductors, experience New York City and perform at Carnegie Hall.

The PLMS students were nominated by their orchestra teacher, Adrienne Worstell, based on their leadership in class. They are the only students selected this year from the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.

Students selected are (from left)  Cara Cha, Fiona Martin, Katelyn Johnson and Sophia Hoffman.

Summit Technology Academy honored with National Excellence in Action Award

The Network Engineering program at Summit Technology Academy received the prestigious Excellence in Action award, which recognizes the best Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study across the nation. Summit Technology Academy was one of 11 selected as an “Excellence in Action” award winner based on its track record of providing clear pathways into college and careers, rigorous academic and technical coursework, strong partnerships with industry leaders and impactful work-based learning experiences that offer opportunities for career exploration and subject-matter mastery.

Summit Technology Academy received the award in the Information and Technology Career Cluster from Advance CTE. What started as a computer repair class 15 years ago has evolved into a state-of-the-art cybersecurity program. Bringing together 24 urban, suburban and rural high schools, this program provides students with real-world, hands-on experiences in an extensive, three-year internship program. Additionally, as part of the Missouri Innovation Campus, students can begin to earn their bachelor’s degree while still in high school, setting them on a seamless pathway from secondary to postsecondary education.

Shannan Booth, career education facilitator for the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, accepted the honor at an award luncheon and reception as part of the Advance CTE spring meeting in Washington, D.C.

“Students can dependably find valuable work right away, right here,” said Elaine Metcalf, Summit Technology Academy director. “We create and grow a talent pipeline that keeps to its roots. Graduates learn within the Kansas City work culture; we don’t lose then to the coasts.”

“I am so proud of these exemplary programs and all they offer learners across the country,” said Kimberly Green, executive director of Advance CTE. “Boasting impressive graduation and completion rates, credential attainment and hands-on learning experiences, these programs demonstrate what high-quality CTE has to offer, and its ability to set students up for success across the spectrum of careers.”

Pictured at the awards ceremony are (from left) Shannan Booth of Lee’s Summit R-7; Blaine Henningsen, assistant commissioner, Office of College and Career Readiness, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; and Jo Anne Honeycutt, president, Advanced CTE.

Children and teens benefit from LS R-7 no-cost summer meal program

Federally-funded program offered through Nutrition Services

Thanks to a federally funded program coordinated through the Lee’s Summit R-7 Nutrition Services Department, several hundred children and teenagers have the opportunity to receive free school lunches and breakfasts on weekdays. The meals are available to anyone who is age 18 and younger, including toddlers and preschool children.

Meal programs are being operated Mondays through Thursdays, June 5-29, at both Meadow Lane Elementary and Westview Elementary. Meals are served at the school cafeterias, and no transportation is provided for students participating.

At Meadow Lane Elementary, located at 1421 NE Independence Ave., meals are served in the school cafeteria, which can be accessed from the front entrance of the school. Breakfast will be offered from 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

At Westview Elementary, located at 200 NW Ward Road, meals are served in the cafeteria, which can be assessed from the front entrance. Breakfast will be offered from 9 to 9:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 Mondays through Thursdays.

          For more information, contact R-7 Nutrition Services, (816) 986-2200. Menus are available on the Nutrition Services website at http://leessummitschoolnutrition.com/.

Lee’s Summit R-7 high schools capture nominations in Cappies Theatre Awards program

Several Lee’s Summit R-7 School District students and theatre productions were recently nominated for honors in the Cappies Theatre Awards program, which includes recognition for high school theatre productions and critics. Both Lee’s Summit High School and Lee’s Summit West High School participated in the program this school year.

Through Cappies, high school theatre and journalism students are trained in theatre criticism, organized into teams and assigned to attend plays and musicals at other schools. The students write reviews for local newspapers. At the end of the show season, the critics vote for the Cappies awards. A metro-wide gala will be held May 27 at Excelsior Springs High School to present the Cappies awards.

Lee’s Summit West’s Theatre Department receives the highest number of Cappies nominations for any school in the metro area. LSWHS students nominated follow.

  • Marketing and Publicity – “Mary Poppins” – Madison Crosby and Riley Eggleston
  • Special Effects and or Technology – “Mary Poppins” – Chad Burkhart and Calvin Gaines
  • Hair and Makeup – “Leading Ladies” – Erin Coughennower
  • Props – “Mary Poppins” – Cara Connor and Faith Johnson
  • Costume – “Leading Ladies” – Anniston Barney and Bekah Toone
  • Sets – “Mary Poppins” – Josh Barner and Dylan Brendel
  • Orchestra – “Mary Poppins”
  • Ensemble in a Play – Doc and Butch – Chad Burkhart and Josh Barner
  • Ensemble in a Musical – The Banks Children – Bre Hays and Zach Kavanaugh
  • Featured Actress – Miss Andrew – Samantha Carter
  • Female Dancer – Madison Crosby
  • Male Dancer – Drake Honn
  • Comic Actress in a Play – Florence Snyder – Brinlee Jones
  • Supporting Actress in a Musical – Mrs. Banks – Kayla Lane
  • Supporting Actor in a Musical – Mr. Banks – Ben Ross
  • Supporting Actor in a Play – Jack Gable – Drake Honn
  • Lead Actress in a Play – Meg Snyder – Kayla Lane
  • Lead Actor in a Play – Leo Clark – Bryce Presley
  • Lead Actress in a Musical – Mary Poppins – Abrianah Aldewick
  • Lead Actor in a Musical – Bert – Tyler Frey
  • Best Song – “Step in Time”
  • Best Play – “Leading Ladies”
  • Best Musical – “Mary Poppins.”

Lee’s Summit High School nominations follow.

  • Stage Crew – “The Little Mermaid”
  • Ensemble – Choir and People Among The Dead – “Our Town”
  • Featured Actress – Avery Beavers as Flounder in “The Little Mermaid”
  • Comic Actor In A Musical – Joey Ferguson as Scuttle in “The Little Mermaid”
  • Supporting Actress In A Musical – Elizabeth Bennett in “The Little Mermaid”
  • Lead Actress In A Play – Carly McKay as the Stage Manager for “Our Town”
  • Lead Actor In A Musical – Jack Gerding as Prince Eric in “The Little Mermaid”
  • Song – “Poor Unfortunate Souls” in “The Little Mermaid”
  • Female Critic – Abigail Ervin.

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