The Mass Communications Site of Blue Valley Southwest


The Mass Communications Site of Blue Valley Southwest


The Mass Communications Site of Blue Valley Southwest


Coach and Social Studies Teacher Dustin Leochner passes away

Social Studies Teacher Dustin Leochner passed away on Feb. 15, 2024, after a battle with West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease contracted from a mosquito bite. 

At Southwest, Leochner taught A.P. and general U.S. history courses, A.P. and general psychology courses, government and sociology and served as Social Studies department chair. He was also the boys basketball head coach, the girls golf head coach and assistant coached track in the past. 

Per principal Tyler Alexander’s email on Feb. 15, “Coach Leochner’s ability to connect with students, his commitment to education, and his belief in the power of a strong school culture have left a lasting legacy for his students and his colleagues. His dedication and passion for his roles within our school community were evident to all who knew him.”

Alexander’s email also offered support for students. 

“Your Southwest family is always here for you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our staff members with concerns or support by calling the front office at 913-624-2000. There are also helpful resources on the district website for various life scenarios.  We Protect The Pack!” Alexander said in his email.

Leochner’s family and friends are invited to attend the funeral service at 10:30 a.m.. on Feb. 24 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gardner, KS. The service will be lived-streamed at:

A Celebration of Life for the Blue Valley community will take place at a later date. All former colleagues, students, athletes or anyone who’d like to celebrate Leochner’s life are welcome to attend. We will post more information as it becomes available.

Leochner’s official obituary is available at the following link:

His CaringBridge page, where people can donate, share stories and show support to Leochner’s family, can be found at:


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Emma Smith
Emma Smith, Editor-in-Chief

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