Recent News

  • 17 Aug 2015 1:08 PM | Anonymous

    Avila University has been awarded a 2015-2020 TRIO Student Support Service  (SSS) Program grant of $1,000,000 or $220,000 per year from the U.S. Department of Education.

    The funding will allow Avila to better serve low-income and first-generation students who demonstrate academic need and are committed to enhancing their academic success. This assistance aligns with university’s mission, the pillars in Avila’s Strategic Plan for Student Success, and the Quality Initiative being pursued under the Higher Learning Commission, Avila’s accrediting agency.

     Avila University’s program, “Inspired to Achieve: A Student Support Services Program”, will serve 150 Avila students each year with peer and professional tutoring, academic advising, learning communities, mentoring, cultural and social activities and career exploration. Anticipated outcomes include raising retention rates, graduation rates and thus, increasing a student’s success in life.

     This is Avila’s inaugural TRIO SSS grant. To receive funding, Avila University had to go through an extremely competitive process, where only 17% of these grants are awarded to new programs.

     University president, Ronald Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA, humbly responds, “I am excited for the opportunities the TRIO Support Service Program grant will afford the students we are most called to serve.”

  • 17 Aug 2015 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    St Thomas More School is a Catholic elementary school for grades K-8. It is located in South Kansas City, Missouri, in a quiet residential area. The yearly enrollment is approximately 600. The class size is a maximum of 26 students. Students are encouraged to achieve their best and to participate in community service.

    Iowa Test of Basic Skills: By the time our students graduate STM in 8th grade our students are preforming at the 99th percentile in English/Language Arts and the 95th percentile in Math on the National scale

    Duke Talent Search: We have had over 90 students participate in this program over the last five years

    Experienced Teachers:

    • Over 68% of our teachers have a master’s degree
    • Our teachers have an average of 20 years of teaching experience

    Service Program:

    • Each grade level has an area of focus for their service to assure that each student has exposure to all aspects of service
    • Our students record over 5000 hours of service each school year

    All school Mass each Wednesday

    Enrichment activities: Choir, Band, Robotics, Speech Contest, Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, Junior Board, Student Council, School Talent Show

    Sports: Basketball, Football, Track and Volleyball


    • Each classroom Kindergarten through 5th grade have tablets (iPads and Kindle Fires) for students to use
    • Each classroom 6th through 8th grade have MacBook laptops for the students to use
    • We have a technology learning lab that 1st through 8th grade students attend to learn the skills necessary to operate a computer

    Anti-Bullying: We are a “Golden Rule” School utilizing the Olweus Anti-bullying program

    Tuition assistance available 

    Mission Statement

    Saint Thomas More School provides a safe learning environment in which I, as a unique child of God, strive to become the person God intends for me to be through academic achievement and acts of justice, love, and service based in our Catholic religious beliefs.

    Vision Statement

    Saint Thomas More School will strive to develop life-long learners with global awareness through a life style of faith, service and rigorous academics enriched by technology.

    Saint Thomas More School, a parish ministry, supports the parish mission statement by providing a welcoming environment to educate the whole child in the most appropriate manner insuring academic excellence. The school is fully accredited by both North Central/CASI as well as the Missouri Nonpublic School Accrediting Association.

    Our School provides instruction in preschool through grade eight. Special programs include the fully staffed resource room and counselor helping to ensure that special attention is given to each child.

    The curriculum provides daily instruction in the Catholic faith along with traditional subjects supplemented by an enriched fine arts curriculum including art, vocal and instrumental music, to approximately 600 students each year.

    Technology is emphasized in all aspects of classroom and student instruction. Classrooms are equipped with internet connections, classroom projection equipment and whole class student response systems.  Students are instructed in basic computer skills in the computer lab.

    Each grade level has three sections, allowing us to accommodate all parish members. Class size is limited to a maximum of 26 to 1. When possible, lower student-teacher ratios are maintained in primary grades.  Registration occurs in February each year.

    The STM School Sports program is part of the Parochial League of the Diocese of Kansas City~St. Joseph. Sports offered in this program include football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and track. Development of skills and sportsmanship are emphasized in the after school programs.

  • 24 Jul 2015 11:20 AM | Anonymous

    Five schools in the Hickman Mills C-1 School District (HMC-1) are looking ahead to the first day of school, “Day One,” with excitement. They want their students to feel spe

    cial as they begin a new school year and arrive on August 12.

    Day One allows the community to join together and wish each child success in their studies and kick off the year on a positive note. As students exit the bus or wa

    lk up to s

    chool, teachers and community volunteers cheer them on while passing out pencils and composition books.

    Dr. Sabrina Tillman-Winfrey, principal of Ingels Elementary, brought the tradition to the District last year.

    “It’s a great way to welcome back our students, show them we care, and say we are happy to see them,” Tillman-Winfrey said.

    This year, Day One has been expanded to include five elementary schools. Community leaders, parents, businesses/corporations, and volunteers are invited to join together with teachers, administrators, and Board of Education members to extend a huge “welcome back” to students.

    Those who would like to volunteer can do so by calling their school of choice. Participating schools are:

    • Burke Elementary/Compass, (816) 316-7750
    • Ingels Elementary, (816) 316-7850
    • Johnson Elementary, (816) 316-7900
    • Truman Elementary, (816) 316-8100
    • Symington Elementary, (816) 316-8050

    Business owners or community members wishing to volunteer or donate school supplies should contact Ruth Terrell, director of public information and partnerships, at Needed items include pencils, pens, and composition books.

  • 24 Jul 2015 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    St. Joseph Heart Center has received the American College of Cardiology’s Get with the Guidelines Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2015. St. Joseph is one of only 319 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor.

    The award recognizes St. Joseph’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that it has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations. 

    To receive the ACTION Registry–GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award, the heart center consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the ACTION Registry–GWTG Premier for eight consecutive quarters and met a performance standard of 90 percent for specific performance measures. Full participation in the registry engages hospitals in a robust quality improvement process using data to drive improvements in adherence to guideline recommendations and overall quality of care provided to heart attack patients.

    “Earning this award again is a proud achievement for us,” says Amy Alexander, Regional Director of Cardiovascular and Radiology Services at St. Mary’s. “It shows the coordination between EMS, Emergency Department and the cardiovascular team is saving lives in our community.”

    The Center for Disease Control estimates that over 700,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot in a coronary artery partially or completely blocks blood flow to the heart muscle. Treatment guidelines include administering aspirin upon arrival and discharge, timely restoration of blood flow to the blocked artery, smoking cessation counseling and cardiac rehabilitation, among others.

  • 15 Jul 2015 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    School already?  No, not quite, but Community Assistance Council is gearing up for August by asking our generous donors to consider assisting our Hickman Mills students with school uniforms and supplies. Distribution of these supplies will be July 27-August 7, 2015.

    The school district’s uniform policy requires students (grades K-8) to wear solid navy or khaki pants, shorts, skirts, skorts, jumpers, capri pants (no knit pants, cargo pants, or leggings, no denim); solid white or solid navy collared shirts with no ornamentation; enclosed shoes; solid white or solid navy socks or tights; solid white or navy sweaters (no hooded sweatshirts). 

    School supplies can be donated now. Items needed include (must be new):


    • 3-ring notebooks
    • subject dividers
    • zipper pencil pouches (3-hole)
    • wide-lined notebook paper
    • computer discs
    • primary tablets (not Big Chief)
    • crayons (24-count)
    • glue sticks
    • pocket folders (with and without prongs)
    • construction paper
    • calculators (inexpensive, hand-held)
    • 3x5 index cards
    • spiral notebooks
    • colored markers (large and thin)
    • tissue boxes of 200 count
    • zip-loc bags of all sizes
    • manual pencil sharpeners with lids
    • pink erasers
    • school boxes
    • rulers without metal edge
    • safety scissors
    • pencils
    • colored pencils (12-count)
    • yellow highlighters
    • blue, black or red ink pens
    • school glue (8 oz.)
    • composition notebooks

    Throughout the summer, keep an eye out for sales, and help our area kids be prepared for school this fall. If you don’t care to shop, monetary donations for this purpose are also accepted. For more information, please contact Pam Meek, 816-763-3277, ext 108.

  • 15 Jul 2015 12:58 PM | Anonymous

    Today, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver is pleased to announce that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has chosen Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies (FM&T), led by President Chris Gentile, to continue as the management and operating contractor for the National Security Campus (NSC) in Kansas City, MO.

    “This is great news and a win-win for our local economy,” stated Congressman Cleaver. “Honeywell FM&T already employs 2,500 people with high-skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs, and this news will ensure that these jobs stay right here in Missouri’s Fifth District. Today’s announcement emphasizes the government’s focus on modernization, innovation, cost savings, infrastructure investment, and environmental efficiency."

    This notification is a culmination of over a decade of work by the area Congressional delegation, led in 2006 by then-Senator Kit Bond and Congressman Cleaver to keep these vital federal employees in Missouri's Fifth District.  In FY09, Congressman Cleaver secured nearly $1M in federal funding to begin the process of transferring the NNSA operation from the outdated Bannister Federal Complex to a new $687M facility in South Kansas City.  Congressman Cleaver was joined at the ground breaking in 2008 by Senator Bond, Congressman Ike Skelton, and Congressman Sam Graves.  Cleaver has visited with NNSA and Honeywell employees regularly over the past few years to ensure a smooth transition to the new facility.  Honeywell oversaw and completed the extensive move in 2014 to its current National Security Campus, a move that saved millions in operating costs and reduced energy consumption by up to fifty percent.

    Honeywell FM&T has a long history of top-quality execution in the national security industry and the NNSA is confident in their success going forward. Honeywell's current contract expires September 30, 2015 and the NNSA decided last fall to conduct a full and open competition for a 5-year contract with options for up to 5 additional years.  The $900M annual contract will ensure a decade of stability for our region's workforce, while saving $120M over the life of the contract, and increase small business utilization by 25%.  Honeywell has continually satisfied all critical management and quality assurance requirements that NNSA necessitates to ensure the continued success of the NSC.

    The NSC in Kansas City, Missouri, maintains a facility on 177 acres, leased for the NNSA by the General Services Administration (GSA). It provides support to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Stockpile Stewardship Program, focusing on the production and procurement of non-nuclear components and hardware for nuclear weapons.

  • 15 Jul 2015 12:22 PM | Anonymous

    Avila University has been named top 100 Most Affordable Small Colleges West of the Mississippi by the national website, Great Value Colleges. The list consists of colleges and universities that “offer great value – that is, an ideal blend of high caliber and low cost”.

    A well-known website, Great Value Colleges is a distinguished tool to help students determine which college or university best suits their needs. According to the website, Great Value Colleges aims to provide, “high-quality, research-based articles and rankings covering a broad number of angles so as to help the most students possible”.  

    Avila University has been named top 100 for its sponsorship by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, class size, student-teacher ratio, and a for providing a wide variety of activities and academic opportunities. The article states, “Avila brings students of faith from around the world to grow as students and servants of God”.

    Avila is proud of delivering academic excellence.

    • 77% of faculty have the highest degree in their field.
    • The average student-teacher ratio is 14:1.
    • Last year’s incoming freshman class held an average 3.34 GPA

    See the full list of 100 Most Affordable Small Colleges West of the Mississippi at

  • 14 Jul 2015 11:08 AM | Anonymous

    Senior Star at Villa Ventura is pleased to host author and eldercare expert Dick Edwards from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 23 at 12100 Wornall Road, Kansas City.

    Edwards, a retired Mayo Clinic eldercare specialist and author of “Mom, Dad … Can We Talk?:  Insights and Perspectives to Help Us Do What’s Best for Our Aging Parents,” will share practical advice on how adult children and their aging parents can engage in positive, open dialogues about care concerns.    

    During his keynote presentation, audience members will learn how to anticipate and evaluate concerns and communicate with their parents as they age so that this phase of life will be easier and more enjoyable for both parent and adult child.  

    “Senior Star is dedicated to supporting seniors and their families in the Kansas City area by providing tools for managing issues and challenges facing senior adults while also honoring the relationship between adult children and their aging parents,” said Marcia Hines, community relations consultant at Senior Star at Villa Ventura.  “Hosting an eldercare expert such as Dick Edwards enables attendees to hear firsthand practical advice on how to start these important conversations.”

    Seating is limited so please RSVP by July 22 by calling 816.941.0525.  The first 12 people to register will receive a copy of Edwards’ book.  Registration begins at 5 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres being served.  

    For more information about Senior Star at Villa Ventura call 816.941.0525 or visit the website at

  • 14 Jul 2015 11:05 AM | Anonymous

    MarksNelson accounting and consulting firm, is expanding its services with the addition of St. Louis economic development consulting firm, Community EDGE, LLC. The firm and its professionals have become a part of Kansas City-based MarksNelson, fulfilling a goal of offering more expansive services and to meet the growing client demand for location strategy services.

    The new MarksNelson Location Strategies Practice will encompass a wide variety of services, including business location, economic development and credits and incentives strategies. The new services are all designed to meet long-term client goals using a modern approach and collaborative effort from the MarksNelson team.

    “We are very excited about our expansion of services and the new MarksNelson Location Strategies Practice,” said Partner David Belpedio, who leads MarksNelson’s State and Local Tax Practice. “Our new practice enables clients to use location as a competitive advantage by providing unique market intelligence. This, combined with our existing credits and incentives expertise, will be key to the success of many projects generated by the new practice.”

    MarksNelson welcomes Josh Beck, EDFP, to the firm as Partner. As President of the former Community EDGE, Beck will lead the Location Strategies Practice, bringing many years of experience working with start-up to Fortune 100 companies on state and local level economic development projects. At MarksNelson, Beck provides location strategy, credits and incentives and economic development counsel to companies and communities of all sizes.

    “I am looking forward to collaborating with my new colleagues at MarksNelson to grow an effective location strategies practice for our clients,” said Beck. “I believe it takes a special team to provide real value in this service area and with MarksNelson I found the right expertise and culture of innovation, curiosity and client-centered thinking to move forward.”

    Beck has served on the Missouri Economic Development Council Board of Directors and Marketing Implementation Team for the State of Missouri’s Strategic Initiatives for Economic Growth. Prior to launching Community EDGE, he served as Vice President of Business Recruitment for the Missouri Partnership, the state’s public-private business attraction organization. In this capacity, he worked with companies across multiple industry sectors to navigate the site selection process and implement new facility investments in Missouri. He graduated, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Leadership Studies from Westminster College. Beck joins the MarksNelson office in Kansas City, Mo.

    Accompanying Beck in the transition to MarksNelson is Steve Etcher, former Vice President at Community EDGE. As Manager at MarksNelson, Etcher brings more than 25 years of experience in economic development, community planning, transportation planning, workforce development and grant writing to the firm. A leader in the industry, Etcher has served as President of the Missouri Association of Councils of Government and as an officer on the National Association of Development Organizations Board of Directors. He has been called on to testify before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, speak at the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, testify before the Missouri General Assembly and provide training for organizations such as the Economic Development Administration and National Association of Development Organizations, to name a few. He graduated, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Columbia College. Etcher will continue operating from St. Louis, Mo.

    “We’re not only expanding our areas of expertise, but we’re gaining two new professionals who are extremely talented, well known and well respected in the economic development sector,” said Managing Partner Mark Radetic. “Our entire firm is energized to have Josh and Steve on board and we look forward to learning and growing together as one firm.”

406 E. Bannister Road, Suite F
Kansas City, MO 64131-3028

Phone: (816) 761-7660
Fax: (816) 761-7340





VISION:  South Kansas City will be recognized as a premier location for businesses to prosper in the metropolitan area.

MISSION:  The Chamber is dedicated to promoting and environment for business prosperity and community pride in South Kansas City.

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