The Shawnee Mission School District community gathered to celebrate 50 years as a unified school district. The Friends & Food event featured six food stations, artwork from more than 20 schools, and live student performances throughout the evening at the Center for Academic Achievement. Click here to see the video.
Dr. Mike Fulton, superintendent, welcomed alumni, families, friends, staff, and students to the milestone event.
“Tonight, is all about celebrating our legacy of excellence with food, music, performances, and artwork all created by our students,” Fulton noted. “Our students are always at the center of any of our work.”
The Shawnee Mission West drumline, under the direction of Bill Thomas, kicked off the event.
Emma Mathieson, SM West senior, introduced a music video she created and produced with classmate Brogan Thomas. Mathieson wrote the original lyrics and sang in the music video, saying it was a nostalgic piece that pays tribute to the district’s 50th. See the music video here.
Guests enjoyed a variety of food prepared and served by culinary arts students that featured six different decades including cheese fondue and artisan desserts.
“The culinary arts program helped make me the person I am today,” Austin Hall, SM Northwest senior stated. Hall was serving a menu of lobster mac and cheese, Swedish meatballs, and green bean casserole at the 1960s-decade food station. Hall plans to pursue a career in culinary arts when he graduates.
Several different student band and orchestra groups performed throughout the evening. The Indian Woods Jazz band under the direction of Megan Hoelscher concluded their set with the song “Kansas City” as a tribute to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Lindquist family from Belinder Elementary, attended the celebration to view their daughter’s artwork. “The art teacher let us know that Katelyn’s art was on display and this sounded like a fun family event,” Kristen Lindquist explained. The three Lindquist children enjoyed a photo booth at the celebration.
Students enrolled in Shawnee Mission Signature Programs gave tours of the CAA classrooms and the unique areas of study including; Animation & Game Design, Biotechnology, Culinary Arts & Hospitality, Engineering, and Medical Health Science.
“As a physical therapist for many years, I am blown away by the classrooms and labs our high school students have access to,” Cathy Benson, SM South alumni exclaimed. “I’m excited for my grandchildren to take advantage of these incredible opportunities. I am so proud of our school district.”