Cass County Democrat Missourian

Sheehan nursing scholarship goes to Belton grad

At the Kansas City Jazz Summit this spring, the “Southside Jazz” all-girls group from Ray-Pec South Middle School earned a plaque and certificate of recognition for being an outstanding jazz vocal group. Pictured are (top row, from left) Lottie Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth Burton, Gia Davies and Verity Collin; and (bottom row) Ashley Davis, Annika Hunter and Sophie Dick. Not pictured: Chloe Killingsworth.
At the Kansas City Jazz Summit this spring, the “Southside Jazz” all-girls group from Ray-Pec South Middle School earned a plaque and certificate of recognition for being an outstanding jazz vocal group. Pictured are (top row, from left) Lottie Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth Burton, Gia Davies and Verity Collin; and (bottom row) Ashley Davis, Annika Hunter and Sophie Dick. Not pictured: Chloe Killingsworth. Courtesy photo

Sheehan nursing scholarship goes to Belton grad

Sydney Morgan, a 2019 graduate of Belton High School, will pursue a nursing degree this fall with financial help from the top scholarship from Cass Community Health Foundation.

The $2,500 Daniel F. Sheehan Nursing Scholarship is named for the former CEO of Research Belton Hospital, now Belton Regional Medical Center. The scholarship honors Sheehan’s commitment to improving the health of residents in Cass County.

“The health field is something that has interested me for a long time, so I am excited to finally be able to pursue this passion,” said Morgan, who will attend Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, beginning with enough credit hours to be classified as a sophomore. “I want to be able to move around, interact with people and see how that’s helping patients firsthand.”

At Belton High, Morgan excelled academically and was a three-sport athlete who acquired 12 varsity letters while competing in softball, swimming and track and field. She set school records in the 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter medley relay and pole vault. She’s a member of the National Honor Society and played in the Pirate Pride Marching Band, concert band and jazz band all four years of high school. She was head drum major her senior year and has volunteered for Belton Regional Medical Center, Abundant Life Church, Special Olympics and HELP Humane.

Morgan’s long-term goal is to become a nurse practitioner or a nurse anesthetist. She says the Sheehan scholarship was unexpected, but offers significant financial support for her to pursue her dreams.

“I am a people person; I love working with and being around others,” she said. “There is tremendous reward in helping someone live a longer and healthier life, and there is no better way to do that than to serve in the health field.”

Just because....I’d like to know

Shortly before classes dismissed for the summer, Harrisonville High School students participated in the first Student Professional Development Day in mid-May. Nearly 40 classes were presented by community and staff volunteers, based on student suggestions for life skills and hobbies that they would like to know more about.

Students could attend three sessions during the morning on topics as diverse as knitting, changing the tire and oil on a car, yoga, finance and fire safety.

Sherwood names Teacher and Support Staff of the Year

Christy Gurney is the Sherwood School District’s Teacher of the Year for 2019, and Joy Turner won Support Staff of the Year honors.

For both awards, co-workers nominated candidates who were then interviewed by a panel that determined the honorees.

Gurney, who teaches sixth-grade science at Sherwood Middle School, has worked in Sherwood for 22 of her 25 years in education.

She is described as someone who can reach all different types of learners and as a “go-to” staff member when it comes to incorporating technology in the classroom.

Turner, a five-year Sherwood employee, has worked all those years as a paraprofessional at Sherwood High School.

“Joy plays an essential role in assisting special education students in grades 10-12,” the district said. “She also strives to have a relationship with other students in the building and does a great job in bringing a smile to all students.”

A surprise honor for Belton athlete

At a Special Olympics competition this spring, Lea Shore thought she was seated on the field to lead the Athlete’s Oath.

Instead, the Belton High School student learned that she had received this year’s Manuel Calderon Spirit Award, named for a volunteer who mentored athletes in his neighborhood and supported the Kansas City Metro Area Special Olympics.

Shore will be a sophomore in the upcoming school year. Her coach, Nikki Mackay, described her as hard-working and “extremely competitive.”

“I cannot recall the last time Lea missed a practice,” Mackay said.

“She is one that I can count on to lead stretches, demonstrate drills to our other athletes, and just be a positive role model for her teammates. Lea takes pride in effort. Even if she gets knocked down during a game, physically or emotionally, she is the first person holding her hand out to help other athletes.”

How does this taste?

When they see what’s for lunch this fall, a group of Creekmoor Elementary School students fifth-graders will know they had a say in some of the decisions.

Sarah Chellberg, director of child nutrition for the Raymore-Peculiar School District, met with children last spring, while they were in the fourth grade, while they tasted several new items being considered for cafeteria offerings.

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