Stacey Kindred of Lee’s Summit R-7 named regional nutrition manager of year

Stacey Kindred, cafeteria manager at Pleasant Lea Middle School, recently received the School Nutrition Association’s highest honor. Ms. Kindred was named Regional Manager of the Year by the non-profit organization. The award recognizes a cafeteria manager who has demonstrated dedication and ingenuity to improve his or her school meal program.  

Ms. Kindred previously worked as cafeteria manager at Summit Pointe Elementary before moving to PLMS for 2017-18.

“Stacey Kindred is a great example that cafeteria managers’ duties do not end with serving healthy and delicious food to students, but also include creating a positive and enticing environment,” said School Nutrition Association’s CEO Patricia Montague. “She does whatever she can to better her students’ experience, while continuing to reach out to the larger community.”

During July, Ms. Kindred was honored during the awards ceremony at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in Atlanta, Ga. She will also be recognized during the Missouri School Nutrition Conference in October, scheduled for Branson.

The Manager of the Year Award is given in honor of Louise Sublette, a leader in school nutrition in her state and in the national School Nutrition Association. During her 43 years in the profession, Ms. Sublette dedicated her career to honoring school nutrition professionals and ensuring those who work in school cafeterias have access to professional development opportunities, empowering them to help their school meal programs flourish.

About School Nutrition Association:

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 58,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education.

KC Cubbies Preschool Program now enrolling

Lee’s Summit R-7 Before- and After-School Services (BASS) is enrolling R-7 School District children ages 3 to 5 years old in the KC Cubbies Preschool Program. The program provides support to families by caring for their children in a safe, nurturing, fun and educational environment.

KC Cubbies is located in a building located in front of Underwood Elementary. The program offers are two multi-age preschool rooms, Grizzly Bears and Polar Bears, each with a lead teacher, assistant teacher and associates. Before- and after-school care is available to students attending Great Beginnings, including full day care on Fridays when Great Beginnings is closed. Curriculum is from Frog Street and is combined with Conscious Discipline. The hours of operation for KC Cubbies are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information or to enroll, please contact the BASS office at (816) 986-3440 or visit

Dr. Dennis Carpenter participates in regional panel focusing on equity for all students

LS R-7 superintendent discusses ‘A Case for an Equity Focus in High Performing Suburban School Districts’

Dr. Dennis Carpenter, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District superintendent, was among educational leaders from throughout the Midwest recently serving on a regional panel of experts. The Central and South Central Comprehensive Centers convened its annual cross-regional advisory board Aug. 22-23 in Santa Fe, N.M., with educational leaders from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and Missouri participating.

In addition to representing Missouri on the advisory board, Dr. Carpenter participated in a three-person panel focusing on “Equity for All Students in a Changing Educational Landscape.” Topics included the challenges of providing equitable educational opportunities to all students, broadband access for all and promoting student engagement. Dr. Carpenter’s portion of the panel discussion was entitled “A Case for an Equity Focus in High Performing Suburban School Districts.”

“It is always refreshing to engage and share with equity focused leaders,” Dr. Carpenter said. “Ensuring equitable access and opportunities for all students is one of the most pressing educational issues facing public schools. Addressing this key issue offers a challenging, ongoing and rewarding opportunity.”

Overall theme for the regional meeting was “The Changing Landscape of Education,” and the meeting’s goal was to receive recommendations from stakeholders within the seven states. The Central and South Central Comprehensive Centers are designed to provide front line technical assistance to state educational agencies for the U.S. Department of Education. The regional advisory boards include state education commissioners as well as individuals selected by the state commissioner and governor of each state.

The boards include elementary and secondary educators, higher-education representatives, business officials and parents. The regional advisory board includes six members from Missouri with each state’s membership based on the state’s population.

Purposes of the August regional meeting include the following:

  • Build regional stakeholders’ awareness of the changing landscape of state educational support systems and local educational delivery systems
  • Engage regional stakeholders in essential conversations regarding the changing landscape of equity assurance for all students
  • Cultivate a community of regional stakeholders engaged in continued dialogue to explore policies, practices, and actions to support all learners
  • Gather input from RAB members that informs the center’s work to promote progress of today’s learners.


Dr. Dennis Carpenter (left) is pictured with panelists Robyn Miller (center) of the Oklahoma State Department of Education and Latifah Phillips (right) of the New Mexico Public Education Department.

R-7 School District offering free day trip Oct. 5 for senior citizens to tour Missouri Innovation Campus

Deadline to make reservations is Sept. 28

Area senior citizens are invited to participate in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s community-wide Senior Citizens’ School Tour, scheduled from 7:45 to 9:30 a.m. Oct. 5 at the district’s new Missouri Innovation Campus. The tour is free although space is limited and reservations are required. Deadline to sign up is Sept. 28.

The event includes a tour of the one-of-a-kind school as well as breakfast. Those attending are asked to arrive at the school a few minutes before 7:45 a.m. Participants must have the ability to do some walking within the school and are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes. Several rest breaks will be provided.

Traditionally the tours have taken place during midday and have included lunch. To accommodate the Missouri Innovation Campus schedule, which included a morning session and an afternoon session, this tour is being moved to the morning and features breakfast.

The Missouri Innovation Campus has received national attention for reshaping the way students experience education. The new facility is the result of a unique partnership with the University of Central Missouri (UCM) and the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. 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 is the sole owner of the facility which houses Summit Technology Academy and Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) programs as well as UCM programs previously located in the UCM-Lee’s Summit facility. UCM is paying its portion through a lease agreement.

The shared facility reduces operating expenses for the R-7 School District and allowed the district to move both the Summit Technology Academy and MIC programs from leased space into a building owned by the school district. 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.

The Lee’s Summit R-7 Senior Citizens’ School Tour has earned first place in the American School Board Journal’s Magna Awards program.

The tour for senior citizens is part of the R-7 School District’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan and was recommended by a community team. To make a reservation or for more information, please contact the R-7 School District Communications Department at (816) 986-1014 or e-mail by Sept. 28.

Senior citizens at a previous tour at Lee’s Summit High School.

Race for the Future 5K Run/Walk to be Oct. 14 at LSWHS

Popular event raises money for LS Educational Foundation, Carrie Foresee Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation will host its popular Race for the Future 5K Run/Walk, scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Oct. 14 at Lee’s Summit West High School, 2600 S.W. Ward Road. The event is recognized throughout the metro-area as one of the Midwest’s premier run/walk events with more than 1,000 people participating in 2016. The 21st annual Race for the Future is a fund-raiser for the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation Inc. and the Carrie Foresee Memorial Scholarship Fund. Over the last few years, the Foundation has awarded more than $3 million to Lee’s Summit R-7 students and schools via PEAK Grants, classroom technology, school programs, student assistance and scholarships to graduating seniors.

The 5K race includes hundreds of dollars in prizes. Packet pick-up and late registration will be held from noon to 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 13 at the R-7 School District’s Stansberry Leadership Center, 301 NE Tudor Road (on the northeast corner of the Lee’s Summit North High School campus). Free T-shirts will go to the first 850 5K entrants.

The Oct. 14 race morning schedule begins with late registration and packet pick-up from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the Lee’s Summit West High School activity complex concession stand. The 5K begins at 8 a.m. with the Kids Dash immediately following on the track at approximately 8:45 a.m.  

Race fee is $25 for entries postmarked by Sept. 3, $30 by Sept. 18, $35 by Sept. 29, $38 by Oct. 13 and $40 on race day. The Kids Dash is for children up to sixth grade, and the fee is $5. Children will run short distances on the track.

Supporters who cannot attend the Race have the opportunity to become Race for the Future Dream Partners. Dream Partner supporters can receive their own commemorative race t-shirt, but can then “sleep in” on Oct. 14. Dream Partner fee is $25 for entries postmarked by Sept. 3, $30 by Sept. 18, $35 by Sept. 29 and $38 by Oct. 13.

Additional Race for the Future information is available at

Since the event began 20 years ago, Race for the Future has raised more than $422,000 for the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation and the Carrie Foresee Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation is a non-profit, 501c3 organization established in 1993 to raise and manage resources in order to expand and initiate educational opportunities for students at all levels. The Foundation is a way for citizens to invest in today’s youth, tomorrow’s leaders, and the future of Lee’s Summit by making tax-deductible donations.

The Carrie Foresee Scholarship Fund was established in memory of Carrie Foresee, a former Lee’s Summit High School student. Carrie died Sept. 3, 1996, as the result of injuries suffered in a car accident. Funds from Race for the Future help support scholarship opportunities for graduating seniors.

For more information about volunteering, sponsoring, running or walking, call (816) 986-1015.

A story of compassion, love, hope and determination in the third grade

As hard as it is to relive the past five months, we feel it is important to share our story. It is a story of compassion, love, hope and determination. One of the third-grade teachers at Richardson Elementary, Mrs. Cynthia Kaleikau is a true hero to our family–specifically our son, Dominic. This teacher helped our son and family find strength and hope in a time of hardship. Mrs. Kaelikau is a teacher who has gone above and beyond and is the definition of committed to her students.

On Dominic’s birthday (March 17th), what was supposed to be an innocent night at a trampoline park turned into a nightmare. Dominic broke his tibia, both growth plates with his knee muscle completely flipping over. Dominic had three different surgeries (one of which was over 12 plus hours). His knee muscle was flipped back into place, a clamp installed to hold it together and external fixators installed on the side of his leg to stretch his growth plates — with a rod holding it all together. Despite a catheter for pain, Dominic had to stay in the hospital for five days because the pain was so unbearable, also coping with a high fever resulting from all the stress on his body.

Every day was a struggle for this sweet boy as he adjusted to life in a hospital bed in our living room. He was restricted to the bed, no movement. He had to finish third grade in his hospital bed, isolated and confined. Mrs. Kaleikau asked to be Dominic’s homebound teacher, visiting our home everyday after the school. She provided us with the work and lesson plans to keep him caught up with his class. Not only was she doing his schooling, she gave Dominic something to look forward to everyday during this hard time. She came to our home and lifted Dominic’s spirit with her familiar face and caring personality. She was patient yet still pushed Dominic to his full potential. Mrs. Kaleikau had his classmates make cards and notes, showing Dominic that he had peers supporting and caring for him from afar. For a 9-year-old boy, this meant the world. She did not just teach Dominic–she cared and was compassionate to our family. Richardson Elementary staff is phenomenal–from the cafeteria staff sending home cards of encouragement to Principal Lisa Detig ensuring Dominic knew he was cared for at school.

When Dominic was able to be moved to a wheelchair, we visited his class. Mrs. Kaleikau had a large banner with students waiting to welcome Dominic. I will never forget the look on his face when we walked into his classroom. He felt so special, and you could see tears in his eyes. It was so amazing to know my son was with such an amazing teacher. Mrs. Kaleikau is the reason students thrive through adversity. She defines what a teacher should be and how teachers can help drive a student’s confidence. I am forever grateful for the dedication and service of Mrs. Kaleikau to my son and family. She is a true gift to the R-7 School District and my family.

Submitted by: Chris, Cortney, Dominic and Mia Moreno

(Dominic just started in fourth grade and Mia is in second grade)

Jesse Griffin of LSWHS named 2017 National High School Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year

Jesse Griffin of Lee’s Summit West High School was recently named the 2017 National High School Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year by the  U.S. Track Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA).

The Lee’s Summit West girls track and field team made history this past spring by setting the all-class record, scoring 109 points to win a second consecutive state title. The point total record is regardless of gender or classification. The title marks the fourth state championship in school history. The Lady Titans had All-State athletes in 16 out of 19 events for a total of 29 medals — also an all-time state record regardless of gender or class.

Mr. Griffin teaches math at LSWHS and is head girls cross country, track and field coach. He has worked at Lee’s Summit West for 10 years and previously taught and coached at Lee’s Summit North High School, Raytown South High School and at a school in Wichita Falls, Texas. In addition, he served as a graduate assistant track and field/cross country coach at Emporia State University.

The association names a boys and a girls Coach of the Year in all 50 states, and each state winner is eligible for the national honor. The national Coach of the Year is selected by a committee of five judges from throughout the country who thoroughly review information about each state winner including athletic performances.

Mr. Griffin has been invited to attend the 2017  USTFCCCA Convention, scheduled during December in Phoenix. The annual convention is attended by more than 1,700 coaches from throughout the nation.


LS R-7 students benefit from events designed to help them make successful transition to new school year

Activities include Elementary Meet Your Teacher and Transition Days for seventh and ninth grades

Thousands of Lee’s Summit R-7 School District students had the opportunity to participate in special activities designed to help students make a successful transition into the new school year. Students beginning seventh grade and ninth grade participated in Transition Days, held Aug. 14, two days before the first day of school on Aug. 16.

Elementary Meet Your Teacher Night provided all elementary students with the opportunity to visit their schools, and it was also held Aug. 14. Students and their families visit their new classrooms, meet their teachers for 2017-18 and tour the school.

During Transition Days for seventh- and ninth-graders, students ride the bus to school, go through their regular school day, eat lunch in the school cafeteria and participate in special transition activities.

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District has more than 18,000 students this school year in grades kindergarten through high school.

Students participate Transition Day at Pleasant Lea Middle School.







Returning students share information about student clubs and activities during Club Rush at Lee’s Summit High School.






Meet Your Teacher Night at Westview Elementary School.

Lee’s Summit R-7 launches new mobile app to better connect with families and community

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District families and community members have an additional way to connect with the district through a new mobile app, launched during August. By downloading the app, individuals can stay better informed about their schools and district news. To download the mobile app to your smartphone, search for “LSR7” or “Lee’s Summit R-7 School District” in the App Store for your Apple device or in Googleplay for your Android device. The Lee’s Summit R-7 app includes a school directory, the school calendar, district news, Nutrition Services and Transportation information, PowerSchool, Board of Education, Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation and much more.

Within the next few months, plans call for an alert feature to be added to the school district’s mobile app. This will allow individuals to customize alerts so that they can receive notifications regarding school closings or other news.

The app was developed by Rusty Richards, Lee’s Summit R-7 web developer, with the assistance of student MIC interns Drake Eckles and Zach Burton.

The launching of a mobile app was included among goals within the district’s Destination 2021 five-year strategic plan. The new app is an addition to the variety of methods available to stay informed about the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Lee’s Summit R-7 is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and has a YouTube channel. Interested individuals may subscribe to the district’s weekly e-newsletter by selecting this link, and the district’s Our Schools community newspaper is bulk mailed to all R-7 residents five times each year. For more information about the district, you may also visit its webpage at


Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education reviews Destination 2021 strategic plan

Five-year Comprehensive School Improvement Plan developed by staff and community team

The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education approved the district’s five-year strategic plan, called Destination 2021, at the Board’s July 20  meeting. This Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, which covers 2016 through 2021, was developed by a team of approximately 55 staff and community members who worked together throughout the 2016 spring semester.

The district also included approximately 70 participants in focus groups that provided input toward the development of the plan. District administration provides an annual update to the Board of Education after review of progress in the defined focus areas. Annually, the Board reviews and approves any recommended amendments to the original plan.  

To ensure accountability, the plan’s components are placed on a timeline and reviewed annually by the community and staff team, the Superintendent’s Leadership Team and the Board of Education. The plan, which is considered a living document, can be updated to reflect changes in areas such as educational technology through the input of these teams.

The plan focuses on five areas – governance; student performance; highly qualified staff; facilities, support and instructional resources; and parent and community involvement. Destination 21’s major emphasis continues to be on instruction, learning and student success. The complete plan is posted at under “R-7 School District 5-year plan.”

“The R-7 strategic plan centers on improving the student experience and overall student achievement.  Each focus area is designed with those goals in mind.  We continue to be grateful to those members of our community who have chosen to participate in the CSIP review process.  ” said Dr. Katie Collier, associate superintendent of instruction and leadership.

Following approval at the July  Board of Education meeting, Lee’s Summit R-7 district and school leaders will continue to work towards realization of the goals and action steps articulated in the plan. Information about the plan is being shared with a variety of district stakeholders, including staff, parents, community members and students.

Lee’s Summit R-7 has a tradition of long-range, comprehensive planning, and the current R-7 document is actually the R-7 School District’s sixth five-year strategic plan. Previous strategic plans were also developed by community and staff members in 1990, 1995, 2001, 2006 and 2011.

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