Lee's Summit Journal

Blue Springs South says hello to freshmen

The Jaguar mascot took its place in the new freshman wing of Blue Springs South High School.
The Jaguar mascot took its place in the new freshman wing of Blue Springs South High School. Courtesy photo

Freshmen welcomed at Blue Springs South

For the first time in about two decades, Blue Springs South High School welcomed freshmen to its campus when classes resumed Aug. 21.

The school, which serves students from Lee’s Summit, can accommodate the freshmen because of construction financed by a bond issue approved by voters in August 2018.

Students, staff and community members got an early look at the freshman addition on Aug. 13 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony that featured a performance by the Jaguar Pride marching band.

Previously, all ninth-graders in the Blue Springs district attended the Blue Springs Freshman Center at 2103 N.W .Vesper St. Now it’s called the Blue Springs High School Freshman Campus.

Eventually, district officials hope to incorporate freshmen into the main Blue Springs High School location as well.

“For the Blue Springs High School campus to be ready to house the freshman class, they first need a new library media center and fine arts spaces, which are currently under construction thanks to the passing of the 2018 no-tax-rate-increase bond issue,” district spokeswoman Katie Woolf said by email. “The long-term plan is to place another bond issue on the ballot to build a freshman wing at Blue Springs High School. The timeline for that bond issue has not yet been determined.”

The 2018 bond issue also financed construction at two elementary schools with Lee’s Summit addresses. Crews have completed a two-classroom addition at Chapel Lakes Elementary and a library enclosure at Voy Spears Jr. Elementary.

Emily Miller is interim superintendent in LS

After conducting interviews on Aug. 24, the Lee’s Summit Board of Education chose Emily Miller as the interim superintendent for the 2019-20 school year. She became acting superintendent in late July after Dennis Carpenter resigned as the district’s top leader.

The school board’s vote for Miller was unanimous.

“Dr. Miller will work toward collaboration, equity and trust while focusing on student achievement,” Board of Education President Julie Doane said in a news release. “She will continue to work closely with our staff, parents and community to move our current initiatives forward and to further our commitment to prepare each student for success in life.”

Miller has worked in the district as a teacher, process coordinator, assistant superintendent of special services and assistant superintendent of operations.

“From innovative practices, to facilities planning, to continuing to build trust, we have priorities and a mission statement that holds us responsible for preparing our students for successful futures,” Miller said. “I know as a team we are up to that task.”

With Miller’s appointment, the R-7 school board will now focus on a search for a permanent superintendent.

They run so others can walk

It’s typical for the boys cross country team at Lee’s Summit High School to raise money for a St. Louis meet and other needs, but this year the boys scheduled an overnight run to help people who have lost limbs.

The “dusk to dawn” event was to begin at 8 p.m. Aug. 23 and finish at 8 a.m. the next morning, a Saturday. After securing pledges from friends and family, the boys planned to take turns running one-mile legs on the high school track, with the squad split into competing groups.

The team needs an average of $75 per runner for the trip to St. Louis, but wanted to raise twice as much and send the excess to Steps of Faith, a Kansas City area nonprofit that provides prosthetic limbs to people who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

“The athletes surpassed expectations on money raised and brought in almost $4,500,” head coach Gabe Lutes said by email. “We’ll be able to give steps of Faith close to $3,000.”

Those interested can donate directly to the organization at www.stepsoffaithfoundation.org. Steps of Faith also has scheduled its third annual Thundergong fund-raiser on Nov. 9, with actor Jason Sudeikis and other celebrities.

Foundation gives nearly $476,000 to support R-7 students

Last school year, the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation donated $475,887 to R-7 district classrooms and student programs.

The largest amount, $120,000, went toward the purchase of Chromebooks used in the instructional program. More than $90,000 was spent on competitive grants awarded to teachers for classroom initiatives, and just over $67,000 funded scholarships.

Gifts can be made online at www.lsedfoundation.com. Fund-raising events include the Race for the Future on Oct. 12 at Lee’s Summit West High School and the Taste of Lee’s Summit next spring. Go to the same website to sign up for the Race for the Future, which benefits both the foundation and the Carrie Foresee Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Summit Technology students medal in Skills USA competition

Three students from Summit Technology Academy brought home medals after competing this summer in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville.

Connor Dalrymple, whose home school is Lee’s Summit High, earned a silver medal in Internetworking, a category that included end-to-end networking, system administration, troubleshooting, technical assistance and a written exam.

Victor Semenok and Jackson Eller, both from Lee’s Summit North High School, finished third nationally in cyber security, which included switch, route, wireless, server and end-point security as well as digital forensics, pentesting and a written exam.

Do you care for a child affected by trauma or loss?

Lee’s Summit CARES is launching a new program next month geared toward adults who are supporting children with challenging pasts.

The program, designed by the Love and Logic Institute, will be offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Sept. 9 through Oct. 7 at Summit Ridge Academy, 2620 S.W. Ward Road.

The class is designed for parents, educators and others working with young people who have experienced trauma, loss or other types of pain in their lives. Participants will learn how trauma affects behavior and ways to promote hope and healing.

The course also will address managing challenging behaviors — including defiance and lack of motivation at school — and empowering the young person to be successful.

The cost is $10 per person, and scholarships are available. Space is limited, so those interested are encouraged to register well before the Sept. 6 deadline. Go to lscares.org and click on the parenting tab to learn more about the course and registration.

For scholarship information, contact Lee’s Summit CARES at 816-347-3248 or LSCares@rediscovermh.org, or visit lscares.org/ScholarshipRequest.pdf.