All-State Elementary Choir

Do-re-me-fa-so-la-ti-do! Third, fourth and fifth graders everywhere have been practicing their vocals in the hopes that they will be selected to participate in the next All-State Elementary Choir. This is the second year that the All-State Elementary Choir has been held and over seven hundred Kansas students submitted audition tapes of themselves singing a capella, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (America). Of the seven hundred students who auditioned, a little over one hundred students were selected to be part of this performance.

Four of our own Topeka Public Schools students have been selected to be a member of the All-State Elementary Choir! Fourth-grade students at Meadows Elementary, Emma Culbertson, Kayleigh McCray and Natalie Ortiz along with a fifth-grade student at State Street Elementary, Emily Estrada were thrilled to find out that they have been chosen.

The hard work doesn’t end there; the students will have only two months to prepare for the President’s Concert at the Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA) in-service workshop on February 23, 2017. With the help of a rehearsal CD, family support and dedicated teachers (Josh Yoho, Molli Haller, Jennifer Gilbert and Bethany Linville), the students will learn the music before joining the other selected choir members that day in Wichita. Led by Elizabeth Nunez, a clinician/children’s choral director from New York, the choir will meet and rehearse February 23, with only a few breaks and then present their concert that evening.

Congratulations Emma, Kayleigh, Natalie and Emily, we are proud of all our fine musicians.

Ike Students Collect Donations for Salvation Army

The students at Eisenhower Middle School celebrated the holiday season with a Community Service Challenge last week. Each day, the students were challenged to bring in different donations, such as hygiene products, hats, gloves, socks, and nonperishable food items. The event was organized and promoted by Ike's Eagle Advisor Council, (the school's student council organization), providing the students with an opportunity to use their leadership skills to give back to the Topeka community.

The Community Service Challenge was a resounding success, with 937 items collected! The donations will be given to the Salvation Army for distribution to community members in need.

Great job, Eisenhower Eagles-- your impressive work on this project is inspiring!!


TWHS Students Contribute to City of Character Calendar

Topeka West High School hosted the unveiling ceremony for the Topeka City of Character 2017 calendar. Sponsored by the Topeka Capital-Journal, the calendar features the photographic work of TWHS juniors and seniors in David Meske’s JAG, or Jobs for America’s Graduates, class.

The students in the class worked together on the content of the calendar, which includes photos, quotes and words associated with character traits, like hospitality, respect and wisdom. The kids were proud to show off their handiwork to the audience, which included representatives from the Topeka Chamber of Commerce and students from nearby McClure Elementary. McClure boasts a character education program and the young students were eager to see traits they have learned about being featured in the calendar.

The finished product is an absolutely beautiful 12 month calendar that contains stunning images of familiar Topeka landmarks, such as the Brown v. Board building, Washburn University and Grace Cathedral. Calendars can be purchased by visiting

Great work, Chargers!

2017 Certified Distinguished Staff Award Winners Named

Topeka Public Schools is excited to announce the winners of the 2017 Distinguished Staff Award in the certified categories. The following employees will be honored at a ceremony in April:

Elementary Educator Category: Debbie Dickerson, 4th Grade Teacher, Stout Elementary

Middle School Educator Category: Robert Schawo, Social Studies Teacher, Jardine Middle School

High School Educator Category: Kirsten Cigler Nelson, Language Arts Teacher, Topeka High School

Certified Support Staff Category: Peggy Fisher, Coordinator of Speech and Language Programs, Lundgren/Holland Education Center

Building Leader Category: Dustin Dick, Principal, Topeka West High School

District Leader Category: Larry Robbins, Deputy Superintendent of Operations, Burnett Center

Congratulations to all the winners!

The Distinguished Staff Award selection committee will select winners in the classified categories later this month.

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