Lee's Summit Journal

Mira will never be forgotten at Cedar Creek

Fourth-graders from Cedar Creek Elementary School traveled to Children’s Mercy Hospital to help a little girl named Mira with an early birthday celebration. They couldn’t wait for the real birthday because Mira was being transported to a different hospital out of state.
Fourth-graders from Cedar Creek Elementary School traveled to Children’s Mercy Hospital to help a little girl named Mira with an early birthday celebration. They couldn’t wait for the real birthday because Mira was being transported to a different hospital out of state. Courtesy photo

Fourth-graders go all out for Mira

A little girl named Mira hasn’t been forgotten, even when in the hospital for a critical illness she’s had all her life. Linda Driskill’s fourth-graders at Cedar Creek Elementary have seen to that.

“Since the moment they found out about Mira, they have made cards, Face-timed her in the hospital and have gone above and beyond in showing kindness,” said Michelle Uptegrove, a teacher at Cedar Creek who also is Mira’s homebound teacher, working with her after school and on weekends.

Mira, who attends Underwood Elementary School, fights fatigue and can be in school only a few hours each morning when she’s not in the hospital.

“Mira has needed homebound services for her entire school life, and I was the lucky teacher to be assigned to her back at the beginning of kindergarten,” said Uptegrove, who works with the girl after school and on weekends. “When children are on homebound for extended years, you move into their world. You go into their homes, to the hospital and walk their journey with them.”

It was Uptegrove who told Driskill’s class in early January about Mira and “how she gets lonely in her long hospital stays.”

“I described to them how her illness affects her and how she would love to have more friends.”

Before long, the fourth-graders were reaching out to Mira in various ways. One afternooon, Uptegrove brought Mira to Cedar Creek to meet the fourth-graders.

Then, as Mira’s eighth birthday approached, Driskill’s class decided to plan a party.They had to hurry things up, though, upon learning that Mira was going to children’s hospital in another state. After wrapping gifts they purchased themselves, they traveled to Children’s Mercy Hospital to surprise Mira about a week earlier than planned.

“Children like Mira unlock the love and compassion in people to meet them,” Uptegrove said. “They bring people together for a common purpose and teach others to be grateful for every day. I truly feel that when I share Mira’s story with others — her strength to survive and fight -- brings out the best in all who meet her.”

Scholarship honors slain police officer

Police and school officials last week honored the memory of Officer Thomas Orr by celebrating the presentation of a $2,500 scholarship to Aleeya Lewis, a 2019 graduate of Lee’s Summit High School. Lewis is planning for a career in law enforcement.

Orr, 30, the school resource officer at Bernard Campbell Middle School in the R-7 school district, was shot and killed in August 2017 after an argument broke out at a Westport restaurant in Kansas City. Investigators said Orr was an innocent bystander who wasn’t involved in the dispute.

Funds for the scholarship were raised by Bernard Campbell Middle School, Lee’s Summit West High School, Lee’s Summit High School’s Tiger Smart program, and Lee’s Summit Superintendent Dennis Carpenter.

Lewis plans to pursue her career goal by attending community college this fall MCC-Blue River. During high school, Lewis attended the Law Enforcement/Police Science program at Herndon Career Center in Raytown, participated in the Lee’s Summit Police Department Explorers program and built a close relationship with Darnell Sims, the school resource officer at Lee’s Summit High.

Local singers are semifinalists in KC SuperStar contest

Twenty area high school students — including four from the Blue Springs/Lee’s Summit area — will compete June 3 in the semifinals of the 2019 KC SuperStar contest, which will award a $10,000 scholarship to the top high school singer.

The free event begins at 7 p.m. in the White Theatre of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, which sponsors the competition. Those planning to attend are asked to bring canned and paper goods for the Jewish Family Services Food pantry.

Students competing from this area include Annie Harsch from Summit Christian Academy, and three students from the Blue Springs School District: Sam Aubuchon. Claire Campos and Vaysia Knust. Homeschool student Lydia Williams is also among the semifinalists.

The Jewish Community Center is at 5801 W. 115th St. in Overland Park.

Chamber, Rotary award scholarships to SCA students

Summit Christian School has announced the winners of two $1,000 scholarships from local civic groups.

Maggie Munsterman is the recipient of the Lee’s Summit Sunrise Rotary Club Scholarship, which is offered each year to a graduating senior from Summit Christian. Munsterman will attend Truman State University in the fall and major in communication disorders.

Faith Dickey, also a 2019 graduate, received the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Education Committee’s scholarship. One scholarship winner is selected from a Lee’s Summit private high school each year. Dickey will major in nursing and pre-medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Longview Farm kids raise funds to fight blood cancer

Through their “Pennies for Patients” drive,Longview Farm Elementary School’s Stallion Ambassadors recently raised $1,305.01 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Free summer meals

All Lee’s Summit R-7 students 18 and under can receive federally funded meals at no cost on Mondays through Thursdays from June 3 through June 27.

Breakfast will be served from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m., and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., both at Meadow Lane Elementary School, 1421 N.E. Independence Ave. in Lee’s Summit. Adults may purchase a meal for $3.25, but exact change is required.

Direct questions to Lori Danella at lori.danella@lsr7.net or 816-986-2206.