Wildcat Growl

May 15, 2022

Future Ready Wildcats

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


Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,

I hope you were able to attend the DHS Theatre production of Steel Magnolias last week. The cast and crew put together a great performance of the emotion-filled comedy-drama. Great job!

The De Soto High School Track and Field program won both the girls and boys United Kansas Conference Championships. This historic accomplishment is the first conference title for the girls team in 22 years, and the third year-in-a-row the boys have won the UKC title.

Brooke Bundt and Palmer O’Connor were named Girls and Boys UKC Track Athletes of the Year. UKC individual champions include Brooke Bundt, Bella Wiltfong, Ella Capling, Adison Cisneros, Palmer O’Conner, Tyler Schultze, Will Bodenhausen, and Emmett Williams. Coach Sachse is both the boys and girls UKC Coach of the Year. Congrats!

The Girls Swim Team placed 2nd at the UKC Championship meet. It was a great team effort led by Josephine Butler, and Taya Swarts - who earned Co-Swimmer of the Year. Coach Knapp was recognized as the UKC Coach of the Year. Way to go!

The Girls Soccer Team also won a UKC title, and Coach Smith is the UKC Coach of the Year! Congratulations team!

Last weekend DHS took 9 students representing 14 events to the state forensics tournament in Salina. The team finished 7th overall. Medalists included Jacob Dority, Tyler Gillespie, Ryan Handley, Nic Weaver, and Lily Werner. Congratulations!

We are very excited for our senior students. The graduation ceremony is this week (May 21st at 7:00 PM). Seniors picked up their cap and gowns during lunch on Friday, May 13th, and have a few more items to take care of (final exams, completing the check-out form, rehearsal) before the big day. Updated information regarding graduation can be found on our website (here).

While we are hopeful that we will be able to conduct the graduation ceremony outside, a decision regarding the location of the ceremony will be made Friday morning, May 20th. If the event is held at the stadium, tickets will not be needed for admission.

If the event is held inside DHS, tickets will be required for admission as spectator capacity is limited. Each student will be provided 7 tickets when they turn in their check-out form on Wednesday, May 18th. We understand that some families may want additional tickets, but we are unable to accommodate this request. If inside, the event will be livestreamed on the district YouTube site (here).Thank you for understanding.

Senior Awards will take place on May 18th at 7:00 PM in the Performing Arts Center of De Soto High School. An email notification including a list of senior students receiving an award (165) was sent last week. Because seating is limited, this event will be livestreamed on the district YouTube site (here). Please enter through the Activities Center doors.

Senior Breakfast (students only) will begin in the Aux Gym at 9:00AM on May 20th. Graduation rehearsal will follow and attendance is required at rehearsal for students wanting to participate in the graduation ceremony.

Please take note of the second semester final exam schedule. It will be important for students to attend during this time. For the purpose of consistency and clarity, and due to the importance and security of final exams, if students are absent or have to leave town prior to and/or during finals week, they will need to work with the teacher or counselor to make up the finals when they return.

Online Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year is now available through Skyward.

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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Summer Driver's Education Class

Click here for summer driver ed information and sign-up

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State Forensics Results

This weekend we took 9 students representing 14 events to the state forensics tournament in Salina. Our squad finished 7th overall (the best overall finish in recent memory) with 8 of our events advancing to elimination rounds. Of that, we produced four finalists earning themselves medals on the big stage. Click here for more.

Claire McGinn - Impromptu

Kennedy Farrier - Informative & Impromptu

Lucy Mater - Prose & Program of Oral Interp

Maya Rajapakse - Oration (Semifinalist)

Tyler Gillespie - Domestic Extemp (6th place)

Jacob Dority – Duo Interp (6th place)

Ryan Handley – Impromptu (Semifinalist) & Duo Interp (6th place)

Nic Weaver – International Extemp (Semifinalist) & Impromptu (6th place)

Lily Werner – Impromptu (Semifinalist) & International Extemp (6th place)

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We are looking for parents and community members to donate gift cards and other prizes. Our goal is for every senior that attends GRADFEST to leave with a gift. If you would like to donate please drop gifts off at the DHS front office or to Mrs. Friday’s classroom (113). We appreciate all of the support our families and communities give!

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From the Nurse

“Medication in the nurse’s office needs to be picked up by the end of the school day on May 24th or it will be disposed of. Please email the nurse mfarverlightcap@usd232.or if you have questions.”

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.
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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

Marge Eckard (H-N): meckard@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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The City of Lenexa is Hiring

Listed below are the opportunities that we currently have available:


Park Maintenance Workers in our Turf Division

Maintenance workers in our Street and Stormwater Divisions

Construction Project Manager- Public Works Department

Equipment Mechanic

Police Officer

Police Dispatcher

Custodian/Building Service Workers -Evening Shifts

Assistant Rec Center Manager

Recreation Supervisor- Sports

Forestry Technician

Park Maintenance Workers in our Facilities Division

Part-time and Seasonal opportunities:

Equipment Operator (Field Mowing)

Park Attendants

Park Maintenance Worker (Landscaping Division)

Recreation Program Instructor - Preschool and Youth Sports

Group Fitness Instructor

For more information on these opportunities and to apply please have visit our website at www.lenexa.com/jobs.

If you have any questions on this information, please contact me at 913-477-7574.

Thanks again for your assistance.

Colleen Bowen

Human Resources Specialist

City of Lenexa

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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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Roo Honors Academy @ UMKC, June 20-24

Roo Honors Academy invites high school students to participate in a fun and intellectually engaging one-week summer enrichment program, June 20-24, 2022, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Honors Program. RHA 2022 will offer four non-credit classes on: the sociology of sports, public health and infrastructure, communication, and criminal justice.

Participants will choose one morning course and one afternoon course taught by UMKC faculty members. All classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the Volker campus, near the Country Club Plaza. Students have the option of living in the dorms for the week for an additional fee. On Friday, June 24th, families and students are invited to attend a dinner and the student exhibition. Dinner will begin at 5:00PM, and the students will showcase what they learned throughout the week.

Students need to provide their own transportation to and from the campus. Lunch will be provided throughout the week. Students who successfully complete their courses will receive a Recognition of Achievement certificate from the UMKC Honors Program and a Roo Honors Academy T-shirt.

This selective program is open to thirty students in grades 9-12. Students receiving free or reduced lunch are eligible for scholarships.

The deadline to apply is June 1, 2022. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Please click the link below for the application.


For more information, see the Roo Honors Academy page on our website, or email Director of Student Services Margo Gamache at gamachem@umkc.edu, cc’d here.

Additionally, we would be happy to visit your school to discuss the UMKC Honors Program as a whole. Please email Margo Gamache to schedule a visit.

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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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Foley Equipment ThinkBig Internship Program

This is paid internship program where high school graduates can:

  • Earn an Associate of Science Degree
  • Receive hands-on training on Caterpillar equipment
  • Participate in a 7 week paid internship each semester
  • Receive $14,000 worth of tools (theirs to keep during and after the program, provided minimum qualifications are met)
  • Gain full time employment upon graduation
  • Receive scholarships
  • Receive tuition reimbursement

For more information click here: Foley ThinkBig Internship.

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Technology Help Desk

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

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.