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2018 Wyandotte County Back to School Fair

Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2018



Sumner Academy of Arts & Science Students Receive Plaques at National Speech & Debate Tournament

June 28, 2017


Contact: Melissa Fears, director of Communications & Marketing, (913) 279-2225

Congratulations to the Sumner Academy Forensics/Debate Team on competing for the 25th year in the Annual National Speech and Debate Association's National Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama on June 18 - 23.

Competing from Sumner Academy at the 2017 tournament were the following:


  • Brandon Bush, Marley Lowe and Michael Franklin (pictured on the front row from left to right)
  • Jaleon Brown, Suan Sonna, Simon Folsom and Mikayla Mielkus (pictured on the back row from left to right)

Among the Sumner Academy students receiving individual plaques during the competition are the following:


  • Marley Lowe - Program of Oral Interpretation, Octofinalist
  • Michael Franklin (center) - Student of the Year Finalist
  • Brandon Bush - Dramatic Interpretation, Octofinalist

Franklin, who was a 2017 (East) District Student of the Year, was one of only six finalists for the 2017 William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year award out of 141,000 students.

Franklin and Sonna are three-time national qualifiers and Lowe and Bush are two-time national qualifiers.  High schoolers qualified for nationals by placing first or second in their events at the East KS National Qualifier back in April at Shawnee Mission South High School.  This was the first national tournament for Brown, Folsom and Mielkus.

There were more than 5,000 students from across the United States (and multiple countries) competing in this event which is considered one of the nation’s largest academic competition for high school students. 

Congratulations to Sumner Academy’s Forensics/Debate Team on their impressive performance this year and at the national competition.


If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Grace Elmore at 913-279-2242 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wyandotte Student’s Customized Shoe Business Earns Him a First Place Win in the YE Regional Flyers Competition

May 4, 2016


Contact: Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

He’s only a sophomore, but Ronal Burrell already has high aspirations for his career, and he has taken some major steps toward achieving them.

The Wyandotte High School student recently won first place in the Youth Entrepreneurs’ Regional Flyers 2016 Business Plan Competition. His reward was $1,000 to invest in his business plan idea.

Nearly two years ago, Burrell formed the startup, Zillah Paint Co., a custom shoe, shoe repair and specialty rubber shoe paint business. He customizes existing athletic shoes with paint designs, and has invented a special polish for rubber soles that he says is different from any other because it doesn’t crack.

Through his Youth Entrepreneurs class at Wyandotte this year, he developed a business plan and set some goals for himself. Typically, this class is only for juniors and above, but because Burrell already had a startup in place, his counselor got him admitted during his sophomore year.

So what exactly will he do with his $1,000 scholarship? He’s planning to invest in some radio ads to begin promoting his business and grow his customer base.

“I have a patent pending and I’m planning to make a big push this summer to let people know about my business,” he said.

He hopes to use the money he makes through his business to pay his way through college. He’s taking college classes now and his goal is to graduate from high school with two years of college completed. He then would like to work toward a duel degree in business and psychology.

His ultimate goal is to work for Nike. In the meantime, he is gearing up for the next round of the YE Business Plan Competition, on June 2 in Wichita. There, he will compete with seven other regional winners for a chance to go to the nationals.

His shoes are laced, and he’s ready to go! 

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242