Posts tagged with De Soto High School

Educators brush up on research

Scott Sharp and Drew Ising are spending their summers inside a first-floor laboratory at Kansas University’s Learned Hall as they study ways to profitably turn algae into biofuels.

What makes the duo unique isn’t their research — that’s a question being explored around the world. It’s the fact that Sharp and Ising are high school science teachers — not Ph.D candidates or tenured professors — who are looking for ways to translate the research they are doing at KU into lesson plans for their classrooms.

“Schools of education tell you, you must do research with your students. But our preparatory schools for teaching have no research experience. So you are trying to teach something you have never done,” said Sharp, who teaches AP biology, Kansas natural history and biotech engineering at De Soto High School. “This is going to make it a lot easier. After 10 years of teaching, I think this is going to take my teaching to the next level.”

Research experience

Sharp and Ising, who teaches biology and environmental science at Junction City High School, are among seven high school science teachers and one community college professor who are spending six weeks at KU as part of the Research Experiences for Teachers program.

The program, which is funded for three years through a $500,000 National Science Foundation Grant, focuses specifically on biofuels and is centered on research being conducted with the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis and the Transportation Research Institute.

Partnering with a broad spectrum of KU scientists, the teachers are researching ways to maximize the growth of algae so it can be more affordable to convert to biofuels, how to extract oil from algae, how to turn oil into biofuels, what to do with the byproducts and how biofuels work in engines.

“We are getting to have an authentic research experience,” Sharp said.

New lessons

As other teachers are researching ways to create fuels and burn them, Lawrence High School physics teacher Alan Gleue is at the other end of the spectrum. He’s spent the summer studying ways to reduce energy consumption.

With a device that measures energy usage, Gleue created lesson plans that will have students look at the difference in cost, energy use and carbon emissions for running a traditional incandescent light bulb, compact fluorescent bulb and LED light.

“I think it could really hit home for them,” Gleue said of how he hopes his students will receive the lesson.

He’s also collected household appliances for students to measure their energy usage, has a mini solar panel that can charge a cellphone and a radio that runs off a hand crank generator.

“We have the opportunity to really think about and develop new lesson plans over the summer. And we have the time and we have the resources,” Gleue said.

Engaging students

Gleue not only anticipates taking those lesson plans into his classroom — the Web-based program is intended to be used by other teachers.

As part of the program, the group of teachers spent two days at the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center in Greenbush to pass on their lesson plans to other Kansas high school science teachers.

“Rather than a straight lab activity with a cookbook recipe, these guys are trying to create something that is engaging for students so they are doing more research in the high school setting,” said Claudia Bode, the education director for the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis.

For the seminar in Greenbush, each of the teachers who attended received took kits worth about $100 that would help them implement the experiments in the classroom.

In the case of Sharp and Ising, their kits included clear long plastic tubes that can be used to help determine how much algae is in water. They also are handing out small aquariums for growing algae. Ising plans to use the setup for students to study what happens to algae when fertilizer and other chemicals are added to water.

“They are going to be held more accountable to actually answer questions. A lot of times we as teachers are in such a hurry to get through an activity so we can go to the next one that we don’t let our students go further to elaborate on another question,” Ising said. “A good science experiment creates just as many questions as it answers.”

And soon, the teachers will get the chance to take those lessons for a dry run at KU’s engineering camp.

Along with the opportunity to do research, the program includes a $8,000 stipend for participating high school teachers and another $1,000 to spend on equipment for the classroom.

But the extra cash isn’t the only benefit to the program.

“I’m a scientist too now. … I’m not just a teacher,” Ising said. “I’m now much more confident and comfortable acting as this expert to my students. You don’t have to know everything, you just have to have the experience.”

By Christine Metz


Local youth organizations operating fireworks stands to raise funds

Two fireworks stands in De Soto are now open for business.

Boy Scout Troop #18 is operating Mud Dog Fireworks in the parking lot by Beer Thirty off of Lexington Avenue. Today is their opening day and they will be open until 10 p.m. Hours for the rest of the week will be 9 a.m.-10 p.m., except for the fourth, when they will remain open until midnight.

The De Soto High School athletic teams are operating a stand on the lawn between McDonald's and Gulley's Carpets on Commerce Drive. They also open today and will be open through the fourth. Their hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. each day.


Jessip was traveling "in excess of posted speed limit", official accident report says

Bryan Jessip was traveling faster than the posted speed limit of 45 mph when his motorcycle struck a mini-van on June 13, according to the official accident report released by the Johnson County Sheriff's Department Accident Investigation Team this morning.

The report does not state the exact speed Jessip was traveling. According to the report, the minivan Jessip struck was behind another vehicle at a yield sign on 115th Street, that vehicle turned south onto Waverly Road before the minivan crossed Waverly traveling east. Investigators believe that Jessip, who was traveling north on Waverly and had no traffic signs, did not see the minivan until just before impact.


New director hired for DHS band

The De Soto High School band will see a new face atop the director's stand for the 2011-2012 academic year. The Board of Education approved the hiring of Emma Willis at its regular meeting on June 13. She will take the place of Dan Freeman, who is leaving De Soto for a position in the Blue Valley school district.

Willis, who student taught in the De Soto district before graduating from Kansas University in 2009, returns to the district after teaching at Morrison Public Schools in Morrison, Okla. While in Morrison, Willis was named Teacher of the Year two years in a row.

"We are excited to have Emma join our passionate teaching staff at De Soto High School," said DHS Principal David Morford in a release regarding Willis' hiring. "I am confident she will continue the tradition of excellence our students have achieved in our band program."

Members of the DHS band are set to begin band camp in July.


Students, community conduct vigil for crash victim

Shortly before dark Tuesday evening, students, teachers and community members began filling the rear parking lot of De Soto High School. They carried and lit candles of all shapes and sizes and began to share stories about one of their own.

The stories all painted a picture of the same hard-working, athletic boy who always had a smile on his face. Bryan Allen Jessip, 18, died in a motorcycle accident Monday afternoon.

More than 300 people attended the vigil organized by his classmates, and most scrawled messages on the yard signs Jessip used to promote his lawn care business. In addition to playing soccer and running cross country, Jessip was an entrepreneur and mechanic, and he was active in the youth group at Westside Church of the Nazarene in Olathe. He recently completed his junior year at De Soto High.

Laughter mixed with tears as friends shared camping tales and teachers told of Jessip’s occasional classroom antics.

“It seemed as though Bryan always had a smile on his face, whether he was in trouble or not. I don’t think he could help it, he was that kind of student,” said one teacher sharing his memories of Jessip.

A memorial fund has been set up in Jessip’s honor at the First Community Bank in De Soto to help the family with funeral and burial costs. Donations may be made at the bank, 33485 Lexington Ave., or mailed to P.O. Box 329, De Soto, KS 66018.


Vigil planned for Bryan Jessip

Students at De Soto High School have organized a candlelight vigil for their classmate and motorcycle accident victim Bryan Jessip for 9 p.m. tonight in the rear parking lot at DHS.

DHS Principal Dave Morford described Jessip as "a nice, quiet young man who flew a bit under the radar."

"Bryan was very well-liked by the staff and our school community. Our [the school's] emphasis now is doing what we can to help his family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them," he said.


Board of Education approves purchase of new musical instruments

The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education approved a $384,877.16 bid from Meyer Music for the purchase of 237 new musical instruments for use throughout the district at its regular meeting on Monday evening.

The need for new instruments in the district was brought before the board at the May 9 meeting. De Soto High School band instructor Daniel Freeman and Mill Valley High School band instructor Debra Steiner described to the board the aging condition of the district's instruments and the lack of enough instruments for each member of their respective bands.

"This purchase isn't meant to replace instruments, although the average age of an instrument in our district is 22 years-old, it's meant to ensure that each kid will have his or her own instrument to play," Steiner said.

District numbers show that band participation at the high school level has increase 157 percent in the past 10 years, yet only 16 new instruments were purchased in the same time period. Money for the purchase will come from the district's Capital Outlay fund for improvements to the district.

The approved big from Meyer Music includes warranties for all the purchased instruments and the use of an educational specialist to provide professional advice to the district's musical staff. The new instruments are expected to arrive in time for both high schools' band camps in July.

"I'm happy to approve this purchase because we've neglected the bands for years in this district," said board member Randy Johnson at the May meeting. "We all go and enjoy the football games and other athletic events but those wouldn't be the same without the band and it's time we help them."


DHS second semester honor rolls

The following De Soto High School students were named to the all-A Honor Roll for the spring semester:

Seniors Kevin Brashears, Alyssa Cooke, Logan DeGraeve, Ryan Endres, Lacey Erickson, Kayla Frazier, Hannah Jokisch, Aubrey King, Kyle McCulloch, Katie McKeirnan, Shelbi Petty, Beth Reichenberger, Cora Schimke, Hilary Schmidt, Jacob Schneider, Ryan Scott Joseph Seidl, Jesse Spencer, Lindsie Stenzel, Emma Tinsley, Brett Williams and Parker Williams.

Juniors Hayden Abbott, Julie Anderson, Gabriela Becerra, Anna Cline, TJ Crow, Danielle Dowdy, Brianna Fairbanks, Kayla Ingalls, Philip Kaul, Grace Kim, John Aaron King, Katherine Krska, Lauren Lamar, Rebecca Maasen, Haley Mills, Renee Reichard, Parker Riley, Crissy Ryun, Tessa Scott, Anna Smades, Derek Wedel, John Williams and Madison Wolfe.

Sophomores Connor Berg, Rhiannon Caldwell, Emily Campbell, Corbin Clark, Olivia Cline, Amanda DeBrabander, Shelby Deghand, Lars Erickson, Alyssa Fulling, Katherine Gehrt, Halie Hansen, Ramsey Heer, Kori Henderson, Julie Hopkins, Makena Jarboe, Brent Johnson, Michelle Keleher, Jessica Knaack, Laura Krska, Joshua Lahr, Lauryn Leininger, Diana Marquez, Laura Meyers, Landon Moore, Magdaline Oberle, Joshua Pasley, John Phillips, Maria Pileski, Alexander Pruss, Shummer Roddick, Kimberli Simpson, Katherine Sosna, Ryan Stallbaumer, Sydney Stanton, Christina Sweeney, Sophia Templin, Katelyn Turner and Paige Williams.

Freshmen Kaylee Asher, Cara Brashears, Michael Buffkin, Rebekah Burgweger, Madison Cater, Katherine Church, William Crady, Alexandra Deghand, Kassidy Forshey, Nicole Garland, Mitchell Gehrt, Rachael Giersch, Elaina Grantham, Kathleen Harding, Nathaniel Hess, Makenzie Hill, Dylan Holden, Samantha Hurst, Kristin Karleskint, Megan King, Teddy Koehler, Mackenzie Lancaster, Callie Lane, Shelby Philbrook, Kelsey Plake, Elaine Price, Breanna Putman, Morgan Riley, Jennifer Schneider, Bailey Steele, Carlie Stenzel, Luke Stenzel, Erin Sullivan, Clare VanDusen, Nicklaus Waite, William Walker and Kaelin Walsh.

The following DHS students were named to the A-B Honor Roll for the spring semester:

Seniors Aaron Ahrens, Sarah Bell, Alexandria Bussell, Jack Carlson, Bridget Chavez, Adrian Clarkson, Derrick Creason, Ashley Gorman, Katie Gorman, Clinton Hale, Jon Hastings, Haley Heer, Chris Henning, Greg Henning, Samuel Hill, Courtney Hiskett, Victoria Kerr, Larry Marquez, Hailee Ohmes, Donny Parr, Bailey Peak, Lauren Ramsey, Jordan Riffel, Mallory Roellchen, Ellie Sheridan, Zachary Stephen and Thomas Strauser.

Juniors Tiffany Adkins, Viviana Amparan, Savannah Armendariz, Zachary Atchison, Gergory Baird, Sahyla Barnett, William Bauer, Drew Buffkin, Erin Cahoone, Hayden Chandler, Stephanie Chappell, Richard Clancy, Sarah Clark, Meghan Dailey, Lauren Darter, Raul DeLeon, Nathaniel Drake, Kasey Dunlap, James Endres, Christopher Faddis, Brandon Garrett, Ashley Grover, Jaxon Hargrove, Brandy Heater, Anna Henning, Austin Ingram, Heidi Katt, Kathleen Knapp, Chase Langston, Kenneth Martin, Owen Moore, Mikayla Porter, Jonah Prescott, Garret Price, Rianna Rodgers, Robert Satterwhite, Parker Seaman, Breanna Sheperd, Austin Showen, Hannah Stevens, Taylor Stolarski, Cody Vukas, Elizabeth Winans and Cassandra Zoller.

Sophomores Emerson Beery, Tyler Bell, Amy Bilger, Megan Brashears, Noah Cardiff, Emily Churchwell, Sarah Churchwell, Mykaela Cross, Whitney Duncan, Cheyenne England, Alexis Essary, Austin Gilbert, Zachary Griffiths, Kelsey Henry, Stephanie Hinchey, Jonathan Hodges, Nicholas Hoffine, Hunter Klamm, Isaac Lueth, Lauren Mabe, Alec Mackay, James McClaskey, Leanna McClintock, Megan McCulloch, Kalyn Meseke, Elise Miller, Samantha Mills, Chad Ollendick, Amanda Payne, Taylor Phongsavath, Diego Sanchez, Taylor Saucerman, Mandi Shriver, Kathleen Singleton, Allison Stanley, Shelby Stephens, Nicholas Taulbee, Jesus Villa and Emma West.

Freshmen Joshua Anderson, Ethaniel Aubrey-Mitchell, Shyanne Baxter, Kelsey Bernhart, Trenton Brents, Brenden Brummer, Katelyn Bussell, Alejandro Carlos, Crystal Carillo, Griselda Carrillo, Briana Chicoine, Kaitling Clough, Taylor Cole, Hunter Collier, Stephen Cunningham, Sydney Denham, Madeline Field, Jordan Fisher, Montana Frehe, Kathryn Glover, Kaytlyn Green, Makell Hadley, Elizabeth Henderson, Colleen Henning, Emma Henning, Erin Kaul, Madison Kerr, Kendra Knapp, Moriah Lail, Erica Mann, Ashley Mars, Ramsey Mason, Mackenzie Mathern, Alan Maxville, Matthew McCoy, Curtis Parrish, Nicholas Patterson, Benjamin Patton, Michael Peak, Elaina Penniger, Nelson Reeves, Bailey Rendzia, Ethan Ridings, Connor Schimke, Nicholas Schmidt, Drew Schmucker, Dustin Seibolt, Adria Smith, Olivia Strauser, Madalyn Torline, Dillon Williams, Eric Williams, Mackenzie Williams and Benjamin Zoller.


De Soto musician to participate in Blanche Bryden Sunflower Music Festival

Recent De Soto High School graduate Katie McKeirnan is one of 15 young musicians participating in the 2011 Blanche Bryden Sunflower Music Festival Summer Institute at Washburn University in Topeka this weekend.

McKeirnan and her fellow musicians will perform a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 12 at White Concert Hall, in conjunction with the Sunflower Music Festival, which begins tomorrow, June 10, and runs until Saturday, June 18. During her time at DHS, McKiernan participated in several music festivals and was a student drum major of the DHS band.

The Blanche Bryden Sunflower Music Festival Summer Institute is dedicated to providing talented high school and collegiate musicians opportunities for advanced study and performance experience in chamber music with master teachers and performers.


Reservations still being accepted for all-school DHS reunion

Those interested in attending the dinner for all alums of De Soto High School have until Thursday, June 9, to make reservations for Saturday's 6 p.m. dinner at the De Soto VFW. To make reservations, call Kay McDaniel at (913) 585-1902, cost of the dinner is $14.

In addition to the dinner, there will also be a social hour from 7-8 p.m. and a dance, complete with disc jockey, from 8-midnight. Tickets for the dance are $5 in advance with a dinner reservation or $10 at the door.

All proceeds from the evening go towards a scholarship for DHS seniors, sponsored by the DHS Alumni Association, De Soto VFW and De Soto Women's Auxiliary.

Any graduate from any year at DHS is welcome to attend, though those celebrating 25 and 50 years since their graduation will receive special recognition.