News

2022

  • Alumni Spotlight - Mary McCoy

    Mary McCoy, Independent alumni class of 2016, visited the Upper School Youth Entrepreneur class last week. McCoy has successfully developed her own business creating, marketing and selling her artwork. As a student at The Independent School, art was an outlet and something she never thought she could make a career out of. But her art teacher, Debbie Pierce, convinced her otherwise. Pierce joined the conversation last week as well via video conference.

    McCoy attended the University of Kansas, where she earned a Bachelors in Fine Arts. During her senior year, she was assigned the task of creating her own art show from start to finish. This included creating the pieces for the show, choosing a venue, producing invitations and marketing the event. Just weeks before the show, McCoy left Lawrence for Spring Break, and never returned to her classes. The world was hit by the COVID pandemic, resulting in the cancellation of all in-person classes and ultimately the show. She was devastated. 

    McCoy completed her senior year of college at her parents’ home. She set up a studio at the back of the house and created. She began posting her works on Instagram every day. She welcomed clients into her parents’ home and began selling more of her pieces. She absolutely loved what she was doing and decided she would make it work as a career. 

    McCoy says she has found connecting with various communities is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur. She began connecting with local business owners as well as other artists on Instagram, and created her own opportunities. 

    “I didn’t have a resume at the time and I needed to find a way to show people my work,” said McCoy.

    She spoke with shop owners and pitched the idea of holding a show within their store. This gave her exposure, while drawing a new audience to the store through her social media. 

    One of those shops she connected with was Bella Bonita Designs, where she worked with the owner to design a scarf for the store. 

    “I’ve always loved clothes and fashion," said McCoy. "I basically took one of my paintings and printed it on a scarf. Stella was really fun to work with.

    “You really grow when you start connecting with other business owners.”

    McCoy recently returned from a residency in France and is preparing for an art show in Dallas. Her business has steadily grown in the six years since she graduated from The Independent School. She is no longer living with her parents, she has her own studio space where she can show her artwork to various clients and she remains connected to her alma mater and the people that helped shape her.

    “Independent stays with you… No matter where I am, I will always have that connection,” said McCoy.

    Follow Mary McCoy on Instagram at @marymccoymakes. 
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  • Panther Boys' Basketball Compete at State Level

    In March, the Independent School boys’ basketball team headed to their first state tournament since 2013 and their 2nd state tournament in the history of the school. Joined by cheerleaders, band members and fans, the team loaded the charter bus to compete at the Bramlage Coliseum on the Kansas State University campus. Upper and Middle Schools canceled classes for the day so that students and families could travel to the game. Lower School students made signs and goody bags for the team and cheered them on as they loaded the bus and drove through campus. Lower School also tuned into the game for the last hour of their day.


    Coached by Tyler Keim, Independent Panthers entered the state tournament as the 7th seed. They went head to head with the Hillsboro Trojans, the 2nd seed and reigning 2A state champs. A slow start to the game, the Panthers scored just 11 points in the first half and were down by 20. Not to be discouraged, the boys played strong in the second half scoring 23 points in the 4th quarter alone. The final score was 46-73. Juniors Christian Dean and Joseph Recalde-Phillips were the top scorers for the Panthers with Dean scoring 13 points and Recalde-Phillips scoring 12. The teamwork and determination of this team took the program to new heights and we couldn’t be more Panther Proud! Way to go boys!
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  • Panthers Win KidWind Challenge!

    Independent Middle School Students Win Regional Wind Turbine Competition - Headed to State Championship
     
    The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) elective class at the Independent School in Wichita, Kansas had four teams participate in the KidWind Challenge on Thursday, February 24th at Hutchinson Community College. David Carter, Director of the Kansas Energy Program describes KidWind as "a fun, interactive way to teach STEM to students, to learn through failure and improvement, and to teach valuable life skills like teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, public speaking, and overcoming adversity. But, mostly, it’s fun!"
     
    Teams of students competed to design a wind turbine that could produce the most electricity in a wind tunnel. They also had to make a presentation in front of a panel of judges, complete a knowledge quiz, and do an "instant challenge" related to wind energy production. The Terrible Turbines (Alexander Lewis, Daniel Li, and Avery Abongo) won first place at the competition, qualifying them to compete at the state level. Independent also took third place with the Blue Hurricanes (Leni-Kate Litnzer, Hitha Ganganala, Veena Muthukumar, and Neel Reddy). The Drag-Ons (Ferris Olson, Avery Pollack, and Ben Gao) won the Judge's Award for their perseverance in the face of adversity.
     
    Their teacher and coach, Julie Couch, says "Our teams worked hard every day since the first day of the semester, using the engineering design process to create and continuously improve their designs. They did it all themselves - my role as a coach is to inspire and get out of their way. I am so proud of their accomplishments!" 
     
    The Terrible Turbines will compete against 20 teams at the state KidWind Challenge on April 2nd in Topeka, Kansas. Winners of this challenge will compete in the National KidWind Challenge in San Antonio, TX in May. 
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  • Upper School Play - Arsenic and Old Lace

    The Upper School theatre department will be presenting their production of Arsenic and Old Lace on March 26th and 27th. We hope to see you there! Tickets are are all just $5! Tell your friends! We can't wait to see you there!
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  • What is the Annual Fund?

    Hello to our TIS community!
     
    We have been receiving some feedback from our community asking more about what is the Annual Fund. We want to take an opportunity to be clear and transparent in addressing those questions! In an effort to provide clarity and understanding, we will be sharing a series of videos explaining what the Annual Fund means, examples of where your donated money has gone, examples of potential upcoming Annual Fund needs, and ways to support TIS with your time, treasure, talents. 
     
    Thank you for taking the time to learn about the Annual Fund and to watch our two minute video!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvZuk42P6ys
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  • Show Your Valentine Some Love!

    Purchase a $7 Valentine surprise for any TIS Student, Faculty or staff and the TIS Athletic Booster Club will distribute the treat at school on Monday, February 14th! Payments can be made via Venmo or Check and are due by Wednesday, February 9th. 
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< 2022

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