Ray-Pec girl is national champ in speech/debate event
Madison Busby, a student at Raymore-Peculiar East Middle School, won the national championship in storytelling at the National Speech and Debate Association tournament held June 17-22 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A student from Raymore-Peculiar South Middle School, Paige Showen, finished second in the nation in humorous interpretation. She also placed ninth in both storytelling and poetry reading.
Both girls will be freshmen this fall at Ray-Pec High School.
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Among 160 schools participating at the middle school level, Ray-Pec East was selected as one of the five “Schools of Excellence in Speech.” Two other East Middle School students, Blake Oser and Aidan Martel, advanced to the final round in duo interpretation and placed sixth.
All other competitors from Ray-Pec East placed among the top 30 in their events: Leilany Zarco and Madison Busby, 28th in duo interpretation; Audrey Huffman, 13th in declamation; Bailey Martin, 12th in prose reading; Aidan Martel, 11th in storytelling, and Audrey Huffman and Bailey Martin, 15th in duo interpretation.
Four other students from Ray-Pec South also placed in the top 30 for their events: Jada Weber, 21st in dramatic interpretation; Grace O’Brien, 28th in prose reading, James Moss, 30th in prose reading, and Amelia Morris, 24th in storytelling.
At the high school level, two events from Ray-Pec finished in the top 50 from more than 7,000 entries in all events. Tevin Chavez finished 41st in program oral interpretation, while Jaden Lanza and Brenden Lucas finished in the top 50 in policy debate.
Meet Harrisonville’s new superintendent
The Harrisonville School District’s new superintendent, Paul Mensching, assumed the post on July 1, and the district has organized a gathering next week for the community to meet Mensching and his family.
“Sundaes with the Superintendent” is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. July 12 in the Harrisonville High School Commons. The event is open to all.
Mensching came to Harrisonville from the East Buchanan School District, where he served as superintendent for 10 years. Before that he worked six years as high school principal in the Ralls County district, and he previously worked as a social studies teacher, athletic director and basketball and football coach.
Mensching is pursuing his doctorate from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan., with graduation anticipated during the 2018-19 academic year. Mensching and his wife Rachel have four children: Abby, 19; Bryce 18; Kyle, 16, and Jaxon, 14.
Student earns Comcast scholarship
Comcast Kansas City has awarded $10,000 in scholarships for the 2018-19 school year to 10 graduating high school seniors — including one from Peculiar — as part of the company’s annual Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program.
Funded by the Comcast Foundation, the $1,000 scholarships are given to students for their community service, academic performance and leadership skills.
The local winner is Samuel Fish, from Raymore-Peculiar High School.
Eight go to FFA camp
Lauren Burlingame of Harrisonville, one of eight Cass Career Center students to attend the State FFA Leadership Camp, was named All-Around Camper for the week.
The camp, held June 11 to 15, provided leadership training for high school students who are members of FFA. Students learned how to overcome obstacles and develop their communication and personal skills.
Others attending from the Cass Career Center FFA were Clint Howser, Ethan Inman, Brandon Johnson, Michelle Marrs, Autumn Self, Savannah Timmons and Kylie Wyatt.
Vocalists invited to perform
A number of students from the Raymore-Peculiar and Harrisonville school districts have been invited to perform this month in statewide honor choirs.
The choirs will perform at the Missouri Choral Directors Association conference, which begins July 18 in Jefferson City. Hundreds of students from across Missouri auditioned for the opportunity.
From Ray-Pec, a total of 18 singers were chosen, including high school vocalist Isabelle Burton — the first Ray-Pec student ever selected to the All-State Show Choir.
Three students were invited to the 9-10 Honor Choir: Carinne Williams, Claire Eberhart and Samuel Reicher.
Six students were chosen for the 7-8 Honor Choir: Jacob Carpio, Addison Hansen, Miles Selami, Morgan Blair, Katie Barber and Bailey Roe.
Eight students will represent Ray-Pec in the 4-5-6 Honor Choir. Mason Rew, Destinee Shaffer, Ellie Barker, Katelyn Hazen, LaNyah Taylor, Lexi Russell, Molly Malone and Rett Wansing.
Three Harrisonville students were invited to sing at the conference. Emily Joseph was named to the 7-8 Honor Choir, while Riley Mathew and Rebekah Bartlett will represent Harrisonville High School in the 9-10 Honor Choir.