A few education-oriented items from around the area and elsewhere:
As planning for Project Graduation continues, the folks behind the annual celebration for departing high school seniors are looking for some help.
Organizers remain on the lookout for sponsors, donors and volunteers to assist in sending off an estimated 800 teens in style come May 29 at Abe & Jake’s Landing, at Sixth and New Hampshire streets.
Students from Bishop Seabury Academy, Free State High School, Lawrence High School and Veritas Christian School can buy tickets for $10 and then enjoy a fest that includes food, casino games, Giant Twister, dancing, a cash booth and prizes — lots of prizes, including laptops, flat-screen TVs and a fine used car — before heading out into the real world.
There’ll even be a mechanical bull.
“It’s to provide them a celebration, a party, that’s drug- and alcohol-free and safe,” said Polly Sloan, one of the organizers and mother of a senior at Free State High School. “And it gives them the opportunity to win prizes.”
Anyone interested in helping organizers achieve their goal may contact leaders as follows:
• To volunteer, email email@example.com.
• To make a cash donation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• To donate a prize or prizes, email email@example.com.
The party is set for 10 p.m. May 29 and continues until 3 a.m. May 30.
For more information, visit ProjectGraduationLawrence.org.
Students from Lawrence and Baldwin City will be looking to make some history of their own Saturday, during the Kansas History Day contest at Washburn University in Topeka.
Winners in an earlier district contest are moving onto the state competition, looking to be among students invited to compete at the National History Day competition June 12-16 in Washington, D.C.
The local projects entered in the state contest, according to organizers:
• Cleopatra’s Diplomacy with Rome, a senior individual exhibit by Abby Clem, of Baldwin High School. Teacher: Pam Davis.
• The Geneva Convention and Chemical Warfare, a junior group exhibit by Joel Katzer, Jacob Katzer and Jackson Barth of Baldwin Junior High School. Teacher: Pam Davis.
• Diplomacy Through Arranged Marriage, a junior group exhibit by Emma Bailey and Jenna Flory, of Baldwin Junior High. Teacher: Pam Davis.
• Nzinga: Diplomacy with Portugal to Stop Slavery, a junior individual performance by Katherine Smrha-Monroe, of Baldwin Junior High. Teacher: Pam Davis.
• Dropping the Bomb: A Moral Debate, a junior individual documentary by Ayesha Vishnani, of Central Junior High School. Teacher: Christine Conner.
• Psychedelics: The LSD Debate, a junior individual documentary by Bridget Casad, of Central Junior High. Teacher: Christine Conner.
• The Diplomacy of Native People in the Matter of European Settlement in the New World, a junior group documentary by Sarah Hall, Asmaa Farishta and Pearl Nelson-Greene, of Central Junior High. Teacher: Christine Conner.
• The Terri Schiavo Case: The Right to Die-Debate and its Consequences, a junior individual performance by Sadie Keller, of Central Junior High. Teacher: Christine Conner.
• Naming Names: Elia Kazan and the Hollywood Blacklist, a senior individual documentary by Josie Naron, of Central Junior High. Teacher: Christine Conner.
• Behind the Space Race, a senior individual exhibit by Kylie Seaman, of Lawrence High School. Teacher: Tracy Murray.
• Diplomacy on Both Sides of the Rise of the Berlin Wall, a senior individual exhibit by Hazlett Henderson, of Lawrence High. Teacher: Tracy Murray.
• The Jungle: How Upton Sinclair Failed His Goal While Succeeding to Change the Nation, a senior individual documentary by Rosie O’Brien, of Lawrence High. Teacher: Valerie Schrag.
• The Second Red Scare, a senior group documentary by Alyssa Crider and Lauren Fleming, of Lawrence High. Teacher: Valerie Schrag.
• The Berlin Airlift: An Innovative Foundation to the Cold War, a senior individual website by Maria Watson, of Lawrence High. Teacher: Valerie Schrag.
• Bismark & Realpolitik, senior group websites by Kelly Song and YuKung Lee, of Lawrence High. Teacher: Tracy Murray.
• The Great Crisis: The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, senior group websites by Nick Cohen and Jim Kittel, of Lawrence High. Teacher: Valerie Schrag.
I had a chance to speak Tuesday with Bill Medley, who served as principal of Lawrence High School from 1966 to 1973 before moving on to lead a school in Delaware, then returning to Kansas as superintendent of the Winfield school district from 1981 to 1994.
Medley — now retired after having led a school in Delaware before returning to Kansas to be superintendent of the Winfield School district from 1981 until his retirement in 1994 — tells me he keeps up with Lawrence news each day online. He and I got to talking about various goings on, when the discussion turned to the Lawrence school board’s plans to settle on a new name Monday for Central Junior High School.
Medley didn’t have an opinion about any of the three potential names being considered: Central Middle School, or Liberty Memorial Middle School, or Central Middle School — The Liberty Memorial Building.
But he does remember the building at 1400 Mass. being majestic for a number of reasons, not the least of which was his early impression.
“When I was interviewed for the job for principal at Lawrence High School, that’s where the interview was,” Medley said. “That’s where the district offices were — the superintendent’s office, the board room.”
Yes, we agreed, things do change. But we agreed that the building hasn’t lost any of its grandeur.
“It’s a beautiful old building,” he said.
— The First Bell mailbox is always open. Please feel free to send me any feedback or ideas, at firstname.lastname@example.org.