Fort Osage teacher

earns national honors

The Simon Youth Foundation named Carol Bolin, an instructor for the Career & Technology Center at Fort Osage, their Teacher of the Year. This national award honored Bolin's hard work with her Entrepreneurial Studies program, a unique classroom for high school students housed at Independence Center.

The program is part of the SYF Academies, a partnership between the Foundation and local school districts. Students learn about organizing, creating and operating a business. Students run the seasonal gift wrapping booth at Independence Center, complete internships with local organizations like the Kansas City Mavericks hockey team and can earn college credit and scholarships. Last year's graduating class earned $264,000 in scholarships from SYF.

"When anyone in the district mentions Ms. Bolin or her entrepreneurship class the first thing they think of is high energy, innovation, and student success," says Mike Pantleo, Director of the CTC. "She does it with the flair and dignity that encourages not only high expectations but student self-efficacy and self-discipline. If we could bottle the energy that she displays on a daily basis we could put Mountain Dew out of business."


Students represent ISD

on All-State Choir list

Three high school students are representing the Independence School District in the 2017 Missouri All-State Choir.

Truman High School senior Blake Savidge made the choir as a bass for the second consecutive year. Van Horn High School junior Paul Hemingway and Truman High School junior Elena Yroz were named All-State Choir alternates

Savidge is involved in the chamber and concert choirs at Truman and has earned a lead role in the school’s musical “Cabaret.” He also plays varsity tennis. This is the second year Blake’s vocal talents have earned him a an an All-State Choir honor. Students who earn this honor are the top six singers of more than 200 students who auditioned in their voice part.

Hemingway was named a Missouri All-State Choir Alternate as a tenor. Paul has been a member of the top auditioned choir since he was freshman at Van Horn, receiving 1 Ratings (Excellent) at District and State competitions for both solo and small ensemble. Paul was a member of the KC Metro District Choir last year. Paul is a varsity football player and a leader at Van Horn.

Yroz was named a Missouri All-State Choir Alternate as an alto. To achieve this distinction, Elena scored in the top eight of more than 200 students who auditioned in her voice part. Elena is new to the ISD this year and is a welcome addition to the choir and the school. This her first time to audition in the district.


Lt. Governor visits Lee’s

Summit North High School

Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson visited with student leaders at Lee’s Summit North High School during an Oct. 30 trip to Lee’s Summit.

He met with around a dozen members of the school’s Youth in Government organization to discuss how he prepared for leadership as well as the importance of public service and education.

The LSNHS Youth in Government students also discussed their legislative platform with the lieutenant governor. The LSNHS platform includes 27 bills the local students will be proposing through the state organization and convention, which will be held this fall.


Independence student

participates in student

discovery trip to Mayo Clinic

Eight students from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, spent fall break visiting Mayo Clinic, Imanis Life Sciences, and Sanford Health Research Center, where they received a behind-the-scenes look at various types of science and medicine-based professional opportunities.

Amanda Miley, a junior chemistry and biology double major from Independence, was one of the students who participated in the trip.

Dr. Brian Lenzmeier, professor of biology, and Dr. Thomas Bonagura, assistant professor of biology, were the faculty advisers for the trip, which was sponsored by the BVU Stine Endowment Committee and the Otteman Internship and Research Fund. The Mayo Foundation and the Sanford Health Foundation also helped with costs associated with the trip.

Every other year, the BVU science department offers a student discovery trip similar to this during fall break. The timing is intentional so students do not miss classes and are able to observe their surroundings on a weekday when there is a lot of activity happening at the facilities.

During the visit to Mayo Clinic, BVU students engaged with graduate students, met with the department chair of Mayo's virology and gene therapy program, Dr. Yasuhiro Ikeda, and received an inside look at research laboratories and other core departments. The students also had the opportunity to spend time in a facility adorned with a name familiar to the BVU community – the Siebens Medical Education Building – which is named in honor of Dr. Harold Walter Siebens and his wife, Estelle.

The group also visited Imanis Life Sciences, a biotechnology company, where they engaged with research scientists and toured the facility. The students' final stop of the trip was at Sanford Health Research Center, where they toured the grounds, had lunch with graduate students, and met with several research scientists.


– Compiled by Karl Zinke