Author: mindy.haesemeyer

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)

LSN Production of Story Theater

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

 

This has been a tricky year for most programs at LSN, but the theater department is persevering. Story Theater is their second full-scale performance this year. 

   “Story Theatre is a series of 10 Grimms Brothers’ fairy tales and Aesop’s fable. Each story is different through different gags and music. In fact, every time you see the show, it is a little different than the last time you’ve seen it,” William Palmer, theater teacher, said. 

   A lot of time and hard work went into this production. Something aimed to bring joy even amidst a pandemic. The show is rather unbothered amongst covid restrictions. The actors and audience will all wear masks, and tickets need to be bought online prior to the show in order to maintain social distancing in the theater. 

   Story Theater is light and funny and with a revolving door of stories, it is never boring. 

   “It’s funny and you might know some of the stories from growing up like Henny Penny,” Julia Welsh, senior, said. 

 

 

   

Same sport, different seasonal expectations

Story by Lily Temple – Staff Reporter

Like most sports at Lee’s Summit North, tennis is split into two seasons, girls and boys. Despite the obvious difference of seasons, this year the Covid protocols have also changed how the sports function. 

   One difference is the time of the year that these seasons take place.

   “There are several big differences between the boys and girls seasons simply because of the time of year. The girls begin the season in the heat of August before school even begins and the boys start the first of March, which is technically still considered Winter! The Spring also gets very busy with many types of events, contests, Graduation, etc,” Stu Reece, head tennis coach, said. 

   Both the fall and spring seasons present their own challenges. The girls often have to practice and play matches in extreme heat and several boys’ matches get postponed or even canceled due to the rain that occurs in spring.

   Another dissimilarity is the number of players on each team. This year there were over 70 girls who played tennis in the fall. The boys have just over 20 on their team this spring. 

   Boys and girls tennis are always different but this year, there was an even bigger contrast due to Covid-19. The world is very different now than it was six months ago back in the fall. Many protocols have changed. 

   For example, because of how many girls were on the team, they were forced to split the team in half and have two separate practices in order to abide by the social distancing rules. During practices, each girl was assigned a practice court that they had to play on each day. This helped with contact tracing. 

   The boys did not have to make either of those changes. Thankfully, things seem to be getting closer and closer to normal. 

   “We have already seen a lower number of positive Covid cases in the school & Jackson County, so they are allowing for more fans to attend the tennis matches,” Reece said. 

   Along with the other spring sports, tennis players are now allowed to have four spectators which are different from the two spectator rule that was in place during fall sports.

   Our country seems to be heading back towards normalcy. It is everyone’s hope that by next fall, everyone will have a normal season. 

(Pictured above left: Hugo Dwyer — Photo courtesy of Mike McGurk)

Junior/Senior Prom to look different this year

Story by Abby Langle – Assistant Junior Editor

 

This year LSR-7 has made the decision that they are going to allow all three high schools prom. Although prom is going to look much different than previous years many of the students are excited they are going to have it. 

   In the past years prom has been held at John Knox but with covid in the way, they had to change up the venue. 

   “So many changes…for starters, it’s not at our typical location. This year it’s at Lee’s Summit North @ Bronco Stadium, meaning it will be will outside. And you can purchase ice cream from Betty Rae’s Ice Cream Truck at prom. Tickets are much cheaper this year,” Jessica Benus, family and consumer science teacher, said. 

   Many seniors this year never got to experience what prom is like since it was canceled last year. But many people have mixed feelings about if it was a good idea to have it or how it is going to turn out.

   “I do think it is a good idea they are having prom because there are so many seniors who never got the chance to see what prom is like; even though this is going to be a different look to prom, I believe it is still a great opportunity,” Kristina Parrish, senior, said.

   Just like every event happening this year there are new protocols that everyone has to follow.

Students will choose groups of up to 10 people with to be in close or proximity with (like a prom group pod) and will be given an area of the football field to spend time in. Students will be expected to be masked at all times they are not eating. Additionally, students will be asked to be socially distanced whenever feasible,” Benus, said.

With covid, LSR-7 and the staff at North are trying to make the senior’s last few high school memories special. Even though this might not be the ideal prom it is still a prom that the seniors will never forget.

 

Kicking for a normal season

Editorial by Morgan Hubert – Staff Reporter

 

Though this is my freshman season and I do not know much different, I do know that this year’s soccer season has been much different than all the rest.

      When conditioning started in February we did not have to wear masks because we were outside, so we just had to distance ourselves and take no risks. This was something that seemed somewhat normal because we got to work out without our masks. Though this felt normal, it really was disappointing when we had to go inside, and sometimes we still have to practice inside when we are not capable of playing outside because of the weather. I always hate going inside because it gets really hot when I am running around and working out with a mask on. It makes me get tired and lose my breath very quickly.

   After February conditioning ended, we had tryouts and our season. We do not have to wear our masks during practice or games. I am super glad for this because I know it would be super hard to play a whole soccer game with a mask on this is just making me tired so much quicker. It would really limit my playing and would not let me play to the best of my ability. A lot seems pretty normal now, but there is still one thing that is super different. Living day by day with no concrete schedule.

   This past year has been rough and a challenge every single day. In past years, there was a solid schedule that the players and coaches could go by, but that is just impossible to stick to this year.

It is hard, but everyone is very flexible with it. At any given moment, someone could test positive and we could get quarantined or someone we play could get quarantined. We just have to hope that this does not unexpectedly happen. Not only that, but another team we are scheduled to play could get quarantined so that can also shift our schedule.

   The only other thing that would be super different to me is not getting a lot of fans to play in front of. I have been to varsity games to watch before Covid-19 hit, and I had always looked forward to playing in front of everyone and having people watch my games. That had been a bit of a bummer because I know friends and family that were wanting to come watch me play, but for a while, they were not able to do that. At the beginning of our season, we were only allowed two guests but just recently, we are allowed four. 

   Now that there are four guests per person, we do not have to wear masks, and we can actually come in contact with one another to play, it feels like another step forward to everything getting back to normal. 

  (Photo by Morgan Hubert)

Fans are back at ‘The K’

Story by Mia Gatti – Staff Reporter

   The spring baseball season is starting back up for the Royals. Last season the team had no crowd to play in front of and a lot of things to adapt to so they could still have a season. This season is slowly becoming more normal for the team in many ways. 

   The players themselves are monitored to make sure they are socially distancing especially when they are at “The K”. Not the entire team is vaccinated yet, but they are pushing by April 9th for all players and coaches to be vaccinated. They are not required to have the vaccine, but MLB is implying the need for everyone to have one. 

   Some guidelines that fans must follow when attending the games are wearing masks at all times. No fans will be crowded together like past season’s games. All fans are sectioned off into pods that are then socially distanced from other pods making the capacity 10,000 people when the stadium holds 37,000. 

   Kauffman Stadium has contactless concession stands with grab-and-go sections that allow them to self-checkout. This allows them to have less crowding by concessions and keeping everyone socially distanced. Mobile order is even a new addition to the concession stand functioning. Order your game food on your phone and skip the long concession lines. 

   Some more changes for fans attending the Royals game is that there will not be vendors walking around the stadium during the game. They do not take any cash payments for anything and are just trying to keep all spectators in their own pods as much as they can and limit everyone’s exposure to more people than needed.

   From last year to this year, it will be a big change in the fans since they were not allowed to go for Covid. 

   “I do think having fans is going to benefit the team. I think the team will play better with fans cheering for them with fans watching them,” Jacob Manning, sophomore, said. 

   Kauffman Stadium and the Royals are doing everything they can to have a safe season and start it off strong. By following these simple guidelines when attending the games to support your team is an easy way to keeping them in season and allowing them to have people to play for. 

   

New Development in LS: Streets of West Pryor

Story by Lily Temple – Staff Reporter

 

Recently there have been many new developments built in Lee’s Summit. One of the main developments is called “The Streets of West Pryor.” This development is off of Pryor Road near Chipman. It is still in the process of being built but it currently has a McKeevers grocery store, a First Watch, a Firebirds, a Bibi Bop, and a Starbucks. This area is right next to the neighborhoods Summerfield and Bent Tree Bluffs.

   Along with the restaurants, there are several apartment buildings being built near the neighborhoods. Some of these buildings will include retail on the bottom floors which will add even more shopping to that side of Lee’s Summit.

   Many of the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods are happy with all of these new restaurants and the retail that is coming soon.

   “I really like the new development off of Pryor because it gives us more eating and shopping opportunities. Although traffic is more prominent near our neighborhood, we now have more restaurants to choose from,” Paige Woolf, junior, said.

   With these new restaurants and storefronts being right next to the neighborhood, it is extremely convenient for the residents. Running to the grocery store is simple when it’s a two-minute drive. They are taking advantage of the new restaurants and the grocery store before they get super crowded.

   “We go to McKeevers to get small stuff and it is so convenient. There are not that many people in there right now so it makes it super easy to social distance,” Jonathan Krinke, choir director, said. 

   Although there will be some things that take getting used to like the traffic and the new apartment buildings next to the neighborhood, overall, most residents are very happy with these new changes.

   “We are really excited about having all of that near our home. We’re also hoping that it helps our resale value whenever we decide to sell our house someday,” Krinke said.

   This new development will not only benefit the lives of the people close to it but every resident of Lee’s Summit. 

Triplets sign letters of intent to play college sports

Story by Abby Langle – Assistant Junior Editor

 

The Fee sisters are triplets at Lee’s Summit North High School. They all ran cross country all four years of high school. They are all three going to attend college playing a sport. Halle is attending Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas to pursue rowing. Brianna and Olivia are attending The University of The South in Sewanee, Tennessee to play soccer. 

The Fee sisters are very athletic. Their parents both played sports when they were younger. So they have a very good work ethic.

The girls only know how to work hard. They are always asking how they can get better, and over their four years in the program, it has paid off,” Ryan Shortino, head cross country coach, said.

Playing a sport is a big achievement for everyone. People usually dream about playing a sport in college when they are younger and have to work hard to get to this goal.

“When I was about nine or ten, I knew that soccer was my favorite sport. I have always loved it so much and I knew from a young age that I wanted to play it for as long as I could. Playing in college was something that I had always dreamed of doing. I had a family friend who played soccer at North and eventually in college, which was what inspired me to play in college as well,” Olivia Fee, senior, said. 

College is a new chapter in life and can be hard because it is a big change. It is an opportunity to meet new people and experience new things. 

I am looking forward most to becoming best friends with the girls on the team, and be able to work hard and become very fit for the sport,” Halle Fee, senior, said.

 Growing up as a triplet can make you super close to your sisters. Being close means that you have someone to talk to or lean on when you need help.

“Yes, my sisters and I are all really close. Growing up, there haven’t been many instances where we were separated for multiple days at a time. Obviously, we are around each other constantly. Although we all have different interests and personalities, the three of us are very close to one another,” Brianna Fee, senior, said.

 The Fee sisters have a bright future ahead of them. With strong work ethics, all three sisters look forward to advancing their athletic careers at the collegiate level.  

(Photo courtesy of the Fee family)