About 60 Belton School District students — chosen for their leadership abilities, desire to improve school culture or participation in activities — gathered at Memorial Station in Belton earlier this month to learn and brainstorm about digital citizenship.
The sixth- through eighth-graders came from Belton Middle School, Mill Creek Upper Elementary and Hillcrest STEAM Academy. Leaders from Character Plus and the St. Louis-based Midwest Education Technology Community led discussions and activities with students, librarians, technology instructors and principals.
One activity had students group themselves according to the personality traits they saw in themselves and then try to solve a problem. “Relationship Builders” took different approaches from “Event Planners,” “Deep Thinkers” or “Cheerleaders.” The takeaway: It’s critical to listen to — and respect — different ideas when solving a problem.
As the day progressed, students wrote action plans for promoting digital citizenship in their schools. Ideas ranged from cyber safety videos, online etiquette lessons, and using weekly assemblies to educate classmates about STEP (Stop, Think, Empathize, Post/Send) to a technology boot camp that all students must complete before being issued their tech devices.
Harrisonville High selects Students of the Month
Harrisonville High School seniors Kaylee Tieman and Jon Buerge are the school’s Students of the Month for March. They were chosen by the faculty for their character, citizenship and academics.
Tieman, the daughter of Kevin and Robin Tieman, is the soprano section leader for choir, served as a stage manager for “Shrek the Musical” and is a DARE role model. She’s also involved in Peer Helpers, National Honor Society, the prom committee, debate and the Music Makers show choir
Outside school, Tieman enjoys hunting, genealogy and sewing. She is undecided on a major but plans to use A+ for two years at MCC-Longview and then transfer to UMKC for a bachelor’s degree. She also plans to participate in the Disney College program.
Buerge is the son of Greg and Amy Buerge. He was the soccer team captain and enjoys playing banjo. He plans to major in accounting at William Woods University, where he will play soccer.
History comes alive in Drexel
Fifth-graders in the Drexel School District recently chose to study historical figures who made a difference in the world — and then adopted their personas.
With backdrops highlighting milestones in the lives their subjects, the students portrayed their characters in a “wax museum” at the school.
HMS students headed to state Science Olympiad
Several Harrisonville Middle School students have qualified for the state Science Olympiad on April 7 at Westminster College in Fulton.
Two teams from the school competed at the regional level, with the top individuals and top four teams advancing to state. One HMS team took fourth place, and three individuals also qualified for state by virtue of first-place finishes.
Connor Everhart won in Hovercraft, while Kylie McGee and Madelyn Wilson earned first place in Towers. Everhart and Wilson also were part of the state-qualifying team, along with Venessa Butler, Makiah Clark, Madison Costner, Katie Fitzgerald, Piper Foreman, Emily Joseph, Roman McDermed McGee, Diego San Nicolas, Kayla Schuhler, Alex Sheldrake, Kaylee Turner and Collin Wyzard.
The students participate in Science Olympiad as part of the HATS (Harrisonville Academically Talented Students) program.
Dual purpose to vaccination clinic
While students received needed vaccinations this month at Raymore-Peculiar High School, the Cass County Health Department used the immunization clinic to conduct a mock emergency preparedness drill.
Students could sign up for the March 12 clinic to receive the meningococcal immunization, which is required before 12th grade for students 16 and older. The HPV vaccine also was offered.
At the same time, those receiving shots and other student volunteers — about 150 in all — helped the health department with the drill. The students received a packet of pretzels to simulate an oral antibiotic.
Recent grad helps students envision auto tech careers
Automotive technology students at Cass Career Center got a glimpse of what life could be like after graduation when a 2017 graduate returned to talk about a “learn as you earn” program he hopes to finish next year.
During his senior year at Harrisonville High School, Austin Hetherington took the Automotive Technology class at CCC, where he was introduced to Ford’s Automotive Student Service Educational Training, or ASSET, program.
It’s a paid internship where students alternate spending six to eight weeks in the classroom and six to eight weeks with a sponsoring Ford or Lincoln dealer. At the end of the two years, they have earned an associate’s degree and obtained on-the-job experience.
Hetherington is now enrolled at MCC-Longview. After class each day, Hetherington heads to Max Motors where he works as a lube tech.
“I love the work because it’s hands-on and fast-paced,” he said. “There’s always something to do even if it is as minor as cleaning.”
Hetherington, who hopes to work for Ford once he completes the program in May 2019, added, “Maybe with a little time and money, I can start my own auto shop.”
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to The Democrat