Cass County Democrat Missourian

Harrisonville math teacher wins Jedel award

Harrisonville Middle School sixth-grader Trenton Gould gets ready to experience a 5-mile-per-hour collision.
Harrisonville Middle School sixth-grader Trenton Gould gets ready to experience a 5-mile-per-hour collision. Courtesy photo

Harrisonville teacher earns Jedel math prize

Kim Spencer, who teaches math at Harrisonville Elementary School, is among 16 recipients of this year’s Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Education Awards, given to innovative, dedicated math teachers in the Kansas City area. Each recipient receives a monetary award, a trophy and an invitation to join the Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Fellowship of Mathematics Educators next year. Spencer received a $1,000 Prime Award.

“Mrs. Spencer is not satisfied with ‘good enough’ and continually looks to perfect lessons and activities,” one nomination said. “She actively seeks opportunities to continue learning and growing professionally and this makes her an outstanding example for other teachers in her building.”

One colleague said Spencer takes time to think of the best approaches to teaching new content and finds creative ways to reach students with different learning styles.

“At the end of a lesson, she always takes time to reflect with her partner teacher on how each student seems to be doing. If we notice students need additional time or another approach, she always comes up with a way to meet all student’s needs.”

Belton student is outstanding Cass Career Center graduate

Cass Career Center has named Belton High School senior Gabrielle Stoddard as the All-School Outstanding Graduate for 2019. She studied Criminal Justice/CSI at the career center, which is operated by the Harrisonville School District and accepts students from surrounding high schools. At a recent awards ceremony for Career Center students, Stoddard also received an individual plaque, the Joel Mathews Memorial Scholarship for $200 and the CCC Achievement Scholarship, a $2,000 award that is given and directed by an anonymous donor to be used for tuition, fees and books.

Harrisonville senior Peyton Zaring, marketing, and Raymore-Peculiar senior Katelynn Jungling, fire science, were runners-up and each received a $500 CCC Achievement Scholarship. In a separate honors program sponsored by the Cass County Elks Lodge #2791, Jungling was named Student of the Year at Cass Career Center. She earned first place in firefighting at the Missouri SkillsUSA Leadership & Skills Conference earlier this spring and will compete next month at the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conferencein Louisville, Kentucky.

Belton principal promoted to central office post

The Belton School District has promoted Kimberly Mauck to director of school improvement, effective in July. She replaces Lorenzo Rizzi, who is retiring this year.

Mauck has been the principal of Mill Creek Upper Elementary School for 13 years.

“I have seen such positive growth in our school district over the last 13 years and I want to continue this path of progress,” Mauck said in a news release. “I truly believe each and every staff member brings value to our organization and helps every student experience success.”

Pleasant Hill names Educator of the Year

Dana DeMoure-Umscheid is the Educator of the Year in the Pleasant Hill School District. She teaches fifth-grade science and social studies at Pleasant Hill Intermediate School.

The district describes DeMoure-Umscheid as a kind, compassionate teacher who’s full of passion and enthusiasm for her job.

“To make learning as authentic as possible,” the district said, “it is not unusual for her to dress the part of a historian or to bring in items (such as animal organs). She will often stay late to help students work to improve grades, to reteach a missing concept or to catch up a student who has been absent.”

She also sponsors after-school clubs that are often packed with both fifth- and sixth-graders.

“She is truly an amazing teacher who believes in growing professionally and will take risks,” the district said.

Crash simulator teaches seat-belt safety

Safety and science often go together.

So it was on May 10, when Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Andy Bell brought the patrol’s Seat Belt Convincer to Harrisonville Middle School.

The machine simulated a low-speed automobile crash, which allowed students to buckle up and learn firsthand how important seat belts are to safety.

Students also discussed crash dynamics in light of what they were learning about Newton’s Laws of Motion in science class.

Ray-Pec students chosen for monthly honor

Two civic groups have chosen Students of the Month for May at Raymore-Peculiar High School.

Grant Hutchings and Alexandra Newton were honored by the Raymore-Peculiar Sunrise Optimist Club, while Jacob Lopez and Gracie Allan were recognized by the Belton-Raymore Rotary Club.