Platte County R-3 High School
Counselor recognized: Geoff Heckman has been chosen as a finalist for the national 2018 School Counselor of the Year award.
Heckman works at Platte County High and also serves as president of the Missouri School Counselor Association.
He is one of six finalists chosen nationwide by the American School Counselor Association, which bestows the honor to school counseling professionals who devote their careers to advocating for students and helping them achieve success in school and in life.
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Heckman has been a school counselor for 14 years. The winner will be announced in January during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Academic achievers: Grant Dixon and Lauren Znamenacek, seniors, have been named National Merit Semifinalists.
They were selected based on comprehensive qualifying exams they took as juniors and are now eligible to compete for National Merit Scholarships and advance to the level of finalist.
Fox Hill Elementary School
National honors: The North Kansas City School District grade school has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon school, one of eight in the state.
The department confers Blue Ribbon status on schools with exemplary high performance as measured by state assessments or national tests. Such schools have the highest achieving students in English and mathematics.
Liberty North High School
Outstanding orators: The Eagles’ speech and debate teams exceled at recent tournaments in Springfield and Blue Springs.
Selma Khalil and Bryn Ramos along with Abby Keller and Sadik Mohamed were co-champions in policy debate at Springfield, where Thadeus Acha also placed first in the point of information competition.
Kinsey Collins placed second in humorous interpretation, and the third-place finishers were Michael Chapman in point of information and Bryn Ramos in informative speech.
Overall, Liberty North placed fourth among 29 schools.
Meanwhile, novice debaters competed at Blue Springs, where Reese McCune placed second in storytelling while Courtney Hadley in storytelling, Victoria Morelli in humorous interpretation, and partners Courtney Hadley and Reese McCune in duo interpretative speaking all placed third.
Singers selected: Several Liberty North singers were selected by audition for the KC Metro All-District choir ensembles.
Singers selected for the mixed choir were sopranos Sarah Cowan and Rachel Hon; altos Kinsey Collins, Katie Moseley, Emily Pearson, Cassie Sisson, and Kamren Williamson; and basses, Thadeus Acha, Nik Baumert, Max Brown, Kobe Hagen, and Simon Whitsitt.
Sopranos Haydn Finlinson and Kalyn Taylor were chosen along with altos Miranda Frankenbach, Elizabeth Lehnardt, and Victoria Morelli for the women’s choir, while tenors Tommy Herron, Joe Lord, Conner Macapagal, and Branden Presser were selected for the men’s choir.
Musicians also excel: Members of the school’s marching band, the Screaming Eagles drumline, won their class during Drummit at the Summit in September at Lee’s Summit High School.
The drumline also tied for high score of the day under the direction of Shane Fuller and Tim O’Conner.
Staley High School
Award-winning journalism: The school’s 2017 yearbook earned an All-American ranking, the highest attainable, from the National Scholastic Press Association’s critique program.
The editors were Caroline Bonacorso, a senior, and Lindsey Norby, a 2017 graduate.
The yearbooks are judged in five categories: concept/essentials, coverage, writing and editing, photography, and design.
Staley’s yearbook, “Legacy,” received four marks of distinction in concept/essentials, coverage, writing and editing, and design.
The 2016 yearbook also received the All-American ranking.
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