• Welcome to my classroom!  I'm excited to continue teaching gifted, Model UN, Future City, Kansas/National History Day, and offering enrichment at West.  

    About me:  I grew up in California and moved to Kansas for KU and to be near family.  I live near the KU campus with my husband and two of our sons. My oldest son lives in Washington, D.C. Our children are active in the community playing soccer, going to school, and being teenagers. We are avid skiers and bikers.  I love to garden, read, and sew as well. 

    Here are some helpful links to help you get to know more about what we do in my classroom.  

    West students may participate in a variety of engaging learning activities designed to stimulate curiosity and growth.  Here are some opportunities and subjects that your child might choose to participate in:

    Breakout EDU

    Spelling Bee

    Kansas History Day/National History Day

    Battle of the Brains 

    Model UN

    Future City

    STEAM classes (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)

    MESH classes (Media literacy, Ethics, Sociology, and History education)


    Social Skills 

    Geo Bee

    Working on individualized goals 



    If you have any questions, please email me at jmiesche@usd497.org  


    Breakout EDU

    What is a Breakout Box? In a Breakout Box activity, students work together and think critically to "break into" locked boxes. They must solve challenging puzzles and follow directions carefully to succeed.

    Spelling Bee

    The purpose of the spelling bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

    Kansas History Day

    History Day is a year-long learning opportunity for students in grades six through twelve, that offers students the opportunity to explore topics that interests them. They conduct research, using primary and secondary resources, and then analyze the information, in light of an over-arching historical theme or question.

    For teachers, it offers practical models for integrating Common Core standards in the classroom that improves test scores on reading, math, and science assessments and prepares students for college-level work.



    Battle of the Brains

    It’s Kansas City’s most exciting K-12 STEM competition — Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains. Area schools can earn a piece of $155,000-plus in grants for STEM education by dreaming up an exhibit concept for Science City — and one student team sees its idea come to life in a big way! It’s a fantastic, no-cost experience for students and teachers — thinking big, collaborating and having fun. So far, nearly 20,000 students in 55 school districts have benefited from this immersive educational opportunity.


    Model UN

    The Topeka Model United Nations Organization was founded to provide opportunities for students to learn about the role international diplomacy plays within our world. This two-day simulation provides an avenue for over 600 students to research global issues to better understand their impact and what role the United Nations plays in combating them. 

    The Topeka Model United Nations program is used to hone public speaking, critical thinking, research, and writing skills to help create a foundation for success. These student-led delegations are called upon to faithfully represent the views of their assigned country on a variety of topics. The simulation is designed to encourage debate, foster cooperation, and assist young leaders to resolve problems diplomatically.



    Future City

    Future City starts with a question—how can we make the world a better place? To answer it, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. Past topics include stormwater management, urban agriculture, public spaces, and green energy. The 2021-2022 theme is A Waste-Free Future. Teams will design a waste-free city using the principles of a circular economy.

    Participants complete five deliverables: a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model (or multiple model segments) built from recycled materials; a project plan, a presentation video, and a Q&A session with judges. Regional winners represent their region at the international Finals. After completing Future City, student participants are not only prepared to be citizens of today’s complex and technical world, but also poised to become the drivers of tomorrow.