Sumner Academy of Arts and Science

Sumner Academy is the premiere high school in Kansas City, KS and was ranked #1 in the state of Kansas by the Washington Post in 2014.  While we attract the best and brightest students in the area – Sumner’s building is falling into disrepair.  Getting the building and furniture modernized will be a multi-pronged approach, and receiving a generous gift of $15000 could be the linchpin to helping our school.

How is this possible?

The gift would be used to purchase a robust, 3-axis, CNC router. I teach Architecture, Engineering, and Design courses and students here are craving the chance to design and build their creations from class.  We would train the students on the machine, giving them real world exposure.  We would then cut and build products that we could sell through fundraisers and in turn use those funds and build new desks, tables, chairs, signage, scoreboards, robots, speaker systems, bookcases…. The possibilities are endless.   Students would be able to leave their mark on the school and build a better community by selling professional, quality products.

The first thing we need to get this ball rolling is that wonderful machine.  At Sumner – your gift would grow for many years to come.  Most importantly, the students would have a direct and positive impact on their community while learning to use a modern and essential construction tool.  Oh – and the good news is that we already have a space designated for the equipment.  We are ready and waiting!

Submitted by:

Nicholas Johnson


Sumner Academy has been a symbol of excellence in Wyandotte county since 1978. Before this, Sumner Academy was Sumner High School, a tradition-rich school that was the first segregated school in Kansas in the early 1900s. Sumner Academy is consistently ranked high on the list of top high schools in Kansas, despite not having the resources and finances of the more affluent neighborhoods in nearby Johnson County.

When resources and money are scarce, the first areas often affected are facilities and extracurricular activities. Facilities are expensive to maintain and cost even more to upgrade. Many of these upgrades are often seen as a want and not vital to students and staff.

Sumner Academy has three needs that could be addressed by the Sheet Metal Workers No 2 Grant. The first is a new basketball scorer’s table. Our current table is falling apart and regularly breaks during games causing a potential safety hazard for players. The second is an updated gym sound system. Our current system is only capable of input from a microphone and does not allow us to play music for pregame warmups, the National Anthem, school dance team, cheerleaders, or during pep assemblies and other activities during the school day. Our school currently uses a portable sound system that is difficult to hear, does not work, and looks unprofessional. The final need that could be addressed with this grant is new scoreboards in our second gym. This facility currently has only one scoreboard with missing and broken lights, making it hard for players, coaches, and fans to read. There is also only one scoreboard in this gym, not ideal for last second shots and crazy basketball finishes.

If awarded this grant from the Sheet Metal Workers No 2, Sumner Academy could address a lot of needs within our school and athletic department. These items are not merely wants, but areas that need to be improved. Our students deserve to have quality facilities and this is a large step in that direction. 

Submitted By:

Jeremy Todd

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