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Former co-workers write notes of support for Olathe East assistant principal Kaleb Stoppel

Kaleb Stoppel notes of support
Posted at 6:00 PM, Mar 07, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Olathe East High School students and staff head back to class Monday, schools around the Kansas City area are showing their support.

Friday's shooting hit particularly close to home for staff at Winnetonka High School where Olathe East assistant principal Kaleb Stoppel worked from 2009 to 2014.

Winnetonka assistant principal Joelle Hendrick said Friday's shooting left her shocked.

"As an educator, anytime you hear about a school shooting, it just goes straight to your heart and when you know someone who is an administrator at a school where an administrator was shot, it takes it up a notch," Hendrick said.

She would later learn her old co-worker Kaleb Stoppel, now assistant principal at Olathe East High School, was one of the victims.

The two worked together when Stoppel taught math and coached several sports. Hendrick said he was always fun to work with and is a bit of a goofball.

"He's really good at building relationships with kids, and that is where his heart is, you know he puts kids first," Hendrick said.

Hendrick is asking staff to write a small note of support to send Stoppel to help lift his spirits.

It's an easy yes for administrative assistant Lisa Callahan who remembers Stoppel well.

"When I heard about that I was really, really, shocked about who was actually involved in it, knowing the type of person that he is, so I just wanted to send him good wishes and let him know that we are all thinking about him," Callahan said.

Callahan and Hendrick said it warms their hearts to see so much support for Stoppel, as well as Olathe East school resource officer Erik Clark and all of the students and families at Olathe East.

"It's just amazing the love that is out there, when there is a tragedy that happens Kansas City is just an awesome place," Callahan said.