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Gardner Edgerton beefs up school security

Austin Shively, Olathe Northwest High School senior, has earned the 2018 Kansas state title in both Dramatic Interpretation and Humorous Interpretation.
Austin Shively, Olathe Northwest High School senior, has earned the 2018 Kansas state title in both Dramatic Interpretation and Humorous Interpretation. Photo provided

Starting May 14, parents and others visiting Gardner Edgerton schools must alert the staff and identify themselves before being admitted to the buildings during school hours.

The procedure is designed to enhance safety.

School doors will be unlocked as students arrive, but once class begins, a buzzer system will control access to the buildings.

The buzzer rings to the main office, where staffers will look at the visitor’s photo ID through a video monitor and confirm the person’s identity. The door will be unlocked once permission to enter is granted.

As in the past, visitors must sign in at the office and obtain a visitor’s badge.

“We understand this may be an inconvenience to some of our visitors,” the district said in a news release, “but the district’s responsibility to keep every student and staff member safe in our buildings is top priority.

“We also believe our commitment to safety and security are integral in providing the most optimal learning experiences.”

Madison Place grads will now go same middle school

The Olathe School District has tweaked school boundaries for the upcoming school year so that all Madison Place Elementary students will move on to Chisholm Trail Middle School.

A small number of students have been assigned to Indian Trail Middle School up to now, but Chisholm Trail now has room for all Madison Place students. The district said parents favored the change when consulted at a meeting in February.

‘Olathe’s Got Talent’ names scholarship winners

At last month’s “Olathe’s Got Talent” showcase, nine Olathe students received more than $8,700 in scholarships and prizes for their vocal and musical talents:

▪  Luis Gomez Campos, Santa Fe Trail Middle School eighth-grader, received the Show Stopper award and a $1,500 prize.

▪ The audience “Fan Favorite” Award went to Briarwood Elementary fifth-grader Colin Kaberline, who received $250.

▪ Brett Taylor, Olathe Northwest High School junior, received the Heise-Meyer Visual Arts $1,000 scholarship.

▪ Elizabeth Booze, Olathe Northwest High School sophomore, received a $1,000 scholarship from the Olathe Noon Optimist Club.

▪ Renaissance Infrastructure Consulting sponsored a $1,000 scholarship given to Leah Sewester, Olathe Northwest High School junior.

▪ Walmart West sponsored a $1,000 scholarship awarded to Olathe Northwest High School senior Veronica Palii.

▪ Alana Schmalzried-Lugo, California Trail Middle School seventh-grader, received a $1,000 scholarship from Olathe Health.

▪ Emma Whitney, Olathe Northwest High School freshman, received a $1,000 scholarship from Enterprise Bank & Trust.

▪ Madison Hadl, Olathe North High School senior, received a $1,000 scholarship from Johnson County Community College.

“Olathe’s Got Talent” was held on April 28.

Shutterbugs can win up to $100 in free water

City of Olathe water customers have a chance to win free water for a month — up to $100 worth — by posting a picture showing how they enjoy Olathe water.

But be quick. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. May 12 to be eligible to win.

The first step for entering is to “like” the city of Olathe on Facebook and/or follow the city on Twitter or Instagram. Then post the picture with the tag @CityofOlatheKS.

The city will post the finalist pictures, and the public can vote for their favorites on Facebook or Twitter. The winner will be the entry with the highest number of votes on Facebook and Twitter combined.

Visit for all the details.

Student wins two state titles in forensics

Austin Shively, Olathe Northwest High School senior, has earned the 2018 Kansas state title in both Dramatic Interpretation and Humorous Interpretation.

He has been the Dramatic Interpretation state champion twice in two years.

“Austin is just incredibly talented in so many different fields,” Olathe Northwest Principal Chris Zuck said in a new release. “It’s no wonder he is able to perform at such a high level in everything he does. In addition to his state titles, he’s a gifted actor and leader.”

Ravenwood recognized for character efforts

Ravenwood Elementary School in Olathe has earned two Promising Practice Awards from the state of Kansas in partnership with

The awards were given for the Tiger Families program and the Positive P.A.W.S. and Tiger Blue for Success program. Each targets specific relationship-building attributes and promotes a safe, engaging learning environment.

The awards are part of the Kansas Schools of Character Award program.

Two Olathe schools earn state honors

Two Olathe elementary schools have received a Challenge Award from the Kansas State Department of Education. The awards recognize schools that have made a notable difference in achievement despite facing significant challenges in the school population.

Fairview Elementary received the Challenge Award in third-grade reading and math, and Central Elementary was recognized in fourth-grade math.

Governing magazine honors Olathe for collaboration

Olathe has been named the top-performing city in the “Broadly Partnered” category of the 2018 Equipt to Innovate national survey of American cities, according to Governing magazine.

The award recognizes cities for collaborating with other private and public entities to make progress.

Specifically, Olathe played a leadership role in the Kansas City Regional Benchmarking Initiative with 17 nearby cities to share performance data in areas such as workforce and economic development.

The city also participated in an initiative with the University of Kansas and other Johnson County cities to analyze the impact of tax incentives on property value growth.

Olathe was also designated a high performer in the “Dynamically Planned,” “Smartly Resourced” and “Employee-Engaged” categories. Kansas City also was recognized for “Dynamically Planned.”