Cass County Democrat Missourian

Belton teacher a finalist for prestigious award

Kindergarten teacher Jamie Droege welcomes a student to her classroom at Harrisonville Early Childhood Center.
Kindergarten teacher Jamie Droege welcomes a student to her classroom at Harrisonville Early Childhood Center. Courtesy photo

Belton special education teacher is among seven finalists for the 2019 Missouri Teacher of the Year. She and the others emerged from a field of 32 Regional Teachers of the Year.

The honoree is Elizabeth Hart, who teaches at Kentucky Trail Elementary School.

School districts across Missouri submitted nominations, and a panel appointed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education selected the finalists, who were later interviewed Aug. 21. The Missouri Teacher of the Year will be chosen by a committee comprising teachers, business leaders and leaders of education organizations.

The winner, finalists and Regional Teachers of the Year will be honored Oct. 22 in Jefferson City. The new Missouri Teacher of the Year will be the state’s nominee for the 2019 National Teacher of the Year.

Kentucky Trail teacher Elizabeth Hart is pictured with two of her students after learning she is a finalist for Missouri Teacher of the Year.

Another school year begins

Harrisonville schools hosted Meet the Teacher Night on Aug. 14, when families visited classrooms, dropped off supplies and met teachers before classes resumed Aug. 16.

New schools beckon

Let’s face it; transitions are difficult. Would you like to be thrown into new surroundings with no preparation?

That’s why some school districts, including Raymore-Peculiar, offer students a chance to get acquainted with their new buildings as they leave elementary or middle school behind.

On Aug. 13, two days before classes resumed, sixth- and ninth-graders were invited to attend Preview Day, where they got hearty welcomes and a chance to learn the ropes.

Ray-Pec seeks adult mentors

The Raymore-Peculiar School District encourages individuals or couples to befriend children through a new partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The Raymore-Peculiar Public School Foundation is working with Big Brothers Big Sisters to find extra support for children in single-parent homes. According to Big Brothers Big Sisters, 25 percent of Kansas City area children live in one-parent homes, but they account for 90 percent of high school dropouts and 60 percent of teen suicides. They are involved in 90 percent of juvenile court cases.

For more information about becoming a “Big, visit or email

Golf, running events scheduled next month

Two events will take place on homecoming weekend to benefit the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.

▪ On Sept. 29, the annual Catch the Spirit 5K Walk/Run will be a color walk/run for the first time. In color runs, participants typically wear white to start and are doused with paint along the way — making the event a more memorable. Harrisonville runners can opt out of getting painted, but are encouraged to participate in a color throw at the end.

The race, beginning and ending at Harrisonville High School, also benefits the Christina Collins Memorial scholarship.

Registration is $20 through Sept. 14 and $5 more after that. A family plan also is available. Visit for registration and information about sponsorships. Registration forms also are available at school district headquarters, 503 S. Lexington St. Race-day registration begins at 7:15 a.m.

▪ On the morning of Sept. 28, teams and individuals can participate at the annual Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament at Hoots Hollow at Country Creek Golf Course.

Registration, payment and sponsorship information is available at or forms can be picked up at the district’s administrative offices.

Registration is $80 per golfer or $320 per team which includes green fees, a cart and a buffet lunch.