Cass County Democrat Missourian

Drexel School District has new K-12 principal

Attending the Speak Hard Conference were (from left) Emma Parker, Maddie Hoffman, Ana Owen-Gonzales and Chloe Spencer.
Attending the Speak Hard Conference were (from left) Emma Parker, Maddie Hoffman, Ana Owen-Gonzales and Chloe Spencer. Courtesy photo

Drexel hires K-12 principal

The Drexel School District has looked across the state line to find a K-12 principal as part of a restructuring of the central office. Gary French, who has served the last 13 years as school superintendent in Osawatomie, Kan., will fill the position.

The district will soon hire a new K-12 assistant principal/instructional coach to complete the administrative team.

Drexel Superintendent Terry Mayfield said the district is excited to have French serving in the post “for the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.”

“His administrative experience, work ethic and commitment to kids made him a great fit for the district,” Mayfield said. “I am confident he will work with our elementary and secondary staff to provide the best possible education for our students.”

French has worked in education for 37 years, and he is retiring this year from Osawatomie.

Drexel currently has two school principals. Secondary Principal Dennis Bolton is retiring this year, and Elementary Principal Laurie Jacklovich has announced her resignation. Their departures created an opportunity to transition into a structure that will permit more administrative attention to instruction.

“We will still have two building-level administrators, just re-allocating some of the duties to streamline our processes and procedures,” Mayfield said.

Many ways to learn about animals

Art. Music. Research. Green screen videos and QR codes.

First graders at Peculiar Elementary School employed them all while learning about animals last month.

Directed by music teacher Katie Schork, the children performed “Amazing Animals” after learning five songs, including “We Love our Pets,” “Redbird” and “Ladybug in my Soda.”

The students also completed a research project about their favorite animals and, with the help of art teacher Jenny Bullock, created posters to convey what they had learned.

Digital learning teacher Tammy Novak helped the students with green screen videos that were featured in the music program. Parents were invited to view the posters after the March 14 performance and scan the QR code on each poster, which was linked to the student video.

Human ‘chromosomes’

Lonny Price could have just shown slides and lectured his eighth-grade science class about DNA and chromosomes, but the Sherwood Middle School teacher employed another technique that he says helps students better understand and remember the material.

With two student volunteers, paper towels, special hats – and toilet paper to represent the DNA – Price provided a visual representation of how DNA condenses into chromosomes. Essentially, that’s a process in which long DNA molecules compact themselves so they can fit into the nucleus of a cell.

By using all the pieces and “tying” the parts together, the students immersed themselves in the learning process.

Cast rehearsing for ‘Rashomon’ at HHS

Harrisonville High School has announced cast members for the spring play, “Rashomon,” to be presented at 7 p.m. April 25-27.

They include Max Allen, Noah Collins, Aramis Wyrick, Michael Schuhler, Joey Lasure, Breezy Semler, Danielle Lasure, Lydia Newman, Clinton Howser, Brooklyn Fools, Caleb Baker, Garrett Brown and Steven Lafferty.

“Rashomon,” a play by Fay and Michael Kanin, is a saga of court hearings to find out who killed a Samurai warrior. The tale is known for contradictory descriptions of the incident.

Ray-Pec performers well-represented at state

A number of Raymore-Peculiar students are competing this week at the state forensics, debate and theater tournament after finishing well at the district level.

The district consists of about 30 schools that actively compete. Each school could take one entry into each event, with the top four places qualifying for the state competition April 11-13.

Ray-Pec’s state qualifiers:

▪ Dramatic Interpretation: Tevin Chavez, first place

▪ Humorous Interpretation: Ian Van Horn, second place

▪  Storytelling: Ella Schnake, first place

▪ Duet Acting: Tevin Chavez and Alec Heriford, second place

▪  Prose Interpretation: Bailey Martin, second place

▪  Duo Interpretation: Larissa Wratney and Jillian Humke, fourth place

▪ Policy Debate: Jaden Lanza and Brendan Lucas, first place

▪ Public Forum Debate: Trevor Turner and Jacob Scott, third place

▪ One Act Play: Rabbit Hole, first place

▪  Readers Theatre: Animal Farm, first place.

SADD leaders attend state conference

Officers of Harrisonville High School SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) officers have returned from the 15th annual Speak Hard Conference in Jefferson City.

The March 14 gathering drew more than 300 students from across Missouri, who collaborated with their peers and learned more about bullying, suicide prevention, teen dating violence, vaping, distracted driving and other issues affecting the well-being of teens.

The Harrisonville students also spoke with state Reps. Donna Pfautsch and Patricia Pike, both former teachers of the Harrisonville School District.

Those attending were Emma Parker, Maddie Hoffman, Ana Owen-Gonzales and Chloe Spencer. They were accompanied by SADD sponsor Roseann Hoffman.