Ray Marsh Newsletter

Aug. 2nd, 2018

Welcome Back

We are extremely excited to begin the new school year! This year, our theme will be Superheroes-We Are All Meant for Super Things. You can expect to arrive to the first half day of school greeted by many superheroes fist bumping and high-fiving the students as they arrive.

We are planning for a fun welcome back on August 10th, full of surprises and action for the kids. As a reminder, our half-day dismissal is 12:30p and students are fed lunch beginning as early at 10:30 and ending with the bell.

Important- We do not have any adult supervision in the front of the school until 7:45a. Students should not be dropped off prior to 7:45, unless they are joining us for breakfast which begins service at 7:40. Students enter the building at 8:00a and are considered tardy if not in their classroom by 8:10a.

Please arrange to pickup students at our 3:10 dismissal time. All half-day dismissals occur at 12:30p.

Sneak a Peek

Please join us Aug. 8th for the Ray Marsh annual Sneak a Peek evening. The fun begins at 4:30p and shuts down at 5:45p. Please plan to come and go as you please, as students meet the teacher, drop off supplies, and enjoy a treat compliments of our wonderful PTA.

Birthday Celebrations

Classroom Birthday Celebrations

This message is to inform you of a change Marsh Elementary is making to address the health and safety of students. As we continue to work toward transforming our schools and classrooms to enhance student safety, health, and learning, we have found some traditional ways of doing things may no longer be what is best for students. Due to the reasons listed below, we will now celebrate student birthdays in ways that do not involve edible treats.

1. Safety: The safety of all students is our top priority. Current statistics show that 8% of children have a food allergy and more than 15% of school-aged children with food allergies have had an allergic reaction at school. A Center for Disease Control (CDC) study released in 2013 reported food allergies among children increased 50% between 1997 and 2011.

2. Inclusion: Sending in a food treat to the classroom to celebrate can exclude those

children who have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. In addition, it is a hardship for some families to provide treats for an entire classroom.

3. Healthy Lifestyles: Good nutrition and the value of healthy food choices are often taught in the classroom. However, most treats brought in for birthdays are not nutritious (cupcakes, cookie cake, donuts, etc.). Many times students have multiple treats in one day. The CDC reports that obesity has doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the last 30 years with approximately 17% of children being obese.

Important Information:

· Curriculum related food items may be brought in for learning purposes at the teacher’s discretion.

· Three elementary parties per year may be celebrated with food.

· Teachers/staff are responsible to follow all safety measures when providing food in the classroom.

· All foods/beverages provided to students will be labeled by the manufacturer (exception of whole fruits/vegetables that have not been altered in any way).

· All labeled food items should be checked by the classroom teacher and school nurse for food allergens.

· No homemade food items should be provided to/shared with the classroom.

· No carbonated sodas or energy drinks will be provided to students.

· Incentives/celebrations that do not involve food will be encouraged.

· All foods/beverages sold to students must meet Smart Snacks in Schools guidelines.

· Teachers will communicate how birthdays are celebrated in their classroom (special seating, MVP time, birthday crown, line leader, etc.).

Every child’s birthday is extremely important to recognize and celebrate. We thank you for your understanding and support as we continue to find the most appropriate ways to meet the changing health, safety, and learning needs of our students. We look forward to a great 2018-2019 school year!

My Volunteer Pal (MVP)

My Volunteer Pal (MVP)

Thank you for your interest in the Shawnee Mission School District’s My Volunteer Pal (MVP) program! Educating and caring for today’s students is a collaborative partnership, and volunteers play a valuable role in making our classrooms, schools and district great!

In as little as thirty minutes per week, you can make a positive difference in the life of a student. The Shawnee Mission School District MVP Program connects adult volunteers with students ages four to 18. MVPs can assist in a wide range of school activities, including mentoring, volunteering in the classroom, joining classes and schools for field trips, tutoring in a variety of subjects, or simply being a positive, adult role model in the life of a student. No special skills are required; only a willingness to commit your time and energy and the ability to develop a good relationship with a young person. Volunteers enjoy flexible schedules, and most activities take place on school grounds, during school hours.

Examples of opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Chaperones for SMSD-approved Field Trips*
    • Examples: band, orchestra, camps, Wildwood, Cheerleading, Dance Trips, DECA, journalism, thespians, sports, etc.
  • Chat ‘n Chew
  • Chess Club
  • Mad Science**
  • Master Gardeners**
  • Mentors
  • Classroom volunteers.
  • Tutors
  • Watch Dogs

*Refer to SMSD BOE Policy IFCB for a definition of USD 512 Approved Field Trips and Non-Sanctioned Field Trips.

**MVP training is required anytime a student is handed off to another adult before or after school who is not the parent, guardian, parent approved adult, or school employee (i.e. after-school activities).

Steps to Become a MVP Volunteer (please do these steps in order):

  1. Complete an online MVP application. Visit https://www.smsd.org/families/volunteer-mvp for more information.
    • It is recommended that MVP applicant’s begin the process at least six weeks prior to a scheduled event or activity.
    • Applicants must complete the online application before they can do fingerprinting. Fingerprinting must be repeated every three years.
  1. Attend a MVP training session. District training dates and times are posted on the “Volunteering” page on the district’s website:https://www.smsd.org/families/volunteer-mvp. Check with specific schools for additional training opportunities.
    • Morning MVP sessions, which combine the training and fingerprint screenings, are limited to 12 participants and require a reservation. Please call 913-993-6447 or email volunteer@smsd.org to check for availability and make a reservation.
  1. Complete Fingerprinting. Drop-in fingerprint screening is available at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st Street, Shawnee Mission, KS 66204, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30a.m. to 12:00p.m. and from 1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.
    • Fingerprint screenings can only be done AFTER attending a training session AND completing the online application.

Thank you again for your interest in the SMSD MVP Program. We are excited to work with you toward helping ALL students succeed! Please e-mail volunteer@smsd.org or call (913) 993-6447 for more information.


  • School Carnival and Field Day volunteers are okay w/out MVPtraining/approval. These volunteers should be vetted/approved at the building level.
  • Parent/Guardian lunch w/ his/her student is okay w/out MVPtraining/approval. Parents eating lunch in the lunchroom w/ a student should be vetted/approved at the building level and must check-in through Raptor.
  • Guest Speakers are okay w/out MVP training/approval. Guest speakers should be vetted/approved at the building level and must check-in through Raptor.
  • Very important—applicants must complete the online application before they can do their fingerprints. The online application can be found here: https://www.smsd.org/families/volunteer-mvp

Our New Staff

There will be some new faces at in the hallways this year, as well as many familiar faces! Below is a quick introduction of our new staff. We are extremely excited to have them on board!

New Teachers to our building

  • Kindel Baxter-
Joins our 6th grade team. Kindel brings a wealth of experience from Crestview Elementary.

  • Denise Whisler-
Joins our 6th grade team. Denise also brings a great deal of experience as an instructor from Sunflower Elementary.

  • Baylee Wells-
Joins our 5th grade team. Baylee is a graduate from Washburn University and will be in her first year of full-time teaching.

  • Ariel Starr-
Joins our 2nd grade team. Ariel is a graduate from Emporia State University and will be in her first year of full-time teaching.

  • Niccole Winney-
Niccole will be our new music teacher. She is very involved already in the KC area youth choirs and joins us from the Atlanta, GA area. This will be her first full-time teaching assignment.

  • Elaina "Lainie" Satsky

Lainie will be our new librarian. She joins us from TX after recently moving to the area. She is a former principal and is currently taking classes to further her education as a library media specialist.

Grade Level Teachers for 18-19SY


  • Miranda Nilges
  • Susan Peters
  • Carol Stagner

1st Grade

  • Crystal Albo
  • Kerri Hansford
  • Jennifer Price
  • Leesa Yates

2nd Grade

  • Leah Kellerman
  • Jodi Miller
  • Annie (Christy) Self - new last name; married!
  • Ariel Starr

3rd Grade

  • Amy Frick
  • Elizabeth Hackworth
  • Richard Hiegert

4th Grade

  • Sheena Brillhart
  • Darren Roberts
  • Blair Smith

5th Grade

  • Josh Jahnke
  • Kathleen Palermo
  • Kristyn Shultz
  • Baylee Wells

6th Grade

  • Kindel Baxter
  • Nate Mitchell

  • Ryan Wagoner
  • Denise Whisler


  • Art-Julia (Shaw) Mandl-new last name, married!
  • Library-Lainie Satsky
  • Music-Niccole Winney
  • PE-Geri Bachman
  • Band-Brett Eichman
  • Strings-Brittany Wasko


  • Reading-Lesa Hoofnagle
  • Speech-Lori Richardson
  • Resource-Kathryn Schiller
  • Resource-Heather Sommer
  • Instructional Coach-Krista Carson
  • Social Work-Megan Mahoney
  • School Pychologist-Emily Dove
  • Nurse-Cathy Hsieh
  • Clerical-Kay Findling
  • Custodial-Jerome Toliver