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11-18-21 — November 2021 Awards

Nov. 18, 2021

District Honored with 2021 Star Recognition Awards

The Kansas State Department of Education’s 2021 Star Recognition Awards Program highlights the exceptional work Kansas districts are doing to reach the state’s vision for education – Kansas leads the world in the success of each student. Olathe Public Schools received Silver distinction in Social-Emotional Growth and Postsecondary Effectiveness, a Bronze distinction in Graduation, as well as Copper distinction in Prepared for High School Graduation.

Dewell Wins Kansas State University Award

Lindsey Dewell, fourth grade teacher at Woodland Elementary School, was named the Kansas State University Cooperating Teacher Award recipient. Dewell was selected because of her outstanding professional and personal mentorship with Kansas State University student teachers.

Dr. Judy Hughey, associate professor and coordinator of counselor education, said, "We realize the importance of our cooperating teachers and we very much appreciate their willingness to share their time, energy, and expertise with our future preservice candidates. Lindsey is obviously an exemplar!"

Dewell currently has a student teacher in her classroom. She was honored at an awards ceremony in late October.

"When I first heard the news, I was surprised, honored, and excited," Dewell added. "I love what I do, and I enjoy inspiring future teachers to be passionate about teaching and learning."

Olathe Advanced Technical Center Featured in National Publication

Olathe Advanced Technical Center students attended the 2021 Health Technology Management (HTM) Mixer in Kansas City, Mo., to learn and network from professionals in the industry. With more than 200 biomedical professionals in attendance, Olathe Advanced Technical Center students were called the "future of HTM" in a national publication called TechNation Magazine. Read the publication

Educators Rising Regional Honors

Several students in the district’s 21st Century Future Educators program at Olathe East High School recently competed in the 8th annual Educators Rising Regional Conference hosted at MidAmerica Nazarene University. This annual event provides college, high school and middle school students who are passionate about teaching the opportunity to explore the field of education, as well as compete in both individual and team events related to the field of education. The following Olathe students placed in the competition and have qualified to compete at state in February:

  • Payten Mayfield and Claire Heigele — Interactive Bulletin Board, first place
  • Annabelle Konen — Exploring Admin Careers, first place
  • Clarissa Worley — Lesson Planning and Delivery: CTE, first place
  • Hannah Connelly and Cherilyn Hernandez Vara — Ethical Dilemma, first place
  • Katelyn Eastman, Annabelle Konen, Brooke Wetterstrom, Clarissa Worley — Inside Our Schools, second place
  • Cherilyn Hernandez Vara — Ed Rising Moment, first place

Olathe East Marching Band Earns Accolades at Multiple Festivals

The Olathe East High School Marching Band, directed by Jeff Smikahl with assistant director Jennifer Creek, earned several awards during its fall season. At the Kansas City Championships at Blue Springs South, Olathe East was named Class Champions in AAA division, and received Outstanding Music, Outstanding Visual, Outstanding General Effect – placing second overall in the championships. At the Olathe Marching Invitational, they were named class champions in the gold division, grand champion in the finals, and received Outstanding Overall Effect and Outstanding Overall Visual. At the Kansas Bandmasters Association Open Class Marching Band Championships, Olathe East earned third place in High Visual, High Effect, and High Auxiliary in preliminaries. In the finals of that competition, they placed fifth overall, earning High Effect, High Visual, and High Auxiliary.

Olathe Students Named to NAfME Honor Ensembles

Olathe East High School senior Billy Sharp will be performing with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Concert Band as one of the trombonists. Olathe East junior Macy Garey will be playing viola in the All-National Symphony Orchestra. To be considered as a candidate for a NAfME All-National Honor Ensemble, students must participate in their respective all-district and all-state ensembles. Each level is required to perform a prepared audition for a panel of experts. Sharp is under the direction of band director Jeff Smikahl and Garey is under the direction of orchestra director Michael Hanf. Sharp and Garey will both be featured in a virtual performance in January 2022.

FCCLA Students Place Nationally in Pastry Arts Technical Decorating Skills

Two Olathe East Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members competed in the Pastry Arts Technical Decorating Skills of the FCCLA National Fall Conference. This event recognizes participants for their ability to demonstrate their skills producing cake decorations using pastry arts equipment and techniques. Participants prepare and present a sample board based on event specifications. Sophomore Zoe Swade and senior Leane Delerue placed first place honors on their submissions. Delerue was awarded a $50,000 full-tuition scholarship to Sullivan University due to her first-place honors.

Kauffman Foundation Real World Learning Case Study Features OPS

Olathe Public Schools’ mission is to prepare students for their future. Students as early as eighth grade can choose to learn in one of the district’s academies with the potential of earning multiple industry certifications before they graduate high school. A new case study from the Kauffman Foundation and Getting Smart shares how regional stakeholders such as the Olathe School District built a framework that will prepare Kansas City area students for life after high school. Read the case study

District Celebrates Fall Athletics Honors

Several Olathe sports teams and individual athletes returned from state competitions with top finishes this fall. Congratulations to the following teams and athletes on their accomplishments:

  • Gymnastics: The Olathe North High School gymnastics team took home the 6A state title. Olathe West High School took second place overall. In addition, several Olathe gymnasts earned individual titles or placed in the top three of their events, including Olathe North senior Ella Margheim who took first in all four events, and the All-Around category.
  • Volleyball: Olathe Northwest High School earned third place at the state volleyball tournament.
  • Cross Country: The Olathe West girls and Olathe South High School boys took first place, while the Olathe North girls snagged second place, and the Olathe East High School boys landed third place at the state competition. The Olathe West girls' team has now won back-to-back state titles, with the Olathe South boys' team winning their first cross country state title in school history. Additionally, Olathe North’s Anajli Hocker-Singh placed first in the individual girl's competition for the second year in a row.
  • Boys Soccer: Olathe West boys won the 6A state championship title, earning them their second state championship in the school’s history.
  • Bowling: Olathe East High School earned third place at the unified state bowling tournament.

Elementary Math Wings Winners Named

The 2021 Olathe Elementary Math Wings competition took place in October and winners were awarded in the fourth- and fifth-grade division.

The fourth-grade division was won by Cedar Creek’s team, which included Macy McNiel and Davis Heimsoth and were coached by Rebecca James. Forest View and Regency Place placed second. Isaac Dean, Ethan Lim, and Aiden Sumcad made up Forest View’s team, while Ze-Ian Sea, Anna Boschert, and Eli Dermer made up Regency Place’s second place team. In third place was another team from Regency Place, which included students Colden Christensen-Pope, Jonathan Gampher, and Max Seward.

The fifth-grade division was won by Brecken Brown, Alex Hayes, and Tessa Kennedy from Forest View. Briarwood took second place with team members Ian Clarke, Cruz Tejeda, and Tiffany Mwangi. Black Bob and Regency Place tied for third place. Black Bob was represented by Noah Lee, Rosalba Gonzalez, and Marcus Sorell. Regency Place was represented by Katie Chen and Harrison Madigan.

Olathe Math Wings is an after-school math club that provides an additional learning opportunity for students and is open to all students in the fourth and fifth grades.