May 2015 Around Town

Leawood Student Crowned

Caroline McVay, of Leawood, was recently crowned the first Miss Kansas Teen Amazing at the state pageant held at the University of Central Missouri. She also earned their inaugural Spirit Award. Miss Amazing, a national pageant mirroring the Miss America pageant system for girls and women with disabilities, age 10-35, focuses on allowing the participants to reach their full potential and encouraging further inclusion for individuals with special needs. Miss Amazing is currently in 27 states.

Each participant earns a trophy and is crowned Princess for her skills in interviewing and eveningwear poise. There is also an optional talent portion. The six queens, representing different age divisions, go on to represent their state for the following year at local and state events.

The 2015 state queens will represent their states at the National Miss Amazing Pageant in Los Angeles in July.  They will also be part of the Opening Ceremonies for the World Special Olympics being held in Los Angeles and will volunteer at the games as well.

Caroline is the daughter of Bill and Shelly McVay.

New Program Offered at Barstow School

The Barstow School launched the Certificate of Emphasis (COE) program in the 2014-15 school year. COE provides students an advantage in the increasingly competitive college admissions process by allow students to pursue their individual passions through a combination of on campus and online courses and a capstone project at the end of their program. We are also well aware that students who are passionate learners are happier, healthier and more successful in and out of school. Students are paired with a mentor in the community to execute their capstone project in their selected “strand” or “area of emphasis.” These strands include; 21st century communications, engineering, architecture, environmental sustainability, globalization, social justice, international politics and mind, body and health. If you are interested in learning about the mentor process, contact Suzanne Slepitza at

Get Out There and Ride!

May is national bicycle riding month so dust off that two-wheeler, buy yourself a new bell (vintage is IN!) and enjoy some of the dozens and dozens of miles of paved bicycle paths that we are so very fortunate to have surrounding our communities.

Did you know that the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Department has created four different trail guides for area fitness enthusiasts? You can view the regional guides at If you would rather pick up a copy of the guides, visit the JCPRD office in Antioch Park, Ernie Miller Nature Center or the John Barkley Visitor Center at Shawnee Mission Park.

Chamber Expands Economic Development Activities

The Leawood Chamber of Commerce has contracted with the City of Leawood to provide expanded economic development services beginning in 2015. Chamber President and CEO, Kevin Jeffries, and the Chamber’s Economic Development Council (EDC) are broadening efforts related to recruiting and retaining businesses.

“We want to ensure that Leawood is top of mind for businesses as they consider expanding their current operations in Leawood or relocating their business to Leawood,” says Jeffries.

The 10-member EDC committee includes several members of the City Council and area business leaders.

The Chamber and EDC will dedicate more time and resources to a formal business retention program, including personal visits with Leawood employers to identify their needs. They will also focus more strategically on relationship building with local commercial realtors, site consultants visiting town, and other members of the development community.

Later this year, the Chamber’s website will be enhanced to provide easy access to information about available real estate, economic and demographic information. The website will also continue to promote Leawood as a lifestyle choice, emphasizing the advantages of living, working and shopping in Leawood.

Now Open in Leawood

Catalyst Health Center, formerly Bisson Chiropractic, recently celebrated their grand opening and a ribbon cutting ceremony with more than 250 people in attendance including, Leawood Mayor, Peggy Dunn, city council members, patients, friends and family.

Catalyst is a fully integrated wellness clinic that utilizes the best of medical and chiropractic expertise to fully evaluate each patient based on their condition and needs, creating a comprehensive treatment plan. Catalyst Health Center specializes in spinal correction and physical therapy, as well as nutrition counseling, weight loss, massage, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Joint and Trigger Point Injections.

Catalyst Health Center hosts a free “Dinner with the Doc” the second Monday of each month at 6:45 at Hereford House. Please call the office at 913.345.9888 to make a reservation.

Did You Know?

The new Leawood dog park, aptly named “Leawoof Dog Park,” has been an overwhelming success with more than 40,000 visitors to date. Fundraising efforts continue for the addition of more benches and dog waste receptacles. If you haven’t yet visited with your furry friend, make plans to do so this spring. It is located at the east end of the Leawood City Park.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Leawood Foundation at 913.663.9248 or send your donation to The Leawood Foundation, 4800 Town Center Drive, Leawood, 66211. All donations are tax deductible.

Scheels Opening Soon

Scheels, opening in Overland Park in late June, is a 220,000-square-foot sporting goods destination store with a Ferris wheel and salt water aquarium inside the building. This state-of-the-art store specializes in the largest variety of sports, fashion and footwear under one roof. Currently, Scheels is in the process of hiring a number of part-time positions throughout the store, including sales associates and cashiers. Scheels is an employee-owned company and provides the best training in retail for its career associates. Our people make us special and Scheels associates are experts in their field. Scheels also actively looks for ways to give back to the local communities they serve.

Shawnee Mission Animation Students Excel

Several students who are enrolled in Shawnee Mission’s Animation Signature Program earned top honors at the recent eMagine media festival, a statewide digital media competition. Logan Jenkins took first place in the 3D Organic category and first place in the 3D Mechanical category. Griffen LaTessa and Darius Reasco earned second and third place in the 3D Organic category. Justus Kasunic earned second-place honors in the 3D Mechanical category and Sophia Minnena earned third place in the Character Animation category.

Community Emergency Response Team

The Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.)  Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and
disaster medical operations. The Leawood Fire Department works with established C.E.R.T. teams as a training partner. If you or your organization are interested in joining a team or coordinating a new one and need training, please contact the LFD at 913.681.6788 x14.  or email

Dragon Dash: May 2

The Dragon Dash, a family friendly 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run to benefit Corinth PTA, will be held at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 2.

Runners and walkers of all ages and skill levels are welcome to join the run. The 5K chip-timed course begins and ends at Corinth Elementary School at 8301 Mission Road, and winds through beautiful Leawood and Prairie Village.

Breakfast and snacks will be served after the race, as well as water stations along the course.

Funds raised at the event benefit Corinth PTA which helps pay for the school counselor and Spanish Language teacher.

For more information or to register, visit or call the school at 913.993.2900.