THS Student Receives Gates Millennium Scholarship

Congratulations to Topeka High School senior Alexis Tibbits; she was recently awarded the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship!

This scholarship will provide her with money for college and even graduate school-- a huge gift for Alexis, who hopes to attend medical school after she earns biology and Spanish degrees at the University of Kansas. She is eager to begin her studies in the fall.

The Gates Millennium scholarship also provides for “leadership development programs with distinctive personal, academic and professional growth opportunities,” according to the program’s website. (

Alexis is one of only a handful of Kansas students to receive this prestigious scholarship. Last year, THS student Hashaivione Edmundson was awarded the scholarship. He is currently pursuing a degree in computer sciences at Wichita State University. (Keep makin’ us proud, Hashaivione!)

Way to go, Alexis! Keep up the great work and have fun at KU!

THS Journalist Headed to DC Conference

Congratulations to Adam Cole, a junior at Topeka High School. He was selected as the Kansas representative for the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference to be held June 18-23 in Washington DC. Cole is the editor of the Topeka High World Newspaper and a contributor to the news website.

To qualify for this award students must be a junior who will graduate in the Class of 2017, be committed to pursuing a career in journalism, and demonstrate qualities of being a “free spirit.” A journalist exhibits qualities of a “free spirit” if he or she is a risk taker, visionary, an innovative leader or a courageous achiever.

The 51 students selected for this honor (one from each state and District of Columbia) will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington DC, a $1,000 college scholarship and the opportunity to meet and learn from peers and leading media professionals.

The event is a program of Newseum Institute in Washington DC.

Way to go, Adam!!

THS Principal Dr. Wiley Wins KSPA Award

What was supposed to be a routine staff meeting this morning turned into a surprise celebration for Topeka High School Principal Dr. Linda Wiley.

Unbeknownst to her, she had been nominated for the Kansas Scholastic Press Association's Administrator of the Year award by THS journalism teacher Kristy Dekat. This morning, Wiley was presented with flowers, balloons and the news that she had won the award!

The KSPA honors one administrator each year after considering the following criteria:
-Supports the Kansas Student Publications Act and the First Amendment
-Provides adequate and appropriate financial support for student media
-Understands the importance of journalism’s place in a complete secondary school curriculum
-Encourages academic and professional growth, both for students and for journalism teachers
-Provides personal support and encouragement for students and journalism advisers

Congratulations, Dr. Wiley-- we're so proud of you!

TPS Honors Distinguished Staff Members

On Wednesday, April 6th, Topeka Public Schools honored our 2016 Distinguished Staff Award recipients. We are fortunate to have an abundance of dedicated staff members, making it extremely difficult for our panel of judges to select the 14 candidates most deserving of the award.

Here are the employees who were presented with the 2016 Distinguished Staff Award, the highest honor Topeka Public Schools can bestow on an employee:

Jason Berryman,
High School Educator Category, Topeka West High School



Leo Cangiani,
Classified Support Staff Category, Scott Magnet

Daniele Clearwater,
Paraprofessional Category,
Capital City Schools

Ruben Cruz,
Custodial Category,
Quincy Elementary

Samantha Hershberger, First Year Teacher, Elementary/Pre-K Category, Pine Ridge Prep

Jessica Hodson,
Operations and Maintenance Category,
Service Center

Megan Hossain, Elementary Educator Category, Shaner Elementary

Raquel Jackson, Office Personnel Category, Burnett Center

Roger Laubengayer-Mena,
First Year Teacher, Secondary Category,
Highland Park High School

Carla Nolan,
District Leader Category,
Burnett Center


Dale Noll,
Building Leader Category,
Hope Street Academy

Lauren Peel,
Middle School Educator Category, Eisenhower Middle School

Dr. Julie Putnam,
Certified Support Staff Category, Burnett Center

Susie Wells, Food Service Category, Topeka West High School

We would like to thank Carolyn Voth and her orchestra students from Topeka West High School for providing wonderful music for the event, as well as Fernando Adams and his JROTC students for their excellent job presenting the colors. Landon Middle School's Building Operator, Scott Larsen, was a tremendous help in preparing for the event; thank you, Scott!


HPHS Student Interns at Westar Energy

Highland Park High School senior Edgar Rodriguez has a passion for working on cars. For the past two years, he has participated in Washburn Institute of Technology's auto tech program, learning all he can about the trade. This year he is adding a Westar internship to his resume.

Westar Energy, Kansas’s largest utility and a Topeka Public Schools partner, offered Edgar the internship after a process that included in...terviews with TPS Deputy Superintendent of Operations Larry Robbins and Westar staff members. Now Edgar’s days include attending classes at HPHS each morning, followed by his duties at Westar each afternoon and evening.

HPHS Principal Dr. Beryl New is so proud of Edgar and his accomplishments. “He is a very nice young man…very personable and wants to pursue auto repair as a career,” she said.

We’re proud of Edgar, too! Keep up the great work, young man, and you will go far!

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