Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Students Place First in Stock Market Game

Congratulations to the Topeka High School Accounting and Introduction to Business students who placed first in the Kansas Council of Economic Education stock market game. The Topeka High students earned $27,000 in 10 weeks. Their top stock was Chipotle.

Congratulations to Amanda Wilson, Savana Jenkins, Abbigail Zavala, Zachary Florez, Jacob Bugg, Matthew Fields, Malik Jackson-Corbin, Natasha Bradford, Daniel Cedeno, Maria Turrubiartes, Raul Gonzales, Manuel Roman, Mikael Dabney-Tucker, Rahyne Robinson, Alexander Martin, Sam Nobo, Marcos Hobson, Gabriela Stacy, Dayna Woodward, Amanda Castro, Jordyn Sirridge, Jake Howard, Scott Campbell, Brandon Sage, Quentin Bond, Brandon Hecker and Christian Gonzales.

Students Help Families During Holidays

Students in Topeka Public Schools are remembering others at this special time of the year. For example, students at Meadows Elementary collected enough food to fill 65 boxes to give to Meadows' families. Since Thanksgiving, kids have brought canned goods and non-perishable foods to school. Donations of cash helped purchase a ham for each family and several residents living near Meadows provided pies. Fifth grade students helped sort and fill the boxes with food. Families were invited to stop by and pick up their box of food while some boxes will be delivered. The annual food drive has been a part of the school’s holiday season ever since counselor Debora Hess began working at Meadows. The food drive has grown over the years. The first year 15 families received food.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Former Topeka High Student Awarded Purple Heart

It’s not often that the public has the opportunity to witness a Purple Heart Award Ceremony. A number of people did just that December 18th at Topeka High School when Lance Corporal Brandon Weese was given the Purple Heart. Weese was wounded during a firefight in Afghanistan in November. With his parents and fellow Topeka High ROTC cadets watching, Weese was presented the Purple Heart by retired Army General Donald Jacka. The Purple Heart is given in the name of the President to a member of the Armed Forces who has been wounded, killed or died after being wounded.

Brandon Weese joined the U.S. Marines shortly after graduating from Topeka High School in 2009. While at Topeka High, Weese served as the Cadet Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Junior ROTC program. Weese had only been in Afghanistan four weeks when he was wounded.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Westar Buys Piece of Kanza Property

Topeka Public Schools and Westar Energy have reached an agreement which will result in a new sub-station for Westar and a wind turbine for Topeka Public Schools. Both will be located on the school district’s Kanza property.

At a news conference today, Board of Education President Patrick Woods announced that Westar would purchase 2.3 acres of the former state hospital grounds to build a sub-station. Westar will pay the school district $300,000 for the piece of land. The sub-station will be located between the current power plant and the barn, located on the north end of the Kanza property. The school district will demolish the power plant to make way for construction of the sub-station. Westar will pay $150,000 to the school district for the demolition.

Westar will also donate $200,000 up to $250,000 to Topeka Public Schools so the school district can purchase and install a 100 kW electric generation wind turbine. Future plans include turning the barn into an educational facility where students can learn about renewable energy. BOE President Woods said about the Westar donation, "This is a huge thing for our students as far as giving us additional tools to educate them and getting them ready to go into the workforce." "We are especially happy to be a part of this because we know this will bring educational opportunities to many of the students in Topeka," said Westar Vice President and COO Doug Sternbenz.

Making the announcement today along with Patrick Woods and Doug Sterbenz was Board of Education Vice President Hal Gardner.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Burnett Center Holiday Hours

The Burnett Administrative Center will be open regular hours (7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) during the winter break except for December 23, 24 and 31 when it will be closed.

ROTC Cadets Shop For Families

Cadets from the Topeka High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC are making the holiday season brighter for 35 families in the community. Recently the cadets went shopping with gift cards provided by the Christmas Bureau. The cadets had to budget, plan then decide how the gift cards could best be spent. The gifts will be wrapped and delivered by the cadets before Christmas. The cadets participate in Christmas charities like the Adopt-a-Family campaign to learn the importance of community service.

Sam Teeter Named Young Arts Finalist

Sam Teeter has been named one of the top student artists in the nation. The Topeka High School senior is a Young Arts finalist in writing. He was chosen from more than 5,000 applicants in the visual, literary and performing arts. Teeter will spend a week in Miami, Florida, next month attending master classes by world-renowned artists, performances and exhibitions. Teeter also has a chance to be named a Gold or Silver winner and travel to New York to possibly become a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

Young Arts is part of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. The program recognizes and supports America’s most talented 17-18 year olds in nine discipline categories of cinematic arts, dance, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice and writing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Youth Travel to King Museum and Ocean

Students from Topeka Public Schools were among Neighborhood Academic & Athletic Association youth who took a trip to Georgia and Florida over the Thanksgiving break. The students visited Dr. Martin Luther King’s home, museum and burial site in Atlanta, Georgia. They were also guests of the University of Miami and attended a Hurricanes football game. For many, the trip also meant experiencing the ocean for the first time. The Neighborhood Academic & Athletic Association support the education of students, many of whom come from low income homes

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Early Childhood Director Becomes Author

Dr. Martina (Tina) Thompson has dedicated her life to serving children of all ages. She is Director of Early Childhood Development for Topeka Public Schools and now is an author of a children’s picture book. She says she has always loved reading books with rhyme, especially Dr. Seuss. About two years ago, she began playing with rhyming verses. She says it was not a conscious attempt to write a specific story, it just sort of flowed into a story. “The time went very fast when I was working. It was like I was in this very creative, fun place." She needed a main character to tell the story and since animals are appealing to many children, she decided to make her dog, Carly, the main character of her book. Since the book was all about the color blue, she titled the book, Carly Likes Blue.

Like most first time authors, she had to find an illustrator. She found just the right person, Mike Motz, through research on the internet. She has received many compliments about the illustrations in her book. She also decided to self-publish after a rejection from a traditional book publisher. She was determined to get her story in print so she spent the money to make it happen. “I don’t expect to get rich on this book. I wanted it in the hands of kids and families because it is a fun story with a cute character,” said Tina.

Tina will have a book signing at Barnes and Noble on January 22nd. The paperback book is available on Amazon.com and the hardcover will soon be available on her website. Tina has already written two other books about Carly. She hopes to get them published in the near future.

Friday, December 3, 2010

TWHS Yearbook Staff Wins Honors

Congratulations to the 2009-2010 Topeka West High School Chevalier Yearbook Staff for earning an All-American Rating with four marks of distinction from the National Scholastic Press Association.

Kanza Bowl

The 2nd annual Kanza Bowl will be played Saturday. December 2nd at Hummer Sports Park. The game features Midwestern State University from the Lone Star Conference against Washburn University of the MIAA Conference. Kick off is set for 1:05 p.m.