Cross Country Alumni Mile Run July 30 at LSN

Story By Abby Langle  – Assistant Junior Editor 

 

This year cross country is hosting an event over the summer that Lee’s Summit North alumni can participate in on July 30. 

To be eligible to run, participants must have run cross country at LSN during their high school career. 

 “July 30th at the LSN Track around dusk (TBD). Hopefully, a big race and it’s just a mile,” Matthew Shortino said. 

 Mr. Shortino and the cross country team are working to bring the alumni run back after it hasn’t been done in many years.

 “It was done years ago during the old tradition of the Midnight Practice but I don’t think it’s happened in over 10 years. Last time I can remember it happening was when I was just out of high school,” Shortino said.

 If you are a senior boy that is graduating or know of somebody who has graduated from Lee’s Summit North that ran cross country you can show up on July 30th for a mile run.

2021 Senior Sunrise

Story by Lily Temple – Staff Reporter

 

 Over the years, Lee’s Summit North has held a tradition of an annual senior breakfast. The tradition is for the seniors to get together in the parking lot on their last day. They eat, listen to music, chat and just hang out. It is also part of the tradition to park crazy on the day of the senior breakfast. 

   This year the breakfast will be taking place on Tuesday, May 18 from 6:15am-7:30am in the school parking lot. There will be donuts for sale for $1 but people are also welcome to bring their own food. Some people are also going to bring grills to make pancakes, eggs, bacon and more.

   It is a senior-organized event that is merely supervised by administrators to make sure everyone is enjoying the breakfast safely. The senior sunrise tradition started when the school opened. Mr. Collins, who graduated from Lee’s Summit North, has fond memories of this tradition.

   “For as long as I can remember seniors always have had a breakfast in the East parking lot on their last day of school.  Some years the seniors would bring grills/smokers and cook on the morning of the breakfast and some years they catered in food.  As far as I can remember the senior breakfast has always been laid back and seniors come to just eat and hang out before school one more time,” Tim Collins, assistant principal, said.

   The senior sunrise is a great opportunity for seniors to catch up with each other and to see all of their classmates at school one last time. This year with all of the traditions seniors have missed out on, it is a relief that they get to participate in the senior sunrise.

   This year has been very different from years past. For the first part of the year we were online, then moved to hybrid, and finally to in-person 4 days a week. Some students however are still doing online learning which means people don’t get to see all of their peers.

   “I’m mostly looking forward to seeing all of my senior peers in one place. It’s been hard to catch up with others considering the crazy year we’ve had and I think this is a good opportunity to catch up!” Chloe Burean said.

   The senior sunrise is a fun tradition that the seniors are grateful to actually be able to participate in this year. 

Graduation 2021- let’s go guys!

Story by Prajukta Ghosh – Copy Editor

 

Lee’s Summit North 2021 graduation is scheduled to take place on the 22 of this month at Children’s Mercy Park. After an unpredicted year of flip-flops between online classes to hybrid, hybrid to online, and then again being back full-time in person, the class of 2021 will finally be able to wave goodbye to their last year of high school with some amounts of normalcy. After the enormous time period of students sulking for not experiencing the traditional senior year, students will now get to attend normal graduation with social distancing and masks being optional. 

   “I am really happy that we get to have normal graduation. It will be the one thing this year that is completely normal, it will be a beautiful moment for the class of 2021 because we get to close this chapter of our lives together,” Chawnta’le Bushnell, senior, said. 

   After the huge curveball of uncertainties, the class of 2021 has earned their opportunity to celebrate their last day of graduation with bliss. This is the time of year where seniors are wrapping up their last few days in class and checking out all the items retrieved from school. 

   “Overall, this year has been a bit difficult on my mental & physical health, but with the help of school counselors and friends, I was able to push through. I definitely learned time management and self-care techniques throughout this year,” Bushnell said.

   There is no doubt the year has been rough on everyone’s end, causing unnecessary troubles and bringing unanticipated changes in daily routine, however, this is a time when we can again get under one shadow to stand by one another and let go of all the unhappy times with a smile on your faces. 

Project graduation to be held at Lee’s Summit North

Story by Maria Smith – Co-Editor-in-Chief

 

   Project Grad is a school-sanctioned after graduation celebration. The tickets cost ten dollars and need to be purchased in advance of the night. Students can arrive from eight to eight-thirty and stay until midnight. There will be food, games, and tons of things to do. 

   “There will be inflatables (obstacle course, hungry hungry hippo pit, and more), airbrush tattoo artist, photo booth, DJ, tons of food and snacks, basketball tournament, bingo for prizes, and more,” Jennifer Beemer, language arts teacher, said. 

   To go along with all of the games there will also be a ton of prizes that’ll make the cost of the ticket well worth it. 

   “In addition to the small prizes you can win all night in bingo we also have a prize board that we will draw winners for all night. The prize board has things like QT gift cards, Bluetooth speakers, TV’s, AirPods…your ticket is your entry in to win for the prize board,” Beemer said. 

   So celebrate the end of high school with your peers, and get a chance at some free AirPods.

Freshmen’s fears for finals

Story by Kaia Monaco – Staff Reporter

 

This school year has been all over the place, with COVID-19 and constantly switching schedules, it seems we could not find one month of normalcy. However, as we approach the end of the year, old events have started coming back and end of the year festivities are taking place which, unfortunately, includes finals. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic starting in March 2020 and still raging in January 2021, finals for the past two semesters have been canceled. So, not only are these the first finals high schoolers have taken in a year, they are the first finals high school freshmen have ever taken. 

“I am feeling a little nervous about a few of my finals. Some of my teachers have been telling me that the finals are going to be challenging which is nerve-wracking,” Myah Frashier, freshman, said. 

Freshmen lost out on multiple normal activities and high school experiences this year, but one that was not very upsetting was the cancellation of finals first semester. As second semester goes back to normal though, so do finals and the inevitable stress that comes with them. 

“I am most scared for my Spanish and math final. They are my two classes that are the most challenging because they require me to recall a lot of information that I learned months ago that I have probably forgotten,” Frashier said. 

This year, finals are taking place from Monday, May 24 to Thursday, May 27. There will be one to two finals each day with the rest of the day in block schedule. The first final is Monday, May 24 and is just for hour three. Then finals for hours one and seven will take place Tuesday, hours two and six Wednesday, ending with finals for hours four and five Thursday. 

“I like that when I take the final I will get a longer amount of time to work on my final. The hour and a half time slot for other classes seems really long,” Frashier said. 

 

2021-2022 School Year

Story by Morgan Hubert – Staff Reporter

With everything that happened over the 2020-2021 school year, many have had questions about what the school year will look like next year and if it will go back to “normal”.

   “As usual, each school will spend time over the summer accessing what instructional schedules look like next year. I would share moving to a longterm block teaching schedule requires a great deal of study with how it would impact all departments and then a significant amount of training of teachers to teach on that schedule,” Katy Bergen, Executive Director of Public Relations, said. 

   As students and staff are curious about what school in August will look like, as of right now, decisions have not been made for the next school year. 

   “We plan on finishing this year strong before we evaluate and address learning models for next year,” Bergen said. 

   These are tough decisions to make and a lot of thought has to go into making them to find out what is beneficial to the school district, students, and staff. The Board also has proposals to change some school’s schedules because of the lack of bus drivers. 

   “The school district shared proposed schedule changes that can help us maximize the number of bus routes we can fill with the Board of Education and the public on May 6. These proposals are ideas for schedule changes that we could implement that can make our transportation more efficient next year. The district is collecting feedback on those proposals now and will likely recommend a path forward in June,” Bergen said. 

 Although having a lack of information is unsettling to many, this decision will hopefully be made in the near future.

Spring sport season underway

Story by Mia Gatti – Staff Reporter

As we all know the spring sports are coming off of a year break with their last season being canceled, this season for all spring athletes have been working hard to bounce back from this challenge. This season there has been a variety of ups and downs that our bronco athletes have been able to really power through. 

   Starting off with the girls’ soccer team. This team had never played together and was able to adjust and work well. They had sophomores and freshmen that were new to Lee’s Summit North Soccer and they adjusted very well. 

   “This season has gone well for us, especially with coming off a full year off. Our girls did have to get back up to speed on the game and we learned some lessons early on but once we came together as a team we really played well and had some good results. We really showed the type of team we can be in our 2 matches with LSW this season losing in OT early on but then beating them 1-0 at their place a couple weeks later,” Ryan Kelley, Girls soccer coach, said.  

   The girls worked very hard this season and are coming up on their district’s game next week. Next, the boys’ tennis team has had a great season with their year off. They have been trying to get back where they were. There are less boys out for tennis this year, but that doesn’t mean they still didn’t have a great season. 

    “It was great having a full season after having 2020 canceled.   It was hard because many players lost an entire season of development and experience.   We have a great group of guys out for tennis this season and are hoping to compete in the District championship match tomorrow.   We also have our #1 and #2 players, Grant Idoux and Parker Windhausen, advancing to next week’s State Tournament in doubles,” Stu Reece, Boys tennis coach, said. 

   Coming up for guys tennis is the District Tournament on Monday 5/17 vs Truman and Blue Springs South High School. The adjustments made for all teams during this spring season have been crucial for them to pick up where they left off. 

   Lastly, the track team has been able to come off of a missed season very well. 

   “It’s been overall very good.  We did have fewer upperclassmen come out for the team this year but we had a ton of freshmen which is a good sign for the future. I think the year off is what caused the decrease in numbers, kids got used to not having a track season and moved on to other things,” Eric Davis, Track Coach, said. 

   The track team finished the year off with the district and sectional meets that can qualify them for the final state meet. 

   All coaches and players have worked hard to have this season as normal as it could be, and keeping all sports in session while everyone is staying safe. The perseverance within all athletes has been amazing across all sports, and this is what is needed to get through a time like now. 

Senior checkout day scheduled for May 19

Story by Robert Hurst – Senior Reporter

Graduation and summer break is right around the corner with just a couple of school days left. For seniors, they can count their remaining school days on one hand. Before seniors graduate and leave high school forever, they need to checkout of the school. Senior checkout day is May 19. It is extremely important to the school and its students that this checkout day is not wasted. Barry Crilley, LSN Assistant Principal, assisted in the planning of the checkout. Crilley states that the students and the school exchange items and inform students of any problems, all to ensure every student is ready to get their diploma.

 “This is the exciting day that students receive their cap and gowns. Once students have settled all obligations to the district by returning checked out materials, they have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the post-graduation party (Project Grad), they also verify the pronunciation of their names for the graduation ceremony,” said Crilley. 

Unfortunately, obstacles appear every year to some students who are missing or cannot complete a requirement. Thankfully Crilley and the school have alternative processes to complete a student’s process. 

“Multiple problems can occur on senior checkout day. The most common error is that a student forgets to return an item or pay a fine. This is fairly infrequent since we communicate weeks in advance regarding student obligations. In those cases we work with students to correct the issue before the graduation ceremony,” said Crilley. 

Senior checkout day is from 10am to 3pm, with four waves of groups, separated by mentoring teachers. With how significant the checkout is, it is helpful the staff communicates with and informs students of their possible unpaid fines. Seniors will report to the Field House at their scheduled time on May 19. 

 

Virtual Wellness Walk Saturday, May 1

Story by Kaia Monaco – Staff Reporter

To promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention in the community, Lee’s Summit CARES, in partnership with the LSR-7 high schools, annually hosts a wellness walk. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be conducted virtually this year. 

This year’s Virtual Wellness Walk will be held Saturday, May 1 at 10 a.m. Participants are asked to walk one mile or 2,500 steps in their neighborhoods, or even their homes, to support the cause. 

Walkers will wear different colored shirts to show exactly why they support the cause: yellow shirts for those who have lost someone, green shirts for those who struggle, and purple shirts for those who support suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Participants are encouraged to share pictures they take during the walk and tag @LeesSummitCares for their photos to be featured on their website. 

Those interested can sign up on the Lee’s Summit CARES Facebook page.

Celebrating the bright minds

Story by Prajukta Ghosh- Copy Editor

Lee’s Summit North is celebrating its 26th Academic Achievement Award ceremony in person this year. After all the insanity with the pandemic students are finally able to find their way back to a normal regime. The event has existed as long as the high school itself has existed. It has had enormous success in the history of LSN and diverged a long way ever since then creating new legacies each year and setting new examples for the upcoming underclassmen. This tradition of LSN’s recognizing students and recipients for the hard work and dedication they put in their work from the beginning of the school year is a huge part of the school’s system. 

   “It has been around for a long time and it has had different people running it and setting it all up. It is a lot of work and we start in February and basically work very hard to gather all the information but it’s been a tradition at Lee’s Summit North to recognize academic achievement since the school opened,” Frau Parker, German teacher, said. 

   There is a lot of prep work that goes into making this day a successful hit, with Mrs. Courney starting to accumulate names of all the students who had earned a weighted GPA of at least a 4.0, and then it goes from there to gathering information about students who had earned local scholarships or recognition, to awarding the top one percent of students in each class, which generally consists of five students from each grade level. Also, there is a department award category, where each department in our building chooses students based on their own criteria for “Student of the Year”.

   “Students contribute by showing up. Because the whole idea of academic achievement to me is intrinsic, and the hard work that goes into it needs to be recognized. They are being recognized for the hard work they have done either that year if they’re freshmen or over the course of four years which is a long time in anyone’s life and it is a big chunk. So it is an investment and commitment and there is a lot of discipline and motivation that was put into that academic achievement and recognizing that I think is very important which helps maintain intrinsic motivation,” Parker said. 

   However this year, due to covid, the school has made sure to implement the Jackson County health measures to maintain a safe environment for the entire student body and faculty members to trend the ceremony. The event was live-streamed on Youtube for parents and family members to watch it from home since they would not be able to attend considering the constraints in the situation.

(Photo by Robert Hurst)