Cass County Democrat Missourian

STEM lesson takes to the air

Sixth-graders (from left) Blake Eads, Logan Forst and Hayden Walton were among the Sherwood Middle School students who launched paper airplanes to learn about data analysis.
Sixth-graders (from left) Blake Eads, Logan Forst and Hayden Walton were among the Sherwood Middle School students who launched paper airplanes to learn about data analysis. Courtesy photo

STEM lesson takes flight

When movies and television depict unruly classrooms, they sometimes show paper airplanes soaring above the tumult. But in Casey Howell’s sixth-grade STEM class, paper-plane aviation was part of a lesson plan on collecting and analyzing data.

The Sherwood Middle School students designed and folded their own airplanes, flew them eight times and documented the distance of each flight.

Belton educators reach milestone in character education

Several Belton School District staff members have been certified as LACE-trained administrators, educators and counselors for their dedication to imparting character as well as knowledge in the classroom.

LACE, the Leadership Academy in Character Education, held monthly meetings over the last year. Participants expanded their knowledge, skills and attitudes “to help transform their schools into true learning communities where character education is an essential component of the curriculum and culture,” the district said in news release.

The new LACE-trained staffers are Joni Harrell and Cari Schuster at Belton High School, Frank McMurray at Belton Middle School/Freshman Center, Suzanne Truitt at Cambridge Elementary and Sarah Lattimer at Kentucky Trail Elementary. At least eight others in the district obtained the distinction previously.

Nine picked for National Honor Choirs

After auditioning via recordings, nine Raymore-Peculiar School District choir students have been selected to the 2019 American Choral Directors Association National Honor Choirs.

Those selected were Katie Barber and Bailey Roe from Ray-Pec East Middle School; Destinee Shaffer and LaNyah Taylor from Ray-Pec South Middle School; and Chloe Coons, Taylor Gardner, Kylie Hansen, Meghan Larsen and Samuel Reicher from Ray-Pec High School.

They will represent Ray-Pec in the National Honor Choirs from Feb. 27 to March 2 in Kansas City, where this year’s choir performances take place.

Ray-Pec wants nominations for outstanding employees

The Raymore-Peculiar School District is seeking nominations for the 2019 Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Employee of the Year. Nominations are due Feb. 1.

Teacher of the Year candidates must be full-time teachers, librarians or counselors who have completed at least three years in the district and are returning for the school year that begins next fall. They should be effective and innovative in the classroom

Support staff nominees can be full- or part-time employees who have worked for the district a year or more.

Send letters of nomination to: Ray-Pec Teacher of the Year/Support Staff Employee of the Year program, Administrative Services Center, P.O. Box 789, Peculiar, MO 64078 or to Michele Stidham, communication director, at or

Bank provides $5,000 for service learning

Community Bank recently donated $5,000 to Bright Futures Harrisonville, which tries to meet student needs through partnerships.

The funds will be used to provide service learning opportunities by offsetting transportation costs for students who serve the community.

Cass Career Center honors student

Tyler West, a senior from Lone Jack High School, is the Student of the Month for January at Cass Career Center in Harrisonville. He is studying construction technology there.

The monthly award is sponsored by the Cass County Elks Lodge #2791.

Learn self defense and fight human trafficking

Ray-Pec High School seniors Jada Yancey and Kayla Hughes will host a self-defense class from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 23 to meet one of the requirements for the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

IB Diploma candidates are required to complete a CAS (creativity, activity, service) project before graduation.

Mindful Defense will conduct the training in the main gym at Ray-Pec High School, and all proceeds will go to the One by One Project, a Kansas City-based charity formed to help end human trafficking.

The cost is $10 per person, and participants must be at least 14 years old. Sign up by clicking on the announcement at