As we near the end of the first quarter of the school year, numerous achievements in our Shawnee Mission schools show that the 2023-2024 school year truly is “A Time to Shine.”
Here are a few of the recent accomplishments in the Shawnee Mission School District:
Blue Ribbon School The U.S. Department of Education recognized Roesland Elementary School as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2023. They are one of only 353 schools in the nation and four schools in Kansas to receive the honor this year. Schools are selected based on overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups on assessments. Roesland received the designation of “Exemplary High Performing School.” Click here to see a video.
Superintendent Finalist Dr. Michelle Hubbard, Superintendent, was named one of three finalists for 2024 Kansas Superintendent of the Year. She was one of 16 superintendents nominated by her peers for the honor. From there, nine nominees, including Dr. Hubbard, completed a rigorous application process. Now, three finalists will be interviewed by a committee to consider who will be named Kansas Superintendent of the Year. Click here to read more.
Kansas Teacher of the Year Shawnee Mission has announced two individuals who will represent the Shawnee Mission School District in the 2025 Kansas Teacher of the Year Program. Annie Hasan, Arabic teacher at Shawnee Mission South, will be the district’s secondary nominee. Amber Pagan, Pre-K teacher at Nieman, will be the district’s elementary nominee. They will be honored by the Kansas State Department of Education in the Kansas Teacher of the Year Program. The person selected for Kansas Teacher of the Year will be able to advance to the National Teacher of the Year competition.
Horizon Nominees Liz Palmer, a second-grade teacher at Rosehill Elementary, and Brennan Mills, an English Language Arts Teacher at Indian Woods Middle School, are Shawnee Mission’s honorees for the Kansas Horizon Awards program. They are now being considered to be Kansas Horizon Award recipients. The Kansas State Department of Education will select 32 teachers across the state to be Horizon Award winners. Click here to learn more.
National Merit A group of Shawnee Mission high school students have been named semifinalists in the National Merit program. These students are among 16,000 semifinalists in the United States-representing less than 1 percent of United States high school seniors. They will advance in competition for National Merit Scholarship awards totalling nearly $28 million. Click here to view the list of semifinalists.
Journalism Honors The National Scholastic Press Association named 33 students from five Shawnee Mission high schools as finalists in the 2023 Individual Awards competition. These student journalists represented 10 percent of the awards presented nationwide. Additionally, Amy Morgan, SM West journalism advisor, was awarded the Journalism Education Association Medal of Merit this year for her 20 years of service to the program, including teaching and advising students all over the country during workshops. Click here to view the names of all of the student honorees.
Seal of Biliteracy This year, 142 Shawnee Mission students have earned the Seal of Biliteracy. This is a recognition given to students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. Shawnee Mission demonstrated an increase of nearly 30 percent in the number of students earning the Seal of Biliteracy. SM West nearly tripled and SM North nearly doubled the number of students who earned the seal. Click here to learn more.
Faculty Art Honoree As this school year began, the creativity and talent of Shawnee Mission staff and educators was on display at the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA). Thirty staff members contributed to this year’s faculty art show. Shawnee Mission staff had the opportunity to submit their work for display and have it considered for entry into the permanent collection of the District, which is featured in the CAA gallery each year in May and June. Kaitlin Flager, art teacher at Hocker Grove, was selected as the winner this year for her three-dimensional work, “Where the Bison Roam.” The Shawnee Mission Education Foundation purchased the art for the collection and provided a grant to Flager’s art department at Hocker Grove in recognition of her selection.
Shawnee Mission also celebrates multiple honors presented to PTA members and organizations:
● Tash Davis, longtime PTA leader and district Communications Specialist, was honored with a Life Achievement Award from the National PTA. She has dedicated nearly 20 years to the PTA, has served as Shawnee Mission Area Council President multiple times since 2014, and has had immeasurable impact on individual school buildings and on the betterment of state and national PTA work.
● A Life Achievement Award was also presented to Lori Stanziola for her longtime dedication to PTA and also for her work to improve the Reflections student art program in the Shawnee Mission School District.
● Becky Richmond was honored with the Kansas PTA Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to the Reflections program.
● Broken Arrow Elementary School has been recognized by National PTA as a School of Excellence, an honor given to schools with strong partnerships that enrich the overall well-being of students.
● The Shawnee Mission Area Council PTA also presented its annual Jim Baucom Volunteer of the Year Award. This year’s honor was presented to Briarwood Elementary, the first to provide a PTA Partner program. Through this partner program, a PTA provides support for staff and students who do not have an active PTA in their buildings. Briarwood provided this support to the Shawnee Mission Early Childhood Center and soon will expand to support Arrowhead Day School.