Quincy Elementary - Student Recognition & Opportunities

Some fun and exciting things are happening at Quincy Elementary these days!
Quincy, a signature art school, boasts a strong arts program and its students are constantly churning out little masterpieces. Earlier this month, a mural painted b...
y Quincy students was hung prominently in downtown Topeka. One little artist who contributed to that piece, Callie Jones, will also have her work published in the 2015 Kansas Fire Safety Poster. Callie’s work was chosen from 110 entries across the state in the Second Annual Office of the State Fire Marshal Fire Safety Poster Contest.

Another Quincy student, a young man named Joshua, won the Topeka Public Schools Holiday Card Contest this year. The district’s students were invited to submit holiday-themed pictures to be considered for the annual TPS holiday card. Joshua’s simple yet colorful depiction of a Christmas tree won the challenge and was printed on cards that were sent out by school board members and district administrators.

In addition to being recognized for their artistic abilities, Quincy students are also receiving the opportunity to do some fun and creative learning. Students in second grade created books inspired by their photos of wind. Second grade teacher Tara Jones commented that the art-integrated lesson engaged those students that previously had trouble focusing on writing tasks. She also added, “The handmade books displayed some of the best writing of the year!” The second grade classes also infused drama into their language arts lesson through a reenactment of the book “The Great Gracie Chase: Stop that Dog!” to emphasize sequence of events. What a fun and creative lesson!
Meanwhile, the art room was literally snapping with creative collaborations in music and illustration with Artist in Residence Shane Evans. Shane started his presentation with some guitar music that inspired the students to join in snapping their fingers and clapping out rhythms. Shane then shared his cartooning talents illustrating characters that were inspired by student suggestions. Mackenzie, a fifth grader, started off one drawing session with a fiction writing idea that she has been working on: Zombie Apocalypse. By the end of the session, Shane had created a new super hero with drawing tools in her pockets and, at the insistence of the audience, Bacon Man had entered the story. Mackenzie stopped by the next day and said she had already completed the title cover page for her novel, “Zombie Apocalypse and Bacon.”
Shane read his book “Olu’s Dream” and ended the presentation sharing his sketchbook and the singing “Olu’s Dream” theme song. (“…your imagination has no boundaries…you can be who you want to be….dream oh dream…..bring these dreams to life”)
Ms. Jacobs, kindergarten teacher, said several of her students arrived the next day to school with sketchbook and drawing tools ready to record their own ideas for a story!
The teachers and students at Quincy continue to impress and entertain us with their creativity. Keep up the great work, Roadrunners!

Williams Magnet Receives Winter Weather Donation


More than 120 winter wear items were presented to the children of Williams Magnet on Friday, December 12 to honor the school’s namesake, Mamie Williams. Sorority members from the Alpha Iota Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha collected the items to honor the memory of Mamie Williams, who- were she still alive- would have celebrated her 120th birthday on December 12th. The sorority members donated the hats, scarves and gloves, which were collected from their co-workers and members of Antioch Baptist Church, as part of the sorority’s national initiative to provide extra warmth to school children.
Thank you, ladies of Alpha Iota Omega, for your generosity to the children of Williams Magnet!

Meadows Elementary Students Pay it Forward


The students and staff of Meadows Elementary decided to make this school year one of giving back to the community that has given so much to them.  In September, the students made bookmarks to be used by each other in their school library. In
 October, they collected socks to donate to area clothing banks. November had the students decorating placemats for Meals on Wheels recipients and the residents at Atria Hearthstone. This month, however, the students tackled a much bigger project. For the past two weeks, the students have been collecting food items to give to those who might not be able to afford a nice holiday dinner. Their goal was to collect enough food to provide a meal for 50 local families.
All of their hard work paid off and this week the students eagerly went to work filling food boxes that will be distributed to area families. Each box was packed with a ham, potatoes, canned goods, bread and a pie. The students had a great time as they sorted and organized the donations. They were clearly happy to help those in need and realized their efforts would make a difference in the community.
Fifth grader Alexandra Rodriguez said, “This is a good opportunity for us to help people who don’t have food.” Classmate Ryker Burton agreed, saying, “We need to do this so starving people can eat and not go to bed hungry.”
Students who recognize the importance of giving to others, and schools that give them opportunities to do so, make Topeka Public Schools a great place to be!

TPS Students Recognized by KDOT


Two Topeka Public Schools students were recently honored by the Kansas Department of Transportation. Ashley Ortiz-Vizueth, a Whitson Elementary student, and Alexys Wemhoff, who attends Chase Middle School, were each recognized at ceremonies held at their schools this week. Both Ashley and Alexys were regional winners in KDOT’s annual Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day poster contest. The contest is a nationwide effort to increase roadway safety and reduce all traffic fatalities.
Approximately 1,344 students across Kansas, ages 5 to 13, took the time to think about safety and participated in the poster contest. There were a total of 18 regional and three statewide winners in the contest. Ashley and Alexys are two of just three regional winners in northeast Kansas.
Because their poster designs were winners, each girl received a brand new bicycle and helmet. Ashley and Alexys received the prizes at their recognition ceremonies.

Congratulations, girls, and enjoy your new bikes!

McEachron Elementary Students Spread Holiday Cheer


McEachron Elementary students recently went on a Christmas carol tour as a fun reward for bringing in canned goods to be donated to the Topeka Rescue Mission.

After winning a donation competition, Mrs. Kaufman’s kindergarten class, (who brought in a whopping 637 cans of food), Mrs. Houghtaling’s third grade class, (who donated 284 canned goods), and the school’s entire student council were all treated to a day out of the classroom to spread a little holiday cheer. Led by principal Vic Williams- who played the guitar while the children sang- the students visited the Topeka Public Schools administration office, Brewster Place, the Veteran’s Administration building and the Topeka Rescue Mission. They sang Christmas carols, smiled brightly and basically improved the day for everyone lucky enough to hear their sweet little voices!

After the caroling fun, McEachron’s Student Council members collected the donations from each classroom and loaded them into a van for delivery to the Rescue Mission. Once there, Mr. Williams, Student Council President Jamias, Secretary Aniyah and Treasurer Emily helped unload all the food items. That was no easy task, either: the school donated 3,289 items, making this annual event McEachron’s most successful yet!
Way to go, Mustangs!!

Santa Visits State Street Elementary



The students of State Street Elementary were recently treated to a visit by the one and only Santa Claus.  Mr. Claus recited the classic poem "The Night Before Christmas" and sang Christmas carols with the entire student body. After ...the carols, he gave each child a book and a State Street wristband. The books and wristbands were provided by three local churches (Oakland Church of the Nazarene, Oakland United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church), and the students were delighted to receive them. As Santa handed a book to each child, many felt compelled to give him a hug and let him know what was on their wish list this year. It was a heartwarming day, filled with songs and smiles. We hope our little friends at State Street enjoyed their special visit from Santa Claus!


DSA Certified Winners Chosen

The Distinguished Staff Awards winners for certified have been selected.  They will be recognized at the DSA reception April 1st at the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library.



Category                       winner's name                        winner's school/building


Prek-5th Educator             Adriene Evans                       Quincy Elementary


Middle School Educator    Lynette Stueve                       French Middle School       


High School Educator        Erich Singer                          Topeka high School  


Certified Support Staff       Angela Dick                           Burnett Center


Administrator                    Brady Dean                           Burnett Center    

School Bond Projects Update

June 2015

                                                              Bond Project Update

The beginning of summer means more construction for projects funded by the school bond approved by voters in 2014.  While some projects like the new Highland Park Central Elementary entrance, perimeter fencing and panic buttons are complete, there are other projects that are underway or are just beginning.
      Construction on emergency shelters and gymnasiums is scheduled to begin this month or early July at McCarter, Quincy and Whitson Elementary Schools.
             Renovation of science classrooms at Topeka West High School, French and Robinson Middle Schools is underway.  The new classrooms are scheduled to be finished by the time school begins in August.
      The inside of the Boisen Building has been gutted.  The building is the future home of Capital City High School.  It is located just east of the current Capital City School building, which will become the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers.

      Construction of the new Jardine Elementary School building, the largest bond project, won’t begin until the end of the year with a completion date of March 2017.  Some pre-construction work on the grounds near the school is set to begin in September of this year.


March 2015                                                                 

                                                                          Bond Projects Update

Nearly a year after voters approved a $143-million school bond for Topeka Public Schools, two school project are finished and several other projects will be completed in the coming months. The first major project was at Highland Park Central Elementary School.  The school’s new entrance and addition allows younger students to now go from their classroom to other parts of the school without going outside.  Previously, students had to leave their classroom and go outside to re-enter the building.  It was not safe and it meant students had to go out in the weather to get back into the school building.

A second project just completed was putting perimeter fencing at nine elementary schools.  Most schools had some fencing around playgrounds and parking lots, but some of it needed to be replaced or added.  New gates were added to several schools as well.  The biggest fencing project was at Bishop Elementary School.  The fencing additions will allow for secure access to playgrounds and school parking lots.

A project to improve exterior lighting at schools and buildings throughout the district is well underway.  Schools had some outdoor lighting before, but it needed to be updated.  To improve safety and security around schools, new exterior lighting has been added at many of our high schools and middle schools.  Improved sightlines and modified landscaping around schools will also add to increased safety.  New exterior lighting will be added to elementary schools in the coming months.

One of the security measure projects still underway is the addition of panic buttons at all schools and building in the school district.  About half of the schools now have the buttons.  The buttons will mean quicker response time to a school in a case of an emergency.  All schools and buildings should have panic buttons installed by the end of this month.

Later this month, service center workers will begin installing safety and security window film in school entranceways.  The window film will make it more difficult for an intruder to break into a building and should be a deterrent to vandalism of school property.

Coming up in the next few months, construction will begin on another major project funded by the school bond and that is the emergency shelters and gymnasiums.  A total of 12 schools will get either a storm shelter or a new gymnasium that will have reinforced walls and roofs to provide protection for students and staff during severe weather.


January 12, 2015

French Middle School eighth graders each received new Chromebooks today as part of a pilot program that offers students technological resources to use in the classroom and at home. The students listened to a presentation about digital citizenship and the do’s and don’ts of how to handle the device, then checked out their own Chromebooks, which they will return at the end of the school year. A meeting at French will take place tonight to inform parents of the same expectations....

Principal Kelli Hoffman is eager for her students to begin using the laptops. “I think Chromebooks will assist students in acquiring 21st century skills. These will really help kids learn the skills they need to be successful. It will also help level the playing field for many students who may not have access to other resources,” she said.

The students were also excited about their new learning tool. Eli, one of the students receiving a Chromebook, said, “We can use it in the classroom to make learning easier. We don’t have to do a lot of paper assignments anymore.” Classmate Ayanna agreed, saying, “It’s pretty cool because it can help us keep track of our things because it will all be in one spot and it should be with us at all times.”
The Chromebooks are part of the “Securing our Future” bond initiative that voters approved last April. The bond provides for numerous security and technological enhancements throughout the district.


Sixteen of 22 projects of phase one are underway related to the $143 million bond issue approved by voters in April. 
Architects and district officials have already held meetings at a number of schools to introduce the projects and to get public and school staff’s thoughts and preferences related to the projects at each location. Activity has already begun on the following projects.

·         New, secure entrance at Highland Park Central to be completed January 2015

·         Security window film and panic buttons at all buildings, completed by February 2015

·         Security camera system at Eisenhower Middle School, finished this month

·         Perimeter security fencing at Ross is completed, nearly finished at Shaner

·         Updated science labs at all middle and high schools

·         Design work for FEMA shelters at McCarter, Quincy, Whitson, McEachron, Randolph, Lowman Hill

·         Design phase underway for Topeka Center for Advanced Learning & Careers

·         Select construction manager for largest project, construction of a new elementary school and re-modeling of Jardine Middle School

School board members were told that all projects approved by the bond vote will be completed and that the total projects costs should come within the dollar amount approved by voters.

Student Art Spreads Holiday Cheer Downtown

Quincy Elementary students have taken their art “downtown.”  Kimberly Adam, signature art coordinator at Quincy, was contacted about having some of her students display their art in storefront windows along Kansas Avenue during the holiday season.  She thought it was a good idea.  The kids began creating holiday seasonal banners to hang in the windows of two downtown stores.  It took one and a half weeks to create the banners.  “The banners were laid out on the classroom floor and the kids saw it growing and really loved it,” said Adam.  The students and their teacher helped hang the banners in the windows of 822 and 824 South Kansas Avenue.  Asked what he thought about having the art work on display for all to see downtown, fourth grade student Norris McKinney said, “I feel happy, I feel inspired.”  The banners will help add to the holiday season downtown through the first of the year.


Woman's Life Saved by Landon Staff

 A Landon Middle School basketball game was the scene of a recent lifesaving situation.  A woman who was at the game suffered a heart attack.  Landon Principal David Boggs and several members of his staff quickly responded using a defibrillator and giving the woman CPR.  They were assisted by an EMT and a nurse who were attending the game.  The woman was taken by ambulance to the hospital.  She survived thanks to the quick action of the Landon staff.   

For their lifesaving efforts, Boggs and staff were recognized at the December 4th TPs Board of Education meeting as well as at this month’s Safe Street Coalition meeting.

McClure Teacher Wins Award, Again

Bev Peterson is an award winner when it comes to her job.  She is the counselor at McClure Elementary School.  For the fourth year in a row, she has received the Kansas Model School Counseling Program’s Standard of Excellence award.  The award is given out by the Kansas State Department of Education.  Peterson enjoys getting the award, but says she feels she is just doing her job as a school counselor.  “I receive so much support from my principal, Dr. Jennifer Gordon and the staff at McClure Elementary.  They make it easy to want to always do my best because we have so many exceptional staff members and wonderful students,” said Peterson.  She has been with Topeka public Schools for seven years, the past two years at McClure Elementary.

Educational Equity College Day

More than 80 students from Highland Park, Topeka High, Topeka West, Hope Street Academy and Capital City Schools attended the first Educational Equity College Day.  The day- long event was held at the Brown v Board National Historic Site.  Students had the opportunity to gather information and ask questions of representatives from Washburn University, the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.  A parent who successfully navigated the college application process with her daughter provided information about college financial aid.  While at Brown, students were able to participate in a game by park rangers where they learned about the U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended segregation in public schools.

High School Government Teachers Recognized

 Five high school government teachers were honored recently by the League of Women Voters of Topeka/Shawnee County.  Phillip Wrigley of Topeka High, James Dewell of Topeka High, Tom Rogers of Highland Park, Anthony Hensley of Highland Park and Connie Jacobsen of Topeka West were recognized for their efforts to inform and encourage students to be active participants in their government by exercising their right to vote.  Each teacher received a certificate from the League of Women Voters at a recent school board meeting.

December School Music Programs

December is a month filled with school music performances.  Below is a list of upcoming activities in Topeka Public Schools.  Plan to attend one or more of these events to support our students.




Friday, Dec 12 – Avondale West Choristers at Topeka/Shawnee County Public Library at 11:30 a.m.


Friday, Dec 12 – Highland Park High School Choir Concert at 7:00 p.m.


Monday, Dec 15 – “Broadway Santa” at Avondale West Elementary at 1:30 p.m.


Monday, Dec 15 – Ross Elementary Band and Strings Concert at 6:30 p.m.


Monday, Dec 15 – Quincy Elementary Band and Strings Concert at 6:30 p.m.


Monday, Dec 15 – Jardine Middle School Band Concert at 7:00 p.m.


Monday, Dec 15 – Highland Park Central Elementary Strings Concert at 7:00 p.m.


Tuesday, Dec 16 – McCarter Elementary Band and Strings Concert at 9:00 a.m.


Tuesday, Dec 16 – Randolph Elementary Band, Strings and Choir at 10:00 a.m.


Tuesday, Dec 16 – Bishop Elementary Band and Strings Concert at 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Dec 16 – Stout 3rd Grade Music Program at 6:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Dec 16 – State Street Elementary 2nd Grade Music Program at 6:30 p.m.
                                  and 3rd Grade Music Program at 7:15 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec 16 – Avondale West Band and Choir Concert at 6:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Dec 16 – Robinson Middle School Instrumental Concert at 7:00 p.m.


Tuesday, Dec 16 – Lowman Hill Elementary Choir Performance at 7:00 p.m.


Tuesday, Dec 16 – Avondale West Elementary Choir and Band Concert at 7:00 p.m.


Wednesday, Dec 17 – Capital City Holiday Concert at 9:00 a.m.


Wednesday, Dec 17 – Stout Elementary Instrumental Outreach Concert at 10:00 a.m.


Wednesday, Dec 17 – Randolph Elementary Choir Outreach Concert at 11:30 a.m.


Wednesday, Dec 17 – Topeka High Festival of Carols Concert (choirs, bands and orchestra) at 7:00 p.m.


Thursday, Dec 18 – Scott Dual Language , “How Can I Be a Partner in My Child’s Education” at 6:00 p.m.


Thursday, Dec 18 – Avondale West Musical at 6:30 p.m.


Thursday, Dec 18 – State Street Elementary 4th Grade Music Program at 6:30 p.m.
                                   and 5th Grade Music Program at 7:15 p.m.


Thursday, Dec 18 – “Broadway Santa” at Avondale West Elementary at 6:30 p.m.


Thursday, Dec 18 – Topeka West High Music Concert at 7:00 p.m.


Thursday, Dec 18 – Winter Break begins at end of school day.  Students return January 6, 2015.






































DSA Winners - Classified

The Distinguished Staff Award is the highest honor a Topeka Public Schools staff member can receive.  In April, a reception is held to recognize all the DSA winners in the classified, certified and first year teacher categories.

Classified winners have been chosen.


Category                                     Name                                    School/Building

Custodial                                    Catherin Southern              Highland Park Central

Operations/maintenance       Ron Moorehead                  Service Center

Office Personnel                       Carleen Lister                      Burnett Center

Support Staff                             Laura Maike                         Burnett Center

Food Service                              Patricia Adolphson             Eisenhower Middle

Paraprofessional                      Julie Smoot                           Eisenhower Middle


The DSA selection committee will select certified winners in December and first year teacher winners in January.

Dale Noll Receives Patriot Award


Congratulations to Hope Street Academy Principal Dale Noll for receiving the Patriot Award. The award is given to a supervisor or boss for their support of a Guard or Reserve employee.  Noll was nominated for being highly supportive of Sgt. 1st class Gary Hinnant, who is a campus police officer at Hope Street Academy.  “Principal Noll supports the army’s mission and values when it comes to me leaving my job with short notice.  He is able to adjust to not having me here to assist with the kids,” said Hinnant.  Principal Noll accepted the patriot Award from Kansas ESGR Training Director Ron Brown.

Westar & TPS Promote STEM Awareness

Topeka Public Schools, Westar Energy Expand Pact to Promote STEM, Career Awareness for Students


 Westar Energy and Topeka Public Schools are pleased to announce plans to expand their ongoing partnership with an agreement that will be considered by the school board on Thursday evening. As the district develops STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) pathways and the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers (TCALC), Westar will be a key partner providing expertise and opportunities for teachers and students to learn more about the energy industry. The expansion of the partnership follows multiple years of successful collaboration between the utility and the school district.

Topeka Public Schools Deputy Superintendent of Operations Larry Robbins is delighted with the outcome of the partnership thus far. "Westar Energy has been a valued business partner to Topeka Public Schools for a number of years.  This partnership has afforded our students educational opportunities and career choice exploration they would not have otherwise experienced."


The relationship between Westar Energy and Topeka Public Schools began five years ago when the district sought new and expanded partnerships in the community. Westar responded to that call and in 2010 the school district and the electric utility formed a partnership. Soon after, Westar built a wind turbine and purchased land for a substation on the district’s Kanza Education and Science Park site.


Not only did these projects provide electricity to the community, they also introduced new and innovative educational opportunities for Topeka Public Schools’ students. Additionally, the turbine and substation helped ignite students’ interest in learning about- and eventually working in- STEM fields. In 2012, Topeka Public Schools and Westar Energy formalized their partnership, outlining programs to expose students to hands-on learning in technical and professional fields.


Topeka Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Julie Ford is thrilled with the partnership. “The opportunities that Westar has offered our students around science, technology, engineering and math allow students to see their curriculum come to life and be relevant!”


Eileen Caspers, General Director of School and Career Programs for Topeka Public Schools, stresses the importance of a STEM-focused curriculum. “This is an opportunity to provide rigorous and relevant curriculum with professional learning aligned to sustainable careers. The experience and skills learned by students will assist them in making decisions about their post-secondary education path, future career, or both. In addition, businesses also benefit by connecting with high school students for future recruitment into viable occupations essential to their economic growth.”


Students of Topeka Public Schools have reaped the benefits of the district’s collaboration with Westar Energy and now enjoy enhanced educational opportunities that will prepare them for higher-level learning and ensure career readiness. Westar Energy and Topeka Public Schools are excited to expand this successful partnership.


$1.8 Million for Arts Project in TPS

Topeka Public Schools teams with KU researchers
to secure four-year, $1.8 million federal education award
The Arts Infusion Project will develop and implement
arts-infused curriculum rooted in critical thinking

TOPEKA, Kan. — As part of an initiative to enhance and strengthen programs that integrate the arts into elementary- and middle-school curricula, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement has granted a four-year, $1.8 million award to a collaborative project that teams Topeka Public Schools with two University of Kansas (KU) research centers.


The award, shared among the three partners, will provide support and professional development to teachers in Topeka Public Schools seeking to infuse the arts across the curriculum and strengthen their students’ critical-thinking skills. The Arts Infusion Project (TAIP) brings together Topeka educators with researchers from KU’s Music Research Institute in the School of Music and the Center for Public Partnerships and Research (CPPR) in the Achievement & Assessment Institute.


“Teachers and students at the participating schools will benefit from infusing fine arts across the curriculum, thinking critically about connections to ideas outside of the arts, and using these skills to find creative and innovative solutions to problems beyond art,” said Billie Wallace, director of school improvement for Topeka Public Schools. 


The grant was written by Dr. Christopher M. Johnson, KU professor of music education and music therapy, and Dr. Becky Eason, CPPR associate director, in close collaboration with Topeka Public Schools.


“Through intensive and sustained professional development, TAIP will give Topeka teachers the tools to infuse and bridge their curricula with the arts—bringing the fine arts into the whole school day, and in turn, the whole school day into the fine-arts classroom,” Johnson said.


Through a series of summer workshops and academic-year follow-up sessions, the School of Music will provide professional development to all arts and general-education classroom teachers in high-need elementary and middle schools in the Topeka district. CPPR will serve as the external evaluator of the project, assessing the project’s success in using the arts as a way to teach critical thinking skills. CPPR will also provide grants-administration support. 


“Teachers will also gain knowledge of critical-thinking-based teaching techniques such as higher-order questioning, assessment and transfer,” Eason said. “This project will allow us to build upon the higher-thinking skills inherent in arts education, and make those skills relevant throughout the curriculum.”


The project stresses two objectives to achieve its overall goal:


• Participating Topeka teachers will gain skills and knowledge that will enable them to strengthen the integration of standards-based arts instruction within other academic content areas.


• Teachers will gain skills and knowledge to strengthen standards-based arts instruction by infusing critical thinking into all aspects of instruction and assessment, which will advance the education of the whole student.


The project represents the fifth collaborative research effort between Johnson and Eason, who late last year completed a baseline study for Nashville’s Music Makes Us initiative that empirically proved the link between music participation and improved academic achievement and engagement.


“Ultimately, TAIP will benefit students who may be at risk of educational failure by making the fine arts and the benefits associated with it more accessible and providing students with the tools to succeed in the classroom,” Johnson said.


About Topeka Public Schools

Topeka Public Schools is located in the capital city of Kansas and the home of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v Board of Education. Topeka Public Schools is a diversified urban district and the sixth-largest school district in Kansas with 14,000 students and 2,500 employees. The school district has 29 schools, including two magnet schools, three signature schools and the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers. The school district's Kanza Education and Science Park features Education Station, the Westar Energy Education Center and a 100-kilowatt wind turbine, the result of a partnership with the state’s largest utility company. The largest urban prairie in the U.S. is also part of the Kanza Education and Science Park making it a destination for learning. Topeka Public Schools is living its mission everyday to engage, prepare and inspire students. For more information, please visit www.topekapublicschools.net



Media Contact

Ron Harbaugh

Director of Communications

Topeka Public Schools



Bill Woodard

Communications Manager

Achievement & Assessment Institute

The University of Kansas




Above & Beyond Winner Loves Kids and Music

Tracy Rowe has a passion for music and a passion for students at Jardine Middle School.   “She could just do what she does during the day,” said Jardine Principal Mike Haire.  He suggests there is a lot more to Tracy’s dedication to the kids.   “We are the only middle school that has taken our band to community events in the evening, to ballgames and to elementary school parades.  All the extra hours she puts in to do good things for our kids,” said Haire.  That’s why Jardine Middle School music/band teacher Tracy Rowe is the winner of this month’s Above and Beyond Award.

Tracy is busy not just in the band room, but throughout the school all hours of the day and night.  She works with the 100 students who are involved in the school musical and she spends a couple of nights a week on the school signature committee helping plan what Jardine will be like once the new elementary school is built next to it.

Tracy has been at Jardine Middle School 18 of her 25 years in education.  It may seem like a long time, but Tracy credits the students for her being there so long.  “They make it so much fun.  They love music.  It is a joy to teach them,” said Rowe.  Students like 8th grader Amari McGlory thinks her teacher is one in a million.  “She is nice.  She goes out of her way for you.  She is the best teacher ever.  If you don’t have her, you are missing out on something pretty amazing.”

If you know of a TPS staff member, a parent or volunteer who goes Above and Beyond to help our students, nominate them.  It’s easy to do.  You will find a nomination form on the district website, www.topekapublicschools.net.   Go to staff/forms for staff/district program forms/TPS Above & Beyond.

November Music Programs and Plays

There are lots of school music programs and plays during the month of November.  Support our students and attend one or more of these fun and entertaining events.


Monday, Nov. 10 – Randolph 4th and 5th grade music program at Landon Middle School.  Begins at
                                   6:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Nov.11 – Ross Elementary Veteran’s Day Celebration at 9:00 a.m.
                                  Veterans and their families connected to Ross will be recognized.  Songs
                                  will be played for each branch of the service.  Songs will be sung by Ross
                                   students and a guest artist.  The ceremony will end with the playing of taps.


Tuesday, Nov 11 – Highland Park Central 4th & 5th Grade Music Program at Highland Park High
                                  School.  Begins at 7:00 p.m.


Wednesday, Nov. 12 - Topeka West High School Junior ROTC Cadets will present a Veteran’s Day
                                          Ceremony in the school gym beginning at 9:30 a.m.


Thursday, Nov. 13 – Movie night at State Street Elementary.  Wear pj’s and bring a pillow to watch
                                     How to Train Your Dragon.  The movie runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Thursday, Nov. 13 – Lowman Hill Elementary 5th Grade Music Program.  Begins at 7:00 p.m.


Wednesday,  Nov 12 – Senior citizens night for fall play,”The Arabian Night”s at Topeka West High
                                         School.  Begins at 7:00 p.m. in the school auditorium.

Nov.  13-15 - Topeka West High School fall play,” The Arabian Nights.”  7:00 p.m. in auditorium.
                        Admission is $5.


Nov 17-21 – American Education Week
                      Many activities and events in our schools.  Check your school for exact times and


Tuesday, Nov. 18 – McEachron Elementary 4th Grade Music Program.  Begins at 6:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Nov. 18 – Scott Dual Language 4th Grade Music Program.  Begins at 6:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Nov. 18 – McEachron Elementary 5th Grade Music Program.  Begins at 7:00 p.m.


Tuesday, Nov. 18 – Topeka West High School Winter Concert.  Begins at 7:00 p.m. at White Concert
                                    Hall at Washburn University.


Tuesday, Nov. 18 – “Junie B. Jones” musical production at State Street Elementary.  It begins at 7:00
                                     p.m. in the Shirley Johannsen Auditorium.

Tuesday, Nov 18 – Williams Magnet School 4th Grade Music Program.  Begins at 7:00 p.m.


Tuesday, Nov. 18 – Scott Dual Language 5th Grade Music Program.  Begins at 7:15 p.m.


Thursday. Nov 20 – Board of Education Meeting.  Begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Burnett Center.


Thursday, Nov 20 – Williams Magnet School 5th Grade Music Program.  Begins at 7:00 p.m.


Thursday, Nov 20 – “Alice in Wonderland:  The Musical” at Jardine Middle School at 6:00 p.m.
                                    Show and dinner for $16.


Nov. 20 & 21 – Landon Middle School musical, “A Pirates Life for Me”.  7:00 p.m. in the school
                           auditorium.  Cost, $5 per person.


Friday, Nov. 21 – “Alice in Wonderland: The Musical” at Jardine Middle School at 7:00 p.m.  Cost $5.


Nov 21, 22, 23 – “Cinderella, the Musical” at Topeka High School.  Show at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and
                              Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Admission $8.


Saturday, Nov. 22 – Topeka West High School Singers perform at TPAC at 7:30 p.m.   

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Neighborhood Veteran Volunteers to Help Keep Kids Safe: September Above & Beyond Award

On a rainy Wednesday morning, Matthew Davis is found in a neon yellow jumpsuit and army boots directing school buses, cars and students safe...