School news in brief

Ray-Pec chooses Bridle Ridge principal

The Raymore-Peculiar School District has tapped Robin Jones to be principal at Bridle Ridge Intermediate School, effective July 1.

Jones will replace Al Voelker, who was promoted to assistant superintendent for academic services.

Jones now works in the Carthage School District, where she has been principal at the middle school for grades 5-6 since 2009. She previously worked in other southwest Missouri school districts.

Jones received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Missouri Southern State College in Joplin, and a masters in elementary education from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. She has a specialist degree in elementary school administration from Southwest Missouri State University and has completed graduate work toward a masters in guidance and counseling.

Two are finalists for Presidential Scholars Program

Two local students are among eight finalists statewide for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

They are Jonathan D. Chu of The Pembroke Hill School in Jackson County and Emerson E. Lee of Park Hill South High School in Platte County.

The program was established by executive order in 1964 to honor some of most distinguished graduating seniors in the U.S. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize those who demonstrate exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.

Up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars each year.

National Merit corporate scholars

Students from the Blue Springs and Liberty school districts, as well as Pembroke Hill School, have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarships. The awards are financed by corporations, company foundations and other business organizations, and they are the first National Merit scholarships to be announced.

The recipients:

• Connor M. Dillon, Blue Springs South High School, National Merit Walgreen Co. Scholarship. Probable career field: medicine.

• Tyler P. Spinks, Pembroke Hill School, National Merit Bayer Scholarship. Probable career field: academia.

• Paul T. Spring, Liberty High School, National Merit Emerson Electric Co. Scholarship. Probable career field: anesthesiology.

Lee’s Summit offers school-based mental health program

A licensed mental health therapist is working with students at three Lee’s Summit elementary schools, thanks to a $53,090 grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and a partnership of three other entities.

The therapist, licensed clinical social worker Dee White Eye, consults with parents, teachers and other school staff on the needs of the students. She helps train district staff and community members on the identification of mental health issues, and she counsels students in need of individual therapy at Lee’s Summit, Meadow Lane and Westview elementary schools.

In a news release, the school district said the program has made mental health services more available to students and families while keeping children in school.

The effort is made possible by Lee’s Summit CARES, which received the grant, the school district and Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health, which provides the clinician.

Governor to speak at Belton graduation

Gov. Jay Nixon will be the keynote speaker at the Belton High School graduation on May 17, the district announced last week. The ceremony will be at the Independence Events Center.