District students, staff win awards

Olathe North High School Senior Earns Scholarship

Olathe North High School senior Rigel Bales-Woods received the Congress-Bundestag Vocational Youth Exchange Scholarship.

He is one of 25 high school graduates from across the United States who will be going to Germany for a gap year to participate in a vocational study program. The Congress-Bundestag Vocational Scholarship provides an opportunity for U.S. high school graduates who have undertaken vocational training to spend a year abroad pursuing their vocational interests.

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program provides a unique intercultural educational opportunity for American and German youth.


Olathe Northwest High School Wins TSA State Championship

The Olathe Northwest High School Technology Student Association (TSA) team brought home its second straight state championship earlier this month, winning 10 events and qualifying 16 students for the TSA National Championships in June in Dallas.

Northwest students/teams won 10 of the 33 events at the high school level and all 16 advanced to TSA Nationals. The winners from Northwest were:

  • Biotechnology – Abby Rouse, Courtney Schilly, Kaitlyn Weeks and Ronnie Whyrick
  • Animatronics – Ryan Alvarez, Julian Huynh and Ronnie Whyrick
  • Manufacturing Prototype – Zach Loveall, Ethan Weeks, Kaitlyn Weeks and Bayu Wilson
  • Fashion Design – Emily Brzon
  • Essays on Technology – Emily Brzon
  • Debate – Ryan Alvarez and Hayden Kovarik
  • Engineering Design – Ryan Alvarez, Zach Loveall, Shane Riego De Dios, Ronnie Whyrick and Bayu Wilson
  • Career Preparation – Amy Leuszler
  • Children’s Stories – Emily Brzon and Namita Kulkarni
  • Transportation Modeling – Cody Cost

Having 16 national qualifiers from Northwest is a new school record, beating last year’s mark of 11. The Technology Student Association is a national, non-profit organization for middle and high school students with a strong interest in technology. Since TSA was chartered in 1978, more than two million students across the nation have participated.


Six Olathe East High School Students Qualify for TSA Nationals

Six members of the Olathe East High School Technology Student Association (TSA) team qualified for nationals at the state championship last weekend, winning four events.

The six students will take part in the TSA National Championships in June in Dallas. The winners from East were:

  • Technology Bowl Written — Brendan Carpenter
  • SciVis — Clayton Augustyn, Syrus Herz and Ali Karamali
  • Future Technology Teacher — Jayme Monnier
  • CAD 2D — Avery Don

Life Science SMART Teams Excel

Two SMART (Students Modeling a Research Topic) teams from the 21st Century Life Sciences program at Olathe North High School presented their protein models with posters at the Experimental Biology Conference in Boston.

The two teams worked along a scientist to research and model a protein before traveling to Boston to present their model and poster. The protein is printed on the 3-D printer at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. They create a scientific poster from their research and present it at the national conference. More than 15,000 scientists, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, researchers, and doctors from across the country attend this conference.

The two posters North students made this year were on HIV TAT (a protein that assists in the replication process of the HIV virus) and ACC (a protein that is of interest for the purpose of biofuel, a cancer target and bacterial reproduction interruption).

The students who participated this year were: Dayana Bernardi, Nina Boonyasiti, Ahadou Derib-Adugna, Jansher Dhillon, Kyra Duong, Alana Einspahr, Sahiba Grover, Herra Hameedi, Namratha Kandru, Nathan Lux, Sai Marre and Julissa Razo Bravo. Chris Elniff is the SMART team sponsor.


Olathe North Student Selected For Summer Research Programs

Disha Dasgupta, a junior at Olathe North High School, has been accepted in two of the most selective summer research programs in the world: Research Science Institute and National Institutes of Health.

Research Science Institute is a six-week long all-expense paid summer research program. About 5,000 high school juniors apply and only 50 students from the United States are accepted based on academics, standardized scores, and extra-curricular activities. Students stay at MIT’s dorm and participate in classes and do research under professors from MIT or Harvard.

The National Institutes of Health is a select program with an acceptance rate of about 5 percent. It is an internship program and they pay students to perform research at their facility.

Dasgupta has decided she will attend Research Science Institute at MIT, which begins June 21.


Olathe Northwest Senior Selected As Jefferson Scholar

Ashwanth Samuel, a senior at Olathe Northwest High School, has been awarded a Jefferson Scholarship, one of the most highly selective merit scholarships in the nation.

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation at the University of Virginia selected Samuel as one of the 34 recipients of the Jefferson Scholarship. He will receive the full cost of attending the University of Virginia. This year, out of the 1,701 students nominated for the scholarship, 116 finalists were invited to take part in the five-day competition.

Samuel is the senior class president and a member of National Honor Society, concertmaster in the Advanced Orchestra and an active volunteer in the community.


California Trail Teachers Accepted to Honeywell Green Boot Camp

California Trail Middle School teachers Margaret Richard and Adam Goad have received full-ride trips from Honeywell to San Diego in order to participate in the 2015 Honeywell Green Boot Camp.

Green Boot Camp is a professional development program designed for teachers to learn new and innovative techniques for integrating topics like energy conservation, climate change and renewable resources into the classroom. It is a five-day program June 21-25.


Student Takes Second at SkillsUSA Culinary Competition

Greyson Vas, a student in the 21st Century Culinary Arts program, took second place in the culinary competition at the recent SkillsUSA Conference state competition. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student to excel.

SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations and for further education.


Olathe Northwest Receives Community Blood Center Recognition

Olathe Northwest High School received the award for the largest high school blood drive in the Kansas City region for 2014. The school received the award at the Community Blood Center Recognition Banquet Luncheon in April. The school has received this award several times in the past.

The Olathe Northwest Blood Drives are sponsored by the Student Council and occur every July, November, and February. The drive in 2014 collected 478 pints of blood.

The 2015-16 blood drive donation dates are July 17, Nov. 13 and Feb. 23.

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