SMSD Celebrates Project SEARCH Class of 2024

SMSD Celebrates Project SEARCH Class of 2024
Shawnee Mission School District

On Friday, May 17, 2024, five students from the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD), along with their families, friends, mentors, and instructors, celebrated their graduation from the Project SEARCH program. The ceremony marked a significant milestone as these students transitioned from their roles as students to members of the workforce. 

Project SEARCH is a collaborative initiative between the SMSD and AdventHealth Shawnee Mission. The one-year program is dedicated to supporting individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities, helping them move from school to work.

During the ceremony, a video presentation featured the student interns expressing their gratitude for the Project SEARCH program. They thanked their friends, family, mentors and instructors for their support in helping them achieve their goals. 

“My favorite thing about this program was getting to meet so many new people,” shared Project SEARCH student AubryMae Rodabaugh. “I have seen so much growth in myself from participating in this program.”

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Hubbard delivered a commencement speech highlighting the valuable skills each graduate has acquired through the program. 

“You have each shared with me how the program has helped you improve upon your communication skills, become dependable, take initiative, stay organized, and learn to ask for help when needed,” shared Dr. Hubbard. “You are driven, and working with others and learning new skills have been some of your favorite experiences. In Shawnee Mission, we hire employees every single day. These skills are highly valued by employers and will serve you well in life.”

Each student was presented with a diploma and received a congratulatory handshake from Board of Education members Jessica Hembree and David Westbrook, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Hubbard, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Joe Gilhaus, and chief of special education Sherry Dumolien. 

The Project SEARCH Class of 2024 includes:

  • Meredith Ainslie
  • Angelo Barney
  • Tatum Jones
  • AubryMae Rodabaugh
  • Aiden Wasson