Gala 2022 - A Taste of Ray-Pec

Taste of Ray-Pec image cropped

Partners in Education

At the Taste of Ray-Pec event, the Ray-Pec Public School Foundation presented three Partners in Education awards! The 2022 recipients are: St. Paul’s United Methodist Church; Dr. Kari Monsees; and Pam Steele. The event was held April 23, 2022, at Abby Road Farm.

Honoree: St. Paul's United Methodist Church

The Foundation honored St. Paul’s United Methodist Church for its commitment to supporting Ray-Pec students and staff. The church community has provided an incredible level of support for the Foundation.

The church regularly supports the annual “Stuff the Bus” school supply drive with its own collection. The church has been a sponsor of the annual MAD Dash 5K. 

The church also is a regular contributor to the Caring About Nutrition program. This year, they conducted a campaign called “Souper Bowl Sunday,” and collected 3,157 items to donate to the CAN program.

One more small example of outreach - during March, church members delivered appreciation baskets filled with snacks to each elementary school in Raymore.


Church members are also involved as volunteers, especially at Timber Creek Elementary School. In the picture, Foundation Board President Allison Bruflat presented the award to Trista Nicholson, Senior Pastor, and Erin Hoefle, Reach and Connect Coordinator.

Honoree: Dr. Kari Monsees

The Foundation honored Dr. Kari Monsees, who was superintendent of the Ray-Pec School District from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2020. Upon his “retirement” from Ray-Pec, he began a statewide position with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Dr. Monsees is now the deputy commissioner for the financial and administrative services division of DESE.

Dr. Monsees had more than 20 years of experience in Missouri public schools. Before coming to Ray-Pec, he served as Chief Financial Officer in the Wentzville School District. Prior to that, he held administrator positions in the Warrensburg School District and the Moniteau County R-I School District. He began his education career as a teacher and athletic director in the Smithton R-VI School District.

During his education career, Dr. Monsees was well-respected for his professionalism, his commitment to improving opportunities for students, and his understanding of school finance and governance.


He used those skills during his time as Ray-Pec superintendent. In April 2016, voters approved a $27 million bond issue to address space needs throughout the District. A major part of the plan was building an addition onto the high school to allow the building to accommodate all students in grades 9-12 beginning in 2017. Voters also approved a levy increase in 2018.

Also during Dr. Monsees’s tenure, the District became involved in the first cohort of schools in a Real World Learning partnership with the Kauffman Foundation. The District expanded its programming in STEAM courses with Project Lead The Way, and Ray-Pec High School became an International Baccalaureate World School in 2015. He helped the district begin the work to add a machining program to the high school curriculum.

In addition to these and many other achievements, Dr. Monsees was a tremendous champion for the Foundation. He participated in and helped plan many of the events and fundraisers. He and his wife, Laura, donated money and time to help the Foundation in its efforts. 

Honoree: Pam Steele

The third recipient for the Partner in Education award this year is someone who has worked for the school district for nearly 30 years and has worked with the Foundation for more than 20 years.

Pam Steele is the executive assistant to Superintendent Dr. Mike Slagle, secretary for the School Board, and secretary/treasurer for the Foundation.

Pam came to Ray-Pec in 1993 as secretary for the Special Education Department. A few years later, she became secretary for the Superintendent and the School Board. As that role has grown and evolved, she has worked with eight superintendents (or is it nine?) and many, many school board members.

She is the custodian of records for the district, and is a leader among other education office professionals in our county, the state of Missouri, and nationwide.


She is the go-to person in the Administrative Services Center. She is the contact person for everything from scheduling meetings, historical information, School Board information, and office supplies. She is the person who orders snacks and drinks, and then arrives early to set it up, and stays late to pack it up. She helps with the reception desk, assisting Board members with Chrome books, and copier maintenance.

She and her husband, Terry, watched their daughters, Andrea and Niki, graduate from Ray-Pec High School. Andi and her husband, John, have 9-year-old twins, Kayson and Kensey. Niki and her husband, Nathan, have two daughters, Cici, 3, and Norah, who was born last week!

When the Foundation began in 1991, it existed more as a legal entity than as an active organization. In the early 2000s, the Foundation was re-energized with new Board members and a renewed mission and excitement for the future.

Pam has been an integral part of the Foundation’s growth and development.

She has the records from the Foundation’s early formation, when there was no paid staff member. She continues to serve as secretary and treasurer.

Keeping track of the organization’s finances is a job that has grown along with the Foundation.

In addition, she records minutes of the meetings. She assists Executive Director Jodie Huston in communication with Foundation Board members, Ray-Pec administrators and staff members, and the public. 

She is also a financial contributor to the Foundation.

Those are all ways that Pam’s support can be measured. But what cannot be easily measured is the time and heart that she puts into the Foundation and its work.

Pam completes hundreds of big and small tasks that make the Foundation’s work go smoothly. Here is just a sampling:

  • Creating giant checks for the Prize Patrol
  • Scheduling the review of grant applications
  • Scheduling the Prize Patrol
  • Planning the food, room set-up, and seating for the Teacher and Support Staff banquet
  • Ordering banners and awards for the Teacher and Support Staff banquet
  • Maintaining a donor list
  • Ordering T-shirts for the MAD Dash
  • Sorting T-shirts
  • Collecting prizes and donations for this event
  • Staffing the golf tournament registration table
  • Organizing the Distinguished Alumni appreciation lunch

Special Thanks!

  • Abby Road Farm - Venue
  • Apple Bus - Transportation
  • West Central Auction Co. - Auction Services
  • Karen Fletcher - Printing
  • Michele Stidham - Promotion


  • Rich & Kara Bartow - Bar Sponsor
  • CBiz - Table Sponsor
  • HTK Architects - Table Sponsor
  • JE Dunn - Table Sponsor
  • Integrity Group Real Estate - Table Sponsor
  • Love to Smile - Table Sponsor
  • Peculiar Panthers - Table Sponsor
  • Nathan & Deanna Dawson - Table Sponsor
  • Dr. Mike & Jenny Slagle - Table Sponsor
  • Jeff & Karen Fletcher - Table Sponsor

Food Vendors

  • About You Nutrition
  • Bakes by Bobbi
  • Casey's
  • El Dorado
  • Katie's Catering
  • Midwest Barbecue
  • Minsky's
  • Raymore Price Chopper
  • Tasty Bundts

Thanks for auction, monetary, and prize donations!

Dancing Plus Pop Culture Pam Steele
Phil Parke - Edward Jones Dr. Kari & Laura Monsees Buff City
Jamie Bogner Mr. Handyman - John & Allison Bruflat Cathy Wansing
Allison Scott Noe's Jewelry  Rich & Kara Bartow
Country View Florist Greg Teale Sign Gypsies - Jill Teale
Pfeiler Family Farm Amelia's Boutique Shauna Stephanchick
Sherri Gallick Janet Castleman Steve Pearce
Dairy Queen Jodi Price RP Prowlers/Cheryl Gray
Cindy's Cookies and Cupcakes Simply Sweet Nathan & Deanna Dawson
Timber Creek Elementary Dan Wilson & Ruth Clark Administrative Services Building
Dr. Mike and Jenny Slagle Traveling Trends Boutique Jason Harper - Vision Source
Missouri Mud Scooters South Middle School
Jessica Streeter - Salon Bella Bob & Jodie Huston Creekside Market
KC Heat Peculiar police Department South Metro Fire Department
Bridle Ridge Elementary Aaron's Family Fun Center Shull ELC
Kansas City Monarchs Ray-Pec High School Pam Hatcher - Integrity Real Estate
Katie Gitto Photography East Middle School Derek Beck - Balfour
Creekmoor Golf Club Stonegate Elementary #YouMatterRayPec
Amy Hellums Raymore-Peculiar Public School Foundation Brewbakers
Firehouse Subs Ray-Pec Academy RP Cheerleaders - Meagan Speer
Texas Roadhouse Abby Road Farm Kristi Schumacher