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2-23-23 — February 2023 Awards

Feb. 23, 2023

Music Educators' Workshop Features Student Groups

More than 170 Olathe students, from elementary through high school, performed at the Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshop Feb. 23-25 in Wichita. The singers and musicians were selected through a rigorous audition process to perform in one of several KMEA All-State ensembles.

The ensembles included students from Arbor Creek, Meadow Lane and Pleasant Ridge elementaries; all 10 middle schools; and all five Olathe high schools. They rehearsed with their fellow ensemble members from across the state and performed in formal concerts.

In addition to the All-State students, two groups from Olathe were selected to perform during the KMEA In-Service Workshop.  The Olathe Northwest High School Raven Jazz II group was led by directors Galen Whisman and Robert Davis. The Summit Trail Middle School Sabercat Eighth Grade Band was led by director Joshua Hankey and assistant director Michele Bullins.

“Along with their directors, the talented students in these ensembles have worked diligently to achieve and maintain the superior level of performance that earned their invitation to take part in this prestigious event,” wrote Fine Arts Coordinator Martha Gabel in the KMEA program.

Elementary and Middle School Math Teams Compete in January

The Olathe Public Schools elementary and middle school math competitions took place in late January.

Two elementary schools tied for first place in the fourth grade division: Canyon Creek Elementary School's Quinn Young, Frankie Creviston and Cade Kaufmann as well as Forest View Elementary School’s Brendan Lavicky, Jack Kelly and Mason Smith. In the fifth grade division, Cedar Creek Elementary School students Davis Heimsoth and Adam Merfen took first place.

Two middle schools took the top spot in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade divisions. Pioneer Trail Middle School sixth graders Carter Reece-Nidiffer, Gio Otero, Rayce Pierce and Matea Knoell won first place. Prairie Trail Middle School placed first in seventh and eighth grade. Congratulations to sixth grader Kaylee Liu; seventh graders Ilene Wang and Virginia Schoenfeldt; and eighth graders Keaden Yim, Mehardeep Singh, Santosh Subramanian and Aiden Olsen.

All middle school mathletes competed at the Math Counts competition at the Jewish Community Center on Feb. 7. California Trail Middle School’s team of sixth grader Nora Harrington, seventh grader Isaac Wong, and eighth graders Sanjay Kailad and Mahi Kohli placed third overall. Kohli also placed fourth individually.

Community Liaison Receives Community Achievement Award

Heather Schoonover, Olathe Public Schools community liaison, is the recipient of the Olathe Lions Club fourth annual Milburn-Reddy Community Award.

"Our Community Development team is one of the reasons our school district and our greater community is so tight knit,” Superintendent Dr. Brent Yeager said. “We help each other out and Heather leads the team that truly helps our students and families in the most need across our district. Not only that but she helps our community partners and volunteers give back. She is an OPS alum and loves our district and our community. Congratulations to Heather on this well-deserved award!”

The Olathe Lions Club is proud to present the award to Schoonover on Saturday, March 4 at the Olathe Indian Creek Library during the free community health fair.

Olathe East Teacher Given KSHSAA Heart of the Arts Award

The Kansas High School Student Athletics Association Student Advisory Team has selected Laura Klaassen, choral director at Olathe East High School, for the 2022 KSHSAA Heart of the Arts Award. One of the many reasons that she was given this award is due to her adaptive music class with the center-based resource students.

“Laura Klaassen changes lives,” said Dr. Mike Wolgast, athletic director at Olathe East. “Laura is deserving of the Heart of the Arts award. She pours her heart and soul into her work, her students, and the Olathe East family.”

State honorees will receive a plaque to be displayed at their school. The presentation of the plaque will take place at a KSHSAA tournament or local event yet to be determined.  The nominations have been submitted for consideration by the National Federation of State High School Associations for national recognition. Read more about Klaassen’s nomination.

Olathe Public Schools Ranked No. 2 District in KC Metro

Ingram’s Magazine ranked Olathe Public Schools No. 2 in the Kansas City metropolitan area on the Kansas side. The ranking was based on the school district’s average ACT score, which outperforms the state and nation. With an average score of 22.2, Olathe Public Schools’ class of 2021 drove the district to land its No. 2 spot.

Ingram’s Magazine has been the leading business publication in Missouri and Kansas for more than 45 years. Their organization puts out “The Power Book” which features lists of businesses and organizations, school districts included, and their rankings based on a measurable result.

District Awarded Meritorious Budget Award for Fiscal Year 2022-2023

The Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) recognized the Olathe Public Schools for excellence in budget presentation with the Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) for fiscal year 2022–2023.

ASBO International’s MBA and introductory Pathway to the MBA programs promote and recognize excellence in school budget presentation. Program participation enhances school business officials’ skills in developing, analyzing, and presenting a school system budget. Participants submit their budget documents to a panel of school financial professionals who review the materials for compliance with the MBA Criteria Checklist and other requirements and provide expert feedback that districts can use to improve their budget documents.

The district has been participating in the MBA program for 26 years, a true reflection of the district’s commitment to fiscal integrity.