Wednesday, October 1, 2014

MidAmerica Nazarene University assists Wyandotte County school districts

KANSAS CITY, KAN.,--This summer more than 40 teachers from Kansas City, Kansas School District and Turner School District learned new ways to prepare the next generation of students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.

MNU’s Students Engaged in Exploring and Designing Solutions (SEEDS) project, funded by a Kansas Board of Regents grant, which includes both federal and non-federal funds, equips local science teachers from high needs school districts with the knowledge and skills necessary to help 6th through 12th grade students meet Next Generation Science Standards, which focus on the engineering design cycle and cross-disciplinary integration of science.

Since future industries will rely greatly on science, technology, math and engineering skills, educators need new methods to integrate these subjects into their teaching. According to Nancy Damron, PhD, MNU School of Education dean, the goal is to assist teachers to deliver instruction in a way that will prepare students for these industries after graduation.

Gayle Kebodeaux, a teacher in the Kansas City Kansas School District, said the SEEDS workshop was rewarding on several counts.

“It allowed me to delve into the new science standards as well as process this with colleagues, not only from my district but from other districts,” Kebodeaux said. “SEEDS gave us time to evaluate investigations that can be used in our classrooms. It provided [me] the opportunity for professional development that is applicable immediately for my students.”

One of the value-added aspects of the SEEDS program is MNU’s partnership with Garmin International engineers who also teach participants in the program. Real-world practitioners like Debbie Jasiczek, software engineering manager consumer software technology and Scott Burgett, director GNSS & automotive OEM platform engineering help ensure teachers get readily applicable learning.

Workshops held at MNU were free to the teachers and they received stipends for participation. They also will continue to receive resources throughout the year such as books for each participant, substitute teacher coverage allowing them to attend additional workshops at MNU, licenses for video analysis software in the classroom, and $500 per teacher for classroom supplies.

According to Damron, this program goes beyond bringing cutting edge instruction to participants but also gives them the real-world support they need to continue utilizing and expanding their new skills.

The SEEDS project will continue through June 2015 with additional workshops and ongoing dialog between participants. The next training session will be held at the KCK school district on Sept. 30. Ultimately, participants are expected to influence their students to understand and use better practices of science, technology, engineering and math while gaining a deeper understanding in the core of those subjects, all of which is needed in the new economy.

MNU has a 48-year history of preparing teachers and has offered the Master of Education for more than 20 years. More information on teacher education at MNU is at www.mnu.edu/learn.

Democrats call for special committee to vet KanCare contracting

By Andy Marso
KHI News Service

TOPEKA, KAN. — The top Democrats on the KanCare Oversight Committee on Monday called for a separate committee to be appointed to study whether any legal or ethical boundaries were crossed when Gov. Sam Brownback's administration contracted with three managed care organizations to privatize Medicaid.

Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, and Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, said the request was spurred by the months-old news of FBI agents interviewing Capitol denizens for information on allegations of corruption within the administration. The FBI has not confirmed the investigation, per agency policy, but some of those interviewed have told news outlets that the $3 billion KanCare contracts are at the center of the questions.

Ward, a former prosecutor, said that the FBI would only seek out criminal activity, while a special legislative committee also could search for ethics violations.

“When there are instances when the integrity of the legislative process, the integrity of the executive and the taxpayers’ money is at risk, a special committee is not only appropriate, it’s needed,” Ward said.

Brianna Landon, deputy communications director for the governor's office, said the governor supported the formation of the KanCare Oversight Committee on which Kelly and Ward sit, and questioned why neither raised their concerns at a meeting of that committee last month. Legislators and the general public can view the KanCare contract documents online, she noted.

"Five companies submitted bids in response to the KanCare request for proposal," Landon said. "Dozens of subject matter experts, including many career state employees, selected the three winning companies. These experts selected the three lowest bidders with the three strongest proposals. Even the losing bidders have stated the process was open and fair."

When asked why they waited until a month before the general election to request the special committee, Kelly noted that she had made a similar request for legislative inquiry when the story of the FBI interviews broke in April.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

KCKCC at Cowley Wednesday in battle of Jayhawk leaders

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- From the frying pan into the fire. That’s the task facing Kansas City Kansas Community College’s No. 5 ranked volleyball team.

Last Wednesday, the Lady Blue Devils defeated No. 4 ranked Johnson County in a 3-2 thriller. This Wednesday, the Blue Devils play at Cowley County, the defending NJCAA Division II champion at Arkansas City at 6:30 p.m.

Currently ranked No. 10 but about to move up in the NJCAA poll, Cowley leads the Jayhawk Conference with a 5-0 record and an overall mark of 15-6; KCKCC is 4-0 in the conference and 18-3 on the season. Both teams have won nine of their last 10 contests.

KCKCC stayed unbeaten in the Jayhawk Monday with a 25-11, 27-17, 25-23 sweep of Highland.

“A team victory,” said KCKCC Coach Mary Bruno, who is looking for her first ever win over Cowley Wednesday.

Duane Shaw, Keith Lindsey into KCKCC Athletic Hall of Fame

By ALAN HOSKINS

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Two long-time major contributors to athletic programs at Kansas City Kansas Community College are the newest members of the KCKCC Athletic Hall of Fame – Duane Shaw and the late Keith Lindsey.

Shaw served as Director of Athletics from 1987-99 while Lindsey was a major supporter of KCKCC sports teams during his 28 years as owner of Varsity Sports.

They will be inducted into the Hall of Fame prior to the final game of the 11th annual Keith Lindsey Basketball Classic Saturday, Nov. 15.
A teacher at Central Junior High School in Kansas City, Kan., from 1961-72, Shaw came to KCKCC as Director of Student Activities in 1972.

During a 15-year career in that position, he started KCKCC’s first Academic Challenge Team and Teacher-Staff Appreciation Day; sponsored ski trips and trip to foreign countries for students; and was Student Senate and Phi Theta Kappa sponsor. The recipient of the KCKCC Outstanding Staff Service Award in 1978 and 1988, he was also the recipient of the Career Education Award in 1978 and Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished Service Award in 1988.

The successor to Walt Shublom as Director of Athletics in 1987, Shaw took Blue Devil athletic programs to new levels by increasing the number of athletes, scholarships and full-time coaching positions; improved physical facilities including development of a training room; and increased the budget. All of which resulted in an increase in grade point averages and graduation rates of athletes. In addition, he was active in scheduling for the Jayhawk Conference.

Shaw was also well-known as a basketball, baseball and softball official, umpiring for more than 40 years and refereeing more than 1,100 basketball games. Retired July 1, 1999, he continues to be involved at KCKCC as a part-time employee in the Maintenance Department.

Tragically killed in a one-car accident Christmas Day 2003, Keith Lindsey was an outstanding athlete, coach, teacher and businessman. A starter on two Wyandotte High School state basketball championship teams, he graduated from Hardin-Simmons where he was a three-year basketball letterman. An English major, Lindsey began teaching and coaching at Maple Park Junior High in North Kansas City and was an English teacher and assistant coach at Washington High School for three years before serving two years as head boys coach at Turner High School.

In 1976, he opened Varsity Sports where stories of his generosity to athletes in need and others were endless. “We’d have coaches call about a kid who had no money and Keith would tell them to come by and he’d give them a glove or shoes and tell them, ‘Young man, play hard and come back and see me some time,’ ” said Jim Woods, who worked for Lindsey for 27 years.

While it’s been nearly 13 years since his passing, the respect, admiration and love for Keith Lindsey will carry on for years and years. In 2008, he was inducted into the Mid-America Education Hall of Fame at KCKCC. In addition to the annual basketball classic, KCKCC holds a Keith Lindsey Scholarship Golf Scramble each fall and both Washington and Wyandotte high schools and the Kansas City Coach Assn. have honored Lindsey’s memory.

Founded in 2010, charter Hall of Fame members were Robert Russell, David Segui, Kevin Young, Jurgita Kausaite and the late Al Heider. Nancy Allen, Bryan Scott and Aneta Kausaite were added in 2012 and Steve Burleson, Stephanie Brown, Dinsdale Morgan and the 1976 baseball team which played in the NJCCC World Series last year.

KCKCC Vocal Music Prepares for GEMS Concert

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Kansas City Kansas Community College Vocal Music Department is inviting the community out to support the college's choirs during the upcoming GEMS concert.

The concert is at 3 p.m. Oct. 12 at St. Patrick’s Church, 1086 N. 94th St. in Kansas City, Kan. It is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature the Community Choir and the Chamber Chair as they perform works by Handel, Rutter, Mealor, Whitacre, Hogan and more. GEMS is a showcase of choral music (both well-known and unknown) from different countries and cultures.

These countries include England, Russia, Germany and the United States. John Stafford, choral director and professor at KCKCC, said the music performed at the concert are or will eventually become staples of the choral repertoire.

For more information on the choral program at KCKCC, contact John Stafford at jstafford@kckcc.edu or call 913-288-7137.

WYANDOTTE COUNTY TRAFFIC NOTE: New Gibbs Road Bridge open


From the Kansas Department of Transportation: 
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Sometime later this evening, Friday, September 26, the new Gibbs Road Bridge over I-635 (Wyandotte County) is set to OPEN to unrestricted traffic.

The new bridge structure has been completed and crews are finishing up removal of traffic control on the project. Once the traffic control has been removed the bridge will open to unrestricted traffic.

KU Hospital celebrates Royals with hats for new born babies

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- The Kansas City Royals are in the playoffs and intend to take the crown.  They’re even finding support among the youngest of fans. 

Newborns in the Mother/Baby unit at The University of Kansas Hospital are sporting pink and blue Royals caps.

Employees and parents are both rooting for the Royals as they make their first post-season appearance, in 29 years, tomorrow night in a Wild Card game at Kauffman Stadium.

“We encourage employees to wear a sea of blue tomorrow and show their support as the Royals take on the Oakland A’s,” Bob Page, president and CEO said.

Newborns Olivia Campos and Christoph Xavier Rose both seemed to enjoy their caps making their parents all the more proud to be Royals fans.