Four Harrisonville Middle School students participated in the UMKC Midwest Honor Band Festival, a weekend event for secondary students in band and orchestra.
The festival, which took place Feb. 9-11, included master classes and clinics with nationally recognized conductors as well as concerts.
After auditions, the middle school nominated 10 students for the UMKC Honor Band. Based on instrumentation needs of the ensemble, UMKC faculty members selected seventh-grader Reese Tilghman (trumpet) and eighth-graders Cierra Spotz (trumpet), Katlyn Walsh (flute) and Alex Sheldrake (tuba).
‘Cass County Kids First’ is back for legislative session
Once again, the 10 public school districts in Cass County are speaking with one voice to state lawmakers in Jefferson City.
This is the fourth year that the districts have joined forces under “Cass County Kids First” to develop a list of legislative priorities. In general, the group advocates for local control of education and proper funding whenever possible.
Because of illness and scheduling conflicts, only two lawmakers — Reps. Rick Brattin and Donna Pfautsch — attended the group’s legislative breakfast on Feb. 9 hosted by the Belton School District.
Discussion topics, officials said, included charter schools and school choice, career and technical education, tax increment financing, a possible increase in the number of hours retired teachers may work for schools, professional development for teachers, and the Missouri Assessment Program.
Congrats on a long run
A visitor presented a singing telegram Feb. 8 to Raymore-Peculiar High School theater teacher Todd Schnake, who was directing his 100th play for the district.
The telegram came from former student Chuck Mailen, who played the lead role in the first play that Schnake directed — back in 1992.
Davis, Johnson win HHS Students of the Month
Faculty members at Harrisonville High School have chosen seniors Mara Davis and Caelen Johnson as Students of the Month for February. They were selected for their character, citizenship and academics.
Davis, the daughter of Tod and Janelle Davis, was the softball team captain this fall and baseball manager last spring. Her other school activities include basketball, soccer, National Honor Society, Student Council and Peer Helpers.
Besides being active, Davis enjoys crafting and going to the lake.
After graduation, she plans to study physical therapy at the University of St. Mary, where she will play softball and possibly soccer.
Johnson is the son of Charlie and Colleen Johnson. He is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team and participates in football, National Honor Society and Student Council.
Outside school, he enjoys movies and sporting events.
Johnson plans to major in ceramic engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.
A heart for others in Belton
The Student Council changed Belton High School’s basketball royalty tradition for 2018, making it more egalitarian and focused on generosity.
No king or queen was crowned this year. Instead, the Student Council asked the coaches and sponsors to nominate — to an honor court — two members from their programs who demonstrate strong leadership and service to others.
Those students escorted some special education students during an assembly and at the halftime of the Feb. 9 basketball game.
Some of the dance proceeds were set aside to send a special education student to Camp Barnabas, which is designed for students with special needs. Krista Cantu received the Camp Barnabas scholarship, said Belton district spokeswoman Melissa McConnell, but organizers may have raised enough money to send a second Life Skills student to camp.
The Student Council also participated in last month’s Polar Plunge, which supports Special Olympians.
Members of the 2018 Winter Court included Ashlynne Wimberley, Camille Ankenbrand, Kamryn Estell, Jaden Clark, Gio Oquendo, Samantha Gamble, Dominique Nichols, Gabby Stoddard, Candice Sanders, Daykwon Jefferson, Krista Cantu and Geri Franklin.
High school singing contest auditions coming
Calling all teenagers who like to sing: It’s time to register to audition for the ninth annual KC SuperStar competition, which aims to identify the best high school singer in the Kansas City area.
The grand prize is a $10,000 scholarship. Scholarships of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 also will be awarded for second through fourth places.
Auditions will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on March 4 as well as from 5 to 7 p.m. March 7 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, 5801 W. 115th St. in Overland Park. The center, known as The J, produces KC SuperStar.
Vocalists should prepare to sing one song of their choice, without accompaniment. Individuals from all backgrounds, representing all musical genres and Kansas City area neighborhoods, are encouraged to try out.
Singers need attend only one audition.
To register, visit kcsuperstar.org or facebook.com/KCSuperStar to submit a registration form. Up to 25 performers will be chosen to compete in the June 4 semifinals with the final event scheduled for Aug. 26.
Pleasant Hill sets calendar for 2018-19
The next school year for the Pleasant Hill R-III School District will begin Aug. 14, a Tuesday.
The 2018-19 calendar, approved recently by the Board of Education, calls for winter break to start on Dec. 21 with students returning on Jan. 3.
Spring break will be April 19-23, 2019, and the last day of school will be May 15, barring makeup days for bad weather.
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to the Democrat