Discovering De Soto Fall 2022-Indian Summer

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Discovering De Soto

Community Giving Circle


Local Resident on November Ballot for Kansas State House District 117

In the short time Courtney Tripp has lived in De Soto, she’s felt empowered to contribute to a community she regards as “the perfect home.” Courtney decided the best way to do so was using her personal background and professional experience and run for Kansas State House District 117. “My husband and I really fell in love with De Soto and this area,” Courtney says. “I lovingly found my ‘Goldilocks place,’ you know, it’s not too big, it’s not too small.” She and her husband, Asa Bailey, became acquainted with the town during kayaking trips on the Kansas River, when they discovered De Soto. Having lived previously in an apartment in Lenexa, Courtney and Asa found their ideal house in 2019. De Soto’s location was the perfect in-between for the couple, with Asa working in Lawrence and Courtney having close friends in the Kansas City area. K-10 Highway grants them easy access to both directions. Courtney also enjoys her horse, Brazil, whom she cares for daily. shown at right “Of course we moved here and then there was the pandemic,” Courtney recalls. “I do have to say one of our favorite things about De Soto continues to be all the parks and trails. I think for a town this size, having all of the natural resources with the river and parks is incredible.” While De Soto has won Courtney’s heart, she sees challenges that need to be addressed. Some of those areas are education, healthcare and infrastructure, which are the three main focuses of Courtney’s campaign. “I found myself uniquely qualified, as I’ve worked in each of those areas professionally,” she explains. “So I have this opportunity to take my passion for giving back to the community, as well as my professional experience, and really be an advocate for all people who live here and call it home.” An important note stated on Courtney’s website informs the community that Kansas House District 117 was relocated during the 2022 redistricting process. It includes parts of Western Shawnee and Lenexa, De Soto, Eudora and Lawrence, as well as parts of rural Johnson and Douglas counties along K-10. shown at right “With the new district, there’s an open seat,” Courtney says. “It’s an opportunity for our district, our area, our city to have a larger voice.” More information can be found online at:

In partnership with the USD 232 Education Foundation, community members and public education advocates Kris Meyer and Jessica Brandmeyer hosted the inaugural Community Giving Circle Event on Thursday, April 21. The event was held at Cause Coffee, where coffee shop owner Tara Stucky graciously provided free coffee and an inviting space for Community Giving Circle members to learn about the visions of USD 232 educators. Members gathered to hear presentations from three inspirational teachers with an innovative concept/plan to enhance educational excellence within their respective programs. Following the presentations, members voted for their preferred concept. This year, the Community Giving Circle awarded their first $10,000 grant to The Bridge Program! This grant will support expanding student-led business enterprises for 18–21-year-old special education students within USD 232. Giving circles are an accessible way for individuals to pool their money to make a positive impact on society. Giving circles offer donors an avenue to learn about local needs and inspire community growth. USD 232 Community Giving Circle members donated $100 prior to the event and 100% of their donations were awarded to The Bridge Program. On behalf of the USD 232 Education Foundation, thank you to the 2022 Community Giving Circle members who helped guide the direction of educational innovation in our schools. Congratulations to The Bridge–who help to provide a pathway to independence for district students ages 18-21. –written by Kris Meyer, contributing writer

Kansas House District 117

Kansas House District 117 redistricted in 2022


–written by Katherine Diaz, contributing writer


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