Three EJC students

named Starlight

STARS of Tomorrow

Three Eastern Jackson County middle school students were among the 14 who have been cast as members of the 2017 Starlight Theatre STARS of Tomorrow.

Fourteen students who attend middle school throughout Kansas City and in surrounding communities were selected for the Starlight performance troupe following an audition process last month. They have since learned and rehearsed a song and dance medley that they soon will perform for audiences at major holiday events across the metro.

The 14 students selected as Starlight STARS of Tomorrow included Caylee Betts, a seventh grade student at Delta Woods Middle School of the Blue Springs School District in Lee’s Summit; Bryleigh Giffin, an eighth grader at Oak Grove Middle School, Oak Grove, Mo.; and Cynne Soria, an eighth grader at Raytown Middle School.

“We are thrilled to work with these outstanding young people and to provide them the opportunity to entertain Kansas City residents and visitors this holiday season,” Amy Reinert-Price, Starlight’s director of education, said in a press release. “Not only are they talented, enthusiastic performers, but they are also great representatives of Starlight Theatre and our youth education programs.”

The Starlight STARS of Tomorrow performed over Thanksgiving weekend at the holiday lighting ceremonies at both Union Station and Zona Rosa. Their remaining holiday event performances are:

• Shawnee Christkindlmarkt, Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2:10 p.m., Shawnee City Hall, 11110 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, KS 66203.

• Santa’s Wonderland at Penguin Park, Saturday, Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m., 4124 N.E. Vivion Road, KCMO 64119.

• Overland Park Arboreum Luminary Walk, Saturday, Dec. 9 at 5-6 p.m., 8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, KS 66013.

• Crown Center Holiday Choirs, Sunday, Dec. 17 at 12:30 p.m., 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108.

The Starlight STARS of Tomorrow have created their holiday performance under the guidance of artistic director Amy Reinert-Price, music director Jason Elam and choreographer Courtney Germany.

In addition to performing during the holidays, the Starlight STARS of Tomorrow receive intensive training in acting, singing and dance; participate in a master class led by a theatre professional; and build foundational skills that will allow them to grow in their craft.

The Starlight STARS of Tomorrow and the Starlight STARS, performing arts education programs for aspiring performers in grades 6 through 12, are supported by the Jeannette and Jerome Cohen Community Fund.



Local students earn

degrees from Kansas

Four local students earned their degrees from the University of Kansas following the summer session,

Some graduates have participated in school and departmental recognition events. Others will choose to participate in KU’s annual Commencement ceremony, which will take place Sunday, May 13, 2018.

Local graduates included:

• Terrianne Danelle Wright, Grain Valley, Master of Science in Education.

• Jordyn Revoir, Independence, Master of Science in Education.

• Tina Marie Ellsworth, Lee's Summit, Doctorate in Education.

• Eric Russell MacRae, Lee's Summit, Certificate in Emergency Medicine.


Emporia State names

Blue Springs’ Goodwin

an Earl W. Sauder Scholar

Taysean Goodwin of Blue Springs was one of 35 student-athletes from all 15 of Emporia State's intercollegiate sports named as 2017-18 Earl W. Sauder Athletic Scholars. Those student-athletes were celebrated during the annual luncheon at the Sauder Alumni Center.

Kent Weiser, executive director of intercollegiate athletics, said a key aspect of his selection process for each Earl W. Sauder Athletic Scholar is a question he asks himself about the late Earl W. Sauder.

"I had the honor of knowing Earl Sauder for many years," said Weiser. "Something I always ask myself during the selection process is 'Would I be able to introduce this young person to Earl Sauder, and would he be proud of them?'"

Goodwin, a sophomore majoring in business administration, competes in track and field and cross country for Emporia State.

Steve Sauder is the president of Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc., (KVOE AM & FM and KFFX-FM) and also a founder and chairman of the Board of Managers of ValuNet, Emporia's fiber-optic broadband network that makes it one of only two gigabyte communities in Kansas.

"One day, my dad and I were talking and I told him that if he gave a substantial gift to Emporia State Athletics, it would be transformative. When he established the scholarship program, he made sure that all 15 sports were included. We're really proud of the Earl W. Sauder Athletic Scholars."

– Compiled by Karl Zinke