2023 Wall of Honor Ceremony

2023 Wall of Honor Ceremony
Posted on 02/15/2023

USD 204 is proud to recognize Kim Mitchell, Clausie Smith and Chris Wood on Friday, February 17th, during halftime of the boys basketball game in the 2023 Wall of Honor Ceremony. 

Kim Mitchell has had an illustrious 40-year career in education, with 27 years being spent in the Bonner Springs/Edwardsville School District. In 1994, Kim began working at Bonner Springs Elementary. During her tenure there, Kim was a Title I Reading Teacher and District Coordinator. In 2002 she moved to Assistant Principal at BSE, maintaining the Title I District Coordinator position. Kim became Principal at BSE for the 2007-2008 school year, and remained in that position until her retirement at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Kim is known as an amazing principal, mentor, and leader. In 2014, the Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals named her Principal of the Year.  She represented the state the following year as a National Distinguished Principal. In 2021, Kim was also honored with the Friend of Education Award from the Bonner Springs/Edwardsville Education Foundation for her heartfelt and continuous support of education programs and initiatives by the patrons and employees of USD 204.

Mrs. Mitchell built her legacy by being a tremendous instructional leader and expert on the science of reading.  The staff at BSE thrived under her leadership. Throughout her career, Mrs. Mitchell has touched the lives of thousands of students, providing them with a supportive and nurturing learning environment, and inspiring them to reach their full potential

Kelli Carr, a teacher at Bonner Springs Elementary credits Kim’s integrity, compassion and advocacy for her staff and students as a driving force behind the success of the school. Under her leadership, Bonner Springs Elementary received a grant to run the Leader in Me program at the school, a comprehensive program to help provide students with life and leadership skills. Kelli Carr says, “Leader in Me has made an impact not only on our students, but their families as well. Kim always found a way to help support many of our families in need and was always a presence in community events.”

Her passion for education and her unwavering commitment to student success have made her a beloved figure in USD 204 and the Bonner Springs community.

Clausie Smith is a Bonner Springs icon. Moving to the community in 1979, he quickly found his place in town and began working to make it a better place. For over two decades, Clausie published The Chieftain newspaper, the community’s primary news source. He served the city in many capacities; eight years on the city council, 10 years as Mayor, Tiblow Days Festival chair for 21 years, a member of the city’s Band Commission and a prominent supporter and Board member for Vaughn-Trent Community Services. In 1991 he was bestowed the city’s Marion Vaughn Community Service Award, earning several additional accolades in the years to follow. 

A changemaker in the community, Clausie also made every effort to support USD 204 students and staff. He began serving on the Bonner Springs/Edwardsville Education Foundation Board in 2013, helping the organization make important community connections and raise funds through the business partnership program. During the Foundation’s Annual Campaign, Clausie often visits the schools to share updates with staff and encourage support. Dr. Jerry Abbott, Foundation Director, says Clausie has been an integral part of the organization’s success, “The Foundation has long valued his leadership and commitment to the students and teachers of USD 204, as well as his pride and support of the Bonner Springs and Edwardsville communities.” The Foundation Board honored him with the Friend of Education Award in 2018.

With a special place in his heart for sports, and a strong connection to Bonner Springs High School, Mr. Smith volunteered as the statistician for the Braves football team from 1983 to 2010. Through his work with the Chieftain, he also made every effort to highlight both sports and academics through the publication. 

His work with the schools continues to make a lasting impact, and his influence can be felt across USD 204. Bill Downing, a teacher at Bonner Springs High School, says he learned the ropes of journalism from Clausie early on, and he continues to be inspired by his passion and dedication. He says, “The two most influential male role models in my life were my father and Clausie Smith.  He is somebody you can count on to be there and to guide you.” 

Rick Moulin, USD 204 Assistant Superintendent credits Mr. Smith with forging a distinct partnership between the school district and the community, “He exemplifies what it means to be a leader. In the community and in his work with the schools, he makes an effort to listen, stay actively involved and do everything he can to make our community a better place. Nobody loves Bonner Springs more than Clausie Smith.”


Chris Wood is known as a champion for students and a visionary educator. She came to USD 204 in 1967 as an English teacher at Bonner Springs High School. She taught in the same classroom for 47 years before retiring at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. However, retirement for Chris includes active involvement at Bonner Springs High School, as she remains the school’s Scholars Bowl sponsor to this day. 

Graduates of BSHS often remark on the lessons learned in Ms. Wood’s classroom. Beyond the curriculum, Chris provided relevant coursework, guidance and support. Meeting students’ needs wherever they were at in their educational journey, her efforts undoubtedly set students up for success.

Amber Foley, a former student and current BSHS staff member says, “Her engaging way of presenting material, attention to detail and her push for you to be the best you can be are just a few examples of her extraordinary teaching.” 

Paige Hinson, another former student, says, “She was by far the most impactful teacher I ever had. I still talk to her to this day. Everyone needs a Ms. Wood in their life.”

Ms. Wood has served in local government and spends time volunteering in the community, earning the city’s Marion Vaughn Community Service Award in 2014. She continues to make a positive impact in Bonner Springs. Her work as an educator, though, has set her apart. She continues to shape the lives of students and her peers. In 2022, the Bonner Springs/Edwardsville Education Foundation honored Chris with the Friend of Education Award for her relentless efforts to support student learning and success. 

The goal of the Wall of Honor is to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the Bonner Springs/Edwardsville School District. Nominations will be reviewed by a district committee on an annual basis. 

If you have a nomination for the Wall of Honor, submissions can be made here: https://forms.gle/6AufKEisMyrgQbUs9
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