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The Shawnee Mission School District (Kansas Unified School District 512) is one of the major school districts in the Kansas City metropolitan area. It is in northeast Johnson County, Kansas, and enrolled 27,521 students in the 2016-2017 school year. As of 2011, the district comprises five high schools, five middle schools, 38 elementary schools, and six instructional centers. Its headquarters are in Overland Park.
In 1969, several school districts unified to become the Shawnee Mission School District. These districts were Greenwood District 39, Shawnee District 22, Lenexa District 500, Districts 10 and 90, Valley View District 49, Overland Park District 10, Linwood District 1, Roeland District 92, Merriam District 99, Antioch District 61, Westwood View District 93, Prairie District 44, and Corinth District 82.
South Park Elementary school, in Merriam, Kansas, played a role in school desegregation before the unification of the Shawnee Mission School District. South Park opened in 1948 for white students, leaving African-American students in the inadequate Walker Elementary using an outdated curriculum. Corinthian Nutter, an African-American teacher, resigned in protest and taught the students from her home. In 1949, the Webb vs. School District 90 case paved the way for Brown v. Topeka Board of Education five years later.
Skyline Elementary School was presumed to have been named for the fact that one could see the Kansas City, Mo., skyline from the area around the school.
The district converted from 7-8-9 junior high model to the 7-8 middle school model in 1986.
In 2017, Kenny Southwick was named interim superintendent after Jim Hinson retired. Hinson had served as superintendent since 2013.
Shawnee Mission Rural High School opened September 12, 1922, having cost $950,000 to build. It had 12 faculty members and a senior class of 20. The school colors are Red, Black and White and the school mascot is the Indian. The average annual enrollment is approximately 2,000 students. Shawnee Mission North was formerly known as the Original Shawnee Mission High School.
There had been a vote on September 21, 1921, on a "proposal to organize a rural high school district." The school was named Shawnee Mission Rural until 1945, when senior Robert F. Bennett was sent to Topeka to petition the legislature for a name change to more accurately reflect the school's suburban status. Later elected Governor of Kansas, Bennett was named North's first Distinguished Alumnus by the class of 1975. It was thus named Shawnee Mission High School until 1958, when Shawnee Mission East High School opened and Shawnee Mission High School was renamed Shawnee Mission North High School. The student body of Shawnee Mission High School had petitioned the school board to name the new school anything other than Shawnee Mission East High School in an attempt to avoid a renaming of their school.
Shawnee Mission East High School opened in 1958. As of 2008, enrollment was 2,012, making it the second-largest school in the Shawnee Mission School District. The mascot is the Lancer and the colors are Columbia blue, black, and white.
Shawnee Mission East is at the southwest corner of 75th Street and Mission Road in the Kansas suburb of Prairie Village, Kan., and serves Prairie Village along with the other Kansas suburbs Westwood, Westwood Hills, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Fairway, Leawood, and Overland Park.
Shawnee Mission South's school colors are green and gold and its mascot is the Raider. The school's mascot was chosen by the first graduating class of 1967. The Raider was chosen as a mascot because of the popular band Paul Revere and the Raiders. Most of the students from South come from the middle school Indian Woods. The school's population in 2006 was 1,805 students, down from a peak around 2,400 in 1975. South has a newspaper called the Patriot and a yearbook called Heritage.
Shawnee Mission West's mascot is the Viking and the official school colors are black and gold. West opened its doors in 1962; since then, it has been remodeled several times. Additions have also been made to the school, the most famous of which is "the bridge," an actual bridge between halves of the school that later had classrooms added beneath it. As of 2006, the school had 2,042 students. It is in Overland Park at 85th Street and Antioch Road.
The former principal, Karl Krawitz, was the NEA III District Educator of the Year for 2004-2005.
West is home to both an award-winning school newspaper, the Epic, and a yearbook, SAGA. The Epic was ranked the fifth best newsmagazine in the country by the Scholastic Press Association in 2010. West has twice (1986 and 2007) placed second at the National Forensic League tournament for policy debate.
West's student body population is 10 percent African American, which is the highest African American population of any Shawnee Mission high school. West is the most ethnically diverse high school in the district. West draws its student population from Overland Park, Lenexa, and small parts of Shawnee.
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School's mascot is the Cougar, and the school colors are black and orange. Its principal is Lisa Gruman. As of the 2005-2006 school year, Northwest had 1,859 students. It is in Shawnee, at 12701 West 67th Street, between Pflumm Road and Quivira Road.
As of the census of 2000, the district has a population of 219,949 with 93,221 households (or occupied housing units) and 59,084 families. 69.0 percent of the housing units are occupied by the owner. The racial makeup of the district is 91.0 percent White, 2.6 percent Black or African American, 0.3 percent American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.8 percent Asian, less than 0.1 percent Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 1.6 percent of some other race, and 1.6 percent of two or more races. 4.3 percent of the population is Hispanic or Latino.
There are 93,221 households of which 29.9 percent are people living alone, 63.4 percent are families, and 6.7 percent are non-families with two or more people. 52.2 percent of households (or 82.4 percent of families) are married couples living together and 28.6 percent (or 45.1 percent) have their own children (persons under the age of 18) living with them. Of the 11.2 percent of households that have a householder with no spouse present, 44.4 percent are women living with their own children. The average household size is 2.33, and the average family size is 2.93.
The 50,632 children in the district are 23.0 percent of the total population, and 13,283 (6.0 percent) are under the age of 5; 13,605 (6.2 percent) are from 5 to 9; 14,874 (6.8 percent) are from 10 to 14; and 8,870 (4.0 percent) are from 15 to 17. 48.8 percent of the children are female. For 95.1 percent of the children in the district the householder is the child's parent and 77.3 percent live in married-couple families, but 1.1 percent are not related to the householder. 21 householders or spouses are under the age of 18.