Antonetti Named Outstanding Young Bandmaster

Congratulations to Jennifer Antonetti, band director at Topeka High School, Robinson Middle School, and Meadows Elementary School, as recipient of the Outstanding Young Bandmaster in the State of Kansas by Phi Beta Mu and the Kansas Bandmasters Association.  Outstanding Young Bandmaster is awarded to a band director in Kansas who has taught for 10 years of less and has demonstrated exceptional success in their young career.  This award is a prestigious honor for Mrs. Antonetti and Topeka Public Schools

Mrs. Antonetti has spent her entire teaching career in Topeka Public Schools beginning as a general music teacher at Lowman Hill Elementary.  After two years at Lowman Hill, she was hired as a band director in USD 501 in 2010.  Jennifer is highly involved in district music curriculum and leadership.  She has presented several professional development sessions at the Kansas Music Educators Association State Conference.  In addition to public school teaching, Antonetti has been an integral part of North Topeka Community, Marshall's Civic Band, and the Topeka Jazz Workshop. 

Jennifer has a Bachelors of Music Education and a Masters of Music Education from the University of Kansas.  She belongs to the National Association for Music Education, Kansas Music Educators Association, Kansas Bandmasters Association, and the National Education Association.  Mrs. Antonetti is a strong advocate for public schools and music education. 

Jennifer Antonetti will receive her award at an awards banquet on July 17 during the Kansas Bandmasters Association yearly conference in Wichita.  The music department and Topeka Public Schools are thrilled to recognize Jennifer Antonetti for this award and her hard work with students. 

Topeka Police Summer Camp

It may be summertime, but Landon Middle School is not sitting empty. It was the home of the Topeka Police Department Summer Camp, and about 30 students signed up to learn more about the work law enforcement officers do. TPD officers, along with Topeka Public Schools Police officers, took time to show the students some of the skills and equipment used to protect and serve the public.
We recently caught up with the campers to find about the new things they've been learning. When we arrived, officers from the motorcycle unit were on hand to show the kids their vehicles and describe what it means to patrol the streets of Topeka on two wheels.
After that, the students learned about DUI- or Driving Under the Influence- charges. They had the opportunity to perform field sobriety tests, like walking on a line and balancing on one foot, while wearing special goggles. The goggles greatly interfered with their depth perception, affecting their ability to balance and control their movements.
Then the students ventured outside where they got to drive golf carts—first without the goggles, then with the goggles. They drove the carts through a traffic cone obstacle course, in what was both an amusing and frightening display.
In addition to learning about police work, the campers also had the opportunity to play games and have fun with the officers. The officers also arranged for free lunches for the students each day of camp, including a cook out on the last day. Time spent making connections like these enhances relationships between local police and our young citizens.

Thank you to the officers from the Topeka Police Department and the TPS Police Department for providing this opportunity for our city’s youth!

LOB Authorization Vote Passes

June 16, 2015

 Voters gave the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education the authority to increase its Local Option Budget by an additional 3% today (from 30% to 33%).  The mail in ballot unofficial totals are 7,191 (50.37%) in favor and 7,085 (49.63%) against.  The vote will not become official until Shawnee County Commissioners canvas the vote on June 22.

The board of education now has the authority to increase the LOB by 1%, 2%, but no more than 3% of its state financial aid, if needed.  Superintendent Dr. Julie Ford said, “With the state’s current financial situation, it is great to know the community understands the challenges facing our school district. I want to say thank you to the Topeka Public Schools community for your continuing support of public education.”

The Topeka Public Schools Board of Education asked for a public vote on the Local Option Budget after funding cuts made to public education during this legislative session. Topeka Public Schools is losing $3.6 million due to the cuts. 

Music From the Tower - June 28

The Topeka High School Historical Society presents Music from the Tower.  Topeka High graduate Jerry Anderson will play patriotic songs on the Topeka High Deagan Chimes.  Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy an evening on the front lawn of Topeka High School Sunday, June 28,  beginning at 6:00 p.m.  G’s Custard will be available for sale (weather permitting) with proceeds going to benefit the Topeka High Historical Society.

LOB Ballots Due by Noon on June 16

Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell would like to remind voters within the USD 501 School District that time is running short to return voted ballots back to the Election Office for the Local Option Budget mail ballot elections.  All voted ballots must be physically in the Election Office not later than 12:00 p.m. (Noon) CDT on Election Day, Tuesday, June 16th.  At this time, he is recommending that voters personally deliver their ballot to the Election Office to ensure it is received before that deadline.

Normal business hours for the Election Office, which recently moved to 3420 SW Van Buren Street, are Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   However, Howell stated that he will have his office open until 6:30 p.m. on Friday (June 12th) and Monday (June 15th) for voter convenience.  Howell said, “This should allow sufficient time for voters to deliver their ballots to us.  By state law we cannot count any ballots received after 12:00 Noon on Election Day and we cannot guarantee postal service delivery times.”

Anyone with any questions concerning their voter registration status, ballot status or about voting procedures for these mail ballot elections may call the Election Office at (785) 251-5900.  Additional information on these elections is also available on the Shawnee County Election website at

Those voters with special needs who require assistance should call the Election Office at (785) 251-5900.

TPS Foundation Golf Tournament

While the original tournament date got rained out and robbed the tournament of several teams that could not reschedule, the postponed Tidwell tournament was played on June 10th without a hitch!
Thirteen teams participated on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year! Despite the heat, all had a great day of golf, positive energy & camaraderie.

Tournament winners are as follows:
First Flight:
First: Brier Payne Meade Insurance
Denny Payne
Jonathan Payne
Larry Bruenger
Wally Wilson

Second: CoreFirst
Bill Tregemba
Garry Gifford
John Hunter
Ryan Hellmer

Third: Major Saver
Mike Ellis
Tim Burt
Chris Ary
Dale Krum

Second Flight:

First: Overhead Door
Ben Neil
Chuck Cooper
Brook Havens
Terry Wilson

Second: Hester's Henchmen
E.D. Barnhart
Adam Glenn
Mike Hester
Joe Nicoletti

Third: Team Morrisey
Traci Bauer
Rebecca Morrisey
Paula Reilly
Lori Roenbaugh

Hole Prizes were as follows:
Straightest Drive Women: Lori Roenbaugh
Straightest Drive Men: Tyler Goecker
Closest To School House: Gene Ellis
Closest To Pin: Tim Payne
Longest Putt: John Hunter
Closest To Pin: Tim Payne
Longest Drive Women: Rebecca Morrisey
Longest Drive Men: Larry Bruenger
Closest To School House: Dennis Rogers
Closest To Pin: Todd Payne
Longest Putt: Joe Blaske

The Foundation thanks all of the players, underwriters and sponsors for their support and participation. This support allows the organization to continue to provide innovative education grants to TPS educators that benefit TPS students' learning experiences.


The MAGIC (Mentoring A Girl In Construction) Camp was held last week and exposed participants to careers in engineering, transportation and construction. The camp, sponsored by KDOT, was open to high school girls to encourage them to consider pursuing education, training and careers in those fields.
Twenty eight students-- twelve of them TPS kids-- donned hard hats, received a tool kit, heard a variety of speakers talk about paths to success, made site visits and built items... such as planters & picture frames to round out a fun-filled, week-long learning experience.

The students also got to hear from women already succeeding in their careers, like TPS Foundation Executive Director Pamela Johnson-Betts, who spoke to the group about the importance of having and pursuing the right information to achieve career success.
“It’s important to let young women who will soon be entering the work force to know about different career opportunities in these previously non-traditional fields,” said KDOT Civil Rights Administrator Doria Watson. “This camp shows the students new career possibilities they may not have considered before.”

Several girls from THS, HPHS and TWHS were participants in the week long camp. Those attendees included :
Mariah Wingo,
Aberesa Summerville
Tatiayana Wallace
Waneizharea Lee
Wilnareon Lee
Zora Green
La'Brey McKinney
Latasha Evans
Zyanna Rainey
Zhane Rainey
Makayla Willingham
Brooke Carter

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