Posts tagged with De Soto High School

De Soto teen's face seen in national ad campaign

Olivia Cline, 16, poses for a photo next to an advertisement she appears in at the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Kan. Cline has been modeling for approximately three years and this is her biggest ad yet.

Olivia Cline, 16, poses for a photo next to an advertisement she appears in at the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Kan. Cline has been modeling for approximately three years and this is her biggest ad yet.

Olivia Cline and her family made several trips to KCK's Great Wolf Lodge over Christmas break but they weren't there for the water slide, they were there to see Olivia's first national ad campaign.

"I was so surprised when I heard about it," said the 16 year-old De Soto High School junior. "My friend called and said my face was on this big ad in the lodge so we drove right over."

Cline, who has been modeling for about three years, soon received more calls from friends and family spotting her face in the ads for colored hair extensions.

"My nephew called us from Myrtle Beach, S.C. and said he saw the same ad in an amusement park there," said Cline's mother Mary Jo Cline. "It was just unreal."

Cline works with area photographer Jani Bryson, who then sells Olivia's shots to stock photo services. The hair extension ad is being used in every Great Wolf Lodge in the country, more than ten locations.

"It's kind of crazy to see my face on a poster but it's made me want to model even more," Cline said. "It's just been an unbelievable feeling."

In addition to photographic work, Cline has walked the catwalk in several fashion shows. Each spring she participates in an area prom fashion show to raise money for DHS and compete for a scholarship.

"There's nothing like being on the runway in a big ball gown," Cline said with a smile. "Your hair and makeup are all done up and the cameras just flash and flash. I just can't describe how incredible it makes you feel."

When she's not strutting the catwalk or working a photo shoot, Cline keeps busy with school work and other extracurriculars. She's on both the varsity and junior varsity tennis teams, participates in youth court, maintains a 3.9 grade point average while also taking vocational tech classes. Cline hopes to someday become a chef after college and more modeling.

"It can be really hectic and difficult to fit everything together, it's a major balancing act," Cline said. "I just try not to get frustrated and remember that it's all fun and I have to relax a little if I want to enjoy it all."

Helping Cline find the right balance are her parents, Mary Jo and Marty, and her older sister, Anna.

"We are so proud of how level-headed Liv is," Mary Jo said. "She could have easily developed a big head along the way but she hasn't. She likes clothes but she's thrifty, things really could have gone a different way for her if she were a different kid."

Cline's next show will be the annual prom fashion show through Olathe Northwest High School on Sunday, Jan. 15, at the Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan. Tickets for the show are $5 and a portion of the money raised by each student goes back to his/her school.

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Arts Council of Johnson County recognizes DHS seniors

When it comes to fine arts, De Soto High School is doing something right as evidenced by the Arts Council of Johnson County selecting eight DHS seniors as finalists for the group's Shooting Stars scholarship program.

The students, who represent vocal, instrumental, performance and visual art, will attend the Shooting Stars Gala in April, where the scholarship winners will be announced.

The representatives from DHS are:

  • Katie Hammond: 2-D visual art
  • Anna Henning: 3-D visual art
  • Jessi McNaughton: literature
  • Drew Buffkin: photography
  • Owen Moore: theatre performance
  • Richard Clancy: technical theatre
  • Hannah Stevens: classical voice
  • Philip Kaul: winds and percussion instrumental.
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DHS students receive musical honors

Four De Soto High School freshmen have been named to the Northeast Kansas District Level Honor Choir. Abby Cater, Amri Kilgore, Graycee Reeves and Jessi McEndree all received the honor last week.

DHS senior Caitlin Walker was named to the District Kansas Music Educators Association Choir for the second year in a row.

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Student art gallery unifies district, showcases talent

De Soto school district facilities employee Doyle Baker and administrative receptionist Dena Wilkerson collaborate to hang the newest works of art in the district's permanent gallery of student art on Tuesday, Nov. 15. "This is the gravy of my job, the best part of the year," said Baker. "For two or three hours once a year I get to hang these great examples of talent and I love it."

De Soto school district facilities employee Doyle Baker and administrative receptionist Dena Wilkerson collaborate to hang the newest works of art in the district's permanent gallery of student art on Tuesday, Nov. 15. "This is the gravy of my job, the best part of the year," said Baker. "For two or three hours once a year I get to hang these great examples of talent and I love it." by Laura Herring

Those entering the De Soto USD 232 administrative building for the first time might think they've gone to the wrong address and instead entered an art museum. Lining the walls, and in one case even hanging from the ceiling, are more than a decade's worth of student artwork from every school in the district.

"People always love coming into this building and seeing all the great artwork," said building receptionist Dena Wilkerson. "I'm lucky I get to see it all day every day, I have the coolest office in the building."

The gallery, which started with artwork from Lexington Trails Middle School in 1999 and went district-wide in 2000, is the brainchild of LTMS art teacher Nancy Roberts.

"My high school has a similar gallery and as a student one of my pieces was selected," said Roberts. "I can still go back to Wisconsin and see my work hanging in that gallery and show my kids and I love it. I wanted to do something like that for our students here."

Once Roberts planted the seed for the gallery, it caught on quickly and made it's way through the district, she said.

"My principal at the time was very supportive of the idea and I think everyone could agree that the [administrative] building had these big, blank walls that needed something," she said.

That "something" has grown and filled the walls of the main lobby of the building. Wilkerson, who hangs the artwork each year with the help of facilities employee Doyle Baker, expects to be moving pieces down hallways soon.

"It's always kind of a puzzle, getting everything to fit year after year," Wilkerson said.

From the classroom to the wall

The pieces added to the collection each year are selected by the art teacher or teachers in every building in the district and each has his or her own method for selecting a work. Pieces from the elementary and middle schools hang until the student graduates and then the work is gifted back to him or her. Works from the high schools are always the work of seniors and they remain on permanent collection, these students also receive $100 from the Board of Education for their piece.

"I can't say how wonderful the gallery is to these students, it really shows that we value art in this district," said De Soto High School art teacher Tim Mispagel. "There comes a point when artists have to realize that their work has value and [the gallery] shows them that yes, their work is worth something."

Mispagel selects the DHS piece each year from his AP art class, which usually has five-10 students enrolled. While he does keep in mind other recognitions the students may have received in an effort to balance out scholarship funds, Mispagel says that for him the decision is "fairly spontaneous."

"There are guidelines that come into play, for example the work must be of an appropriate theme and show talent but usually something always jumps out," he said. "I tend to gravitate more towards portraits, especially self-portraits, just to add to the student presence the piece is showing."

For Roberts, at the middle school level selecting the art is more about recognizing creativity and problem-solving skills.

"Some pieces just stand out in some years but other times it's more about what the student has put into the piece and how hard he or she worked to create it," she said.

The teacher with perhaps the biggest challenge in selecting a piece of art each year is Chris Cappel at Starside Elementary.

"It was difficult when the gallery was first started to select a piece and essentially take it from the student because at the elementary level we just don't get to complete as many projects," he said. "Now it's easy to see the importance of the gallery and how awesome it is for our district but it can still be hard to ask a student to give up something he or she worked so hard on."

Cappel's students spend one hour a week in art class, making for a grand total of 36 hours of art each year.

"Our limited time makes our projects more precious but seeing those walls fill year to year sends a clear and important message: we are one district and we value art," he said.

For Cappel, the unification of the district is the best outcome of the gallery. He selects Starside's contribution each year based on how well it represents the school as a whole and not just the individual student.

"The gallery shows that we are a creative district at all levels. It shows that we are all unique and unusual and that's amazing."

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DHS fall musical 'South Pacific' raises curtain tonight

DHS senior Owen Moore, portraying Emile De Becque, and senior Kassidy Forshey, portraying Nellie Forbush, sing during a dress rehearsal of the fall musical "South Pacific."

DHS senior Owen Moore, portraying Emile De Becque, and senior Kassidy Forshey, portraying Nellie Forbush, sing during a dress rehearsal of the fall musical "South Pacific." by Laura Herring

The weather outside may have turned cooler but things are tropical inside De Soto High School as the fall musical "South Pacific" is readied for opening night. The show, with its cast of nearly 70 students, opens tonight for the Silver Cat performance at 6:30 p.m.

"We're very excited for this show," said director Erin Purifoy. "It's a very fun show while sharing a very serious message at the same time."

For those unfamiliar with the Rogers and Hammerstein classic, at the heart of "South Pacific" is two love stories, those of French planter Emile De Becque and Navy nurse Nellie Forbush and of Marine Lt. Joseph Cable and island girl Liat, all while World War II surrounds them.

"One of the reasons 'South Pacific' is such a great show is because it touches on history, it really provides them with some perspective," said music director Mary Etta Copeland, who has directed "South Pacific" three times at De Soto High School.

From singing the show's signature songs to struggling with foreign accents, the cast of "South Pacific" has enjoyed preparing the show with an enthusiasm that shines through in their performances.

"The musicals are always a lot of work but we love what we do and we have a great time doing it," said veteran performer and senior Stephanie Chappell, who plays 'Bloody Mary.' "How can you not enjoy yourself when you're playing on a 'beach?'"

For senior Owen Moore, struggling with a French accent at French planter Emile De Becque has been worth it because the show carries such a good message for him.

"I think 'South Pacific' is a lot deeper than a lot of musicals and that really makes it stand out," he said. "It's a love story from the beginning, it shows that good can come from a bad situation."

Regular performances will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 10-12, at the DHS theater. Tickets may be purchased at the DHS office, at the door or from a cast member.

More photos from the show may be viewed in this photogallery.

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De Soto teacher named Band Director of the Year

The USD 232 Board of Education recognized Rob Foster at its meeting on Oct. 10 for being named the Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association Outstanding Middle School Band Director of the Year. Superintendent Doug Sumner presented Foster a Certificate of Professional Achievement and the district's Inspiration Award.

The USD 232 Board of Education recognized Rob Foster at its meeting on Oct. 10 for being named the Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association Outstanding Middle School Band Director of the Year. Superintendent Doug Sumner presented Foster a Certificate of Professional Achievement and the district's Inspiration Award.

Lexington Trails Middle School band instructor Rob Foster was recently named Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association Outstanding Middle School Band Director of the Year and recognized by the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education with the district's Inspiration Award.

Foster, who currently teaches at Starside Elementary and De Soto High School as well, has been teaching in the district since 2005. He's also the Artistic Director for the De Soto Brass Band.

Foster has been a music educator for 20 years, teaching at the college level as well as at high schools and middle schools. He is also a published composer who has written music for a variety of levels including music for his public school ensembles, college bands, as well as for some of the leading military bands in the country.

In his time with the district, Foster has also contributed to the athletic departments at both LTMS and DHS as a football, wrestling and tennis coach.

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Third annual brass band performance set for Thursday night

For the third year in a row, the De Soto Brass Band will be giving a performance at Lexington Trails Middle School at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Admission to the concert is free.

The band, which is comprised of student musicians from LTMS and De Soto High School and other area musicians, will be playing five compositions created for the band. The concert should last one hour.

Northeast Kansas Music Educators Outstanding Middle School Band Director of the Year and band director for Starside Elementary, Lexington Trails and assistant director at De Soto High School Rob Foster will be directing the band. Foster also composed two of the original pieces the band will be performing.

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Board approves DHS Phase II bid of nearly $9.3 million

The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education approved a total bid of $9,298,917 for Phase II of the De Soto High School construction project on Monday evening.

The bid, which was broken down into more than 20 work packages, can be covered completely with the leftover money from Phase I construction, which was $9.7 million. The board approved the final site design back in March of this year with instruction that bids were not to exceed $9.3 million.

While the total bid for the project is just shy of $9.3 million, the project will actually cost the district even less as approximately $827,000 will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the storm shelter that is included in the design.

The board also approved an alternate bid of $42,295 for new speakers to be installed in the current gymnasium at the school, which will become the alternate gymnasium once construction is complete.

Little discussion occurred before the board approved the bids 6-1. Board member Randy Johnson was the sole disenting vote.

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Unofficial enrollment counts offer few surprises for De Soto USD 232

Unofficial figures have enrollment increasing slightly more than anticipated for De Soto this year.

According to the Sept. 20 headcount, De Soto’s total enrollment will increase to 6,881, up from 6,700 a year ago. Cater said enrollment rose slightly more than projected but that there were no surprises in the data.

All enrollment numbers must first be audited by the state before becoming official.

While the district's overall enrollment increased, of the buildings in De Soto, only De Soto High School saw an increase in enrollment this year, adding 32 students. Starside Elementary and Lexington Trails Middle School's total enrollments decreased by seven and 22 students respectively.

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Homecoming Spirit Rally a showcase of Wildcat pride

A "V" for Victory burns on the De Soto High School practice softball field at the end of the school's fifth-annual, city-wide Spirit Rally for Homecoming on Thursday, Sept. 22.

A "V" for Victory burns on the De Soto High School practice softball field at the end of the school's fifth-annual, city-wide Spirit Rally for Homecoming on Thursday, Sept. 22. by Laura Herring

As the homecoming parade came to an end, a large crowd gathered on the practice football field north of De Soto High School for the school's fifth-annual Spirit Rally for Homecoming on Thursday, Sept. 22. To the pep music of the DHS band and the leadership of the cheerleading squad and dance team, DHS students, athletes and community members set the mood for Friday's Homecoming game against Eudora.

After promising to bring energy to the field during Friday's game against Eudora, Byers asked that everyone in the crowd come out and "be loud and proud to be a Wildcat."

In addition to Byers taking the stage, the coaches for every fall sport and the dance team, cheerleading and band directors all spoke to the crowd as well, all sharing the message that everyone on the field was a Wildcat and all should support each other.

The night ended with the lighting of the Victory V by the Northwest Consolidated Fire District.

More photos from the night can be found here.

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