August 2014 Recognitions by the Board of Education

2014 summer externs

Superintendent Marlin Berry and board member Debora Daniels (far left) recognized six district educators who spent one or two weeks this summer working with a local business. They were also joined by other staff who were instrumental in making the summer externships possible.

Michael Ralph

Michael Ralph of Olathe East High School was recognized for receiving the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers. He was joined by Olathe East Principal Bill Weber.

California Trail is recognized

California Trail Middle School Principal Connie Viebrock (second from right) was joined by her Friends of Rachel Club sponsor Sherry Wann (center) and Assistant Superintendent Erin Dugan to accept the Kindest Middle School in the Nation award from The school's Friends of Rachel Club collected more than 11,000 pair of shoes last year for the organization's drive to help students in Kenya.

Pioneer Trail is recognized

Pioneer Trail Middle School Principal Mike Wolgast (center) and Assistant Principal Elaine Carpenter accepted recognition for their school being named 2014 Middle School of the Year by the National Association of Middle School Principals. The school received the honor over five other middle school finalists located in New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah. They were joined by Superintendent Marlin Berry, board member Debora Daniels and Assistant Superintendent Erin Dugan (right) at the board meeting.

Alaina Walberg

Olathe Northwest High School graduate Alaina Walberg was recognized as the 2014 Policy Debate Top Speaker in the National Speech and Debate Tournament. She was joined by debate coach Josh Anderson, assistant coaches Mark Skoglund and Eric Skoglund, and Olathe Northwest Principal Gwen Poss (right).

Saurabh Harohalli

Saurabh Harohalli of Olathe East High School was joined by Principal Bill Weber as he was recognized for achieving a perfect 36 on the ACT exam. Saurabh is one of nine students in the district to achieve a perfect ACT score in the past two school years. Nationally, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students taking the exam earn the top score.

Vanya Shivashankar

Vanya Shivashankar of California Trail Middle School won the district spelling bee and went on to represent Olathe in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. It was her fourth time to compete at nationals. She did an outstanding job and made it to the semifinal round. She was accompanied at the board meeting by California Trail Principal Connie Viebrock (right).

History bee competitors

Andrew Booze and Sam Mugo qualified for the National History Bee at a regional tournament. Andrew also won that regional event. Both boys competed with more than 600 participants in eight rounds of Jeopardy-style competition covering World History, Ancient History, U.S. History and pop culture. Andrew moved into the quarter-finals and only missed the semifinals by two questions. They were joined by their social studies teacher Melissa Lunney and Principal Kerry Lane.

Cristian Ibarra

Olathe Advanced Technical Center student Cristian Ibarra placed first in the state Skills USA in the Auto Collision Job Demo category and went on to compete at the national event. Advanced Technical Center Administrator Kathy Musgrave (right) was on hand to congratulate Cristian on his success at the Skills USA events.

Olathe East boys track and field team

The Olathe East High School boys track team won the Kansas 6A championship title. This is the fourth state title for the Olathe East boys, who also won in 1998, 2007 and 2010. Their coach Mike Wallace, principal Bil Weber and assistant principal/athletic director Kraig Taylor also attended the meeting to congratulate the team.

Relay and individual track and field champions

Many other track and field athletes won state titles in their events and were recognized at the board meeting. (See a list of this year's state titles)

Photos by Ann Kohn