Lori Danella of LS R-7 named Fuel Up to Play 60 Champion

Lori Danella, assistant director for nutrition services for the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, was named a Fuel Up to Play 60 Champion through the program. Fuel Up to Play 60 is sponsored by the National Football League and the National Dairy Council in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Mrs. Danella was recognized at an Oct. 3 ceremony held at Arrowhead Stadium. The event included more than 50 educators from Missouri and Kansas participating in a Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor Training Camp.

During the past five years, Mrs. Danella has helped 16 schools secure more than $135,000 in funding to implement the program in Lee’s Summit R-7 schools.

“Lori’s passion for healthy students and school meals inspires others to take action,” said Robyn Stuewe, Midwest Dairy Council program manager. “Honoring her as a Fuel Up to Play 60 Champion was an easy decision.”

Mrs. Danella has been with the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District for 10 years and has worked in health and nutrition for 19 years. She serves as Fuel Up to Play 60 advisor for all Lee’s Summit R-7 elementary and middle schools. In addition, she is active in the School Nutrition Association and has served on the organization’s executive board.

“I am very passionate about healthy eating, nutrition education and increasing physical activity,” Mrs. Danella said.

Through Fuel Up to Play 60 last year, more than 13 million students from across the country ate more nutritious foods while increasing their physical activity.

Lori Danella (right) receives the award from Robyn Stuewe of Midwest Dairy Council.

Race for the Future raises over $54,000 for LS Educational Foundation, Carrie Foresee Memorial Scholarship Fund

Race for the Future, a 5K run/walk held Oct. 14, raised over $54,000 to benefit the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation and the Carrie Foresee Memorial Scholarship Fund. A total of 966 runners and walkers registered for the 5K event. Another 74 registered as Dream Partners, and an additional 70 participated in the Kid’s Dash.

Total proceeds over the race’s 21-year history are nearly $475,000. The popular metro-area event is held at Lee’s Summit West High School. A photo gallery and race results are available at www.lsedfoundation.com.

A competition for student/staff participation (including 5K runners, walkers and Dream Partners) was also held on race day among Lee’s Summit R-7 schools. Westview Elementary School won first place honors with 93 of their staff and students participating in the 5K or Dream Partner categories.  Second place honors went to Woodland Elementary School, third place went to Hazel Grove Elementary and fourth place was awarded to Pleasant Lea Elementary School. The first and second place schools receive traveling trophies. In addition, the first place school receives a $1,000 grant, the second place school receives a $500 grant and the third and fourth place schools each receive a $250 grant from the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation.

The event involves more than 80 volunteers and approximately 50 Friends of the Foundation sponsors.  In-kind gifts and concessions for the Race for the Future were provided by Freestyle Graphics, Panera, Hy-Vee, LaMar’s Donuts, Farmer Brothers Coffee and Rockhill Orthopaedics.

The Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation is a non-profit, 501c3 organization established in 1993 to raise and manage resources in order to expand educational opportunities. 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 which are utilized for non-recurring expenses. Donations help provide educational experiences above and beyond the core curricula and help initiate programs that challenge and encourage students at all levels. Over the last five years, the Foundation has awarded more than $3,068,000 to Lee’s Summit R-7 students and schools via PEAK Grants, classroom technology, school programs, student assistance and scholarships to graduating seniors.  

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 support scholarship opportunities for graduating seniors as well as classroom grants and technology.

For more information about Race for the Future or student scholarships, call Sheryl Franke, Foundation director, (816) 986-1015 or e-mail sheryl.franke@lsr7.net.


Summit Lakes Middle School collects clothing for students in need

The Summit Lakes Middle School PTA collected 1,478 pounds of new and gently used clothing to help students in need. The clothing, which was collected during October parent-teacher conferences, went to Just One, an organization designed to support the needs of Lee’s Summit R-7 students.

Families were asked to donate fall and winter clothing with an emphasis on items that would fit a middle-school age child. Other clothing items were also accepted.

SLMS grade-level teams competed during the clothing drive with the winning team from each grade level earning an ice cream celebration. Winning teams were the 7 Falcon and 8 Blue.

“I think the clothing drive was amazing,” said Nick Harris. “We had so many more clothes than expected — it wouldn’t even all fit into one car.  And the best part was my team won.”

Nick Harris helps collect clothing during the drive.









Sarah Alton and Jordan Crawford help collect clothing.

Students kick off Red Ribbon Week Oct. 23 at Trailridge Elementary

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District hosted a community kick-off for Red Ribbon Week Oct. 23 at Trailridge Elementary School. Red Ribbon Week is a national recognition to promote healthy lifestyles, including avoiding illegal use of alcohol and drugs.

At the event, Lee’s Summit Police Officer Chris Colon presented information on the history of Red Ribbon Week, and Trailridge Student Council members led the Drug Free Pledge. The Lee’s Summit West High School Drumline provided pre-program entertainment, and the LSWHS Junior Air Force ROTC Unit presented the colors.

Dr. Dennis L. Carpenter, R-7 superintendent, welcomed the group and closed the kick-off. Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads presented a city proclamation. A number of community leaders and school district officials also attended the event.

Keynote presentation was “I Am Noticed” by Amy Johnson and Jaime Lyon of the Noticed Network.

The annual event is sponsored locally by the R-7 School District and Lee’s Summit CARES. Throughout Red Ribbon Week, all schools participate in activities designed to emphasize drug-free and alcohol-free lifestyles.

Red Ribbon Week began following the 1985 murder of Kiki Camarena, a law-enforcement officer killed by drug dealers in Mexico. Red Ribbon Week was established in Officer Camarena’s memory after his friends began wearing red ribbons to show support for the fight against drugs.

Dr. Dennis L. Carpenter talks to Trailridge Elementary students and staff as well as special guests.







The Trailridge Elementary Student Council leads the Drug Free Pledge.






Trailridge Elementary students at the Red Ribbon Week kick-off.

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District launches ‘Equity Minute’ video series

Videos highlight staff members for outstanding work in area of equity

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District recently launched a new video series known as “Equity Minute.” The 60-second videos are available on the district’s YouTube channel.   

The videos highlight Lee’s Summit R-7 staff members for outstanding work in the area of equity and ensuring that every student is successful.

Duane Fleck, a social studies teacher at Lee’s Summit High School, appears in the first “Equity Minute.”

Dr. Jeff Miller of Lee’s Summit R-7 announces retirement

Dr. Jeff Miller, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District associate superintendent of human resources, announced his retirement from the school district, effective June 30, 2018. His request for retirement was approved at the Oct. 19 Board of Education meeting.

“My heart and soul have been and will continue to be with the Lee’s Summit schools and Lee’s Summit community,” Dr. Miller said.

A Lee’s Summit R-7 employee since 2000, Dr. Miller was initially hired as principal of Pleasant Lea Middle School. He was named director of student services in 2004 and moved to his current role in the Human Resources Department in 2011. He has been an educator for 28 years.

“Dr. Miller is a key leader in our school district,” said Dr. Dennis L. Carpenter, superintendent. “He brings invaluable historical perspective and leadership acumen to the Superintendent’s Leadership Team. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition in our Human Resources Department. It is great to see someone so deserving reach the point of retirement.”

Lee’s Summit High School students learn life lessons, help community during Day of Service

Hundreds of Lee’s Summit High School seniors learned valuable lessons about helping others during the school’s annual Day of Service, held Oct. 4. Students volunteered for charitable organizations as well as within Lee’s Summit R-7 elementary and middle school classrooms.

On this day, which is a practice test day for freshmen, sophomores and juniors, the seniors have the opportunity to participate in other activities related to volunteerism as well as college preparation. Close to 140 seniors chose to volunteer at charitable organizations such as Hillcrest Thrift Store, Coldwater, Lee’s Summit Social Services and Rotary Youth Camp or at a Lee’s Summit elementary or middle school. Students volunteering at a school were encouraged to contact a favorite teacher from their younger days and ask if the teacher would like them to volunteer for a day.

Olivia Rodriguez spent her volunteer time in an elementary school. “I want to become a teacher, and it showed me everything teachers have to do and how to handle different situations in the classroom,” she said. “I would recommend the Day of Service to other students because you get to give back to your community and school district for all the things they do for us.”

Ashlyn Cook, also volunteered in an elementary school, and said she would like to become a speech pathologist. “It really confirmed that working with kids is what I want to do,” she said.

Ashlyn also recommends the Day of Service to future seniors. “If another high schooler could be able to experience a day with someone who works at the job they want to work in, I think it would be a great deciding factor in considering their major.”

In addition to these volunteers, students in the school’s International Baccalaureate program held a work day with more than 100 students working on large-scale projects.

All of the student volunteers had the opportunity to earn five hours of community service credit to help them meet a graduation requirement. If the elementary and middle-school volunteers spent time tutoring students, this time would also count toward their A+ mentoring hours.

Lee’s Summit High School’s Day of Service has become an annual opportunity for our seniors to show their hearts,” said Dr. John Faulkenberry, LSHS principal. “One of my favorite stories this year came from Hillcrest Thrift Store. The night before, somebody had dumped a massive load of trash on the store’s receiving dock. No business could occur in this area until the load was removed. The store called upon a small group of LSHS seniors who willingly jumped in and completed the task.”

Other options for seniors on the Day of Service were designed to help them prepare for high-school graduation and college. A number of students completed their U.S. Constitution testing, also a graduation requirement, while other students worked with guidance counselors to fill out FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) forms and to apply for college admission.

Students are pictured at Avila, Hillcrest Thrift Store and Coldwater.

LS R-7 Nutrition Council elects officers

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s Elementary Nutrition Council elected officers on Oct. 17. They are (pictured from left) Henry Lee, sixth grade at Hawthorn Hill Elementary, president; Kristen Johnson, fourth grade at Pleasant Lea Elementary, vice president; and Peyton Medina, fifth grade from Meadow Lane Elementary, secretary/treasurer.

Council members also voted on the menu for December and chose two community service projects for the year.  They will participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring in January and conduct a Pet Drive for pet rescues in our area in the early spring.

LS R-7 Before- and After-School Services curriculum and training meets Bi-State Core Competencies

The Lee’s Summit R-7 Before- and After-School Services is one of a select number of programs meeting the Core Competencies for Early Childhood and Youth Development Professionals. This framework includes eight content areas which include children with various ethnic, linguistic and socioeconomic backgrounds as well as diverse needs and abilities.

The content areas are child and youth growth and development, learning and environment and curriculum, observation and assessment, families and communities, health and safety, interactions with children and youth, program planning and development, and professional development and leadership.

The mission for BASS “is to provide support to families by caring for their children during out of school time in a safe, nurturing, fun and educational environment.”  The program focuses on safety, interactions, guidance and positive relationships with children, age appropriate engaging activities and curriculum as well as continued professional development and leadership of staff.  

Professional development for the BASS employees  includes Safe Schools; CypherWorx: School-age Certificate Series training modules, endorsed by the National Afterschool Association; and additional training in the basics of behavior support and interventions by R-7 autism and behavior specialists, leadership, CPR and First Aid, Conscious Discipline (pre-kindergarten) and Behavior Intervention Support Team.

Activities and lesson plans in BASS focus on a variety of age-appropriate interest areas, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), health and safety, community service, creative arts and physical activity.  For more information or to enroll in the program, please contact the BASS office at 816-986-3440 or visit the website at bass.lsr7.org.

Meadow Lane Elementary BASS students with their homemade bubble wands.

Hazel Grove Elementary hosts Kindergarten Literacy Night

Around 80 kindergarten students and family members participated in Kindergarten Literacy Night, held Sept. 28 at Hazel Grove Elementary School. The event was hosted by the school’s reading specialists and kindergarten teachers.

With funds awarded through a Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation PEAK Grant, the school purchased books for kindergarteners to take home and read with their parents each night.

During Kindergarten Literacy Night, students visited their classrooms and participated in a reading activity with their teachers. Parents attended a presentation from the school’s reading teachers about selecting books for their children, resources for free books, strategies for reading with their children and learned how to assist children in learning comprehension.

After the sessions, students and their families reunited in the classroom to practice what they learned that evening.  

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