Local students in the news

The Examiner


Graceland University President’s List 

The honor roll lists for Graceland university’s 2021 spring term have been announced. Students with a perfect 4.0 grade point average are named to the president’s list. The following local students achieved that honor: 

Blue Springs: 

Makensey Burghart 

Zane Cady 

Christal Daugherty 

Daniel Garcia 

Anthony Gonzalez 

Dakota Kenig 

Casey Main 

Rachel Martino 

Keilah Zahner 


Karima Burns 

Briana Courtney 

Kirsten Huber 

Beth Presler 

Adelaide Simpson 

Victoria Simpson 

William Weston 

Lee’s Summit:  

Addison Demesko 

Dylan Fox 

Natalie Harper 

Sugar Creek: 

Tabitha Watson 

Graceland University Honors List 

The Graceland University honors list for the spring semester of 2021 has been announced. Students with a grade point average between 3.65 and 3.99 are qualified for the honors list. The following local students have been earned that honor: 

Blue Springs:

Luci Balentine  

Alecia Bennett 

Jordan Stevens 


Justin Binnicker 

Kaitlyn Bover 

Kelsey Thompson 

Lee’s Summit:

Delaney Fox 

Shane Harper 

Local student graduates from Central College 

Caden Mauck of Lee’s Summit graduated from Central College on May 15, receiving his bachelor’s degree in exercise science. The graduation ceremonies were held at Schipper Stadium near Pella, Iowa, where Central College is located. 

Area students graduate from University of Nebraska 

Two local students graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln on May 8. 

Brianna Lynn Bullard of Blue Springs earned her doctor of philosophy degree. 

Brooke Leigh Eddins of Lee’s Summit earned her bachelor of science degree.  

Blue Springs resident honored 

Christopher Kirkland of Blue Springs has earned a place on the honor roll at the State Technical College of Missouri in Linn, Missouri. Students must receive a grade point average of between 3.0 and 3.499 in order to achieve this honor. 

Lee’s Summit student to attend Interlochen  

Kayla Hurley, a 15-year-old student at Blue Springs South High School, has been invited to attend the Interlochen Arts Camp, a respected multidisciplinary summer arts program. Hurley will study the visual arts. She has already been honored with an Award of Merit in the National PTA 2020-21 Reflections Contest and won first place in the Missouri PTA Reflections Contest. Kayla is the daughter of John and Amy Hurley. 

Independence student part of winning team 

Kaitlyn Johnson, of Independence, was part of the Bradley University Speech Team which won the 2021 National Speech Championship. 2021 was the first time that Bradley University had entered this speech competition. The team beat George Mason University, its closest competitor. Johnson placed as a semifinalist in Duo Interpretation, along with her partner, Bri Leys.

Truman State University President’s List 

Truman State University has announced the names of students who have achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average during the 2021 spring semester. Local students who have achieved this honor: 

Blue Springs: Alex Graham, Reese Howard, Jack Kenney, Mallori Morgan, Katelyn Rusert, Kyle Seidel, Blake Summers 

Lee’s Summit: Brett Barger, Addison Besermin, Hannah Effland, Derek Empson, Cassidy Gann, Hunter Gillen, Hannah Klene, Addie Leabo, Jonny Ly, Emily Masters, Addie Mathis, Colleen McNamara, Maggie Munsterman, Hanna Nabulsi, Holly Peters, Nick Pritchett, Blake Savidge, Caitlin Smith, Nicole Taylor, Hallie Webber, Lynn Williams. 

Grain Valley: Kierra Arndorfer, Kenzie Snyder 

Greenwood: Rebekah Nelson 

Independence: Roy Hart, Hannah Kimbrough, Michaela Raveill, Amanda Smith. 

Raytown: Emelia Durham 

Blue Springs students honored at Westminster College 

Westminster College, located in Fulton, Mo., has announced the spring 2021 dean’s list for exemplary academic performance. Students named to this list must have obtained a 3.60 grade point average.  

Two Blue Springs residents have achieved this honor: Loren Etris, senior, and Kirsten Rushing, sophomore. 

Southeast Missouri State Dean’s List 

Southeast Missouri State University has announced its spring semester 2021 dean’s list. The students who are added to the dean’s list have earned a 3.75 grade point average. Local students who achieved this academic excellence include the following: 

• Brianna Davis, Blue Springs 

• Jack Gavin, Lee’s Summit 

• Adelia Hancock, Blue Springs 

• Noah Hinton, Blue Springs 

• Stacy Kornis, Blue Springs 

Blue Springs native graduates in Walla Walla 

Nathaniel Gamble, of Blue Springs, received his bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental studies this May from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. Gamble was a graduate of Rockhurst High School. 

Local students honored at University of Saint Mary 

The University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas, has announced its spring semester 2021 dean’s list. Students must earn a 3.5 grade point average in order to be named to the dean’s list. Two Independence natives achieved this honor: Rebecca Gilpin and Macio Moananu. 

Blue Springs student honored 

Cedarville University, located in southwest Ohio, has named Brett Vaughn, of Blue Springs, to the spring, 2021 dean’s honor list. In order to qualify for this honor, Mr. Vaughn earned a grade-point average of 3.75 or higher. 

Oklahoma State honors local students 

Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater, Okla., has announced the dean’s honor roll and president’s honor roll for the spring semester of 2021. Students who earned a 4.0 grade point average were named to the president’s honor roll and students who earned a grade point average of 3.5 or higher were named to the dean’s honor roll. 

Local students who achieved those honors include the following: 

President’s Honor Roll 

• Kierston Holstine, of Grain Valley 

• Jonah Loewe, of Blue Springs 

Dean’s Honor Roll 

• Audrey Fleschute, of Lee’s Summit 

• Matthew O’Connell, of Blue Springs 

• Sarah Sherman, of Lee’s Summit 

Washburn University 2021 honors and graduates 

The following local residents have graduated from Washburn University as of the spring of 2021: 

• Shanna Jochum, of Independence, bachelor of science in nursing 

• Benjamin Holloway, of Blue Springs, master of arts in human services 

Local students named to the dean’s list at Washburn University include the following local students: 

• Virginia Berg, of Blue Springs 

• Cadence Lynn, of Blue Springs 

• Ysabella Hartnett, of Blue Springs 

• Shanna Jochum, of Independence 

Bethany College honors local student 

Haley Reifsteck, of Independence, has been named to the Bethany College honor roll for the spring semester of 2021. Reifsteck is majoring in exercise science at the Lindsborg, Kansas, college. 

Haley Smith graduates from Missouri 

Haley Smith, a 2017 graduate of William Chrisman High School, has graduated from the University of Missouri College of Education with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a minor in public service and leadership. 

Avila University announces dean’s list 

Avila University has announced the spring semester 2021 dean’s list. The following area students have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and have been named to the dean’s list: 

Blue Springs: Emily Baldwin, Madeline Clardy, Cassandra Dumsky, Alexander Francis, Joshua McCullough, Alexander McCullough, Shelby Phillips, Mercedes Willis. 

Independence: Emily Akright, Jonathon Astabie, Kiersten Bachmann, Ernest Bustillo, Alexander Carpenter, Talia Hinkley, Brooklynn Hufft, Aspen Kridner, Alexis Lopez, Ethan Stanley, Nicole Stanley, Heylee Warren,  

Lee’s Summit: Paige Reed, Nidia Shalabi-Fierro, Timothy Waris, Taylor Williams. 

Arkansas State honors local students 

Two local students, Katherine Willis of Blue Springs, and Royce Fisher of Grain Valley, were named to the dean’s list at Arkansas State University for the 2021 spring semester. Both students obtained a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. 

Gabrielle Atchity of Lee’s Summit honored 

Gabrielle Atchity has been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester of 2021. She earned a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in order to earn this honor. 

Bradley University honors local students 

Kaitlyn Johnson and Brianna Durham, both of Independence, have been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester of 2021 at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. In order to be named to this list, students must have achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Both Johnson and Durham are majoring in Advertising and Public Relations. 

Benedictine honors local student 

Katherine Black of Independence was named to the dean’s list for the spring semester of 2021 at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Black earned a grade point average of 3.5 or better in order to qualify for this honor. 

Robinson honored at Baylor University 

Blue Springs resident, Kyndall C. Robinson, was named to the spring semester dean’s list at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In order to earn this honor, Robinson earned a grade point average of 3.7 or higher.  

Lee’s Summit student earns honors 

Libby Welman, of Lee’s Summit, has been named to the dean’s list at the University of Tampa for the spring, 2021 semester. Welman earned at 3.75 grade point average in order to earn this honor. 

Drake University honors local students 

Drake University, in Des Moines, Iowa, has announced the spring semester 2021 dean’s list and president’s list. Three local students have achieved these honors: Lauren Low and Eli Stewart, both of Blue Springs, have been named to the dean’s list, having achieved grade point averages of 3.5 or higher. Kaili Miller, of Independence, has been named to the president’s list, having achieved a perfect grade point average of 4.0. 

Missouri State University graduates 

Commencement ceremonies at Missouri State University in Springfield occurred on May 13 and 14, 2021. Local graduates include the following: 

Blue Springs: Kimberly Blaney, Cole Crossman (summa cum laude), Jacob Curless, Alexander David, Dasey Depew, Jordan Fox (magna cum laude), Darian Frost, Trystan Grembocki, Blake Haynes, Aimee Hendricks (magna cum laude), Gracen Hoevet (magna cum laude), Christopher Isaacks, Andrew McLean, Lauren Monroe, Ciera Moore (magna cum laude), Mahaylee Peterman, Taylor Stark, Abigail Stokes, Deven Wilson (cum laude). 

Lee’s Summit: Alexandra McLain, Ann Orlando (cum laude), Grace Sherman (cum laude), Jake Workman. 

Independence: Ashley Raveill (cum laude), Charles Carter (magna cum laude), Van Oswald, Phillip Serrone, Tate Vickers. 

Local students honored at Iowa State 

Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa has named two local students to the dean’s list for the spring semester of 2021. Cameron Cook and Kassandra Ginther, both of Lee’s Summit, earned placement on this list by earning a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.  

Missouri S&T University Honor List 

The Missouri University of Science and Technology has announced the honor list for the spring semester of 2021. To be named to the list, students must have achieved a grade point average of 3.2 or above. Local students named to this list include the following: 

Blue Springs: Tanner Armstrong, Scott Berry, Keir Bowling, Silas Duvall, Tyler Dye, Nicholas Fuller, Ethan Galloway, Brock Harden, Joshua Isabel, Devin Langford, Jordan Massey Ethan Mitchell, Patrick Mitchell III, Patience Murphy, Joshua Rogge, Sarah Scherich, Jacob Staggs, and Josiah Wade. 

Buckner: Kameron Rile. 

Independence: Gehrig Bristow, Charley Burton, Joshua Hagstrom, Connor Jones, Remy Mathenia, Robert Meadows, Mason Middleton, Jacob Montgomery, Lauren Powers, Eric Rogman, Christian Winnigar.  

Local student honored in Des Moines 

Jocelyn Long of Blue Springs has been named to the president’s list for the spring semester of 2021 at the Des Moines Area Community College. Long earned her place on the president’s list by receiving a 4.0 grade point average.

– Compiled by Nancy Helton