Brian Bliss, who teaches communication arts at Harrisonville High School, has been named the Educator of the Year in the Harrisonville School District. He is eligible for the Missouri Teacher of the Year program.
Bliss was one of four people honored at a year-end ceremony on May 25, along with retirees. The others:
▪ District social worker Jennifer Beavers, the Support Staff Employee of the Year. She also serves as the co-coordinator for Bright Futures Harrisonville.
▪ Elementary counselor Becky Sumner, who received the Outstanding Community Involvement Award. She brought the Girls on the Run program to the community two years ago and still leads the effort to recruit volunteers, coordinate the program and get girls involved.
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▪ Trish Alexander, the Volunteer of the Year. She came to school weekly to help kindergartners with reading and sight words. Most students grew two reading levels while working with her, her nominator said.
Bliss, who just completed his 15th year at Harrisonville High, was selected by a panel of judges from outside the community who interviewed three finalists. The finalists were chosen by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation and district administration selection committee.
In the nomination process, Bliss was described this way: “He is great at forming real relationships with his students. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for his kids and he’s like a father to us all. His ability to connect with students, motivate them and help them on the way to success is unparalleled.”
Bliss, who holds bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri, received a $500 grant from the Harrisonville Public School Foundation,
Beavers, in her ninth year with the district, also was selected by outside judges, but from four finalists.
“She is one doing the job of many,” according to nominators. “She is constantly promoting the district, educating our community and making connections so that students and families get what they need. We are beyond blessed to have her as a champion for our kids.”
Blue Star award goes to Ray-Pec for ‘Hunchback’
The Raymore-Peculiar High School Theatre Department has won the Blue Star award for Outstanding Hair and Makeup Design for the production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
The annual Blue Star Awards at Starlight Theatre recognize achievement and excellence in musical theater among Kansas City area high school students. Ray-Pec was nominated for awards in 10 categories this year.
HHS faculty picks May honorees
Harrisonville High School seniors Kelsi Knoche and Cody Jones were the school’s Students of the Month for May. The faculty selected them for their character, citizenship, and academics.
Knoche, the daughter of Keith and Kathy Knoche, is involved in Key Club, FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), the dance team and soccer. Outside school, she works at the Harrisonville City Pool, babysits and works at Red Barn Ranch.
After graduation, Knoche plans to attend MCC-Longview for two years then transfer to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Jones is the son of Travis and Lana Jones. He is the Drama Club president, a Student Council class representative and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team. He also participates in the Music Makers show choir and is involved in community theater outside of school.
Jones earned a scholarship for acting to State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo. His future plans are to act professionally.
Creature comforts of a different kind
Nothing can brighten someone’s day like an animal, but what about a bunch of animals?
That was the scenario in mid-May when Belton School District FFA students traveled to the Carnegie Village senior living facility to celebrate Nursing Home Week with the residents.
The students from Sheila Smalley’s Agriculture Science II class brought their animals — including chickens, rabbits, therapy goats and an ornery Shih Tzu.
Learn to dance with the Prowlers
The Prowlers Dance Team of Raymore-Peculiar High School invites dancers from pre-K through eighth grade to spend three evenings this month at the Prowlers Dance Team Summer Camp. Participants, who need live in the Ray-Pec district, will learn dance technique plus pom, jazz and hip-hop routines
The camp is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. June 19-21, in the gym at the high school, 20801 S. School Road. The $50 fee — due June 8 — includes a T-shirt, snacks and a Popsicle party as well as the instruction.
Find the registration form at http://www.raypec.k12.mo.us/DocumentCenter/View/14995/Mini-Prowler-Summer-Camp-2018.