PLMS selects March High 5 Award winners

The Physical Education Department at Pleasant Lea Middle School selected the High 5 winners for March. Winners are (from left) Joseph Bachman, Most Improved Eighth-grader; Grace Distefano, Outstanding Eighth-grader; Ava Roca, Most Improved Seventh-grader (not pictured); and Jackson Goold, Outstanding Seventh-grader. Dr. Janette Miller (center), PLMS principal, presented the students with their awards.

The school’s Partners in Education, Lee’s Summit Medical Center and Mazuma Credit Union, sponsor the award. The High 5 Award was designed to promote academic excellence among students of PLMS. Mazuma Credit Union presents the students with a gift card for Chipotle, and Lee’s Summit Medical Center provides an Andy’s Custard gift card.

Trailridge Elementary receives flag flown in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan

Major Scott Siems, who was recently deployed in Afghanistan with the U.S. Air Force, donated a flag flown in his airplane during several missions to Trailridge Elementary School.

Major Siems’ son is Gavin, a student in Shauna Shipman’s first-grade class. During his visit to Trailridge, the major shared information with the first-graders about his plane, an A-10 Warthog fighter plane.

During Major Siems’ deployment, Mrs. Shipman’s class made him cards and sent them to Afghanistan. The donated flag was flown in his airplane.

Board of Education names new principals for Hawthorn Hill Elementary and Summit Technology Academy

The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education approved the employment of two new principals at the organization’s March 15 meeting.

Dr. Troy Hogg, currently principal at an elementary school in Kirkwood, will serve as principal at Hawthorn Hill Elementary for 2018-19. He is replacing Carol Germano who is retiring in summer 2018. Dr. Jeremy Bonnesen, currently assistant principal of Summit Technology Academy, will serve as principal of the Academy next year. He is replacing Elaine Metcalf, who is also retiring in summer 2018.

Dr. Hogg has worked for W. W. Keysor Elementary in Kirkwood since 2015 and previously worked as a principal, assistant principal and teacher in the Columbia, Sedalia, Osage and Jefferson City school districts. In addition, he served as an exchange teacher in Japan from 2000-2003. He was named a Missouri STARR Teacher by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1997-98 and was selected as the Osage R-III School District Teacher of the Year for 1995-96. Dr. Hogg earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Lincoln University, his master’s degree in elementary administration from William Woods University, his educational specialist degree from the University of Missouri and his doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from MU.

Dr. Bonnesen has served as the assistant principal at Summit Technology Academy for the past four years. He previously served as the Lee’s Summit R-7 lead middle school lead counselor, as lead counselor at Pleasant Lea Middle School and as an English and Spanish teacher at Pleasant Lea Middle School. Before coming to Lee’s Summit, he worked as an English and Spanish teacher at Oak Grove High School. Dr. Bonnesen earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary English from the University of Central Missouri, his master’s degree in school counseling from the University of Central Missouri, his education specialist degree in educational leadership from Saint Louis University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Louis University.

LSWHS Science Knowledge Bowl captures third place at state competition

For the second year in a row the Lee’s Summit West High school Science Knowledge Bowl team took third place in the Missouri state competition.

Coached by John Gray, the team includes Joshua Foster, Tim Nguyen, Molly Wooster, Micky O’Dell and Kimlan Phan. They had a record of four wins and one loss coming out the preliminary rounds and won the tie-breaker to face the eventual state champion to whom they lost in the semifinals.

Team 2 coached by Joe Milliano and consisting of Stephanie Richardson, Erin Waltz, Maryam Khalil, Lauren Smith and Seth Keep faced a tough pool and finished with a record of four losses.

The third-place state team including (from left) Molly Wooster, Tim Nguyen, Joshua Foster, Micky O’Dell and Kimlan Phan is pictured with John Gray, coach.




LSWHS Team 2 is pictured with Joe Milliano, coach. Students are (from left) Seth Keep , Maryann Khalil, Erin Waltz and Lauren Smith. Stephanie Richardson is not pictured.

Senior citizens tour Longview Farm Elementary as part of R-7 community program

Area senior citizens returned to school March 12 as part of a special program hosted by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Through the district’s Senior Citizens’ School Tour program, the local residents visited Longview Farm Elementary.

The event included a tour of the historic school, a student performance, lunch with student members of the school’s Stallion Ambassadors and a tour of Longview Farm Elementary. Close to 40 senior citizens attended the spring event.

Since the district’s Senior Citizens’ School Tours began in 2007, more than 500 local seniors have participated in the program. The opportunities are provided to seniors two times each school year and are free to participants.

The tours for senior citizens are part of the R-7 School District’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan and were recommended by a community team. Plans call for a fall 2018 tour.

The Longview Farm Elementary choir performs for the senior guests.







Senior citizens eat lunch with the school’s Stallion Ambassadors.








Senior guests hear about the school’s history in the gymnasium.

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

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District middle schools recently recognized their January 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 Lena Baker and Logan Neal. At BCMS, Lena is involved in student council, spelling bee, cross country, Mustang Smart and track. Away from school, Lena enjoys playing on two soccer teams and spending time with family and friends. At BCMS, Logan earned the Character Trait Award for Courage. Away from school, Logan enjoys his swim team and the Civil Air Patrol.             

Students of the Month from Pleasant Lea Middle School are Laura Holdmeyer and Caden McGuire. At PLMS, Laura is involved in Black and Gold Choir, Tiger Travelers, orchestra, musical and talent show. Away from school, Laura enjoys competitive dance. At PLMS, Caden is involved in cross country, basketball and track. Away from school, Caden enjoys basketball.   

Students of the Month from Summit Lakes Middle School are Kora Lyon and Brackston Young. At SLMS, Kora is involved in the musical, awards show, talent show, Summit Lakes Singers and was a Be the Change Award winner. Away from school, Kora enjoys her volleyball team, was a peer model for Camp Encourage for autistic children, and is a student leader in her church youth group. At SLMS, Brackston is involved in choir and received the Character Trait Award for Respect. Away from school, Brackston enjoys his soccer team, basketball, piano and church activities.    

Lee’s Summit West High School National Honor Society volunteers with Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity

Throughout the school year, Lee’s Summit West High School National Honor Society members have been helping Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity. On March 10, the students conducted a donation drive at the school to collect used furniture and building supplies to be sold in the Blue Springs and Independence ReStore to fund Habitat’s mission of building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.

Fourteen students braved the wind on a Saturday to volunteer helping load items into the ReStore truck. They also developed marketing materials and promoted the drive.

This is the first donation drive of this type for both the school and for the nonprofit, and it was an outstanding success securing a truck and a half worth of quality material donations and some cash donations. The drive also raised awareness in the community about how to recycle gently used furniture and building materials to help families. For those interested, Habitat will also pick up bulky items (call 816-886-7374).

Over 60 LSWHS National Honor Society students took a field trip earlier in the year to tour a Habitat construction site, the Independence ReStore, the Hiram Young School (future home of the Homeowner Education Center), and went door-to-door raising awareness about donating to the ReStore. This is the start of an exciting partnership. The organizations hope to build a legacy based on their efforts where future LSW students will continue to partner with Truman Habitat with other National Honor Society chapters and groups holding their own drives.  

To learn more about getting involved with Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity contact Lindsay Browne, Community Engagement Manager at 816-461-6551 or,

Elementary Summer Learning Institute enrollment opens April 5

Enrichment courses available at six sites June 4-28 for four days each week

Lee’s Summit R-7 elementary students will have the opportunity to participate in the Elementary Summer Learning Institute offered Mondays through Thursdays June 4 through 28 at six elementary schools. Classes will be from either 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or from 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., depending on the school site.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in the Elementary Summer Learning Institute, please mark your calendar for April 5 when online enrollment will open. Additional information about the summer sessions will also be available on this date. Enrollment closes on April 23.

Students and their families may choose from a variety of enrichment selections at the six elementary sites. Programs for students with special needs will be offered at two schools. Students from any of the 18 Lee’s Summit R-7 elementary schools may enroll in the summer program with sessions offered at the following schools: Sunset Valley, Cedar Creek, Meadow Lane, Westview, Trailridge and Prairie View. Schools offering special education programs are Sunset Valley and Cedar Creek. Transportation is provided for students living in the Meadow Lane attendance area who attend summer sessions at Meadow Lane,  students living in the Prairie View attendance area who are attending Prairie View summer school, and students living in the Westview attendance area who are attending Westview summer school. Families of all other students must provide their own transportation to summer school.

This year’s Elementary Summer Learning Institute includes a new opportunity for 2018-19 kindergarten students. In the past, only students currently enrolled in kindergarten through sixth grade could enroll in the summer program, meaning that incoming kindergarten students did not participate. Beginning in 2018, incoming kindergarten students also have the opportunity to attend a four-hour summer program.

Another change this year involves grade level designations for participating summer students. Previously, students remained at their previous grade level during summer school so that a 2017-18 first-grader would have remained a first grader during summer 2018. Beginning this summer, students will “roll up” a grade during the summer session so this year’s first-grade student would become a summer school second-grader.

In addition, Online Summer School will be available to fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade grade students with a variety of enrichment options tied to grade-level STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning targets.


Richardson Elementary celebrates school’s 25th birthday with assembly

Richardson Elementary celebrated the school’s 25th birthday with a school assembly on March 9. The special event included former staff members and several special guests.

The assembly focused on the following: respecting the school’s impact, honoring the legacy and embracing the future. Patty Jensen and Mary Naudet, former principals, spoke to the group during the assembly. Kelly Seitz, also a former principal, spoke to the students via video. Other special recognitions included retired Richardson staff members and current staff.

A special guest was Jonathan Kindler, a former Richardson Elementary student who portrays KC Wolf, the Kansas City Chiefs mascot. He performed at the assembly as KC Wolf.

Dr. Dennis L. Carpenter, R-7 superintendent, concluded the assembly. Also included at the birthday celebration were a ribbon cutting, student games, a performance by the Lee’s Summit North High School Drumline, essay readings by a student from each grade level and several video presentations.

LS Educational Foundation hosts Taste of Lee’s Summit to benefit R-7 schools and students

Annual event raises more than $117,230

The Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation hosted the 19th annual Taste of Lee’s Summit on March 3 to raise money in support of excellence in education in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District community. Held at The Pavilion at John Knox Village, the event raised more than $117,230.

The popular event carried the theme “Celebrating 25 Years of Giving,” a salute to the Foundation’s 25th birthday. Taste of Lee’s Summit featured both live and silent auctions, special entertainment, game board excitement and cuisine from more than a dozen local restaurants

Nearly 600 guests and 80 volunteers, including Music Parents from each high school and from Great Beginnings Early Education Center, also had the opportunity to sample cuisine from the following businesses: Costa Vida, Chick-fil-A, Edible Arrangements, Summit Hickory Pit BBQ, Jason’s Deli, Third Street Social, Llywelyn’s Pub, The Fig Tree Cafe & Bakery, Longboards Wraps & Bowls, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Waldo Pizza, Andy’s Frozen Custard and Post Coffee.

Master of Ceremonies for the event were Les Norman, a syndicated sports radio host, TV analyst, and former KC Royals baseball player, and Dr. David Carlson, R-7  Executive Director of Classified Personnel and former R-7 Principal. The Live Auction auctioneer was Todd Hertzog, Herzog Auction Co. and Lee’s Summit High School alum. A team of 30 volunteers, chaired by LSEF board member, Dr. Phyllis Edson, helped organize the popular fundraiser.  

A number of area individuals and organizations also generously helped sponsor Taste of Lee’s Summit, including annual Friends of the Foundation Sponsors at five different participation levels and event sponsors.   

Legacy  Sponsor includes H.B. Oppenheimer Foundation.

Superintendent’s Circle Sponsors include CCR Roofing, JE Dunn, Larry and Trish Frevert, Bob and Marlese Gourley, Major Saver, Meyer Music, McCownGordon Construction, Paradise Park,  Jane and Bob Rutherford, Chris and Audra Storms and Tingle Flooring.

Benefactor Sponsors include Ash Grove Charitable Foundation, George K. Baum & Co., Blue Cross Blue Shield of KC, CBIZ, CEAH Realtors, Control Service Co., GEHA, Gilmore & Bell, P.C., Landers’ Visions, Metcraft Industries, Saint Luke’s East Hospital.

Leader Sponsors include Atcheson Lawn and Landscape, Capital Construction, Central Bank of the Midwest, Commerce Bank, DLR Group, Phyllis and Jim Edson, Hollis + Miller Architects, Integrity Group Real Estate, Stu and Teera Rogers, Adam and Amy Rutherford, Jim and Mary Stilley, Summit Bank of Kansas City, Greg and Anna Vahrenberg and Bob and Candy White.

Scholar Sponsors include Larry Antey, Phyllis Balagna, John Beaudoin, David Boulden, Dr. Katie Collier, Dr. David Carlson, Dr. Dennis Carpenter, Chinnery Evans & Nail, Dr. Kevin Daniel, Brian & Sheryl Franke, Kim Fritchie, Carol Germano, Judy Hedrick, Keith Henry, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Dr. Jeff Miller, Janette Miller, Rosalie Newkirk, Janice Phelan, Troester Painting LLC.

Event Sponsors include Rockhill Orthopaedic Specialists, Hertzog Auction Co., Hy-Vee, County Beverage Company, Inc. and Konica Minolta.

The Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation is a non-profit, 501c3 organization established to raise and manage resources in order to expand and initiate educational opportunities for Lee’s Summit R-7 students and staff. For more information, contact Sheryl Franke, Foundation director at 816-986-1015 or visit

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