LS Chamber of Commerce hosting two events featuring R-7 Board of Education candidates

Meet-and-greet is Feb. 28 with candidate forum March 13

The Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce is providing two opportunities to learn more about candidates for the Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education.

A candidate meet-and-greet event will begin at 5 p.m. Feb. 28 at The Stanley Historic Event Space, 25 SE 3rd St. in downtown Lee’s Summit. A candidate forum will be at 5:30 p.m. March 13 at the Gamber Center, 4 SE Independence Ave., Lee’s Summit.

Eleven candidates have filed for three positions on the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District Board of Education. Filing closed for R-7 Board of Education candidates on Jan. 17. Candidates (listed in filing order) are Jacqueline (Jackie McEntire) Clark, Dennis D. Smith, Susan D. Coffman, Kim Fritchie, Carl J. Quijas, Mark Dziedzic, Ryan N. Murdock, Diego Gutierrez, Michael W. McMenus, Jill Worstell and Mark S. Augustin.

The annual municipal and school election will be held on April 4.  Incumbent Board members Bill Baird, Terri Harmon and Chris Storms did not file as candidates.

For more information about the R-7 Board of Education, visit http://www.lsr7.org/school-board/board-members/. Board of Education members are elected to three-year terms during at-large elections.

R-7 staff members receive Reflections of Character Awards

Several Lee’s Summit R-7 staff members were among 14 local citizens receiving Reflections of Character Awards at the Jan. 26 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 Eric and Carla Thomas, honored for sportsmanship, and Patty Voss, recognized for kindness.

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are both employed at Lee’s Summit High School. Mr. Thomas is a physical-education teacher and coach, and Mrs. Thomas teaches mathematics. After Mrs. Thomas was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2015, the couple and their children bonded together to fight this battle. “After surgery and four rounds of chemotherapy, the doctors pronounced Carla cured,” stated information shared at the Jan. 26 breakfast. “Carla and Eric could have focused only on themselves during this trying time, but instead the two used the opportunity to teach 130 football players the importance of family and the definition of sportsmanship.”

Working with others, Mrs. and Mrs. Thomas helped spread awareness of the effects of cancer on the community, raised money for families experiencing financial hardship due to medical expenses and held two Siege the Cure football games focusing on awareness and fundraising. Through their efforts, close to $17,600 was raised for this cause. In addition, the couple organized a memorial for a co-worker who passed away in fall 2016.

Mrs. Voss is a resource aide at Woodland Elementary as well as a two-time PTA president at the school. Her responsibilities include playground supervisor as well as copy room attendant. During the breakfast, she was called a special person who goes about the day listening, guiding and solving problems. “Examples of Patty’s kind heart are limitless,” stated the information shared at the event. “She has an innate sense of who needs a little extra kindness on any given day. She never hesitates to provide for the school or classrooms, stopping to buy glue sticks on a late Friday evening or supplying overlooked coolers for an impending field trip.”

Mrs. Voss, who has worked at Woodland for 16 years, is involved in all school events including picnics, carnivals, field trips. “Every day she is communicating with children on the playground, greeting those in the building and working to transform our school into a community,” shared her colleagues.

Patty Voss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric and Carla Thomas

Hawthorn Hill Elementary Student Council raises money to assist student battling cancer

Hawthorn Hill Elementary Student Council recently completed a school-wide fundraiser to help a student battling cancer. The student’s learned about Osahon Ogbevoen, a student at Highland Park Elementary, from a Hawthorn Hill teacher and Student Council co-sponsor Sara Faris, who is a parent at Highland Park Elementary. Rachel Johnson is also a co-sponsor of Student Council.

After hearing about Osahon, the Hawthorn Hill Student Council members presented gifts to the student’s family and raised $1,000 to donate to the student’s GoFundMe account for medical assistance.

Mike Johnson honored for serving 40 years on LS R-7 Citizens’ Advisory Committee

Mike Johnson was recognized for serving 40 years on the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) at the group’s Jan. 25 meeting.

Mr. Johnson joined the Citizens’ Advisory Committee in 1974, serving for four decades. He served as the group’s vice chairperson in the late 1970s and assisted the district in conducting and analyzing salary and benefits of other major districts to help Lee’s Summit R-7 remain fair and competitive.

During the decades of 1990s and 2000s, Mike he was highly involved in maintaining  communications efforts to our citizens regarding current challenges and supporting the necessary bond and levy issues which faced the district. Since then he has helped the organization with legislative advocacy and strategic planning.  

A Lee’s Summit High School graduate, Mr. Johnson will continue to serve on the group, which formed in 1952. The mission of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee is to facilitate communication and partner with the R-7 Board of Education, superintendent and community to ensure a successful and innovative school system that maximizes each student’s potential.

LS R-7 2015 bond issue projects nearing completion

Students at Mason Elementary celebrate new gymnasium

Progress continues to be on schedule and within budget for a variety of new construction, renovation and maintenance projects funded by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District 2015 no-tax-increase bond issue. Voters approved the $40 million issue by almost 80 percent.

The bond issue is funding the district’s new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus as well as numerous improvements in the areas of classroom instruction, safety and security, health and wellness, ADA access renovations and special education. Also included are maintenance projects designed to protect the district’s investment in its schools and playground safety upgrades for all elementary schools’ soft play areas including replacement of deteriorated play equipment. The majority of projects will be complete by the start of school in August 2017 with just a few projects remaining for the 2017-18 school year.

The school improvements, maintenance projects and playground upgrades are positively impacting all 28 Lee’s Summit R-7 schools. A few examples of the many school improvements are classroom renovations at Lee’s Summit High School, entry security improvements at Lee’s Summit North High School, a concession/restroom building at the Lee’s Summit West High School softball complex, a gym addition and classroom renovations at Mason Elementary, classroom and art classroom renovations at Lee’s Summit Elementary and a kitchen and cafeteria renovation at Hazel Grove Elementary. Mason Elementary students recently celebrated the opening of their new gymnasium with students capturing the special event on this video.

Examples of school maintenance funded by the bond are flooring, carpet, ceilings, painting, roofing, paving, mechanical, doors, windows, door FOBS, backflows, water sanitizing and masonry.

The new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus, located near Ward and Tudor Road, is scheduled to open in August 2017. Construction on the new school began in March 2016 following a community groundbreaking celebration.

Thanks to a unique partnership with the University of Central Missouri (UCM), the school district and university will construct and operate this cost-saving shared facility. Under the plan, Lee’s Summit R-7 is paying approximately 40 percent of the new school with UCM paying the remaining 60 percent. Based on an agreement between the two organizations, Lee’s Summit R-7 will be the sole owner of the facility which will house Summit Tech / Missouri Innovation Campus as well as UCM programs currently located in the UCM-Lee’s Summit facility. UCM is paying its portion through a lease agreement.

The shared facility will reduce operating expenses for the R-7 School District, allowing the district to move Summit Tech / MIC from leased space into a building owned by the school district. It is anticipated that due to increased rental costs resulting from the expiration of a long-running tax abatement, Lee’s Summit R-7 will save approximately $9 million over the next 20 years by construction of the new facility.

Photos are of the Mason Elementary gymnasium exterior and the under-construction Summit Tech/MIC.

 

 

Eleven file for three seats on LS R-7 Board of Education

Eleven candidates have filed for three positions on the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District Board of Education. Filing closed for R-7 Board of Education candidates on Jan. 17.

Candidates (listed in filing order) are Jacqueline (Jackie McEntire) Clark, Dennis D. Smith, Susan D. Coffman, Kim Fritchie, Carl J. Quijas, Mark Dziedzic, Ryan N. Murdock, Diego Gutierrez, Michael W. McMenus, Jill Worstell and Mark S. Augustin.

Jill Dannaldson initially filed but withdrew her name on Jan. 20. Her name will not be on the ballot because she withdrew before the certification deadline for elections.

The annual municipal and school election will be held on April 4.  Incumbent Board members Bill Baird, Terri Harmon and Chris Storms did not file as candidates.

For more information about the R-7 Board of Education, visit http://www.lsr7.org/school-board/board-members/. Board of Education members are elected to three-year terms during at-large elections.

‘Survivor’ television show winner visits Prairie View second-graders

Danni Boatwright, winner of the “Survivor Guatemala” television show (season 11), visited with second-graders at Prairie View Elementary on Jan. 18. She spoke to students about perseverance, not giving up and the fact that it is OK to fail the first time.

During her visit she also talked about her experience both on “Survivor” and as a pageant participant. Her visit complimented the school’s Leader In Me vision. Ms. Boatwright spoke to all second-graders at Prairie View. She is pictured with Jennifer Abernathey’s class.

Hazel Grove Elementary students learn about braille thanks to visit from former student

Hunter Hall, a senior at Lee’s Summit North High school and former Hazel Grove Elementary student, recently visited Hazel Grove kindergarten classes to read a book in braille and talk to students.  

Students had been studying the five senses. Hunter, who has been blind since birth, explained how he uses his senses differently to gather information. Kristina Rains, a Lee’s Summit R-7 teacher for the visually impaired, accompanied Hunter to Hazel Grove.  

Hunter and Ms. Rains shared how his phone and iPad are adapted for him. Hunter also explained how his cane helps him navigate safely. The students were excited about the papers Hunter gave to each child. One showed the braille alphabet, and the other was each child’s name in braille.

Campbell Middle School girls basketball team celebrates 25 years

The Bernard Campbell Middle School girls basketball team celebrated 25 years by inviting former coaches and players to attend their final home game of the season on Jan. 17. A tribute to the school’s outstanding traditions, the turnout included approximately 50 former Mustangs reuniting, reminiscing and celebrating the accomplishments and growth of the program.  

In attendance were the original coaching staff, John Gross and Andrea Allen, as well as several of the original 1992-1993 Lady Mustangs. Mr. Gross, coach from 1992-2000, said, “Teaching and coaching is all about relationships, and to see all of those girls again was very special.”

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