December 2016 Recognitions by the Board of Education

Olathe Fire Department recognition Interim Superintendent Patricia All and board member Joe Beveridge thanked the Olathe Fire Department for being a long-standing community partner. Captain Mike Hall (left) and Chief Jeff DeGraffenreid accepted the honor. The fire department provides free EMT services for some athletic events, serves as an integral part of the development of curriculum for the fire rescue strand of a new 21st Century Academy, implements fire safety curriculum for third-graders, donates staff for the district's Career Day and Public Safety Academy open house, hosts teacher externships during the summer, and much more.
Olathe Police Department recognition Olathe Police Deputy Chief Mike Butaud (center) and Captain John Rowland were recognized for their years of service relating to the School Resource Officer program partnership between the district and police department. The SRO unit provides a law enforcement presence, subject matter teaching expertise, and informal counseling for students. The relationships SROs build with students and staff are crucial in sustaining a positive culture of safety and security. Assisting with the recognition were Assistant Superintendent Erin Dugan (far right) and Manager of Safety and Security Rick Castillo.
Karen Thompson recognition

Karen Thompson of Ravenwood Elementary School was named one of three finalists for the 2016-17 Kansas School Counselor of the Year awards program by the Kansas School Counselor Association. She was accompanied at the board meeting by Angie Salava, district College and Career Readiness Coordinator.

United Way Executive Committee recognition

Members of the district's United Way Executive Committee were thanked for coordinating the campaign which resulted in $65,309.83 from about 1,200 staff members. The committee included (from left) Nancy Cheatham, Beth Esco, Jennifer Curry, Amanda Faunce and Erin Dugan. Staff volunteers coordinated individual building campaigns, and several buildings held special fundraising events.

Andrew Wray recognition

Andrew Wray, a senior band member from Olathe East High School, was selected as a member of the 2017 United States Army All-American Marching Band which will perform at halftime of the All-American Bowl Game on Jan. 7. He was joined at the recognition by his parents, Olathe East Principal Kerry Lane, Fine Arts Coordinator Martha Gabel, and band director Jeff Smikahl.

Olathe Northwest volleyball team recognition

The Olathe Northwest High School volleyball team earned the 6A state championship title after beating Blue Valley West High School in three games. The team finished the season with a 38-4 record. They were joined at the board meeting by their coach Barry Lenth, athletic director Joe Gunderson and principal Chris Zuck.

Olathe East cross country team recognition

The Olathe East boys cross country team won its first state championship this fall. This was the 50th state athletic championship for East. In addition to the team state championship, Will Tindall earned an individual 6A title. Assisting with the presentation were coach Tony Bozarth, Athletic Director Amanda Faunce and Principal Kerry Lane.

Photos by Marlene Colgan