SM North Community Highlights

SM North Highlights 2024
Shawnee Mission School District

Students Host State of the School Event

Shawnee Mission North students recently took the lead in organizing their first-ever State of the School event. The gathering featured student-led building tours and a presentation by student body president Miguel Tapia Becerra.

The goal of the event was to form a stronger connection between Shawnee Mission North and the broader community. By fostering these connections, students hope to encourage greater support and involvement by local leaders and elected officials. 

At the event, students took the opportunity to showcase the many accomplishments of North students, classes, and programs in the areas of academics, athletics, and community involvement.

“At North, we are diverse in all the best ways,” stated Becerra. “We have accomplished so much and have had so many successes. With the State of the School we want everyone to get an inside look at just how amazing our school is and how we always find a way to persevere.”

The well-attended event drew a large number of elected officials including mayors, city council members, state representatives, county commissioners, and others. School district administrators, teachers, students, and SM North alumni were also in attendance.  

SM North alumna and WaterOne Board member Kay Heley shared that it was the invitation from the students that drew her interest in the event. 

“I love SM North, and I will love it forever,” Heley expressed. “I’m so glad to see the kids being so involved and engaged.”

With the success of the event, students are planning to make the State of the School an annual tradition, expanding the scale by inviting more community members and parents. 

Next year organizers are planning to engage a SM North government class to plan and organize the State of the School event as a client-connected project. Students will actively participate in the planning process as part of their coursework, providing them with hands-on experience and the opportunity to earn a Market Value Asset.  


The Shawnee Mission North and Feeder Schools Vertical Art Show

Before the year 2023 concluded, Shawnee Mission North High School opened its doors to the extended community for an evening of celebrating student art.

The Shawnee Mission North and Feeder Schools Vertical Art Show featured artwork created in elementary, middle, and high schools across the North feeder pattern. Family members, friends, and neighbors were able to view hundreds of visual art pieces created by students.

Hyacinth Jahnke, a freshman at Shawnee Mission North, was excited for the show because it provided her a chance to share her work with her former middle school art teacher, Alyssa Passmore. She had several wheel-thrown pieces on display that she described as more complex than what she created in middle school.

Students and families who attend get to see teachers and friends from previous communities, and the art show also provides a great opportunity for elementary families to become introduced to Hocker Grove and Shawnee Mission North, Passmore explained. 

“It’s ‘full circle’ moments like these that this event provides,” Passmore said

In a temporary gallery space, Elias Carlson, a Bluejacket-Flint fifth-grader located his artwork on display. His family re-worked their weekly schedule to make sure they could attend the art show, his mother, Marinda shared.

“It was exciting to have his artwork here!” she said.

Beyond sculptures, ceramics, paintings, and drawings, high school art students were also on-hand to facilitate and demonstrate art projects in classrooms. There were opportunities to learn about throwing clay as well as coloring projects.  

Megan Ellis, visual arts coordinator of and Lenexa Hills art teacher, commended the North community for successful the art show.

“Every year this event sets a high standard,” Ellis shared. “You see how much everyone is enjoying the artwork and I know it gets our students and teachers excited about what is next. This event was A Time to Shine and our art students did just that!”