Wildcat Growl

March 6, 2022

Future Ready Wildcats

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


Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,

We have so many positive things happening at DHS.

Congrats to both the Boys and Girls Basketball Teams for qualifying for the 5A State Championship at White Auditorium in Emporia. The Boys Team will play Blue Valley Southwest at 8:00 pm on Wednesday, March 9th. The Girls Team will play Salina Central at 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 10th This is the third consecutive year the Boys Basketball team has qualified, and the fourth time in seven years for the Girls Team. Good Luck, Wildcats!

Congratulations to Cole James and Lilly Champlain. Both are being recognized as our Wildcats of the Month for February. Cole and Lilly are involved in a variety of activities and we appreciate their positive contribution to DHS!

We also want to congratulate our Athletic Trainer, Kara Steen, and our SRO, Deputy Brad Newson. Mrs. Steen and Deputy Newson are being recognized as the staff Wildcats of the Month for February. We are lucky to have both as members of the staff at DHS. Congrats!

Congrats to our Boys Bowling Team. They placed 8th at the KSHSAA State meet last Friday at North Rock Lanes in Wichita. Great job, Wildcats!

Congratulations to Mr. Ben Stamey! Mr. Stamey has been nominated to represent DHS as Kansas Teacher of the Year. The next step in the process is to determine the USD232 Secondary Teacher of the Year. Good luck, Mr. Stamey!

The Arts Council of Johnson County (ACJC) announced that five finalists have been nominated from the De Soto School District for the 2022 Shooting Stars Awards. Our finalists include Mathys Moore for Theater Performance, Alexsandra Bonilla for Voice Classical, Waverly Altis for 2D Visual Art, Rachael Mallozzi for Literature, and Ryan Handley for Winds & Percussion. All finalists will be recognized and the Shooting Stars scholarship award recipients will be announced at the virtual Shooting Stars Gala on Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Thank you to Mr. Brett Hothan and Dr. Johnny Lewis for partnering with some of our staff and students to start our own DHS Unified Special Olympics Team. At the last meeting we had 31 students, both athletes and peers, participate.

DHS is currently involved in the DHS Fitness Challenge! DHS Unified is competing against KC metro high schools for the highest average amount of active minutes. Minutes of partners and athletes each count. Teachers, staff, peers, and athletes all may participate. Email Mr. Lewis (jlewis1@usd232.org) to get on the email news list if you haven’t received it or to ask questions.

On Saturday, February 26th, the DHS Science Olympiad team competed in the regional tournament with other Northeast Kansas high schools. They placed 11th overall out of the 20 regional teams and snagged the last qualifying spot for the state competition. This will be the team’s sixth consecutive year attending state at WSU in April.

Next week is National School Social Worker Week. We set up an easy way for everyone to send Mr. Joe Kordalski a message of 'thanks', and hope to be able to share positive messages with him throughout the week. Here is the link: https://forms.gle/rzQKFFCL5v2pfRSx7

We are in the final stages of meeting with students regarding course selection for next year. On Tuesday, 3/22/2022, we will mail confirmation of those requests to parents. Please review the selections and let us know if there is an error or needed change. The deadline for changes to a student’s course request for the 2022-2023 school year is 4/22/2022.

The end of the third quarter is Friday, 3/11/2022. Spring Break begins Monday 3/14/2022 and continues through Monday, 3/21/2022. Students return to a Green day on Tuesday, 3/22/2022. The DHS main offices are closed: Monday 3/14/2022 through Friday,3/18/2022.

Finally, the recent event at Olathe East High School causes us to reflect on how we provide safety and support for our students and staff. This Tuesday, we encourage our students and staff to wear orange and navy in support of the Olathe East community.

This week's spirit dress-up days:

Monday: March Madness - College Apparel

Tuesday: In support of Olathe East - Orange and Navy

Wednesday: In support of Boys Basketball - Forever Green Shirt/Green Out

Thursday: In support of Girls Basketball - Forever Green Shirt/Green Out

Friday: Last day before Spring Break - Floral Friday (Hawaiian wear)

Thanks, and have a great week.

Sam Ruff


De Soto High School

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Best School Districts in Kansas 2022

De Soto District Ranked Second! Click here to read more.

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Follow us on Twitter

Click here to follow DHS on Twitter: @DeSotoWildcats

DHS Kansas Teacher of the Year Nominee Congratulations Mr. Stamey!

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Text Alerts

Sign up to be notified of school closers and other alerts within the district.

DHS Bowling going to State. Good Luck!

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Vaping Myths and Facts

Click here to learn more about Vaping from Children's Mercy Hospital

Science Olympiad Regional Results

On Saturday, February 26th, the DHS Science Olympiad team competed in the regional tournament with other Northeast Kansas high schools. They placed 11th overall out of the 20 regional teams and snagged the last qualifying spot for the state competition. This will be the team’s sixth consecutive year attending state at WSU in April.

In addition to qualifying for state, the following teams brought home placements in their events:

Dynamic Planet, 2nd place: Lauren Fandre and Zach Myers

WIFI Lab, 4th place: Scott Blanck and Tanner Chase

Green Generation, 5th place: Alex Boresow and Lauren Fandre

Please congratulate and the following students; they appreciate your support.

Seniors: Scott Blanck (team captain), Tanner Chase, Lindsay Kellogg

Juniors: Alex Boresow, Lauren Fandre, Zach Myers

Sophomores: Daniel Morozov, Isabella Holwick, Isabelle Butler, Cael Province

Freshmen: Diego Diaz, Evan Johnsson, Kiera Slocum

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Forensics Results

DHS Forensics had lots of finalists and new state qualifiers.


POI Lucy-2nd *State Qualifier

DUO Rose & Hannah- 5th

DI Rose- 3rd

DX Kennedy- 3rd

OO Maya- 3rd & Claire- 5th

PRO Lucy- 4th

INF Kennedy- 6th

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DHS Wind Ensemble performed at the KMEA State Convention

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Eudora FFA Floriculture and Vet Science Results

Floriculture A-Team: 1st Place

1st high individual: Reed Richards (De Soto)

2nd high individual: Taylor Hadl

4th high individual: Jack Habjan (Basehor-Linwood)

8th high individual: Delaney Krueger (De Soto)

10th high individual: Sydney Chappell (Mill Valley)

Floriculture B-Team: 1st Place

2nd high individual: Justin Flagor (De Soto)

5th high individual: Avery Bowlin (De Soto)

10th high individual: Shayla Fosburgh (Mill Valley)

Vet Science A Team: 4th Place

4th high individual: Jenna Milford

Technology Help Desk

Having issues with district provided technology? Click here to get in touch with K12.

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Advanced Placement Seminar

Dear Parents of College-Bound Students:

Recently, De Soto High School has added a course called Advanced Placement Seminar that is specifically designed to help students prepare for and succeed in Advanced Placement and future college courses. Not to be confused with our Seminar class, which is a study hall, Advanced Placement Seminar is a full class meant to help college-bound students improve the skills that they will need at the next level.

In AP Seminar, students will encounter both team and individual projects that help prepare them for the next level. The projects enhance their chances of being successful in college in the following ways:

- Develop Web Literacy Skills – Students learn how to navigate the obstacles of finding good information on the web, avoid misinformation, and select quality research, both for college courses and their own personal lives.

- Grow and Mature as Leaders and Teammates in an Academic Setting – The team project requires students to learn how to navigate interpersonal challenges and find success while supporting their groupmates. Students each write a paper from a different perspective of the same challenging issue that they have selected to explore as a team and use that research to build a team argument that they present to the class.

- Supports and Supplements Other Advanced Courses – The course builds general writing, reading, speaking, listening, and collaboration skills, which help across a variety of different content areas. It enhances Pre-AP and AP English classes with further reading and writing. It works on reading informative texts like what might be featured in AP Biology or AP European History. It helps students organize and keep track of long-term projects. It helps students improve both timed and formal writing like what they will find across a variety of demanding, college-level courses. It allows them to develop a comfort level with giving presentations to other learners.

- Manageable Course Load that Helps Students Get Ready to Be Successful in College Classes – While there is consistent homework in the class, the homework is designed to be manageable for students who are still new to college-level coursework. A single, dedicated study-hall session in regular seminar will usually be enough to complete the homework.

- Take it Any Year and Reap the Benefits – Advanced Placement Seminar is a great starter AP course for sophomores, a wonderful supplement to typical junior classes like AP Language and Composition and AP U.S. History, and an outstanding course for seniors who are making a final push to prepare for college.

- Gain College Credit and an AP Capstone Diploma – Students can gain credits that will transfer as either a research credit or an English credit at most universities. If the student moves on to AP Research and takes four other AP tests in high school, they will receive a special commendation from Advanced Placement that demonstrates to colleges that they are ready for the highest-level courses.

Even if your student has already selected classes for next year, it is not too late to switch into the course. We would love to have your advanced teen student in our class next year.


Phillip Hamilton

AP Language and Composition, AP Seminar, and AP Research

USD232 Secondary Teacher of the Year, 2016

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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.

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.


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

Mentor Kansas Young Leaders Council

KSDE is looking for high school students for the Mentor Kansas Young Leaders Council

Mentor Kansas is searching for five inspiring youth leaders to form a Young Leaders Council. Applications are being accepted now through March 18, 2022, at www.mentorkansas.org.

Applicants need to:

· Be either a Kansas junior or senior in high school or enrolled in a General Education Development (GED) program.

· Be 18 years of age or younger.

· Demonstrate a solid commitment to volunteerism and service.

American Legion Boys State of Kansas

Applications are now available for Boys State of Kansas. Boys State is week-long camp opportunity for current sophomores and juniors to strengthen confidence, inspire leadership, build bonds of friendship, as well as an introduction to civic responsibility. It will be held June 5th – 11th at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. For more information and to apply for Boys State of Kansas visit www.ksbstate.org. Applications must be submitted by March 31st.

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

  • DHS CAT Booster Scholarship: Application coming soon!
  • De Soto Alumni/VFW Scholarship: Application coming soon!
  • Olathe Health Center Health Care Scholarship: Deadline February 22
  • De Soto Teachers Association Scholarship: Deadline April 15
  • Shawnee Vision Care Scholarship: Deadline April 15
  • McCarthy Auto Group Scholarship: Deadline April 15
  • 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.

Kansas CTE Scholar

Kansas CTE Scholar applications are due by March 1, 2022. The updated Kansas CTE Scholar Guide includes a checklist and online application link.


· Must be a graduating senior

· Completed (or upon success completion of current course enrollment) 3.0 CTE credits with at least 2.0 of above the introductory level. Credits can be earned across pathways.

· GPA in CTE Courses above the introductory level must be 3.5 or higher

· Technical skill attainment

· Civic engagement or outstanding community service

· Work based learning experience

· Career vision reflection

Students who earn Kansas CTE Scholar will be recognized in the following ways:

· Certificate with student’s name

· Graduation honor cord

· Commemorative pin

· Statewide news release

· KSDE website recognition

· Sample award script will be provided for local use

HirePaths blog to share with parents: Kansas CTE Scholar Program to Honor Outstanding High School Seniors

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Garmin Hosting Panel

Garmin will be hosting a panel of women who work in aviation to share more about their career and what drew them to the field.


Kansas Compulsory Attendance Statutes

Regular attendance is required of all pupils enrolled in elementary and secondary school under Kansas compulsory attendance statutes. It is a parental responsibility under Kansas statutes to require the regular school attendance “of any child who has reached the age of seven (7) years and is under the age of eighteen (18) years,” unless the child is exempted by statute.

District Policy for Excused Absences

The State of Kansas delegates to the Board of Education the responsibility of determining reasons for excusable absences.

The following are reasons for excusable absence:

1. Personal illness. A physician’s note will be required for chronic absenteeism.

2. Serious illness or death of a member of the family or close friend.

3. Obligatory religious observance of the student’s own faith.

4. Participation in a school-approved activity.

5. Physician or dentist appointments that can be verified by appointment card.

6. Court appearance that can be verified through court services’ officer.

7. Verifiable, emergency situations requiring immediate action at the request of the parent. Limit of five.

8. An absence that has been requested in writing and approved in advance by the building administrator.

Parents will be notified after five, and then again after ten absences making them aware of their student’s attendance record. A student who is absent from class or school without an excusable reason, as outlined above, will be considered unexcused. An unexcused absence for one or more classes will receive disciplinary consequences and credit may not be given for missed classes.

Procedure for reporting absences

1. Parents or legal guardians are requested to call the 24-hour attendance voice mail line (913- 667-6259) on the day of the absence. If a call is not received the day after the absence, the absence may be considered unexcused.

2. A telephone call will be required each day the student is absent unless prior arrangements have been made.

3. When reporting an absence, the parent or guardian should give the following information: • His or her name and relationship to student • student’s name and grade in school (please spell the name) • reason for absence • the date and hours of absence

4. Upon returning to school the day following an absence, the student should go directly to class. If there is a question about the absence, the Main Office will contact the student.

5. If a student leaves the school building during the school day, the student must sign out with the Main Office. Students must sign in at the Main Office upon returning to school that day or arriving at school after the school day begins, even if returning or leaving during a passing period. Failure to properly sign in or out could result in the student’s absence being marked as unexcused.

Securly App

Parents can have peace of mind in knowing your student’s search history and time on their device. See your student’s online activity in real-time and catch up with weekly email snapshots by signing up with the Securly app. Follow the link for more information and directions.