Cass County Democrat Missourian

Panther mural at Ray-Pec High soon to be a thing of the past

McEowen students Jacob Bellamy, Gatlin Osterberg and Klyde Webb learn about special ambulances for kids from a Children’s Mercy transport.
McEowen students Jacob Bellamy, Gatlin Osterberg and Klyde Webb learn about special ambulances for kids from a Children’s Mercy transport. Courtesy photo

Days are numbered for Panther mural

A bit of nostalgia will be sacrificed when safety improvements are made this summer in the gymnasium at Raymore-Peculiar High School.

The large Panther mural, painted in 2000 by artist Steven O’Hora of Bates City, will be lost when padding is installed on the two ends of the gym to make activities safer for athletes, cheerleaders and others who use the gym. The scene depicts the school mascot crashing through a wall.

However, patrons will have a chance to photograph the mural before it is covered. People can stop by between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. July 8-12 to take the photos. They should enter through the south commons entrance, and bring their own cameras.

O’Hora painted the mural while he was employed as a custodian for the Grandview School District.

“After painting many Bulldogs throughout Grandview schools, he was asked to paint the mural for Ray-Pec,” the school district said in a news release.

“He said it was the first mural for which he was paid outside of his regular job. Over the past 20 years, he has painted many mascots, murals, and gym floors at schools throughout the area, including Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Pleasant Hill, Clinton and Holden. He estimates that he has completed more than 200 such commissioned projects.”

In addition to installing wall padding, the district plans to repaint the entire gym and update the championship banners.

Belton vocalist advances in KC SuperStar A 2019 graduate of Belton High School will be among the 10 high school singers competing Aug. 25 in 10th annual KC SuperStar finals, where a $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to the first-place winner.

Rachel Hudson was selected June 3 in the semifinals, held at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, which sponsors the contest. Each student performed a number, and judges whittled the field from 20 to 10.

The other finalists are Sam Aubuchon from the Blue Springs School District, Erika Kolseth from the Blue Valley district; Shawnee Mission district students Emma Mathieson and Alexa Morgan, Sophie Schulte from the Olathe district; Jacob Collier from the North Kansas City district; Maurissa Cunningham from the Kansas City district, Miguel Reyes from Kansas City Kan., and Sam Wise from the Leavenworth district.

$35,000 donated for Ray-Pec scoreboard

Three businesses have donated a total of $35,000 toward the cost of a new scoreboard at Ray-Pec High School’s Panther stadium.

Belton Regional Medical Center recently gave $25,000 to the project, while the Raymore and Peculiar Sonics donated $5,000 each.

The Ray-Pec Athletic Booster Club has been raising money for the scoreboard, to replace one that is 15 years old and failing. The school district has fronted some of the money, but will be reimbursed by the booster club.

To help kids, just do the math

As the recent school year wound down, 44 students from McEowen Elementary School traveled to Children’s Mercy Hospital to present a $6,003 donation that the school raised during a math-a-thon in January. Each student making the trip had raised at least $100 by collecting pledges based on the number of problems completed in a math booklet.

The money was designated for the hospital’s Child Life program in memory of Cade Filer, a Harrisonville boy who died of cancer. Over the last nine years, McEowen students have raised more than $40,000 for the hospital. During trip, the students toured the inside of the hospital’s special ambulances and met a therapy dog named Hope.

ACT score merits national honor for middle schooler

Seven Harrisonville Middle School students have earned recognition from Duke University by earning high scores on the ACT college entrance exam they took as part of the university’s program to identify and recognize high-ability students.

Eddie Eastland, Chloe Jackson, Danika Knight, Karter Johnston, Kayla Mason, Ann O’Reilly and Marina Parks qualified for state-level recognition by scoring 21 or higher on any section of the test. One student, Danika Knight, performed well enough to qualify for national recognition at Duke.

Seventh-grade students qualified to take the test by scoring in the 95th percentile or above on a nationally normed standardized test. In all, 15 Harrisonville students took the ACT for the Duke program.