Wildcat Growl

April 17, 2022

Future Ready Wildcats

De Soto High School staff and students endeavor to model the following core values:


Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,

Reminder, we do not have school on Monday, April 18th.

Two DHS bands participated in the KSHSAA’s State Large Group Festival last week. Our Wind Ensemble received a 1 rating and our Symphonic band received a 2 rating. Congratulations to Mr. Bradford, Mr. Kaul, and all the DHS instrumentalists!

Congratulation to the Wildcat Choirs! They also participated in the KSHSAA event. Wildcat Chorale received a 1 rating, and Choir Foundations received a 2 rating. Way to go, Mrs. Fry and all the Wildcat singers!

This is Prom week at DHS! The spirit week dress-up day information is below. We will have an all-school assembly on Friday, April 22nd.

Our Prom candidates include Isabella Wiltfong, Lily Werner, Amy Rocha, Tristen Bogart, Kennedy Pickert, CJ Krudwig, Luke VanBooven, Landon Reith, Kyle Newberry, and Will Bodenhausen.

Prom will take place at Cedar Valley Forest from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM on April 23rd. The details are below. Tickets are now on sale for the event. Students should see Mrs. Friday for ticket information.

This week is also the last week for state assessments for sophomores. Thank you for not scheduling appointments that conflict with these exams. Make-up testing requires pulling students from class and we would like to avoid doing this as much as possible. Thank you.

Seniors and senior parents – you only have 22 school days left. It is of paramount importance to finish the year strong.

Detailed information about Senior Awards, graduation rehearsal, and the graduation ceremony has been updated on our website. Cap and gown distribution will take place on May 13th, the same day students will receive the checkout form. This form must be completed and turned in to Mrs. Miller in order to receive the diploma. It includes confirmation of grades, that materials have been returned, and that all fees have been paid. Attendance at graduation rehearsal and Senior Send-off is required in order to participate in the ceremony.

Senior parents interested in helping with Gradfest - please contact Caroline Friday (mcfriday@usd232.org). Thank you!

Thanks, and have a great week.

Sam Ruff


De Soto High School

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Click here to follow DHS on Twitter: @DeSotoWildcats

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State Science Olympiad Results

On Saturday, April 2nd, the DHS science olympiad team competed in the state tournament hosted by Wichita State University. This was our first return to in-person competition, and it was definitely interesting. Did you know that there are 60 seconds in a minute? The college student proctoring “It’s About Time” was operating on a unique 100 second per minute conversion. The event proctor for “Ornithology” flew the coop early, believing that there was an epic dinner break before events would be scored and awards distributed; this extended our trip by 1.5 hours (which would be 9000 seconds if there are 100 of those in a minute, but if there are 100 minutes in an hour then it looks even worse…).

Our students competed against the top 13 large division (5A and 6A) schools from across the state in 23 events ranging from building and engineering challenges to knowledge and skills testing in various scientific disciplines. DHS placed 10th overall in the state, leaving with many notes for improvement for next season. We had several student successes in individual events: 5th in Detector Building, 6th in Ornithology, and 7th in Cell Biology.

Student participants included Scott Blanck, Tanner Chase, Lindsay Kellogg, Alex Boresow, Lauren Fandre, Zach Myers, Isabelle Butler, Isabella Holwick, Daniel Morozov, Cael Province, Diego Diaz, Evan Johnsson, and Kiera Slocum. Please congratulate these students if you see them.

Thank you to the entire staff for your support of these students’ scientific endeavors by sharing your gym space with us for device testing, allowing them to miss your classes/practices/events so we could meet as a team when needed, and for your positive vibes and encouragement. It’s been a great season.

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KSHSAA State Solo/Ensemble Qualifiers for Band

Congratulations to ALL the students who participated in today's regional solo/ensemble festival at Mill Valley High School. We are proud of every one of you. DHS had a great number of students who qualified for the KSHSAA State Solo/Ensemble Festival on Saturday, April 30th at Salina South High School. Here is the list of performances that earned a "1" rating to qualify:

Austin Mills Saxophone Solo

Ollie Kellogg Saxophone Solo

Anna D'Andrea Trumpet Solo

Trevor Tilton Flute Solo

Tanner Chase Drumset Solo

Sydney Moore Clarinet Solo

Noah Beggs Trumpet Solo

Emma Klingler Flute Solo

Ryan Handley Saxophone Solo

DHS Percussion Ensemble (Swea Bonnstetter, Austin Chase, Noah Daniels, Joseph Harris, Evan Johnsson, Reid Kalkman, Peyton Peterson, Ben Stelzer & Emily Taylor)

DHS Saxophone Quartet #1 (Ryan Handley, Ollie Kellogg, Austin Mills & Addie Warnes)

DHS Percussion Trio (Nick Budimlija, Tanner Chase & Sam Vogel)

DHS Clarinet Choir (Dean Blickenstaff, Ryann Doyle, Kris Goins, Kate Hileman, Lucinda Mater, Molly McCarthy, Jason Neubauer, Kelsey O'Donnell & Allison Roy)

DHS Woodwind Quintet (Lauren Fandre, Ryan Handley, Ryan Lange, Lucinda Mater & Abbey O'Donnell)

DHS Brass Quintet (Clark Billinger, Gavin Billinger, Madeline Blom, Anna D'Andrea & Dylan Handley)

DHS Flute Trio (Samantha Goins, Emma Klingler & Trevor Tilton)

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Prepped and Ready: Experts Edition

Children’s Mercy has created Prepped and Ready: Experts Edition, a free online video series for parents and caregivers who are raising teens. This educational series is being offered online and brings the experts at Children’s Mercy right to parents and before there is a crisis with topics covering vaping, hard conversation, safe storage and more.


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Our two instrumental groups performed very well at yesterday’s KSHSAA’s State Large Group Festival. Our Wind Ensemble received a 1 rating and our Symphonic band received a 2 rating. We are proud of both groups.

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Wildcat Nation

Click here for the latest on anything activities or sports related.

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Paraprofessionals and Student Nutrition Positions Available Now

De Soto School District is looking to hire for paraprofessionals and student nutrition openings in the district. If you are interested please click here for para information and here for student nutrition.

Note from the Counselors:

Senior Scholarship Information:

Now is a good time to start looking for scholarships for college. If you haven’t already done so please check out the DHS Student Services site: https://www.usd232.org/Page/3287. Click on the Financial Aid/Scholarship tab. Scholarships for DHS seniors only will be posted in January/February. General scholarships are updated on a regular basis so check the page often.

FAFSA Application Open for the 2022-23 School Year:

In October the 22-23 FAFSA application opened. This is used to determine financial aid which comes in the form of grants or scholarships. It is also used for parents/students to qualify for loans to help subsidize the cost of college. For more information on financial aid go to: https://studentaid.gov/

Individual Plan of Study (IPS):

Every DHS student will have a completed Individual Plan of Study upon graduating from De Soto High School. Students complete different IPS lessons approximately twice each month during seminar. Xello is the platform for IPS and contains all kinds of important information, specific to each student including career matches, personality styles, skills, interests, saved colleges, saved careers, scholarships, etc. Students will review their IPS with their seminar teacher and their parents during spring conferences. This video gives a short summary of why IPS is important and gives students/parents an idea of what is to be expected.

Social-Emotional Lessons (SEL):

DHS seminars are now including SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) activities to help provide tools and resources for students. Upcoming topics include: analyzing emotions, goal setting, perseverance, and managing responses to emotions. The overall health and well-being of our students are important to us. If you are ever concerned about another student or your own, please don’t hesitate to reach out to their counselor or the social worker.

Resources from CollegeBoard:

Parent Action Plan for Seniors

Financial Aid Checklist

FAFSA Resources:


Quick Video Instructions on how to fill out the FAFSA

How to Create Your FSA ID

Types of Federal Student Aid


DHS Student Services Scholarship Page (updated frequently)

Scholarship Search Websites

DHS Counselors and Social Worker

Crissy Johns (A-G): CJohns@usd232.org

Lindsay Hothan (H-N): LHothan@usd232.org

Kaitlin Britt (O-Z): KBritt@usd232.org

Joe Kordalski (Social Worker): Rkordalski@usd232.org

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Kansas State University’s Health Professions Summer Program:

KSU is launching a new health professions program for current high school juniors and seniors. This week long program is for students who are interested in a career in helping others through the health care industry. The program will run from July 10th – 15th. Registration opens on March 14th. For more information, visit https://www.hhs.k-state.edu/summerhealthprogram/

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Scholarships for Seniors:

The DHS Seniors Only Scholarships are now available for seniors to access. We are waiting on two more that will be posted by the end of February. Click on the following link: https://www.usd232.org/Page/3287

  • De Soto Alumni/VFW Scholarship: Application coming soon
  • Trenton Hughes Scholarship: Deadline April 22
  • Casey Blake Johnson Running Scholarship: Deadline April 22
  • Jess Johnson Scholarship (Rotary Club): Deadline April 30

Winners will be announced at the Senior Awards Ceremony that is currently scheduled for May 18th.

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Pro X and KC Scholars Summer Internship Opportunity

KC Scholars is looking for high school students for a 5 week paid summer internship opportunity. Students will need to commit to 25 hours per week and will be paid $1250 for their time. Prior to the internship, students will participate in a workshop to learn how to create a resume, interview tips, and prepare for the ProX Hiring Fair which will lead to their summer internship that is aligned with your interests. Application opens March 11th. For more information, visit https://proxsummer.org/.

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Johnson County Community College – Summer Transportation Institute -

When: Monday – Friday, July 25 – August 5, 8am-5pm

Where: We will start on the main campus of Johnson County Community College each morning.

Participants will be traveling throughout the metro to participate in hands-on

demonstrations at airports, rail yards, trucking centers, waterfront ports, etc.

Cost: $0, all expenses are covered

Who: The camp is open to anyone, but we are targeting female, minority, and disadvantaged

youth who may not be able to attend other camps this summer.

Requirement: Participants must fill out an application. We are limited to 20 participants. The interest

form and course info can be found at www.jccc.edu/jcccnsti.

Selection Criteria:

• Must be entering 9th, 10th, or 11th grade in August.

• Must have completed algebra or will be qualified for enrollment in algebra in August.

• Must have a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

• Must be a KS resident.

• Commit to attend all 10 days of the camp.

• Qualify for either free or reduced lunch

What will take place:

The Johnson County Summer Transportation Institute (JCSTI) will use resources both on and off campus

to allow students to explore in depth regional transportation industries. The transportation curriculum

will be focus on land (rail and trucking), air (air traffic control), and water (inland ports and barge

transportation). While experiencing firsthand the inner workings of these transportation industries,

students will gain knowledge of efforts towards a sustainable transportation system. Further the JCSTI

will partner with the JCCC Center for Sustainability to provide curriculum in sustainable transportation.

The curriculum will also include enhancement activities designed to help students with career planning

and overall professionalism within the workplace.

As an on-going project throughout the camp, students will work in groups on a project to reflect on how

all the modes of transportation come together to move goods. The students will be tasked with planning

how to transport goods across the country using rail, truck, inland waterway, and air. The student

groups will be assessed based on how quickly they can transport the goods, the estimate cost of doing

so, and how much of a carbon footprint their proposed shipping will leave behind. Each day of the camp,

students will collaborate on their project for at least one hour.

For a copy of the application, please contact Mrs. Johns, DHS Counselor

Questions? Please contact Molly Salisbury at summeryouth@jccc.edu.

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