a b o u t?.
New District Office
Campus building in
T he Blue Valley School District will soon be break-
ing ground on a new building on the District Office
Campus, near 151st Street and Metcalf Avenue.
The building, which will be located at the northeast corner
of the campus, will be built to house some of the departments that
have been in the Blue Valley Service Center, where the Blue Valley
Academy is located. This addition to the District Office Campus
helps the district assist more students at the Blue Valley Academy,
which will be expanded, bringing the student capacity from 80 to
about 130 students.
Construction on the new building is expected to begin within The Blue Valley Board of Education honored two individuals, Validity Screening Solutions and the Blue Valley Rotary with the prestigious
the month and should be completed by late 2007 or early 2008, “Friends of Education Awards” at the Nov. 13 monthly meeting. These awards are presented annually by the school district to recognize individual
said Monte Soukup, director/Design and Construction Management. volunteers, community leaders and civic and community organizations that have played a critical role in contributing toward leadership and quality
The 30,000 square foot building is partially funded by capi- in education.
tal budget money and partially funded by the bond issue dollars. Honorees include (from left): Julie Miller, a parent and committed volunteer in the district; Darren Dupriest, president of Validity Screening
The departments of Informational Technology Services, Food Solutions, which provides comprehensive pre-employment background searches that aid the district in making safe hiring decisions; Keith McEnaney,
Service, Safety and Security, and Facilities and Operations will president of Blue Valley Rotary, an organization that has committed many hours to helping the district in a variety of ways.
occupy the site to make room for more students in the Blue
Valley Academy. Not pictured: Jim Hix, a community leader who supports education and the district.
Junior Gardeners (continued from front)
environment and seeing their hard work pay off as the garden Asbestos report filed
“I wanted to join because I’m really into gardening and plant-
ing and doing stuff for the environment,” said Emily Mahapatra,
T he Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) was signed
into law by Congress in 1986. AHERA is the statute that mandates
It is noted that the inspection of the Blue Valley District
Office and Blue Valley Service Center determined that there is no
a fifth grader. “I feel really good because we did all of this. If we the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Asbestos in Schools asbestos material in either of these buildings. The AHERA manage-
hadn’t done it, we wouldn’t have anything pretty to look at.” Rule.” The law requires that all school buildings be inspected to ment plan is on file in the Safety & Security Department located in
The Junior Master Gardeners will continue their efforts identify the presence of building materials containing asbestos. the Blue Valley Service Center.
through the winter, but they’ll be meeting inside once it gets cold. Subsequent to these inspections, it is required that an AHERA This notice fulfills the AHERA requirement to provide written
At their October meeting, the students planted bulbs and they management plan is written to outline site specific procedures for notification of the school district’s compliance with the law to
harvested the gourds they planted. They will be drying them and controlling potential exposure to asbestos fibers. persons working in the building. Please contact Sidney Cumberland
decorating them this winter. In accordance with AHERA, all buildings in the Blue Valley in the Safety & Security Department at (913) 239-4007 to resolve
Rachel Wilkins, a fifth grader, enjoys being a part of nature. School District have been examined by EPA accredited inspectors any questions.
“I’ve loved animals and nature since I was a little girl,” Rachel for these materials. The individual building inspection reports are
said. “Everybody should respect nature.” on file at each school’s administrative office.
4 BLUE VALLEY TODAY
B L U E V A L L E Y
Yo u r N e w s M a g a z i n e f o r t h e B l u e Va l l e y S c h o o l D i s t r i c t Dec. 2006
stories Junior gardeners at Oak
Hill find joy in digging
pride W hat is the best way to teach children about gardening, the
environment and taking responsibility for the health of the planet?
How do you take an eye sore and create a beautiful landscape?
J ordan Rose, a seventh grader at Pleasant Ridge
Middle School, hates seeing arthritis commercials on
The answer to both has been found at Oak Hill Elementary.
Two years ago, the Junior Master Gardener Club was created.
About 12 students in grades second through fifth have met once a
television that only show older people. Children deal month for the past two
with arthritis too. Jordan knows this firsthand. She was years. They’ve taken an
diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis when she was five, unsightly area behind the
a rare condition in children. She has battled the dis- school building and have
ease ever since. That’s why she’s committed her time to turned it into a beautiful
volunteering with the Kansas City Arthritis Foundation. landscape. Along the way,
“I can’t imagine working for a better organization,” she said. they’ve learned about soil,
And the Kansas City Arthritis Foundation couldn’t be happier insects, plants and habi-
with the work she does. On Oct. 23, Jordan was named a Youth tats. Recently, they com-
Volunteer of the Year by the foundation. pleted a butterfly garden.
“This award makes me feel very, very special,” Jordan said. Their next effort is to
“I like helping the foundation. I’m very proud.” create a bird garden.
It was just a few years ago, that arthritis prevented Jordan Throughout the fall, the
from living like other kids. She had trouble walking. She couldn’t students grew gourds.
run and play like other kids her age. But doctors found a good Those gourds will be dried
and placed throughout the
(Continued on page 2, “Success Stories”) space to attract birds to
make homes in the gourds.
Deon Pearson is an
Oak Hill mother who first came up with the idea to do something
with the space behind the school. Including the kids and helping
them learn about gardening seemed like the perfect solution.
“I really thought it would be great to have a garden that
people could enjoy,” Pearson said. “This is something that goes
beyond what they’re learning in the classroom.”
Anne Sykes, a master gardener with the Johnson County
Master Gardeners, Johnson County Extension, and a parent of
Blue Valley graduates, has volunteered her time to work with the
students each month. Sykes engages the children in hands-on
group and individual learning experiences that promote a love
of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment and
cultivate the mind.
“For me, it’s a real joy to do what I love and give back to the
community,” Sykes said. “It’s been fun.”
She’s even working with the kids to help them become certified Top: Anders Pearson, a third grader at Oak Hill Elementary,
as wildlife gardeners. plants bulbs at the Oak Hill Junior Master Gardeners club at
Looking around the site, a person can’t help but be amazed at the school.
the amount of work that’s been done. The students are enthusiastic
and willing to do whatever they can to get the job done. Left: Hannah Goetzman, a fourth grader, works on the garden
Some of the students like to see the bugs, others like digging outside of Oak Hill Elementary.
in the dirt. Either way, the students have fun learning about the Bottom: Fifth graders Rachel Wilkins (left) and Emily
Mahapatra gather gourds.
(Continued on page 4, “Junior Gardners”)
BLUE VALLEY TODAY 41 Years of Excellence in Education 1
I would like to increase in the Local Option Budget (LOB), a funding The district will be a good steward of these vitally
express my sincere option that helps the district maintain its high quality important additional resources. Our Blue Valley Board
gratitude to each education. The revenue – estimated at about $1.1. of Education has consistently demonstrated their abil-
and every one of million – will be spent on student instruction to ity to use these resources for the benefit of children in
you who voted on advance student achievement. Blue Valley and this time will be no exception.
Nov. 7. I appreciate The passing of this increase to the LOB also opens The results of this election are proof of the over-
your support and the door to another revenue stream for the district. whelming support of our community for public educa-
faith in the school This summer, the Kansas Supreme Court lifted a stay tion. If you look back over the past 20 years, you see
system. on a provision that allows school districts with a high a community that is willing to support our school
As you know, cost of living to raise additional funds. In order to take district, as evidenced by successful bond issues in
a very important full advantage of these funds, the district must reach 2005, 1998, 1994, 1988 and 1985, as well as the
measure on that its maximum on the LOB. Without this important successful passage of the Johnson County sales tax
ballot was passed. approval by voters on Nov. 7 to raise the LOB, the in 2002 and the extension of the tax in 2005.
Blue Valley voters district would not have been able to access this source Our commitment each day is to help our students
were asked to of income. achieve success. Thank you for your support and trust.
consider a 1 percent
SUCCESS stories (continued from front)
combination of medications that now allow Jordan to be just like
everyone else her age. You’d never know by looking at her that she
has arthritis, her mother Stacy Rose said.
“She’s just like everyone else now,” Stacy Rose said. “She is
a really talented kid who has a lot of great things going for her.”
Jordan and her family started volunteering with the founda-
tion a few years ago. They began by getting involved in the
Arthritis Walk. They formed a team with Jordan as the captain and
over the past three years, they raised more than $10,000. Jordan
has served as the walk’s ambassador as well.
She’s also been an ambassador at the organization’s KC Chiefs
Night Auction. But her dedication to the Kansas City Arthritis
Foundation doesn’t end there. She has also appeared at a variety
of events in the area and spoken on its behalf. Recently she spoke
to 1,000 people at the Kansas City Corporate Challenge. Jordan will
also speak at the Arthritis Foundation’s fund raising breakfast.
When she stands in front of a group of adults, she just tells
“I just work to give the adults the awareness that kids have
arthritis too,” Jordan said. “Many adults are unaware how bad
arthritis is for children.”
Jordan’s youth volunteer award was a surprise on Oct. 23.
And a huge honor, she said.
Many of her teachers from her former school, Liberty View
Elementary, and a teacher from Pleasant Ridge were there in
Be prepared for ol’ man winter attendance to support her. That meant a lot.
Her former art teacher from Liberty View has also dedicated
T he Blue Valley School District continues to employ the services
of a weather forecasting agency for an accurate assessment of
school students, the entire schedule will be moved back one hour.
The late arrival would then be one hour later than usual, as would
her time to help Jordan’s efforts with the foundation. Rozanna
Lordemann and Jordan participated in the Art for Arthritis fund
raiser. This event paired arthritic kids with artists in the communi-
weather conditions when it’s necessary to make schedule changes. be the reporting time for teachers, etc. ty. For this event, they create a large piece of artwork and then
If the decision is made to cancel classes, the district will Blue Valley’s winter weather procedures also include the auction it off with proceeds benefiting the work of the foundation.
notify the following media outlets by 6 a.m.: WDAF-TV (Ch. 4), implementation of emergency snow routes. The district and Jordan has no plans to end her work with the foundation any-
KCTV (Ch. 5), KMBC-TV (Ch. 9), KSHB-TV (Ch. 41), as well as KCUR, Laidlaw Transit Inc. have devised a system to provide a safer ride time soon. She wants to continue to do more with them, raise more
KFKF, KBEQ, KMBZ and WDAF radio stations. to school. The primary reason for developing these emergency money and, most importantly, raise awareness on the issue of her
In addition to listening to radio or television stations, routes is to avoid hazardous areas, such as steep hills, turn- disease.
patrons also may call the district’s information line, 239-4600, arounds, cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets. Staying on the main “When I was younger, I couldn’t play soccer. Now I can. A lot
or access the district’s Web site, www.bluevalleyk12.org, for roads, which are serviced more quickly by emergency snow of things have changed, which is very, very nice,” Jordan said.
weather-related information. removal equipment, makes the trip safer. “Winning this award shows that the Arthritis Foundation believes
If bad weather continues the following day, patrons will be However, these emergency routes impact a small minority in the kids. They want to raise awareness too. That’s really nice.”
notified accordingly. Otherwise, patrons should assume classes of the bus riders who reside in the southern portion of the district.
will be in session. When those riders have been notified that emergency snow routes
There could also be a situation where the decision is to delay are in effect, they will meet the bus at a pre-determined location
the schedule by one hour. That decision will also be made by and time. A one hour delay will automatically initiate the emer-
6 a.m., announced in the same manner as cancellation of classes. gency snow routes for those who ride the bus.
Due to possible changing weather conditions, a day that initially For more information on these routes, please call
is announced as a delayed start could become a closed school day. Laidlaw Transit, 8 9 7 - 2 3 4 7.
In the event of a one hour delay on a late arrival day for high
2 BLUE VALLEY TODAY
Numerous Blue Valley students named AP Scholars
W hen it comes to academics, Blue Valley students aren’t afraid
of a challenge. The more rigorous the course work, the better.
Soloman, Antoni Tonev and Steven Wallace.
Blue Valley North: Rachel Anderson, Helen Arnold, John
Magee, Christopher McGillvray, Karen Melton, Allison Meyer,
Elizabeth Minoofar, Matthew Mulligan, Alexander Nichols, Caitlin
Blue Valley teachers work hard each day to help Advanced Blessing, Rebekah Blume, Yuliya Bondar, Patricia Campbell, Natalie O’Neil, Michael Rollins, Nicole Sowden and Eric Tabaka.
Placement (AP) students get everything they can out of their class- Como, Janae Contag, Peter Del Nero, Laura Edwards, Richard Blue Valley North: Stacey Ahern, Alexander Bakker, Whitney
es and achieve success. The hard work of the students is evidenced Fletcher, Magda Fried, Ryan Gamso, Sarah Gelvin, Melanie Glass, Bartels, Josephine Borich, Andrew Boyd, Lauren Byers, Emma
by looking at the large list of Blue Valley AP Scholars. Gabrielle Graham, Daniel Hamburg, Lauren Holt, Whitney Hoyt, Casey, Paul Cassat, Garrett Childers, Bradley Craemer, Ryan Ellis,
The College Board has recognized many Blue Valley students Li-Wei Hu, Yun-Sang Huh, James Hylton, Joshua Iszory, Mark Kanter, Michael Erwood, Elliot Ewert, Leighton Fain, Caroline Fehr, Noah
for their exceptional achievement on the college-level AP exams. Erik Lee, Jason Lericos, Tianxiang Lu, Alison McMahon, Scott Molos, Garfinkle, Molly Gerson, Leslie Gustafson, Kendra Halvorson,
The AP Program, through College Board, offers students the Alexandra Mushegian, Emily Passer, Meagan Pick, Evan Plous, Bailey Ren-How Harn, Mark Haughey, Michelle Hoefer, John Holt, Emily
opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still Price, Subbiah Ramasamy, Nicholas Rauth, Bradley Revare, Rebecca Hooser, William Hoyt, Andrew Johnson, Julia Johnson, Jeffrey
in high school and to receive college credit, advanced placement, Rosamond, Victoria Solorzano, Scott Soltz, Ann Spokes, Daniel Kaplan, Evelyn Kelley, Elise Kemper, Samira Koerkemeier, Caylin
or both, for successful performance on the exams. High school Stahl, Kevin Terry and Jefferson Wu. Kusmin, Stephen Lachky, Alexandra Lee, Scott Limbocker, Xiaolong
students in Blue Valley are offered a wide variety of AP classes Blue Valley Northwest: Shamoor Anis, Joshua Brettmann, Liu, Melissa Mallin, Kevin Morrison, Rachel Myers, Emily Newport,
to fit their individual interests and needs in keeping with the Lauren Burdette, Robert Chen, Sizhe Chen, Peter Colletti, Daniel Kevin Ornduff, Hannah O’Toole, Preeti Parulekar, Audrey Pinicke,
district’s goals of improving the academic performance and encour- Dejong, Samantha Dibaggio, Brian Edwards, Sara Full, Charles Jehle, Javon Plantt, Laura Ponath, Shilpa Rao, Aaron Razavi, Clark
aging the personal growth of each student. Mallory Jensen, Arianne Kahn, Patrick Kelly, Niraj Kothari, Patrick Richardson, Allyson Shaw, Alexander Simon, Jacob Smith, Kyle
Two Blue Valley students received an especially nice honor. Lawlor, Xing Liu, Jimmy Ma, Christopher Meinzen, Maxwell Murphy, Spies, Scott Sturgeon, Rachel Sweenie, Amy Sword, Rachel
Blue Valley High School’s Zhitao Luo and Blue Valley Northwest Krysta Pfeifer, Kyle Robisch, Ryan Rosenbaum, Jeffrey Siler, Waxman, Kathryn Weaver, David Winston, Michelle Winston and
High School’s Shamoor Anis were named State AP Scholars. This Ming-Chieh Tsai, Brian Tung, Simon Wagner, Blaine Westemeyer, Brittan Young.
award is granted to the one female and one male student in each Ryan Wieghard, Joel Woodward and Jiayu Zhang. Blue Valley Northwest: Maxwell Almenoff, Ryan Amos, Bryson
U.S. state with grades of 3 or higher on the greatest number of Blue Valley West: Katherine Brooks, Timothy Conley, Maxwell Austin, Patrick Benedict, Tara Burkett, Xuexi Chen, Brittany Church,
exams (at least three exams), and then the highest average grade Daigh, Tara Hawley, Daniel Kennedy, Matthew Liberti, Katelyn David Craig, Dana Dajani, Colin Davidson, Tracy Fogliasso, Seth Fox,
(at least 3.5) on all AP Exams taken. McKee, Hogan Miller, Rebekah Schulz, Christopher Valencia, Neal Allison Gard, Andrea Gilkey, Ashley Green, Wesley Guenther,
Other important honors include: National AP Scholars; Walters and Lauren Wells. Lauren Kennedy, Mallory Kerns, Elliot Kort, Alex Krantz, Katie Krol,
AP Scholar with Distinction; AP Scholar with Honor; and AP Scholar. Wing Kwan Lam, Jessica Lampe, Madeline Lobosco, Ila Marshall,
Honorees at each level are: AP SCHOLAR WITH HONOR – AP Scholar with Honor is awarded Mary McGaugh, Maureen McHugh, Elizabeth Medbery, Aparna Mehra,
to students who receive an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP exams Ann Melookaran, Julie Meyer, Alonso Miranda, Avi Morgenstern,
NATIONAL AP SCHOLARS – This honor is given to students taken and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. Elizabeth Musil, Jessica Pohl, Katherine Rabovsky, Jennifer Sander,
who receive an average grade of at least 4 on all AP exams taken, Sameer Sane, Justin Shipley, Angela Smith, David Smith, Sarah
Blue Valley High: Hoyt Banks, Corey Gray, Philip Jennings,
and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. Taggart, Sharadvi Thati, Kayla Thomason, Derek Towster, Kimberly
Meredith McKaig, Thomas Peterman, JP Prouty and Marshall Stula.
Winnubst, Sarah Woody and Esther Yang.
Blue Valley High: Gregory Allen, Christine Hansen, Zhitao Luo, Blue Valley North: John Cain, Kevin Colbert, Elisabeth Cowin,
Blue Valley West: Steven Belgeri, Shivani Bhandari, Rebecca
Eric Min, Debetimi Okah and Antoni Tonev. Preston Dishon, Michelle Hammer, Molly Heil, Brett Heinz, Amanda
Birzer, Caitlin Bower, Calvin Dugan, James Harmon, Hilary
Blue Valley North: John Blessing, Joshua Iszory, Tianxiang Lu, Hessler, Daniel Janvrin, Ryan Kanoknukulchai, Whitney Kollar,
Hershberger, Kyla Hoskins, Raheel Jaria, Abby Jones, John Liu, Sean
Alison McMahon, Alexandra Mushegian, Meagan Pick, Ann Spokes, Nichole Kornspan, Kelsey Leek, Xuan Li, Sarah Peters, Katherine
Maddock, Richard Moller, Derek Nelson, Emily Owens, Margaret
Kevin Terry and Jefferson Wu. Rist, Michael Shields, Adam Thompson and Amy Turek.
Padek, Eryka Rowlen, Meghan Schmitt, Shawn Stevens, Meredith
Blue Valley Northwest: Shamoor Anis, Daniel Dejong, Blue Valley Northwest: Megan Burik, Paul Byrne, Sara Gray,
Turner, Katelin Walker, Clarissa Wedemeier.
Samantha Dibaggio, Patrick Lawlor, Jimmy Ma, Christopher Meinzen, Ryan Hart, Amber Heasley, Taylor Jay, Jennifer Logue, Brett Long,
Maxwell Murphy, Krysta Pfeifer and Blaine Westemeyer. Ashutosh Mahapatra, Genevieve McCabe, Plamena Pehlivanova,
Blue Valley West: Daniel Kennedy. Vincent Pianalto, Stephanie Shiflett and Dylan Zini. Blue Valley Today is a news magazine published monthly
Blue Valley West: Kyle Dembinski, Andrew Dick, Matthew during the school year by the Communications Department
AP SCHOLAR WITH DISTINCTION – Students earning Gieschen, Kelsey Jones, Harry McDonald, Charles Mock, Timothy
of Blue Valley Schools, 15020 Metcalf Ave., PO Box 23901,
AP Scholar with Distinction must receive a grade of at least 3.5 on Schendt, Emily Shaw, Brandon Tabman, Aaron Trigg, Christopher
all AP exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on five or more of Wallace and Shara Yim. Overland Park, Kansas 66283-0901.
these exams. It is mailed free to all residents of the school district.
AP SCHOLAR – This honor is given to students who receive To receive a copy, please call (913) 239-4000.
Blue Valley High: Gregory Allen, Samuel Barton, Joshua
grades of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.
Bohde, Brett Bolton, Kyle Combes, Paul Conrad, Jennifer Eliason, Lori Sand, director/Communications
Regan Gangel, Thomas Gnoza, Nicholas Goedken, Mark Gruber, Blue Valley High: Daniel Anderson, Emily Beye, Lauren Chesis, Kristi McNerlin, coordinator/Communications
Ayushi Gupta, Christine Hansen, Andrea Hiesberger, Tyler Hodges, Christopher Crooks, Brent Curry, Christina Dickerson, Lauren
Maggie Hessel-Mial, specialist/Communications
Jessica Katzenstein, John Liu, Xiao Liu, Zhitao Luo, Eric Min, Thomas Friedlander, Darrin Hicks, Igor Kantor, Scott Kellenberger, Tyler
Nelson, Debetimi Okah, Clint Sbisa, Kelly Schute, Ian Smith, Angela Kennon, Stefanie Krull, Kiley Laemmli, Taylor Laemmli, Amanda This publication is available in alternative formats.
Left: Kevin Massey, third grade,
enjoys a Thanksgiving-themed lunch
on Nov. 20 at Heartland Elementary.
Right: Devin Burgett, a second
grader at Heartland Elementary,
enjoys a Thanksgiving lunch with
his grandfather, Jim Burgett.
41 Years of Excellence in Education 3