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Oakhill Welcomes New Vice President of Donor Relations

Kris Wheeler joins Oakhill Day School as the new Vice President of Donor Relations and will be leading a staff of two, Rebecca DiGerlamo (Community Relations Coordinator) and Jennifer Perry (Stewardship Coordinator). 

"Oakhill Day School offers an exceptional experience for anyone desiring a premier education, passionate and highly qualified staff, devoted and strong leadership, and a promising future. I'm ecstatic to be leading the Development Office and joining the great group of teachers, staff, students, and parents at Oakhill Day School. We have much to look forward to this year, and I can't wait to roll up our sleeves and get to work!" said Kris Wheeler when asked about his move to Oakhill.

Kris has a long tenure of growing and leading Non-Profits, which started back in 2007 with the YMCA. Tasked with overseeing the Kid's Sports Club while in Undergraduate School, he grew the program from an initial three kids to more than forty. This experience sparked Kris' passion for Non-Profit organizations and the communities that his service would subsequently support.  He carved out more than ten years of Non-Profit experience and expertise in finding solutions to complex problems for Non-Profits. During those ten years, he would go on to be President and CEO of U-Turn Sports Academy in Richmond, VA that served inner-city youth through sports and character development, Senior level positions with the YMCA and a Non-Profit with Koch Industries. He has also been responsible for starting his own Non-Profit, The Aviators Baseball Organization, which had great success and still exists today. To say Kris has a passion for Non-Profits and fundraising would be an understatement. 

"We are so excited to have Kris join our team. He is bringing the energy and expertise that we need to take friend-raising and fundraising at Oakhill to the next level," said Suzanne McCanles (Head of School) of the new hire.

Kris Plays Ping Pong Match

Kris Wheeler plays his first Oakhill ping-pong match against an Oakhill Fully Charged Camper.

Kris and his family of five live in the Northland. He is married to Amanda, and they have three children, Easton (age 6), Josie (age 3), and Bennett (age six months). As a family, they love exploring all that Kansas City offers and spending time with nearby grandparents as often as they can. Did we mention that Kris loves ping-pong? That was a primary draw to Oakhill Day School as he recalls "Ping-pong... Anytime-anywhere." 

Summer Opportunities for 5th-8th Grade Girls' Volleyball

Beginning the first week of June (Wednesday, June 5th - 3:45pm - 4:45pm), we will hold Girls Volleyball Open Gyms on an every other week basis for 1-hour each session. Coach Summer is excited for the opportunity to get some of the girls who are interested in playing next fall into the gym to get some extra practice in! This is a great opportunity for our students entering the 5th grade who have not played volleyball to come and try it out before practices begin in the fall. This is also a great opportunity for all our returning players to get a head start on training prior to the first practice in August. The informational packet attached has a lot of information to answer questions you may have.

If you are interested in summer open gyms or in participating in Girls Volleyball in the fall, please click on the link below to open up the Informational Packet. Coach Summer is excited to begin working with your child and hopes to see a lot of our student-athletes over the summer.

Girls' Volleyball Summer Information

Summer Opportunities for 4th-8th Grade Cross Country

Beginning the second week of June (Wednesday, June 12th - 4:30pm - 5:30pm), we will hold Cross Country Open Runs (4th - 8th Grades Only) on an every other week basis for 45-minutes each session. Coach Clevenger is excited for the opportunity to get some of our runners who are interested in Cross Country next fall started training this summer! This is a great opportunity for our students entering the 4th grade who have not run Cross Country to come and try it out before practices begin in the fall. This is also a great opportunity for all our returning runners to get a head start on training prior to the first practice in August. The informational packet attached has a lot of information to answer questions you may have.

If you are interested in summer open runs or in participating in Cross Country in the fall, please click on the link below to open up the Informational Packet. Coach Clevenger is excited to begin working with your child and hopes to see a lot of our student-athletes over the summer.

Cross Country Summer Information


Don't forget! If your 4th through 8th-grade student wants to participate in fall sports, we must have a sports physical on file before the first day of practice. The standard MSHSAA physical form will be accepted, as well as the Oakhill physical form, which can be found here.

Helen Pouch Memorial Fund Classroom Grant Report

For Claudia Feaster of Missouri, William Boydston Chapter


Narrative of Spending: 

It has been a goal of mine for a few years to add new resources to our Library so that our students can check out electronic books (E-books) and digital audiobooks from our Library.  We have a wide range of reading interests as well as reading levels. In addition to this, students have various preferences on "how" they read ~ whether they listen to an audiobook; read the book electronically on their computer, smartphone, or tablet; or read a good old-fashioned paperbound book.  Up to this point, we have only been able to offer our students actual books, with a few audiobooks on CD available as well. It is going to be wonderful to have more options for our students to read their favorite books.


I am ordering 21 digital audio books, 11 Ebooks, and 3 CD audiobooks.  This will give us 35 new titles in our Library ~ some of these titles we have in book format as well, and some of them are brand new.  This will give our students more formats to choose from and more fun books to read. Our total order comes to $1,042.92 and the $500 from the Helen Pouch Memorial Fund Classroom Grant will help make the whole project possible.  We have some funds in our Library account that will cover the difference in the cost for all of the books. Since I am introducing something new and different with these resources, it is nice to have so many to offer from the start.  It wouldn't be as much fun for them to try it out if I was only able to purchase a handful of new books. This way more students can give them a try and help spread the word.


Narrative of Impact of Grant: 

I love to listen to audiobooks that I download on my phone.  I have the books with me all the time and I especially love listening to them in my car.  I have some CD audiobooks in the Library, but they require access to a CD player and many students don't have that.  It is going to be much more convenient for them to listen to the digital audiobooks. While listening to audiobooks is certainly a wonderful way to enjoy a story, it also serves a greater purpose for students who might struggle with reading a traditional book.  Listening is often more enjoyable for them and they are able to get more from the whole story when they don't have to think about the reading process and their lack of confidence in it. They can just simply enjoy the story and that is such a gift. Listening to an audiobook can also improve their comprehension of the story ~ especially when they listen as well as read the book.  


I have always known and appreciated the benefits of listening to audiobooks and when I had one of my 7th-grade students write me a letter requesting that we have more audiobooks in the Library to help with students who have learning difficulties, I was inspired to complete my goal of adding new the resources.  The opportunity for this grant came along at just the right time and we are so grateful for the money to get this done. These resources will be enjoyed for years to come and will be a pleasure as well as a learning benefit for so many students.


Identify the number of students and the other classrooms in your district (school) that will be impacted by your grant.

I am the Library Coordinator for both Libraries at Oakhill and I teach the 4th-8th-grade Library classes.  I submitted the application for this grant on behalf of all of the students who can use these wonderful resources.  We have 188 students in the 1st through 4th grades this year and these resources will be available to all of them.  We will use the majority of them for our Middle School students since they will be very proficient in using the electronic and digital resources independently. Our classroom teachers will also be able to utilize these books in their classrooms.

Congratulations to Oakhill Alumna and recent Cornell College graduate ~ Gabby Ferro ~ and new fiancé Austin Dyer on their engagement. We wish you all the best!



Recent Oakhill graduate and St. Teresa's Academy Freshman ~ Dani Dake ~ has been busy on the volleyball court this season. She plays for Mizuno Club North in addition to playing on the Sophomore team for the STA Stars.

Dani was joined on the court by Panther Alum and Park Hill South High School Freshman ~ Gracie Painter ~. Fellow STA Freshman and Oakhill classmate ~ Olivia DiGerlamo ~ was also there performing with the Stars Dance Team at the volleyball game. Way to go, girls!

Panther Alum and Oak Park High School Freshman ~ Mackenzie King ~ is rocking right along in high school. Mackenzie has been playing with the School of Rock in Parkville for three years. She plays the drums, guitar, and bass guitar. She is involved with the performance band and has performed in six season shows. Her last performance was with the Grunge Band who performed at the Worth Harley Davidson Event Center and The Venue at Willow Creek in September.

In addition to playing with SOR, Mackenzie joined the Oak Park High School band playing percussion.  Rock on, Mack!

Panther Alum and Smithville High School Freshman ~ Caden Egbert ~ has been enjoying a great Warrior soccer season. Caden has been a great goalie for the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams and has several "clean sheets" on his record so far.

Personal Best for Panther Alum

Panther Alum ~ Owen Riddle ~ is having a great Freshman year at Rockhurst High School. He is running on the Cross Country team and recently ran a new personal best 5K time at the KC Metro Championship race at Raymore-Peculiar on September 29th. His time was 19:40 and he finished #44 out of 364 Freshman and Sophomore racers.  Rockhurst finished 2nd out of 24 schools competing that day. Owen attributes his current Cross Country success to his many years of running and his "awesome coaches" at Oakhill. Owen is also a member of the Freshman Choir at Rockhusrt ~ which is the largest Jesuit Choir program in the United States. Impressive Freshman year, Owen!


Owen was also recognized in a local magazine for his volunteer work with his Boy Scout Troop 1395. Way to go, Owen!

Alum Serves Up a Great Season for Pembroke Tennis

New Panther Alum ~ Mallory Potts ~ has been having a lot of fun playing tennis for Pembroke Hill High School this year.  Mallory came in 5th place at the Lee's Summit North Novice Tournament last month.  Great job, Mallory!!

Alumni vs. Staff Volleyball Game

Another fantastic Alumni/Staff Volleyball game is in the books! Every year, Oakhill hosts an Alumni vs. Staff volleyball game as a precursor to our middle school volleyball teams playing at home! We encourage alumni of Oakhill, no matter their age, to come and play. This is a wonderful event that gives us the opportunity to catch up with our graduates and have some fun while supporting our current volleyball teams! After an incredible game last year that ended in a tie, the Oakhill Faculty team was victorious this time around! It was so much fun to see all these Panthers again!


Why choose an independent private education?

By choosing an independent private education, you have the opportunity to choose a school whose philosophy, values, and teaching style fit your child. Independent private schools can also offer your family small class sizes, excellent teachers, and high academic standards.

Oakhill Day School is a place where children discover themselves as learners in a community where they feel valued and known. We invite you to learn more about the active learning that happens here!

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Oakhill Day School
Oakhill Day School
7019 N. Cherry Street Gladstone, MO 64118
Phone: 816.436.6228
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