Author: mindy.haesemeyer

Meet Ms. Williams – New Assistant Principal at LSN

Story and Photo by Abby Langle – Editor-in-Chief

  Tammie Williams is the new assistant principal at Lee’s Summit North. Before coming to Lee’s Summit, she taught for 22 years as an English teacher in the Hickman Mills and Raytown school districts. This will be her first year in administration as an assistant principal.

   “I attended Missouri Valley College and I didn’t even want to go into education but then I went on to get my master’s degree and both are English, then I started teaching and fell in love with teaching. As I became a teacher I said I wanna be an administrator, so it just kinda happened,” Williams said. 

   As Williams grew up, working in a school wasn’t on her mind of what she wanted to do, but it soon changed when she attended college.

   “Growing up I wanted to be a lawyer so I majored in English because you need that strong literary background just to be able to read lots of things but as I got older I was like I don’t think that’s for me. I think this is a better fit, I get to see kids and talk to them, get to go to athletic activities. I think being an attorney would probably be boring for me,” Williams said.

   Missouri has not always been Williams’ home. She attended college here but she grew up in Miami, Florida, which is also one of her favorite places to travel to.

   “I grew up in Miami, Florida so I love to go home so that’s one of my favorite places. I love to go to the beach cause I grew up on the beach so when I go, I have to go to the beach,” Williams said.

   Everyone finds some kind of joy in what they do. Williams finds joy and fun by working in a school and being surrounded by kids. 

   “The kids, they are fun and funny. Seeing them grow and mature, seeing kids from ninth grade and seeing who they become as seniors. A lot of times I love seeing kids after high school like when we become friends on Facebook and see how great they are doing. So I really enjoy that and seeing the progression. I fear hurting a kid, like my goal is to never hurt a kid in any position. I never want to do something that’s detrimental to them,” Williams said.

   Outside of school Williams is a mother and a wife, she is active in the community, loves to read books, listen to music and she enjoys watching track. 

   “Something that makes me happy is spending time with my family, we don’t have to do anything special as long as we can just sit around, have a good meal and just hang out together. [My proudest accomplishment is] being a mother,” Williams said. 

   Everyone has some sort of hero in their life, whether it is someone famous or someone in their family. When Williams thinks about her hero, one person immediately comes to mind. 

   “I look up to my mother. She’s just a strong woman, works hard, raised girls all by herself. She was a single mom so I am just proud to be her daughter because she’s a pretty strong woman,” Williams said. 

   Tammie Williams is more than meets the eye. She is an administrator who cares about students like she does her own family. 

 

Bronco time is back

Story and Photo by Kaia Monaco – Assistant Editor

  Returning to in-person school this year means returning to everything normal that COVID interfered with, including Bronco Time. Bronco Time used to be a time for students to have a break in their day between classes to work on homework, get help from teachers and spend their time how they pleased. However, since the pandemic is still ongoing, Bronco Time is not what it used to be and students don’t know how to feel.

  “Yes, I like Bronco Time because I can get some of my homework done that I procrastinated on but no because it’s not like full Bronco Time and you have to make a pass to see a teacher beforehand,” Haley Reed, senior, said. 

   Students didn’t have Bronco Time all of last year, or at the beginning of this school year, but now they are back to having Bronco Time every day, which can be a lot all at once. 

   “Maybe two days of Bronco Time would’ve been good but I think it’s a little overkill having it all five days,” Reed said.

   Students are still taking full advantage of Bronco Time and trying to use the extra time productively.

   “During Bronco Time, I do my homework or study or talk to my friends,” Reed said. 

   Despite not being able to go to multiple rooms and see multiple teachers, the basics of Bronco Time remain the same: students still get a break in their day, time to work on homework and time to see teachers, but only if they have a pass. As the year goes on, normal Bronco Time might come back once again.

Mr. Ralston: Science teacher and tennis coach

Story and Photo by Lily Temple – Assistant Editor

 

As most students at Lee’s Summit North may know, Brad Ralston is a science teacher here at LSN. But in addition to being a science teacher, he is a coach, a husband, a father and a friend. 

   Ralston has been teaching for 14 years, 13 of them being at LSN. When he was in college, he student taught for Mrs. Charpie and Mr. Gerding here at LSN. Both Ralston and Gerding remember their time together fondly. 

   “Mr. Ralston student taught with me years and years ago, and my first impression was it was ridiculous how much we had in common. So we both went to high school in Kansas City. We both played high school basketball. We both went to Mizzou. We both like just kind of a lot of the same kind of stuff so we got along really well. He’s a great guy, he’s really easy to get along with and kind of a go with the flow kind of guy and people like him,” Chris Gerding, science teacher, said. 

   “It was really great student teaching for Gerding. Our personalities match up really well and he’s also a really great teacher so I really respect what he does in the classroom,” Ralston said. 

   As well as now being colleagues, Gerding and Ralston are friends outside of school. 

   “You know we get together every now and then. Me and my wife and he and his wife, we went out the other night and you know hung out did a double date kind of thing. But we hang out, we watch Mizzou games together and we’ve gone to Royals games and a few Chiefs games together,” Gerding said.

   Ralston teaches a few different kinds of classes at LSN including AS Biology, Principles of Biomedical Sciences, ACT Prep, and Science of Nature. One of his students Annika Fleury, a freshman in one of his Principles of Biomedical Sciences classes, had nothing but nice things to say about Ralston as a teacher and really, as a person. 

   “He seems to really care about people. He always tries to find a way to make people happy and he helps everyone,” Fleury said.

  One of the other roles Ralston fills is an assistant tennis coach at LSN. Ralston has been coaching for three years. After taking a short break from coaching, he returned to the sport this year. Fleury plays tennis so she gets to have Ralston as a teacher and as a coach.

   “Ralston is a very supportive coach and teacher. I like having him for both because when you’re in the classroom, it’s more of a personal relationship,” Fleury said.

   Students at LSN have been lucky to have someone like Brad Ralston as their teacher or coach and it is everyone’s hope that he will stay at LSN for many years to come. 

French Club Frenzy

Story by Talon Cleveland – Staff Reporter

 

 The French Club is a club that celebrates cultural diversity and having fun. 

Nicole Morris, French teacher, has been the sponsor of the French Club five years running. 

   “Joining the French Club is an easy process.  All you have to do is show up to a meeting and bring $5 if you want snacks,” Morris said.

   The French Club does many activities such as fundraisers, Christmas community givings, crepe contests, movie nights, etc.

   “There are times when we go to Lee’s Summit West and join in on one of their movie nights,” Morris said

   “It’s fun just to do stuff that’s not language specific like in class, we celebrate culture, food and meeting new people,” Morris said. 

    The French Club is also tied to the French Honor Society. The French Honor Society is a community that helps students get into college, and it is not something just anybody can join. 

   Only students in or above French 3 can be recruited to join the French Honor Society. Students in the French Honor Society get points for going to the French Club meeting or going somewhere France-themed.

   “The best students in the French Honor Society are eligible for a scholarship,Morris said. 

For more information on French Club, stop by Ms. Morris’ room, 2171.

 

Photo courtesy of French Club.

Worlds of Fun: Halloween Haunt

Story and Photo by Giorgia Risoldi – Staff Reporter

 

   Halloween Haunt is a fun event that takes place at Worlds of Fun: Kansas City’s amusement park. It is very appreciated during the spooky season and entertains families and groups of friends. 

   Worlds of Fun’s Halloween Haunt is composed of a large variety of houses. Before these open, there is a parade of monsters that walk around the park. 

   In simple terms, these houses are ‘scary houses’ with a good spooky atmosphere with actors who try to scare you. But, are these houses actually scary? 

   “I’d like to say no, but, I like plugging my ears the entire time in all the houses and if I don’t have my ears plugged I get super scared,” Ty Lunceford, junior, said. 

   Some people are afraid of the Covid situation more than the haunted houses themselves. 

   “Yeah, I go every year. I’ve probably been for the last five years and I like it. This year was crowded so it wasn’t the best but I think it was just because people haven’t been because of Covid. The lines were super super long, but it was very fun,” Lunceford said. 

   Halloween Haunt doesn’t force you to go only to haunted houses, you can also stay at the park like a normal day. 

   In fact, if you buy the normal ticket and you add Halloween Haunt to the price, you will be able to go in the morning or the afternoon and wait for the actual event at seven p.m.  

   There is a big difference between Halloween Haunt and Haunted Houses downtown.

   “I don’t know, I like the park ones because there are so many, I think there are, like, eight houses. The ones downtown are all the same kind of scary, but they are very very scary,” Lunceford said. 

   If you are searching for a fun thing to do with family and friends, this event is fun and appreciated.

All For One and Books For All

Story and Photo by Selah Wheeler – Staff Reporter

 

Book Club at Lee’s Summit North is a low-stress, low-commitment club that caters to a wide variety of people. Book lovers of all genres can find a group who shares their interests to have meaningful discussions with.

   “It’s a much better experience, in my opinion, to read a book and then be able to talk through all your thoughts and your feelings about it with someone else,” Bella Washburn, senior, said.

   Washburn holds the role of Book Club President at North, and some of her responsibilities include coming up with meeting ideas, talking with the sponsors, and discussing what books to read for the current school year.

   “I think that really my main role as the president of Book Club is someone for people to…just ask me questions, that I can be this sort of face of Book Club,” Washburn said.

   Club meetings are held the second Friday of each month before school, and activities vary from eating snacks, talking about the latest club book, giving book recommendations and hanging out with like-minded people.

   “We’ve got a variety of books. A little bit of everything,” Michael Russell, librarian and a sponsor of Book Club, said. “It’s a club where you can be here all the time or just drop in if there’s a particular book you want to read.”

   At the most recent monthly meeting, which was held last Friday morning, the club discussed the upcoming field trip. On November 10, Book Clubs at North, West and Lee’s Summit High School will take a joint field trip related to the September book: With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo.

   “[We’re] gonna go visit a culinary school over at Johnson County Community College; we’re going to one of the best, swankiest, fanciest restaurants in Kansas City; we’re gonna take the trolley up to City Market; and go visit a restaurant; and then go back to City market for lunch,” Russell said about the field trip.

   If nothing else, the field trips should provide incentive to join Book Club at North. Washburn says they are her favorite part of the club. Russell says his favorite part is hearing the students’ discussions about books, whether a club book or a personal collection. Someone might even join Book Club solely for the amazing snacks, or for a chance to connect with their friends outside of a classroom setting. Whatever the reason, Book Club can be for anyone.

Catching up with crew of ‘Cinderella’

Story by Emma Brents and Mia Fuller – Staff Reporters

 

 In this production of Cinderella, not only does the cast play an important role, but the crew does as well. There are many people and jobs backstage that are helping Cinderella get ready for show week. 

   One of these jobs is helping with stagecraft and senior, Sarah Natasio, gives the details of what that entails.

“It was very hands-on and I like hands on things, painting things, and all that stuff. It’s interesting,” Natasio said.

   Some of the things stagecraft requires is handiwork, like taking apart staircases, which Natasio is currently doing. However, it is not all solitary tasks, as the whole group helps paint set pieces for the show.  

   Another working part of the show is props crew, which Jordan Cooley, junior, is chief of.      

“It can be very  challenging with a bunch of different ideas or sometimes no ideas, and especially making sure the props stay in good condition,” Cooley said.

   “I’m so excited, I love show week, it can be very stressful and some of us may cry, but I’m really excited for it,” she says.

   Another first time chief is Rae Hammond, junior, who is in charge of costumes. Hammond has been doing costuming for years. 

   “My first production was Villainous at Bernard Campbell Middle School and I did costumes. I’ve been doing theater ever since,” Hammond said.  

   One thing that is significantly different this year is that costumes are being rented instead of being designed by the students. There is one piece being made this year that everyone is excited to see and that is Cinderella’s dress. 

  “Cinderella’s dress, that alone is getting me excited because it’s very elaborate,” Hammond said. 

   Perhaps one of the biggest roles in backstage crew is Connor Noland, stage manager, who is in their senior year. 

   Due to the fact that Cinderella is a Rodgers and Hammerstein production, there are some exciting factors to this play. 

   “It’s a Rodgers and Hammerstein production, so very new, lots of new music in it, and very modern.  But still funny, like one thing I’m excited for is the step-sisters cause like they’re kinda show stealers a little bit,” Noland said.

   Noland has been doing theater since they were young, but their first production was   Shakespeare on the Green and they have been doing theater ever since.  

   A fact that is hard for them to manage is dealing with people who are new to theater and they do not always understand Noland’s job. 

   “Lots of times people also don’t understand or recognize that I am stage manager.  I’m backstage usually so if I come to them and tell them to do something, they’re just like, ‘who’s this person telling me what to do?’ Without realizing I’m in charge of them and getting orders directly from Palmer [Theater teacher],” Noland says.

   In short, no job is too small or unimportant in the world of theater, and every single person backstage helps the show succeed and be an enjoyable experience for everyone. Go grab tickets for Cinderella now so you can see all these wonderful people at work! Show Dates are Nov. 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th and 12th. 

 

Photo by Mia Fuller

KC Chiefs go from 14-2 to 2-3

Story by Mia Gatti – Entertainment/Feature Editor

 

   The Kansas City Chiefs just came off of a Super Bowl loss from the 2020-2021 football season. This was right after taking the trophy in the previous season. They started off strong winning their first game of the new season in search of that Lombardi trophy again but hit a two-game losing slump in weeks two and three. Having a 2-3 record early in the season is not bad, but this record is also unlike the Chiefs.

   Lots of Chiefs fans do many things to prepare for the big games on Chiefs Sunday. Between the sea of red and crazy tailgates before the game, Kansas City knows how to cheer their team on. 

   The Chiefs have won two Super Bowl trophies overall and they are ready for their third. A lot of fans have faith in Patrick Mahomes to turn this season around with 16 games left to play.

   “I think they had a rough start, but I think some of the other teams are figuring it out a little bit and making adjustments, but Patrick Mahomes, if you have Patrick Mahomes you are going to be alright. There are 16 games left so we have a long way to go, I think we will be alright,” Chris Gerding, Biology teacher, said. 

   KC fans have a lot of football season left to see and they are all ready for the Chiefs Kingdom to play Washington next week.

 

Graphic by Kaia Monaco

Dribbling into the season

Story by Areesa Steele – Staff Reporter

 

The girls’ basketball team is off to an amazing start! They have started putting in a ton of effort for this new season.

“Some of our girls play on competitive teams and are playing year round. Some are in fall sports and are focusing on being great at those! Otherwise, we have organized workouts in the fall a couple of times a week,” Tricia Lillygren, Head Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, said.

The girls are grinding out the hard work each day for practice before the season starts. As the season picks up, they start to learn more ball-handling skills. 

“While all fundamentals are important, we will be paying particular attention to our ball-handling, passing, and rebounding skills,” Lillygren, said.

Girls basketball is really special because they spend so much time together. As the girls are spending their time together, they start to develop close relationships.

“The winter sports season is unique in its length and spans across our winter holidays. We spend approximately four months together and have the opportunity to develop into a true family,” Lillygren, said.

As the team starts to roll into their season, supporters are preparing for their amazing season of hard work.

 

Photo Courtesy of LSN Yearbook

Stone starts anew

Story and Photo by Kaia Monaco – Assistant Editor

 

The LSN counseling staff is known, by students and parents, to be fantastic. This year, the staff gained a new member: John Stone. Stone has been in education for 33 years, however, he didn’t start out in counseling. 

   “When I first started in college, I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to do. My high school football coach reached out to me and asked me if I would coach football at the high school while I was in college. So I did that and I really really enjoyed it. So then it was kind of natural that I became a PE teacher,” John Stone, counselor, said. 

   Stone graduated from Emporia State with a P.E. degree and almost immediately, his dad encouraged him to start working on his master’s degree in counseling. 

   “I’d just come off five years of college. I wasn’t really all that excited about starting more school, but I did it because my parents always gave me great advice, so I went ahead and did my master’s degree in counseling,” Stone said. 

   Stone found his first job as a counselor at Shawnee Mission North. As a counselor, he deals with many different aspects of students’ lives. 

   “Our roles [as counselors] are working with students with their mental health struggles. Then we work with students academically, so that would be things like changing schedules, struggling academically in a class, providing resources for support, and help in academics. Then also college and career planning,” Stone said.

   Stone stayed at Shawnee Mission North for 20 years, then moved to Blue Valley West for seven years, then to Grand View for one and finally here to Lee’s Summit North. At first, Stone was afraid of yet another change in his career. 

   “I was going from all those years in Kansas over to Missouri, so I was really concerned and nervous and anxious about [the transition], and I can tell you it’s gone way way better than I envisioned it. And I think the reason for that is that there are great people here,” Stone said. 

   While change is hard, having a good support system can make that much easier. Despite having to move districts and states, Stone has adjusted nicely to his new role here. 

   “Mr. Stone has been a great addition to the LSN counseling office. He has years of experience in school counseling, so he’s made a really smooth transition into that role,” Rebecca Steele, counselor, said. 

   Even though this wasn’t his original plan, Stone loves being a counselor and doesn’t see himself retiring any time soon. He is still surprised by his job and enjoys the different things the job brings each day. 

   “You know, you think after 33 years, you’ve seen it all and you haven’t. I see new things on a regular basis, so we really are kind of a jack of all trades,” Stone said.