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6-9-21 — Early June 2021 Awards

June 9, 2021

Geary Elected to KSHSAA Board of Directors

The Olathe Public Schools will be well represented on the Kansas High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) Board of Directors with the appointment of Board of Education member Brian Geary as the school board representative for Congressional District 3, Division I.

“I am thrilled that Olathe will be able to represent Congressional District 3 in this fashion and I am honored to fill this role,” Geary said. “I’m excited to use my Board of Education knowledge and combine it with my love of activities and athletics to serve the community and make a positive impact on the students of Kansas.”

Olathe North High School Principal Jason Herman and Frontier Trail Middle School Principal Rod Smith currently serve on the board as a Senior High School League Representative and Middle/Junior High School Representative, respectively.

Theatre Students Receive Recognition

Numerous Olathe students earned recognitions at the 19th annual Blue Star Awards by Starlight Theatre.

  • Millie Bell, Olathe East High School, received the Dream Production Award for choreography.
  • Breanna Kristian, Olathe East, received the Technical Achievement Award for stage management and properties design.
  • Grant Martin, Olathe East, received the Technical Achievement Award for costume design.
  • Sydney Nicks, Olathe East, received a performance scholarship.
  • Justin Cooley, Olathe East, received the award for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role.

Modeled after Broadway’s Tony Awards, Starlight’s Blue Star Awards recognize achievement and excellence in high school music theatre and is one of the largest programs like it in the country.

Mahaffie Elementary Student Named Braille Challenge Finalist

Emrie Wisner, second grade student at Mahaffie Elementary, was named a 2021 Braille Challenge Finalist. This means she placed in the top 10 of her age category for the Braille Challenge preliminaries across North America and has qualified to compete in the Braille Challenge Finals later this summer. Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind held in North America for students who are blind or visually impaired. Braille Institute developed Braille Challenge to motivate students to practice and hone their braille literacy skills, which are essential to academic and employment success. Contestants are divided into five categories and tested on fundamental braille skills such as reading comprehension, spelling, speed and accuracy, proofreading, and charts and graphs.

Student Named 2021 National Honor Society Scholarship Recipient

Eleanor Willson, Olathe Northwest High School, was named a 2021 National Honor Society Scholarship recipient. Each year, the National Association of Secondary School Principals distributes more than $2 million to 600 deserving graduating seniors. Since 1946, more than $19 million in scholarships have been awarded.

Students Earn State Titles at Spring Athletic Events

Olathe athletes earned top honors at several state championships this spring. The Olathe North High School Girls Track & Field team was named 6A Girls Track & Field State Champions. In addition to a team title, several athletes took home individual titles in the state Track & Field events, including:

Girls Track & Field

  • Kennedi Cline, Olathe West High School, 200-meter Dash
  • Kennedi Cline, Olathe West, 400-meter Dash
  • Anjali Hocker Singh, Olathe North, 3200-meter Run
  • Kaiya McKie, Olathe North, 100-meter Hurdles
  • Saniya Simmons, Ka'Liyah McGinnis, Ashlyn Alloway, Kaiya McKie, Olathe North, 4x100 Relay
  • Destiny Lassiter, Bree Newport, Charis Robinson, Kennedi Cline, Olathe West, 4x400 Relay
  • Bree Newport, Kathryn Miller, Paige Baker, Charis Robinson, Olathe West, 4x800 Relay

Boys Track & Field

  • Riley Vandaveer, Olathe South High School, 800-meter Run
  • Riley Vandaveer, Olathe South, 1600-meter Run
  • Ben Gutekunst, Olathe Northwest, Javelin

Students Win First Place in Local Car Show

Students in the Olathe Hispanic Leadership Lowrider Bike Club and the Olathe Advanced Technical Center’s Auto Collision Technology program had much to celebrate at the Olathe Police Foundation’s 11th annual benefit car show. The Lowrider Bike Club, a group of high school students known for fixing up donated bikes and giving back to their community, combined their passion for lowrider culture and serving the community with the technical and industry knowledge of students in the auto collision program to build a lowrider police car. The car won first place in the Work In Progress category at the benefit car show.

Students Raise Funds to Sponsor Drinking Well

Fundraising efforts from the 2019-20 school year have recently come to fruition for students at California Trail Middle School, Chisholm Trail Middle School and Mission Trail Middle School. These students raised funds to benefit Water for South Sudan, a charity close to their heart. Each year, seventh grade students read the novel "A Long Walk to Water" by Linda Sue Park detailing the story of Salva Dut, a lost boy who led 1,500 young orphans to safety from the Sudanese war in the 1980s. The funds raised by these students were recently used to drill a drinking water well in the village of Patiek-Dier in Warrap State, South Sudan. The names of all three schools are engraved at the base of the well, which joins the more than 490 wells Water for South Sudan has drilled since 2005, providing clean water and a new future in South Sudan.