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May 22, 2004

Graduate has been a leader at Kansas School for Deaf

From: Kansas City Star - Kansas City,MO,USA - May 22, 2004

Six seniors will graduate this year

By NOEMI HERRERA The Kansas City Star

You could say Greg Alan Lewandowski embodies the fighting spirit of the Kansas School for the Deaf graduating class of 2004.

He's not only The Kansas City Star Athlete of the Year and the vice president of student council, but a leader with gumption.

And next year he'll take that leadership to another level, with plans to attend Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., where he hopes to major in graphic arts.

"I've never been to Gallaudet before," Lewandowski said. "I'm really looking forward to starting my future there."

Before graduating from the Kansas School for the Deaf, he took the lead in winning the hearts of school administrators who were reluctant to allow seniors to go on a trip to California because of liability concerns.

Following the procedures set by administrators of the school, Lewandowski prepared the paperwork detailing the trip.

It was Lewandowski's effort and commitment that impressed administrators regarding the students' desire to travel outside the state. In previous years the graduating classes had not submitted proposals for out-of-state travel.

In April, four of the school's five graduating students took a six-day trip to California.

"It was great, I was thrilled to get their approval," he said.

For his basketball team, Lewandowski took the lead again when he saw friction building between the players on the basketball team.

Kevin Lee Milner, teacher and head basketball coach at the Kansas School for the Deaf, said Lewandowski approached him with a suggestion to give the team a rallying pep talk.

"Some boys didn't get along with each other," Milner said. "I did not notice it, but he (Lewandowski) did. Without offending or targeting any of them, I took that advice and I gave my pep talk."

The result was a more motivated team and a good basketball season.

"He makes me feel good about my job, meaning he works harder to satisfy himself," said Milner, who describes Lewandowski as a respectful, well-mannered student, popular among teenagers and esteemed by adults.

Lewandowski has attended the Kansas School for the Deaf since eighth grade.

To reach Noemi Herrera, Olathe education reporter, call (816)

234-7729 or send e-mail to

KSD class of 2004

Kansas School for the Deaf will have its 115th commencement at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Olathe North High School auditorium. Candidates for graduation are:

Artis lee Barry,

Kenneth Robert Chebultz,

Greg Alan Lewandowski (class president),

Chadwich Ralph Martin,

Heather Ann Meyers

Ralph Martin (class secretary/treasurer).

© 2004 Kansas City Star and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.