Twelve Lee’s Summit R-7 School District educators have been announced as Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Teaching award winners.
Along with three Teachers of Distinction, the 12 winners are in the running for the district’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.
The Excellence in Teaching awards winners are: Matt Buxton, an English teacher at Lee’s Summit High; Kelly Bailey Eames, who teaches sixth grade at Lee’s Summit Elementary; Nicole Gilbert, a counselor Highland Park Elementary; Jamie Harrel, a first-grade teacher at Hawthorn Hill Elementary; Shawn Harrel, a digital media technology teacher at Summit Technology Academy; Lauren Hollingsworth, a social studies teacher Lee’s Summit North; Kevin McCormick, a biomedical science teacher at Summit Technology Academy; Sherri Norton, who teaches business classes at Lee’s Summit North; Janelle Pugh, a special education teacher at Highland Park Elementary; Kristen Shackelford, a fourth-grade teacher at Sunset Valley Elementary; Clif Thurmond, director of bands at Lee’s Summit West and Woodland Elementary; and Kelli Wilson, who teaches English/language arts at Lee’s Summit.
The recipients were selected by a committee of representatives from the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, the business community and R-7 staff.
The three Teachers of Distinction are former Excellence In Teaching recipients who were nominated for the award again this year. The Teachers of Distinction interviewing for Teacher of the Year are Anne Braun, who teaches fifth grade at Woodland Elementary; Christie Brown, library media specialist at Summit Lakes Middle; and Tammi Krones, a business and marketing teacher at Lee’s Summit High.
The Teacher of the Year will be announced during a recognition program and reception from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 11 at The Stanley in downtown Lee’s Summit. The public is invited.
A stellar — or is it lunar? — idea
A naming contest for the moon? It’s an idea conceived by a seventh-grade student at Pleasant Lea Middle School that’s gaining attention.
At least, no one at NASA or a student science magazine has said no.
For several months now at her middle school, Maya Bowen has been asking why the moon doesn’t have a name, and the topic has been discussed in her science class.
Science teacher Chris Lake sent the suggestion to NASA and Scholastic’s ScienceWorld magazine, encouraging NASA to conduct a “name the moon” contest.
NASA representatives responded that it was an “interesting concept” and said the idea had been forwarded to the Planetary Science Division. ScienceWorld officials said the suggestion had been sent to the magazine’s corporate office.
Maya has developed her recommendations for contest parameters, saying she does not want the moon named after a person. She also recommends that the moon’s name not come from Roman mythology. The Earth is the only planet in our solar system that’s not named after a Roman god.
Statewide group honors R-7 employee
Janice Phelan, executive director of communications for the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, is the Missouri School Public Relations Association’s 2018 Professional of the Year. The honor was announced this month at the organization’s spring conference in Lake Ozark.
According to nominations, Phelan is known within the district as a trusted communications professional who provides needed information to school personnel, parents and the community.
“Janice has been a mentor and confidante to many of her peers in the western part of the state,” MSPRA President Paul Tandy said in a release. “She is one of the ‘go-to’ people for anything from help with bonds and levies to dealing with school crises.”
Lee’s Summit Superintendent Dennis Carpenter added, “Janice’s ability to anticipate and foster a calming influence, even in the midst of crisis, has served our district and me extremely well.”
Phelan has announced her retirement, effective June 2018. Before joining the R-7 district, she was a reporter and editor for newspapers in Lee’s Summit as well as Carroll and Washington, Iowa.
Two honored for Christian character
Summit Christian Academy has announced the recipients of its third-quarter Christian Character Awards at the elementary school level.
They are second-grader Breonna Batchelor, daughter of Britt and Wendy Batchelor, and fifth-grader Karsyn Crowther, daughter of Andrew and Tiffany Crowther.
The award aims to encourage students to pursue their highest potential for personal and academic development.
Getting to know you
There was a two-fold purpose to a recent community service project conducted by nearly 20 Lee’s Summit R-7 School District sixth-graders in the ASPIRE gifted program.
Obviously, they wanted to help the needy by collecting nonperishable items for Lee’s Summit Social Services. The food was delivered April 2 after students spent several hours organizing donations.
The other objective was for the sixth-graders to get acquainted with students they will see next fall when they transition to Pleasant Lea Middle School. All the volunteers came from the six schools that feed into Pleasant Lea.
Similar field trips are planned in May for the schools that feed Bernard Campbell and Summit Lakes middle schools.
ASPIRE stands for Achieving Student Potential In Reaching and Expanding. The program is offered in kindergarten through sixth grade at all R-7 elementary schools.
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to the Journal