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6-13-24 — June 2024 Awards

June 13, 2024

2024 Olathe Public Schools Counselor Award Nominees Announced

Ravenwood Elementary School counselor Tracie Wright is named the Olathe Public Schools School Counselor of the Year nominee for the Kansas School Counselor Association.

Wright just completed her third year as the school counselor at Ravenwood Elementary. She is known for her creative and fun lessons to actively engage students and going above and beyond to meet the needs of students, staff, and families.

Olathe West High School counselor Madline Frankel is named the Olathe Public Schools nominee for the School Counselor Promise Award for the Kansas School Counselor Association.

Frankel, the senior class counselor, is passionate about helping students explore their plans beyond high school and helped plan a Hispanic College Planning Night to help Spanish-speaking families learn more about what’s next after high school.

Canyon Creek Elementary School counselor Wendy Karr was named the Olathe Public Schools School Counselor Hall of Fame Award nominee for the Kansas School Counselor Association.

Karr is known for building strong and lasting relationships with families and is always looking to help those in crisis with support and resources. She works closely with small groups and individuals, and students consistently look to Karr for support and guidance. She has worked closely with Dr. Scott Fluke, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Coordinator, to pilot and implement new interventions for PBIS at Canyon Creek.

Dr. Todd Wheat, principal at Green Springs Elementary School, is our district nominee for the School Counselor Principal Advocate Award.

His nominator, counselor Tisha Halfert, said, “His leadership sets the stage for the warm, welcoming place that Green Springs Elementary is... He demonstrates that our first priority is that our students feel safe and cared about.  He knows that with that foundation, the learning will happen."

Students and Schools Honored at the 2024 Blue Star Awards

During the 22nd annual Blue Star Awards, Olathe Public Schools high schools were well represented with at least one nominee in 29 categories. Seventeen of the 46 members of the Ceremony Ensemble who performed as a part of the evening’s festivities were Olathe Public Schools students. Olathe South High School student Noah Hastings served this year as a part of the Blue Star Student Council and served as an award host.

The five musicals nominated were: 

  • Olathe East High School – “Sister Act”
  • Olathe North High School – “The SpongeBob Musical”
  • Olathe Northwest High School – “Matilda the Musical”
  • Olathe South – “Urinetown”
  • Olathe West High School – “The Prom”

Congratulations to the following winners from the Blue Star Awards:

  • Ceremony Ensemble Scholarship Award – Delainey Mock, Olathe East;
  • Community Impact Award – Olathe South
  • Outstanding Orchestra – Olathe East for their performance of “Sister Act”
  • Outstanding Lead Performer – Sydney Carter, Olathe East, as Deloris Van Cartier in “Sister Act”
  • Outstanding Ensemble – Olathe South

The following high schools performed at the Blue Star Awards ceremony:

  • Olathe West – “The Prom” – Outstanding Overall Production Nominee Performance
  • Olathe East – “Sister Act” – Outstanding Overall Production Nominee Performance
  • Olathe East – Caroline Kelley, Olathe East, as Sister Mary Robert – Jimmy Award Finalist
  • Olathe South – Tristan Jenkins, Olathe South, as Caldwell B Cladwell - Jimmy Award Finalist

Olathe North theater teacher Dustin Pence said, “The event was truly a great night to not only celebrate theater in Olathe but also city wide. These awards and nominations are not possible without the support for the arts from the district and our buildings. Thank you for all of your support!”

Esports Inaugural Year Ends in Playoffs

The inaugural esports season for Olathe Public Schools ended with four high school teams in the Gold Division playoffs for the central region of the High School Esports League. The Corvus Team from Olathe Northwest High School joined the OWL Gold Squad and OWL Silver Squad from Olathe West High School in the recent playoffs by ranking in the top 35 of 127 teams in this Central time zone region.

Skilled video game enthusiasts worked in three-member teams to play “Rocket League” in best of five matches against other teams. Their season-long team standings, points scored, etc. qualified them for the Gold Division leaderboard.

Olathe Northwest’s Team Corvus includes team captain Josh Fowler, Mal McLewin, Eli Decker, Hunter McEachen and Jack McGeary. They finished the season ranked 31st in the central region.

Olathe West’s Gold Squad includes Tai Fenton, Michael Hagedorn and Will Brown. They ranked 32nd in the region. West’s Silver Squad includes Ian Soellner, Max Decker and Christian Vazquez. They ranked 35th in the region.

“Esports can open doors to college scholarships and career opportunities in the gaming industry,” said Olathe Northwest Coach Jennifer Zimmerli. “I think the best part of esports is watching a group of diverse players — who may otherwise never meet in school — bond over their shared love of gaming.”