Two Lee’s Summit faculty members — Lee’s Summit West High School’s Rhonda Ireland and Prairie View Elementary School’s Aimee Fresia — have earned state Teacher of the Year honors in their respective subject areas.
Ireland, who will be honored Feb. 23 as Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Council for Social Studies, teaches International Baccalaureate History of the Americas and Advanced Studies World History. The social studies organization commended her as a strong advocate of student choice, for connecting history with modern events and for encouraging diversity.
Ireland says the R-7 district’s promotion of the “workshop model” of instruction has dramatically changed her teaching style.
“It is a difficult shift in that students are so used to being ‘told’ what they need to learn versus ‘uncovering’ it on their own,” she said. “Workshop requires an incredible amount of upfront planning, an enormous amount of research, lab classroom hosting as well as observation of my small group cadre with focusing on student ownership.”
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Ireland has worked in the Lee’s Summit district for 25 years and at Lee’s Summit West for three years.
She mentors others on the workshop model and meets monthly with a group from the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. She also holds leadership positions in state and national organizations.
Fresia, who was chosen as the Missouri Art Education Association’s Elementary Art Educator of the Year, began teaching at Prairie View in 2007 and also serves as a traveling art teacher at Richardson, Meadow Lane and Summit Pointe elementary schools.
She taught at Johnson Elementary School in the Hickman Mills district from 2000 to 2007 and was that district’s Teacher of the Year in 2003. Fresia has been published nationally, including two articles in “Arts and Activities” and one in “Scholastic.”
She will be honored April 6 in Branson.
SCA announces Christian Character Awards
Four secondary students at Summit Christian Academy have received the school’s Christian Character Award for the first semester.
They are senior Reagan Lyle, daughter of John and Stacy Lyle; junior Josh McConnell, son of Preston and Michelle McConnell; and seventh-graders Andrew Mishriky, son of Farid Mishriky and Nermeen Noseir; and Kaitlyn Miller, daughter of Ryan and Alison Miller.
The awards are bestowed based on the students’ ability to act as positive role models and for demonstrating honesty, integrity, a consistent spiritual attitude, respect and strong academic achievement.
Superintendent starts blog
Lee’s Summit School District Superintendent Dennis L. Carpenter launched a Superintendent’s Blog as the new year began.
Called “The Learning Changes Daily,” the blog shares Carpenter’s personal learning, thoughts and reflections.
In his first post, the superintendent explained how he conceived the blog’s name. It sprang from a visit to a restaurant, where a waitress confirmed the truth of a menu statement: “This menu changes daily.” He noticed the place was packed.
“I learned that people continue to come back for the great food (their core business) and the variety,” wrote Carpenter, who said he wanted to follow that blueprint — variety along with the core business of great learning.
“Here you might find stories of district/individual student successes, reflections on current events and maybe even personal stories to accentuate or exemplify abstract ideas,” he wrote.
Find the blog at www.lsr7.org/superintendent/blog-landing.
Info night Jan. 30 for new dual-credit program
The Lee’s Summit School District will host an information night Jan. 30 for the district’s new Innovation Track, which will provide next year’s high-school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn up to 30 hours of college credit at limited or no cost.
The event, which is open to parents and students, will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lee’s Summit North High School Performing Arts Center, 901 N.E. Douglas St.
The Innovation Track, which the school board approved in December, is a partnership between the R-7 district, Metropolitan Community College and the University of Central Missouri. Students will attend courses at the MCC-Longview campus, and the school district will provide transportation from their home schools.
Sophomores and juniors began learning about the program in early January with enrollment for 2018-19 taking place Feb. 20-22.
To qualify for the Innovation Track, students must have a 2.5 grade-point average and have scored 18 or better on the ACT college entrance exam.
The school district will offer scholarships to cover tuition and textbooks for those who qualify for the federal free/reduced lunch program.
For more information, visit www.lsr7.org/sites/innovation-track.
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to the Journal