Lee's Summit Journal

R-7 names administrator to oversee instruction

Jennifer Kephar
Jennifer Kephar

R-7 names administrator to oversee instruction

The Lee’s Summit School District has named Jennifer Kephart as its associate superintendent of instructional services, a promotion from her previous position as assistant superintendent for elementary education.

In addition, the district is turning to two former administrators to help with instructional guidance for the 2019-2020 school year. Carol Germano, who previously served as an elementary principal in the R-7 district, will work 550 hours on elementary instruction.

Don Andrews, who previously was assistant superintendent of secondary instruction, will devote the same amount of time to secondary instruction.

Staci Mathes, the district’s executive director of special services, also will provide extra support for elementary instruction in addition to her regular duties.

The moves follow the departure of former School Superintendent Dennis Carpenter in July. Emily Miller, who had been assistant superintendent of operations, has been the acting superintendent since then.

The district is searching for an interim superintendent and intends to engage a search firm to help find a permanent leader.

Church provides school supplies to Blue Springs students

EPIC Church in Independence is providing the school supplies needed by preschool and kindergarten students across the Blue Springs School District.

Parents were responsible for lunch boxes and backpacks, and have the opportunity to buy supplies on their own. But the church is making the supplies available at the schools before classes resume on Aug. 21.

“We are so lucky to be part of a community that cares about and supports our students so much!” the district tweeted. The Blue Springs district boundaries extend into eastern Independence and northern Lee’s Summit.

Aspiring graphic designer gets real-world practice

An art student at Lee’s Summit North High School, who designs fonts in her spare time, has begun building a portfolio of professional work.

The Pro Deo Youth Center in Lee’s Summit asked Annie McCord, 17, to design marketing materials for an upcoming fund-raiser called “Structures, Sketches and Strokes: The Story of Us.”

“To receive professional work while still in high school is super valuable to me because I have considered pursuing graphic design as a career,” McCord said in a news release. “I have designed T-shirts here and there for groups at Lee’s Summit North and other people, but having the opportunity to work with a local organization has helped me branch out of my comfort zone with design.”

The fundraiser, which involves an art exhibit and auction, will take place on Aug. 23. Pro Deo provides a fun, inclusive and supportive place for teens to gather and receive guidance from caring adults.

State honors students who know at least 2 languages

A total of 137 Lee’s Summit School District students have received 140 Seal of Biliteracy awards for being fluent in one or more world languages in addition to English. The languages represented are Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Punjabi and Russian.

The awards, given by the state of Missouri, recognize high school students who have proved through standardized testing that they can speak, read, listen and write in those languages.

Lee’s Summit students were awarded 114 “Seals of Biliteracy,” which acknowledge an intermediate level of language proficiency. Twenty-six Distinguished Seals were given to mark advanced proficiency in a second language.

In addition, the state recognized 280 Lee’s Summit students in kindergarten, third, sixth and eighth grades through the Missouri Pathway Awards. Those students were honored for their efforts to become proficient in another language or to maintain the native language spoken in the home.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, global communication skills are invaluable,” said Robin Villa, who chairs the district’s Modern Language Department. “The ability to earn this award inspires our students to study languages at the highest levels offered at our schools, and it is an especially compelling way to encourage, recognize and validate our heritage language students’ abilities.”

The district has posted the names of the students on its website.