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7-22-21 — Late July 2021 Awards

July 22, 2021

Olathe East Student Competes in Jimmy Awards

Justin Cooley, Olathe East High School 2021 graduate, was selected as one of 72 finalists to compete in the 12th annual Jimmy Awards ceremony. Presented by The Broadway League Foundation, The Jimmy Awards program is a national celebration of outstanding student achievement in high school vocal, dance and acting performance. Student performers qualify to compete in the national program by winning top honors at regional high school musical theatre competitions presented by Broadway League-member performing arts centers. Cooley qualified as a result of being named Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role at the Blue Star Awards hosted by Starlight Theatre. This year, a total of 20 awards and scholarships were available to Jimmy Awards finalists. Cooley placed in the top four for the Best Performance by and Actor and Best Performance by an Actress category, receiving a $3,000 scholarship.

6A State Debate Honors

On May 1 at the 6A KSHSAA State Speech & Drama Championships, Olathe students took home state championships in three of the 12 events:

  • Ellie Willson, a 2021 graduate of Olathe Northwest High School, was the state champion in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking and in Informative Speaking.
  • Kaelyn Wellman, then a junior at Olathe Northwest, was the state champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

On June 13-19 at the NSDA National Speech and Debate Tournament, Olathe students were honored:

  • Teagan Townsend, a 2021 graduate of Olathe East High School, was recognized as Olathe’s only four-time national qualifier for 2021.
  • Kaelyn Wellman, Olathe Northwest, placed third in the nation in Extemporaneous Debate.

Carly Bowden Named 2021 Lowell Milken Center Fellow

Carly Bowden, Oregon Trail Middle School math teacher, has been named a 2021 Lowell Milken Center Fellow. The Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas, an international educational non-profit, awards the LMC Fellowship based on merit to educators who have distinguished themselves in teaching respect and understanding through project-based learning or who have the potential for this distinction. The Center selects exemplary teachers from across America and around the world, drawn from a variety of disciplines, to collaborate on projects that discover, develop, and communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes in history.

As a Lowell Milken Center Fellow, she will visit Fort Scott for a week of professional learning and will emerge prepared to develop Unsung Heroes projects with their students, as they apply and evaluate the stories of role models who have changed the world throughout history.

Recent Olathe Graduates Named Scholar Athletes

Several 2021 Olathe graduates have been selected to represent Kansas City as this year’s Kansas City Star Scholar-Athlete high school award-winners. Scholar athletes are nominated from faculty and staff at each of the 100-plus high schools in the Kansas City metro area. All candidates were reviewed thoroughly, and the field was narrowed down through three rounds of independent judging by KC Star staffers and prominent members of the community. Judges reviewed the nominees’ portfolios for athletic and academic prowess, as well as their community service. Olathe scholar athletes include:

  • Hali Liu, Olathe East High School
  • Jillian Klusman, Olathe North High School
  • Sam Arrick, Olathe Northwest High School
  • Riley Vandaveer, Olathe South High School
  • Alex Birge, Olathe West High School