November Showcase: Shannon Le Grand


Adviser Shannon Le Grand meets with Odyssey staffers as they proofread the finished fall spreads for the 2020 Winnetonka yearbook.


I teach Journalism 1 Writing and Photography at Winnetonka High School, Kansas City Missouri.  I am also the adviser for Odyssey Yearbook, Griffin Rites News Magazine, the Tonka News Website, and our social media platforms for Tonka News.


Current Focus:

This year is the 50th anniversary for our school, so we are working a book that will remember the past and celebrate the year 2020.  It is exciting to talk to alumni and former staff about the school and we have spent hours going through old yearbooks for ideas and inspiration.  Our staff has mostly first year yearbook students, so we are working hard to teach journalistic writing, photography and design while also capturing this year and the last 50 years in the pages as students create.  It’s a big job, but we are having fun!


Timely tip:

I think this is the time of year when it is easy to lose momentum.  We stop during work nights to play games, have silly contests, and give kudos.  It builds staff morale and pushes everyone to support each other and keep going.  This is also the time of year when the staff really begins to gel and the polite beginning of school makes way for honest communication as deadlines approach.

Managing relationships and encouraging student leaders is key to keep everything positive.

We discuss personality and temperament as we learn to work together and collaborate.  I love to see students work through those moments of conflict because journalism really does offer a unique opportunity to develop life skills that will follow the students through the rest of their life.