The Foundation

A publication of the Harrisonville Public School Foundation

Foundation recognizes seniors for academic excellence

On May 12, Harrisonville High School seniors were honored during the Senior Excellence in Academics Celebration, a joint effort of Harrisonville High School and the Harrisonville Public School Foundation. During the event, the Foundation recognized Excellence in Academics recipients and scholarship winners. A dessert reception followed the event.

The Foundation’s Excellence in Academics program honors students who complete the year in the top 15% of their class. Seniors honored as first-year Excellence in Academics recipients were Payton Baker, Melaina Beachner, Morgan Kampe, Alana Lopez, Diego San Nicolas, Skyla Thresher, and Madelyn Wilson. Second-year recipients were Haylee Bruton, Desta Mitchell, and Caleb Verstraete. Those earning the honor for the third year were Makiah Clark, Braeden Elifrits, Morgan Evans, and Nick Saffels.

Four-year recipients, who received a $500 scholarship from the Foundation, were Isaiah Bliss, Anna Brauer, Andrew Bullock, Cheyenne Cesonis, Maria Cesonis, Isaac Chiodini, Macie Collings, Connor Everhart, Katie Fitzgerald, Piper Foreman, Emily Joseph, Greta Maxwell, Kylie Meeks, Jaxon Morris, Joshua Pesek, Logan Quinley, Kenneth Reed, Jace Reynolds, Jenna Schrock, and Kaylee Turner.

Four-year recipients also had the opportunity to recognize their most influential teachers and pay it forward through the Bill Mills Leaving A Legacy grant program. Those selected as most influential teachers were Amy Schroeder, Bill Kay, Dr. Roseann Hoffman, Missy Eddleman, Josh Bebout, Sheria Dawson, Megan Bathgate, Pam Joseph, BryAnn Middleton, Gunnar Person, Virginia DeVenney, Eric DeVenney, Kyle Crutchfield, Ben Johnson, and Jake Kohl. To read more about these teachers' impact, go to

The Bill Mills Leaving A Legacy program allows four-year recipients to designate a school program or department to receive a $250 mini grant from the Foundation. Programs selected for the mini grants this year were DECA, wrestling, girls’ soccer, cross country, National Art Honor Society, Music Makers, girls’ basketball, the HHS Spanish department, the HHS math department, the CCC Networking & Cybersecurity program, robotics, the Royal Regiment, and Project Lead the Way.

Corporate subscribers for the Excellence in Academics program were ABBCO, Commerce Bank and Newkirk Novak. Scholarship subscribers were Edward Jones Investments, Hollis+Miller Architects, the Roach family, Shelton & Sons, Sherwood Community Bank, American Heritage Realtors, and the Crowley family. Additional subscribers were Atkinson Funeral Home, CBIZ, Franklin Properties, Golden Classics Jewelers, Harrisonville Family Medicine, Hawthorn Bank, Patrons & Farmers Mutual of Missouri, Reece Nichols Smith Realty, Rotary Club of Harrisonville. Sonic Drive In, Steve D. Croy - State Farm Insurance, and Walmart Distribution Center.

Big picture

Foundation honors Educator of the Year

The district hosted its annual End-of-the-Year Celebration on Friday, May 20. During the event, the Foundation announced the 2022 Educator of the Year. Congratulations to Sara Doherty, Harrisonville Elementary School special education teacher.

Doherty is in her fifth year of teaching special education, but she has been in the district for six years. In her first year, she was as a computer aide. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Central Missouri and a master's degree in special education from the Western Governors University.

Doherty was selected for the honor by a panel of judges from outside the community who interviewed six finalists. The finalists were chosen by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation and district administration selection committee based on nominations received from parents, students, and Harrisonville Schools’ staff members.

Nominations for Doherty said, “Sara took on a big change mid year at HES that has changed the way we can service our students who have behavior IEPs. She works to support classroom teachers so that these students can be in the classroom with their teachers and peers as much as possible. Her days are definitely not always easy. However, she takes on each day with love, grace, accountability, and a giant smile.”

The Harrisonville Public School Foundation will provide Doherty with a $500 grant.

Foundation presents nearly $34,000 in scholarships

In addition to disbursing Excellence in Academics scholarships, the Foundation oversees 15 named scholarships. Some are annual gifts and others are endowments created by families in memory of loved ones. During the Senior Excellence in Academics Ceremony, the Foundation presented 20 scholarships valued at $33,750. The scholarships and recipients are as follows:

  • The Weaver & Young Families Memorial Scholarship Award in Public Service & Governance ($1,000) - Braeden Elifrits
  • The Joseph Hardin Gwathmey and Laura May Gwathmey Memorial Scholarship Award for Engineering or Business ($750) - Isaac Chiodini*
  • The Linda Dickey Memorial Scholarship ($2,500, renewable for another $2,500) - Presley Zaring*
  • The G.M. and Kathleen Allen Memorial Scholarship ($1,000) - Chloe Shepard*The Allison W. Smith Memorial Scholarship ($2,000) - Skyla Thresher
  • The Bob Hodge Achievement Award ($2,000, renewable for three more years for $2,000 each year) - Kylie Meeks
  • The Stephen & Virginia Childress Athletic Award ($1,500) - Jace Reynolds
  • The Scott T. Morse Memorial Scholarship ($1,500) - Greta Maxwell
  • The William G. and Nettie Z. Deacon Scholarships ($1,000 renewable for $1,000) - Melaina Beachner, Emily Joseph, & Madelyn Wilson
  • The John & Wanda Foster Construction Trades Scholarship ($500, renewable for $500) - Jaxon Menshing
  • The John & Wanda Foster Ag Scholarship ($500, renewable for $500) - Morgan Kampe
  • The Samuel A Sloan, Evelyn Sloan, and Beulah Sloan McCoy Scholarship ($1,500) - Katelyn Gillespie & Morgan Kampe
  • The Donna Pfautsch HATS Scholarship ($1,000) - Piper Foreman
  • The Wendell Yeager Rotary Scholarships ($500) - Isaiah Bliss, Braeden Elifrits, Chloe Shepard
  • The Katie Rios Memorial Scholarship ($1,000) - Paige Quinter
  • The Cara Roberts Memorial Scholarship ($500) - Kaylee Turner

To read more about these scholarships and the selected students, visit our website at

*Indicates a scholarship awarded for the first time in 2022

Big picture

Annual golf tournament set for Sept. 16

Team, individual golfer and sponsor openings are available for the Harrisonville Public School Foundation’s Annual Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022

The tournament will take place at Hoots Hollow at Country Creek Golf Course beginning at 8 a.m. on Sept. 16.

Registration is available on-line at, or pick up a form up at the district’s administrative offices, 503 S. Lexington. The registration fee is $80 per golfer or $320 per team. It includes green fees, a cart, and lunch following the tournament.

The tournament will be played as a four-person scramble with two flights. Prizes will be awarded to the top teams in each flight, as well as for closest to the pin and longest drive.

Golf tournament sponsors may choose from three levels: True Wildcat ($1000), Royal Blue ($500), and White ($125). True Wildcat and Royal Blue sponsors receive one complimentary team registration for the golf tournament and all sponsors receive publicity on all tournament materials and signs. The Foundation is also looking for goodie bag prizes (80). Sponsors may commit their support at

Monies raised through this event will fund foundation programming including teacher grants for innovative classroom programs that enhance the curriculum, the Excellence in Academics program, teacher scholarships that allow educators to enhance their learning, and district grants.

For more information about the tournament, please contact Jill Filer at 380-2727, ext. 1224 or

Foundation presents new scholarship honoring Linda Dickey

The Harrisonville Public School Foundation presented a new scholarship in May. The Linda Dickey Memorial Scholarship provides $5,000 during a two-year period to selected recipients. It may award funding to two graduating seniors each year. Selected students must express an interest in pursuing careers in education.

Linda’s husband, Bill Dickey, established the scholarship through an endowment with the Foundation. The Foundation named Presley Zaring as the scholarship’s first recipient at the 2022 Senior Excellence in Academics Ceremony.

Linda Dickey was born on Nov. 25, 1948, and graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1966.

She received an associate's degree from Stephens College and master’s degree from Webster University. She was an elementary teacher with Harrisonville Schools from 1970 until her retirement in 2003. She enjoyed mentoring and educating students of all ages throughout her career. She was even awarded the Crystal Apple Award by Gary Lezak in 1997.

She married Bill on July 3, 1982, and their family includes two sons, Kevin and William.

She passed away on July 7, 2021.

Two inducted into Wall of Fame

The Harrisonville Public School Foundation, in partnership with the Harrisonville School District, inducted Harrisonville High School alumni George T. Sweitzer, Jr. and Dr. Julie Gaddie into the Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame on Feb. 18.

Sweitzer graduated from HHS in 1939 and was inducted posthumously for his service to our country and leadership in the community. He was represented by his grandson, Gabe Sweitzer.

Gaddie is a 1991 HHS graduate and was honored for her commitment to improving healthcare and education in her community.

They were inducted into the Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame between basketball games. They were also honored during a public reception in the high school library.

To read the honorees' full bios, go to

Foundation presents spring teacher grants

Teachers and students in the Harrisonville School District recently received more than $2,800 in grants from the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.

Throughout the 20 years of the teacher grant program, more than $123,000 has been presented to teachers. The goal of the program is to enhance the education of Harrisonville students by encouraging and recognizing new educational approaches and concepts that are not currently funded by the district.

Teacher grants were awarded to the following:

  • Crystal Nofsinger, Harrisonville Elementary School Life Skills, to purchase kitchen cookware, utensils, plates, cups, and small appliances to use in their classroom kitchen to help teach students about meal and snack preparation. Students will not only learn practical cooking skills, but also gain understanding about how to make healthy choices and budgets.

  • Amy Wilson, Harrisonville High School Life Skills, to expand the students’ participation in event planning and implementation. Each year, the class has a holiday party, but next year, students will plan, budget, and purchase items needed for the event. Teacher grant funds will provide gift cards for the students to use when shopping, so they can experience using a digital payment system.

  • Amy Kump, HHS science, to purchase personal EKG monitors for use in the anatomy and physiology class. Students will be able to take a 30 second EKG of their own heart function and study the printouts to learn about cardiac output, stroke volume, and other heart rhythms.

  • Josh Bebout, HHS math, to purchase a classroom set of graphing calculators.

  • Wendy Courter, McEowen Elementary fifth grade, for "The Building Fact Fluency: A Toolkit for Multiplication & Division." This kit provides resources and games to help students build their multiplication and division facts through the use of strategies, not rote memorization.

  • Kelsey Hilton, Harrisonville Middle School Life Skills, for a dishwasher to use in the classroom kitchen. The appliance will help to teach students practical life skills for independent living. This grant will be met through an in-kind donation.

Big picture

Student headed to Missouri Scholars Academy with Foundation support

Harrisonville High School sophomore Chloe Jackson has been selected to participate in the 2022 Missouri Scholars Academy. The academy has been a three-week long residential program hosted at the University of Missouri for 330 of Missouri’s academically talented students. This year’s event will be held June 12-July 2.

The Missouri Scholars Academy gives participants an opportunity to pursue studies that differ from traditional approaches to education. Guest lectures, forums, films, and other events during the academy reinforce and extend the curriculum.

Since 1996, the Missouri Scholars Academy has provided a unique program of intensive education, extracurricular, and social opportunities to attendees.

Selection into the academy is based on test scores, grade point average, and essays. The Harrisonville Public School Foundation covers tuition expenses for HHS students who attend.

8th grader earns Pfautsch HATS Scholarship

The Harrisonville Public School Foundation is proud to announce that Ayden Cunningham, an 8th grader, has received the Donna Pfautsch HATS Scholarship. HMS principal Chris Grantham presented the award during a recent HATS class.

The Foundation disburses Pfautsch HATS Scholarship funds to recipients at the time of their graduation from Harrisonville High School.

The scholarship is awarded to an eighth-grade HATS student based on academic excellence; diverse personal, academic, and community interests; a love for learning; and use of talent, imagination, and teamwork to accomplish goals, address challenges, and solve problems. It is funded through an endowment created by the Pfautsch family.

Mark Twain book grant becomes annual gift

Last year, the Foundation added a line item to its budget to fund an annual Mark Twain Award grant. The funds allow McEowen Elementary School to purchase extra Mark Twain Award books for the school's library. This year's grant was presented to library media specialist Tonya Ours.

Each year, the Missouri Association of School Librarians selects 12 books as Mark Twain nominees. McEowen fourth- and fifth-graders who read all 12 nominees and five previous Mark Twain winners are named Mark Twain Readers.

The books are very popular in the library, so the Foundation's funding helps to ensure all students have the opportunity to read these books.

Schools earn more than $7,000 in Major Saver proceeds

The Harrisonville Public School Foundation and Harrisonville School District recently received checks for the proceeds from the Major Saver fundraiser held earlier this year.

The proceeds from Major Saver discount card sales are split equally between the Foundation and the participating schools.

Overall proceeds totaled $14,085. Harrisonville Early Childhood Center earned $1,346.25; Harrisonville Elementary received $3,318.75; and McEowen Elementary earned $2,366.25.

The 2022 participating businesses were Mazzio’s, Best Burrito, Apple Barrel, Sonic, Dunkin’ Donuts, Suzy Q’s, MOD pizza, Dairy Queen, Brick House Coffee, The Ville Nutrition, The Garage, El Maguey, Butler Music, Plowboys BBQ, Shiver’s, Brewbakers, Daylight Donuts, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Family Center, Price Chopper and Charlie Hustle.

The Foundation will use its portion of the proceeds to fund its programming, including the Excellence in Academics program, teacher grants, district grants, and the Advanced Degree Teacher Initiative.

In sympathy and gratitude

We would like to extend sympathy and sincere gratitude to the families of Luke Scavuzzo and Jordan Zenor-Overcast for thinking of the Foundation in their time of grief. Memorial contributions in their loved ones' honor will make a difference for our students and staff.


Class of 1982 40th Class Reunion
Saturday, Sept. 17 at The Dogwood Gardens Event Space, Peculiar. More details will be sent out soon.

Check the class' Facebook page for more information.

Staying Connected with Harrisonville Schools

We encourage our alumni to stay connected to Harrisonville and HHS. We have several ways you can do that....

Please share this newsletter with your fellow Wildcat alumni

Calling all Harrisonville High School alumni! Please forward this newsletter to your classmates and encourage them to complete the Alumni Contact Form to help us create a full and complete listing of HHS alumni. We'll use the submissions to create an updated listing of HHS alumni.

Click here for Alumni Contact Form

Also, we invite you to "like" the Harrisonville Public School Foundation and Harrisonville High School Alumni Facebook pages.

The Foundation Facebook page provides regular updates on Foundation activities. Content includes photos of our work in action, the latest Foundation news, and opportunities for you to support the Foundation's work.

The Alumni page is the "go to" place to get information on alumni events and opportunities, connect with classmates, and share reunion information. To submit information for the alumni page, email

Wildcat spirit signs available to purchase

Show your Wildcat spirit by purchasing a yard sign sporting your favorite activity. Maybe it's soccer, baseball, choir, tennis ... whatever! Or, maybe you'd like it to say alumni, #WildcatFamily, your last name or Class of 19?? or 20??.

The yard signs (sign/stake/hardware) are $55 each, and each individual personalized plaque is $10. You may add up to 15 characters per plaque.

Orders will be placed on the 15th of each month. Payment is required before we will finalize your order. Buyers will be notified via email that their signs and/or plaques are ready to pick up at the district administrative office, 503 S. Lexington.

Place your order here:

You can pay online; there's a small transaction fee:

If you would rather not pay the small transaction fee, then you may mail or drop off your check made payable to the Harrisonville Public School Foundation to:

Harrisonville Public School Foundation
503 S. Lexington
Harrisonville, MO 64701

All proceeds benefit the Foundation's programming including teacher grants, district grants, and student scholarships.

Big picture