Lee's Summit R-7 School District

Generous donation by Campbell Family creates outdoor classroom space at LS High School

Thanks to a generous donation by the Campbell Family, Lee’s Summit High School students and staff members will be enjoying a covered outdoor classroom space for years to come.

Known as the Campbell Family Outdoor Classroom, the versatile space was completed during April and is located on the school’s northeast side. The Campbell Family contributed $86,000 to Lee’s Summit High School through the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising private funds to support programs within the R-7 School District. Arrangements for the donation were made by Jack Campbell, LSHS Hall of Fame member from the Class of 1963. Mr. Campbell is the son of the late Dr. Bernard Campbell, Lee’s Summit R-7 superintendent from 1943 through 1980. Bernard Campbell Middle School as well as the LSHS Campbell Performing Arts Center are named in his honor.

“Our students and staff are loving this space,” said Dr. John Faulkenberry, principal, “and it will see good use often.”

According to Jack Campbell, the money for the outdoor classroom came from proceeds from the sale of bank stock that his father received during the Depression. Over the decades, the stock grew from 33 cents per share to $51 per share.

The approximately 40-foot-by-60-foot outdoor classroom includes a metal structure and awning similar to a park shelter. Thanks to a $5,000 donation from Jim Payne of Door Systems Incorporated of Lee’s Summit, five picnic tables were added this spring. More picnic tables will be added in future years as funding becomes available.

Dr. Faulkenberry shared recent examples of activities in the outdoor classroom. During a spring school day, advanced studies algebra II students used the space to conduct a math experiment, calculating the angle of the sun. These calculations were used to cook a hot dog using just aluminum foil and the sun’s power. On the last day of school, LSHS members closed out the school year with a picnic at the Campbell Family Outdoor Classroom.

To discuss making tax deductible gifts that benefit students, please contact Sheryl Franke at the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation, 816-986-1015.


Math students conduct an outdoor experiment involving calculating the angle of the sun to cook a hot dog using aluminum foil.