Lee's Summit Journal

Upgrades on the way for Blue Springs schools

Kenna Schmidt (left) and Clarity Qualls (center) display their award-winning artwork with art teacher Jewelee Lukowski.
Kenna Schmidt (left) and Clarity Qualls (center) display their award-winning artwork with art teacher Jewelee Lukowski. Courtesy photo

Upgrades on way for Blue Springs schools

Construction began quickly this fall after Blue Springs School District patrons approved two ballot measures in August to generate money for building improvements and operations..

At Blue Springs South High School, which serves part of Lee’s Summit, the projects include:

▪ A new freshman wing.

▪ A black box/small theater.

▪ Addition of outdoor activity spaces with upgrades to all-weather surfaces.

▪ Updates to the performing arts center.

▪ A third gym.

Upgrades also are planned at two elementary schools with Lee’s Summit addresses. Chapel Lakes Elementary is one of five buildings that will get a classroom addition. A library enclosure is coming to Voy Spears Jr. Elementary.

Neither ballot measure — a bond issue and a levy fund transfer — required a tax increase.

The $99 million bond issue funded the construction, which also includes security enhancements throughout the district. The levy transfer is allowing the district to hire teachers and reduce class sizes, increase staff salaries and provide a personal computer to all students in grades 9 through 12.

Some projects will be finished by the fall of 2019 and all should be in place within two years.

LS West speech/debate in top 1 percent

Lee’s Summit West High School has been named one of the Top 100 schools in the National Speech & Debate Association for the 2017-2018 school year. It ranked 21st among more than 3,500 schools nationwide.

Students earn points and degrees in the honor society based on competitive and service-related activities. Because of the high number of Lee’s Summit West students involved in speech and debate and the degrees they have earned through competition, the chapter is ranked among the top 1 percent of schools nationwide and has earned membership in the association’s Pentagon Society.

“This milestone is remarkable because it demonstrates outstanding commitment to teaching students essential life skills—including communication, research, listening, writing and organization. The hard work you have invested to achieve this distinction will pay dividends for years to come. I encourage you to build upon this momentum to ensure that even more students are empowered to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals and honorable leaders in our global society,” said J. Scott Wunn, the executive director of the National Speech & Debate Association.

R-7 College Night is Oct. 15

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District will host its 31st annual College Night from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 15 at the Pavilion at John Knox Village, 520 N.W. Murray Road.

More than 100 higher education institutions will be represented, including military and trade schools.

The college fair is open to students from Lee’s Summit high schools, as well as surrounding school districts. All grade levels are welcome, but juniors, seniors and their families are especially encouraged to take the opportunity to meet college officials.

By preregistering at strivefair.com, students can make the best use of their time at the fair.

Winning art focuses on prevention

Bernard Campbell Middle School produced two of only a dozen student artists in Missouri whose work will be featured in a calendar focused on substance abuse prevention.

Before Red Ribbon Week each year, ACT Missouri hosts a contest for artwork to be published in the calendar. One piece is chosen for each month of the year. This year’s them is “I am the Power of Prevention.”

The Lee’s Summit winners are eighth-grader Kenna Schmidt and seventh-grader Clarity Qualls.

Volleyball event benefits families with cancer

Lee’s Summit High School will host this year’s “Dig For The Cure” volleyball event on Oct. 11 when the school takes on the Lee’s Summit West Titans.

All proceeds go to the Stephanie Vest Foundation, a local charity that assists families dealing with cancer.

C-team games begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by junior varsity games at 5:30 and varsity competition at 7. Guests also can participate in a 50/50 raffle and bid on silent auction gifts that include a garage door opener, a Yeti product, a Sonos speaker and golf at Creekmoor Golf Club. The school is at 400 S.E. Blue Parkway.

The foundation is named for Stephanie Vest, who died at age 34 of lymphoma. She was diagnosed in 2008, a few weeks after giving birth to her third child, and passed away in December of that year.

Helping hands from SCA

The class of 2019 at Summit Christian Academy spent part of last summer serving in the Appalachian community of Beckley, W.Va., during the school’s 15th annual senior mission trip.

They sorted food pantry donations, cleaned up debris at an extreme-sport youth camp, painted at a church, cared for a community garden, visited nursing home residents and provided manpower at the Salvation Army and a local Bible college.

Class members shared their experiences with classmates recently at the annual Senior Chapel.