A plaque is being crafted to honor all students that have died while attending school, and will be displayed in the courtyard.

Since 2014, three students have passed away while attending school. This amount of lives lost in such a small span of time is quite significant.

“For our IB CAS Project, which is a part of the IB diploma, Mrs. Metzler approached us originally saying that Dr. Faulkenberry needed students to do some research, she didn’t tell us what the research was she just said ‘volunteer for it’ so we did,” senior Dawson Sims said.

The task was not an easy one as it involved searching through many sources, and spanned several days in June and July.

Dr. Faulkenberry met with us sometime in early June, giving us places to look for names and people to talk to, and we eventually settled on going to the Lee’s Summit Museum,” senior Darrin Cottini said.

At the Lee’s Summit Historical Society, Cottini, Sims, and senior Ali Dowlatshahi looked through yearbooks going as far back as 1919.

“Even after we split the work up between us, we each ended up with over 25 years of yearbooks to look at, each with their own formats (they were never the same), so actually finding names of deceased students was pretty hard,” Cottini said.

Another challenge arose when the three had to find the names of those who were involved in World War I and World War II.

“Dr. Faulkenberry asked us to find out if there were any students that had been drafted and gone off to war while they were still 17 or 18 because they may have lied or something about their age to be able to be drafted. There were students that were mentioned, but we couldn’t tell if they were still students when they died,” Sims said.

To confirm whether the students were in high school or not, the team referred to an online grave finder.

“Luckily for the city no one turned up. No high school students died in either war,” Sims said.

Although students were not lost during the wars, others were lost throughout the history of the school.

“I don’t remember the exact number but it was no more than 25 students but no less than 20, which helps you to understand why the deaths of three students in the same graduating class would inspire a research project such as this one, especially when a whole decade (the 1980s) passed without a single student passing away,” Cottini said.

Since the research has been complete, the names that were recovered are on their way to becoming a nameplate displayed in a memorial garden alongside the Prism, a sculpture dedicated to the three lives lost since 2014.

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