SMSD News: Foundation hosts virtual fall breakfast

Community members had a front-row-seat for Shawnee Mission’s motion picture event of the year: SMSD Strong. The movie that tells the story of the resilience of our students, teachers, and community and the important work of the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation. You may view the movie here. 

This film was the Foundation’s annual fall breakfast celebration, which moved from an in-person event to a virtual celebration. 

“Since we were unable to host our donors, sponsors, and community members in person, we thought about the best way to take advantage of this virtual opportunity,” Kim Hinkle, Shawnee Mission Education Foundation executive director said. “The Foundation has initiated several innovative programs like Scholarship Shawnee Mission and Leadership Shawnee Mission and this format allowed us to tell an in-depth story.” 

The Foundation also continues to fund Excellence in Education grants. Among these, three grants that supported diverse literature were featured in the film, as was Scholarship Shawnee Mission and Leadership Shawnee Mission. 

Dr. Mike Fulton, Shawnee Mission School District superintendent, was featured in a conversation with Anthony Springfield, Foundation past president. Fulton updated viewers on the progress of the Strategic Plan, along with the three objectives and five strategies that support the plan. He shared the implementation of Canvas, a learning management system, to provide teachers, students, and families with one system, rather than forcing them to navigating several different platforms. 

Fulton also spoke about the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion through Deep Equity training across the district. This was reinforced in the Foundation’s grant story, along with the example shared of the formation of a Black Student Union at Apache IS Elementary School.

They discussed the importance of attending to the social and emotional well-being of students and staff, and building relationships and connections, regardless of whether students are learning in-person or remotely. 

Fulton shared the intent to support student learning through an upcoming bond. If passed, the bond will support five elementary schools rebuilds, and improvements and maintenance to the 47 schools and all facilities in the district. The bond will allow the district to hire additional teachers, in order to provide secondary teachers with additional time for planning and collaboration.

The Foundation’s movie concluded with the story of Jetzel Chavira, a SM West graduate, who with support from Scholarship Shawnee Mission, is attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

“Our sponsors are so important during this challenging time and they really stepped up,” Suzy Hall, Foundation president shared. “We are grateful to our sponsor partners including AdventHealth, Capitol Federal Foundation, DS Bus Lines, and JE Dunn, who continue to pledge their financial support.” You may view all the sponsors here