Greenwood Elementary recognized as Alex’s Lemonade Stand Top Fundraiser

Students and staff host 13 lemonade stands over five-day period in 2017 to fight childhood cancer

Greenwood Elementary School was recently honored by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) as a Top Fundraiser for 2017. More than 12,000 ALSF fundraisers were held during 2017 with all proceeds going to the fight against childhood cancer.

During April 2017, students and staff members from Greenwood Elementary raised more than $10,200 by hosting 13 lemonade stands.

Students kicked off the 2017 charitable drive at an assembly. Fundraisers included lemonade stands at community locations as well as a competition between classrooms.

Funds raised through ALSF pay for medical research to find cures for childhood cancer. Through donations to the Foundation, $50 will pay for one hour of research, $400 pays for one day, $2,000 pays for one week and $8,000 pays for one month.

Lee’s Summit R-7 students qualify for National FBLA Contest

Students from all three Lee’s Summit R-7 high schools recently captured awards at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference with eight students qualifying for the FBLA national competition. The state conference was held in early April in Springfield and included workshops, keynotes and professional networking with Fortune 500 companies as well as the competitive events.

Students qualified for the national contest by placing first, second, third or fourth in their state events. They include Keaton DeGraeve, Mary Angotti and Hannah Keel, Lee’s Summit West High School, first place in website design; Tucker Knipp, LSWHS, first place in introduction to business management; Jacob Harris, Lee’s Summit High School, second place in insurance and risk management; Sara Alley and Jacob Harris, LSHS, second place in marketing; and Spencer Black and Drew Houk, Lee’s Summit North High School, third place hospitality management.

Other students from Lee’s Summit R-7 winning awards at state were Bryan Carter, Anthony Jaramillo and Jackson Phillips, LSNHS, fifth place in e-business; Andrew Balsman, LSWHS, sixth place in sales presentation; Kristen Scott, LSWHS, sixth place in introduction to public speaking; Jenni Plaskett, Lina Elkishawi and Ryann Elliff, LSWHS, seventh place in community service project; and Lailah Weatherspoon, LSHS, seventh place in mobile application development.

More than 5,000 students and advisers came together for the event, with over 150 business education related contests running during the event; contest topics range from accounting to website design, marketing to mobile application development. The FBLA National Leadership Conference will be held during June in Baltimore.

Missouri FBLA-PBL, a chartered member of National FBLA-PBL, is a registered 501(c)3.  Their mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. Missouri FBLA-PBL membership exceeds 15,500, making it the second largest state chapter of the organization in the nation and the second largest CTSO in Missouri.

National qualifiers from Lee’s Summit High School.









National qualifiers from Lee’s Summit West High School.







National qualifiers from Lee’s Summit North High School.


LSNHS and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to co-host Out of the Darkness Campus Walk

Lee’s Summit North High School is partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to host the Out of the Darkness Campus Walk on April 28 at the school, 901 NE Douglas St.  

For online registration and additional information, please visit this website. Although donations are accepted, the walk is free. On-site registration will begin at 9 a.m., and the walk will be from 10 a.m. to noon. Multiple vendors will have tables at the Campus Walk, including Lee’s Summit CARES and Cosplay for Hope.

The walk is designed to increase awareness for suicide prevention and mental health concerns. LSNHS officials added that the school plans to make the Campus Walk an annual event.

Community garden takes shape at Miller Park Center thanks to LSHS graduate’s innovative idea

Paige Shoemaker uses her grant from William Jewell College to create school garden

Thanks to a Lee’s Summit R-7 graduate, a grant from her college and an innovative idea, Miller Park Center has its own community garden featuring vegetables, fruit and flowers. Paige Shoemaker, a 2014 Lee’s Summit High School graduate, was recently recognized by William Jewell College for the unique way she used a grant from the college to create the local garden.

Miss Shoemaker’s goal was to use the Journey Grant to develop a community garden designed to help students understand where food comes from and what is involved in gardening. Her plans took shape on the Miller Park Campus, behind the G.R.E.A.T. (Gaining Real-life Experience and Training) program mobile units.  

During 2017, she created five 4-foot-by-12-foot raised garden beds for vegetables, strawberries and flowers with the help of many volunteers. The project, known as the Wait and Seed School and Community Garden, also includes two peach trees.

In her proposal for the grant, Miss Shoemaker shared that she would dedicate two years to establishing the garden; after that the garden would be passed on to other caretakers. The garden has already yielded several crops, including carrots, okra, onions, pumpkins, basil, chives, tomatoes, strawberries and peppers.   

The G.R.E.A.T. students will harvest food from the garden for the daily lunches they prepare and also sell the flowers at the Lee’s Summit Farmer’s Market. The Miller Park Center students will have the opportunity to use the garden as an alternative place to go to relax, and it will serve as an incentive.

Miss Shoemaker will be graduating from college in May with degrees in nonprofit leadership, business administration and applied critical thought and inquiry. She plans to purse a career with nonprofits involved with urban agriculture.

Miller Park Center is a special-education, day-treatment facility operated by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.

Paige Shoemaker in the Miller Park Center garden.







Paige Shoemaker and students from the G.R.E.A.T. program harvest potatoes from the garden.






Paige Shoemaker by the Wait and Seed School and Community Garden sign.

Five inducted into LSHS Hall of Fame

Five distinguished Lee’s Summit High School Hall of Fame member were inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame at an April 14 ceremony. They are (from left) J.R. Hobbs, Class of 1974; Jori Jones-Robinson, Class of 1995; Terry Sappenfield, Class of 1963; Jennifer Elliott, Class of 1990; and Duane Muckey, Class of 1980.

Lee’s Summit High School has inducted distinguished graduates into the school’s Hall of Fame for more than 22 years. Approximately five alumni are inducted each year during a dinner ceremony. Plaques featuring the honorees are also displayed on the wall of fame at Lee’s Summit High School, which is located just outside of the James T. Brockman Lecture Hall.

The LSHS Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee of graduates and staff. Alumni are eligible for this honor 10 years after graduation. Nomination forms for the 2018-19 school year are available by calling Lee’s Summit High School, (816) 986-2000. They should be returned to the high school at 400 SE Blue Parkway, Lee’s Summit, Mo., 64063.

To read more about each 2018 inductee, visit our webpage.

Area high-school students participate in voter registration through high schools

Retired Lee’s Summit R-7 teachers Tom Merrell and Debbie Fuchs recently volunteered to conduct voter registration drives at Lee’s Summit High School and Lee’s Summit West High School. They registered more than 100 students during lunch periods over three days.

Mr. Merrell and Mrs. Fuchs both taught social studies at Pleasant Lea Middle School. “We miss working with students but also have a passion about getting our young people registered to vote,” Mrs. Fuchs added.

Lee’s Summit North High School conducts a school voter registration, organized by social studies teacher Tavish Whiting. Mr. Whiting contacts seniors who are eligible to vote via email and has voter registration cards and instructions available in his classroom. He said around 50 seniors requested the information this spring. He also worked with seniors on voter registration last fall.

Board of Education names new administrators for 2018-19 at April 12 meeting

The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education approved the employment of several new administrators for the 2018-19 school year. The staff members will begin their new jobs on July 1.

They include Dr. Deborah Delsemme, assistant superintendent of human resources; Dawn Smith, assistant superintendent of equity and student services; Wesley Metz, chief financial officer; Dr. Jerrod Fellhauer, Underwood Elementary principal; and Jennifer Kevern, Trailridge Elementary principal.

Dr. Delsemme is the executive director of human resources for the North Kansas City School District. She is replacing Dr. Jeff Miller, associate superintendent for human resources, who is retiring this summer. Dr. Delsemme has served as North Kansas City’s executive director of human resources since 2015 and previously worked as the NKC director of human resources, as a high-school assistant principal, library media specialist and International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge instructor. In addition to her experience in North Kansas City, she has served as a library media specialist at Liberty High School, as an instructor at the University of Missouri-Columbia and as a Liberty School District fourth-grade teacher. Dr. Delsemme earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, her master’s degree in library science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Louis University.

Ms. Smith currently serves as associate superintendent of student services for the Hickman Mills School District. She will be serving in a new position within the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. She previously served as Ruskin High School principal; Hickman Mills Freshman Center principal; school improvement specialist for the Metropolitan Regional Educational Service Agency in Georgia; and as a middle-school assistant principal, an instructional coach and elementary teacher, all in Dekalb County School District in Georgia. Ms. Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Savannah State University in Georgia, her master’s in educational leadership from Clark University in Georgia and her education specialist degree in administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee.

Mr. Metz is currently serving as the director of finance and Board of Education treasurer for the St. Joseph School District. He is replacing Kendra Hutsell, R-7 director of accounting who is retiring this summer. He previously worked as director of finance and Board of Education treasurer for the Schuyler School District in Queen City, Mo.; an accounting manager for Keokuk Steel Castings in Iowa; and accountant for U.S. Cable in O’Fallon, Mo. Mr. Metz earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Northwest Missouri State University and his master’s in business administration from William Woods University.

Mrs. Kevern has served as assistant principal at Trailridge Elementary since 2015. She worked as a Lee’s Summit R-7 teacher from 1997-2015. Mrs. Kevern is replacing Jeff Scalfaro, who was recently named principal of Bernard Campbell Middle School. Within the R-7 School District, she served on the Destination 2021 strategic planning team and the Emergency Operations Team and participated in the district’s Leadership Academy. Mrs. Kevern earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Avila University and her master’s degree in school leadership from Baker University. She will earn her education specialist degree from the University of Central Missouri this summer.

Dr. Fellhauer has served as principal at Creekmoor Elementary School in the Raymore-Peculiar School District for seven years. He is replacing Dr. Anna McGraw, who has resigned the position. Dr. Fellhauer previously worked as an elementary principal and assistant principal in the Warrensburg School District and serves as an adjunct professor at William Woods University. He has earned a master’s degree in K-8 education administration, a specialist degree in superintendency and a doctorate of education, all from William Woods University.

Anne Braun named R-7 Teacher of the Year

Excellence In Teaching winners honored at April 11 event

Anne Braun, a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at Woodland Elementary, was named Lee’s Summit R-7 School District 2018 Teacher of the Year during a surprise announcement at an April 11 community reception. The reception also recognized 12 R-7 teachers who had been named Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Teaching Award winners earlier this spring.

Excellence In Teaching winners include Matt Buxton, Lee’s Summit High School; Kelly Bailey Eames, Lee’s Summit Elementary School; Nicole Gilbert, Highland Park Elementary School; Jamie Harrel, Hawthorn Hill Elementary School; Shawn Harrel, Summit Technology Academy; Lauren Hollingsworth, Lee’s Summit North High School; Dr. Kevin McCormick, Summit Technology Academy; Sherri Norton, Lee’s Summit North High School; Janelle Pugh, Highland Park Elementary School;  Kristen Shackelford, Sunset Valley Elementary School; Clif Thurmond, Lee’s Summit West High School and Woodland Elementary School; and Kelli Wilson, Lee’s Summit High School.

In addition to the Excellence In Teaching winners, other finalists for Teacher of the Year included former Excellence In Teaching winners who were nominated for the award again this year and selected as Teachers of Distinction. These former winners had the opportunity to interview along with this year’s award recipients for Teacher of the Year and were also recognized April 12. They are Anne Braun, Woodland Elementary School; Christie Brown, Summit Lakes Middle School; and Tammi Krones, Lee’s Summit High School.   

All Excellence In Teaching and Teacher of Distinction recipients are also honored with the Hertzog Leadership Award, funded by Jon and Juli Ellis, to honor Dr. Robert (Bud) Hertzog, local businessman and community leader. In addition, the Teacher of the Year receives a $100 Cathy Paulson Heart to Heart Award. This award is funded by the Loren Paulson family in honor of Cathy Paulson, who passed away in 2010.

The Excellence In Teaching program and reception are sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the R-7 School District. All students, parents, R-7 employees and community members are invited to nominate outstanding teachers. The recognized teachers were selected by a committee composed of R-7 staff and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the community.

As Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Braun will go on to participate in the Missouri Teacher of the Year program. A Teacher of Distinction this year, she received the Excellence In Teaching Award in 2017 and has received several PEAK Grants from the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation. Mrs. Braun has taught in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District for 19 of her 23 years in education. At Woodland Elementary, she has shared information related to math and instructional technology strategies with staff and parents. Within the school district, she serves on the Assessment and Data Team.

“My commitment to my students as their teacher is this,” she said. “I promise to always be in one of three places – in front of you to cheer you on, behind you to have your back or beside you so you aren’t walking alone. Students come to school with various circumstances and difficulties, so my goal is to offer them a stable, loving and supportive environment.”

One of her students said, “Every time I see her, I feel safe and happy to be at school. She is kind. She helps a lot of students that are struggling, and she tries to find a way for everybody to learn. She also tells stories that are funny or that help us learn better.”

Mrs. Braun earned her bachelor’s degree in education with an emphasis in reading from the University of Kansas and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from William Woods University.

Excellence In Teaching Award winners and Teachers of Distinction are (front row, from left) Clif Thurmond, Matt Buxton, Dr. Kevin McCormick and Shawn Harrel, (second row, from left) Janelle Pugh, Nicole Gilbert, Lauren Hollingsworth, Anne Braun, Kelly Bailey Eames, Kelli Wilson, Christie Brown, Sherri Norton,




Anne Braun is pictured at the reception.









Dr. Dennis L. Carpenter, R-7 superintendent, and Jodi Briggs of the Chamber Education Committee unfurl the banner announcing the Teacher of the Year.





Anne Braun shares a few thoughts after the surprise announcement.







Anne Braun reacts as she is named Teacher of the Year.

Marcy Hess receives LS R-7 Learning for Life Award for April

Marcy Hess was named the Lee’s Summit R-7 Learning for Life Award winner for April. She is a language and cultures/Spanish teacher at Pleasant Lea Middle School.

The award is presented to one employee each month who is nominated by co-workers and selected by a staff committee.

“Marcy sees the good in everyone and treats every student with respect and kindness,” said a colleague. “She is passionate about education and kids.”  

LSHS students capture awards at the KC Manufacturing and Design Expo

Several students from Lee’s Summit High School captured awards in the KC MADE (Manufacturing and Design Expo). The students’ projects, including woodworking and mixed wood/metalwork, were displayed during the Greater Kansas City Home Show, held March 23-25.

Schools from throughout Missouri and Kansas competed in the contest, submitting projects from their industrial technology classes. Four students from Tony Mixon’s class at LSHS competed, and all four walked away with awards. Anthony Mixon won Best of Show, People’s Choice Award, first in wood division and first in furniture division with prizes including a $1,000 award and power tools. Other LSHS winners were AJ Schur, Sportsmanship Award for an adirondack chair; Kaylee Smith, first place in home accessories for a harp; and Michael Gannon, second place in metals for a welding table.

Anthony Mixon won top honors with his Hawaiian Koa desk with the assistance of retired Lee’s Summit R-7 teacher and administrator Jay Helland. Anthony is pictured with Mr. Helland left) and Mr. Mixon.








AJ Schur won the Sportsmanship Award for this adirondack chair. Also pictured is KC MADE Chair Drake Vidrine.









Kaylee Smith won first place in home accessories for this harp. Also pictured is KC MADE Chair Drake Vidrine.









Michael Gannon won second place in metals for a welding table.

Get Social









District Newsletter Signup


Other News Publications