Tuesday was a big day for SMSD as a long-time school board member and his wife announced they were donating $100,000 to the district.
Long-time school board member Dr. Craig Denny and his wife are donating $100,000 to the Shawnee Mission School District.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Long-time Shawnee Mission board member Dr. Craig Denny and his wife, Terry, announced Tuesday they were donating $100,000 to the district.
The money will be used to support STEM initiatives: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
The Dennys have a long history with district. Dr. Denny, an engineer by trade, has served on the school board since 1997, including four terms as president and two terms as vice-president.
Terry is a retired elementary school teacher who spent 16 years in the district. All three of their daughters graduated from the district.
When asked what he'd like to see happen with his money, Dr. Denny said, "Something that's never been seen before."
"It's a little bit like paying it forward," Dr. Denny said. "We've been blessed in all the things that we've done. We want to see opportunities for the kids that are coming behind us."
The announcement was made inside Shawnee Mission West's biotechnology lab, where students get hands-on training in a research lab setting.
Students say they're excited to see what advancements the donations will bring.
"It's a lot of money," senior Kelli Fast said. "It can be put to good use in buying more advanced equipment that can help further learning different research skills."
The money will go into the Denny Family STEM foundation, which is part of the district's foundation. It can gain interest until spending plans are in place.