Shawnee, Kansas: Small Town Feel Close to the Metro

The city of Shawnee offers affordable home prices, sought after schools, and a highly-educated workforce. It’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the State of Kansas and the Kansas City metro. Every decade, it’s grown by 25-percent or more.

With a convenient location, southwest of Kansas City, the city features a small town feel, close to the metro.

Shawnee offers its 63,000 residents plenty of quiet neighborhoods to live. You can choose from rolling hills or the beautiful countryside. The city keeps the industrial and commercial traffic on major arteries, to protect the quaintness residents enjoy in their neighborhoods.

There’s something for everyone in Shawnee, with diverse and affordable housing.

Shawnee has outstanding schools, yet property taxes are low. Students attend the Shawnee Mission School District (USD 512), and the western half of the community goes to the DeSoto School District (USD 232).

Shawnee Family Boating

Shawnee Nationally Recognized As a Top City to Live

Shawnee consistently earns national recognition, for all it has to offer residents.

In 2010, Shawnee earned a 17th place ranking on Money Magazine’s Top 100 U.S. Communities. The magazine bases its rankings on property tax, crime, air quality, commute time, housing prices, weather, leisure, health, and education. The magazine also recognized the city in 2008.

Business Week also recognized Shawnee in 2008 and 2006 as the “Best and Most Affordable Suburb.”

Plus, The National Civic League named Shawnee one of the “Top 20 All-America Cities” in 2007.

The city also received the “Digital Cities Survey” Award four years in a row for its commitment to technological innovation.

The Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit who focuses on transparency and government openness, also recognized the city with an A+ rating.

The League of American Bicyclists also awarded Shawnee an award for being a Bicycle Friendly Community. Every year there’s the Tour de Shawnee, a benefit ride for JDRF.

Community events & recreation

The city of Shawnee remembers its Pioneer history while focusing on the future. The pioneering spirit lives on today with events like Old Shawnee Days. It’s a festival that more than 90,000 people attend over several days. It features a parade, carnival rides, games, concerts, contests, and of course food. The best part of all – admission is free even to the concerts.

Take a step back in time at Shawnee Town 1929. It’s a museum that allows visitors to experience a typical day in a 1920s farm community in Shawnee.

Shawnee Mission Park is one of the crown jewels of the area. It’s the largest park in Johnson County and the most visited park in the state. It features 1250 acres, a lake, a visitor center, and walking, hiking and biking trails.

The town also features two aquatic centersentertainment venues, and the children’s museum Wonderscope.

Shawnee is friendly to new residents and lifelong neighbors, offering a wealth of information and events for the community including a relocation guide.

Old Shawnee Days
Splash Cove Shawnee

De Soto School district

The De Soto district is considerably smaller than Shawnee Mission, with 7,000 students. However, students are still achieving great things.

It features seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. The district serves students living in De Soto, Shawnee, Lenexa, a portion of Olathe, and unincorporated Johnson County.

The district’s two high schools, De Soto High School and Mill Valley High School, are ranked in the top three percent of high schools in the state of Kansas by U.S. News & World Report. They’re also ranked among the top nine percent of high schools nationally.

The district also shines among other school districts in Johnson County. They lead in academic performance based on the 2013 Kansas Assessments in math and reading.

In the De Soto district, more than 85-percent of students attend college. The teaching staff is highly educated. More than 60-percent of the staff have a Masters or other advanced degree.

Shawnee Mission School District

Many families choose to live in Shawnee, because of the outstanding school districts that serve the community.

The Shawnee Mission district has more than 27,000 students who attend 33 elementary schools, five middle schools, and five high schools.

The Washington Post named Shawnee Mission East, Shawnee Mission Northwest, and Shawnee Mission South among the “Most Challenging High Schools” in Kansas. The district schools and students consistently receive nationally recognized honors.

Shawnee Mission East and Shawnee Mission South were also recognized by U.S. News and World Report.

Students are engrossed in technology from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Each student has his own digital device to enrich their learning environment.

The Project Blue Eagle Signature Program offers students the opportunity to work with professionals to learn valuable skills from professionals in legal careers and public service careers like law enforcement, and firefighting EMT’s.

The district has other Signature programs focusing on biotechnology, culinary arts, medical health sciences, International Baccalaureate, Project Lead the Way, and animation & interactive media. These programs allow students to explore career paths and academic programs that are rigorous and relevant.

Students are introduced to the STEM careers through Project Lead the Way, starting in elementary school. It’s a pre-engineering curriculum that teaches students to solve real-world problems using state of the art technology and computer software. There’s an opportunity at the end of the program to apply for college credit from Purdue University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, the University of Illinois, and Oklahoma State University.

With all these programs, it’s no wonder students outperform their peers on college entrance exams.

Quick Facts

  • Population – 65,194
  • Median value of homes $199,100
  • High school graduate – 94.7
  • Mean travel time to work 21.2 minutes
  • Median household income $77,271

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

*Photos courtesy of Visit Shawnee, Shawnee Chamber of Commerce

Sally Moore is a Keller Williams Realtor® in the Kansas City metro . She specializes in new construction, resales, and home staging. See the difference with FREE home staging. Follow The Sally Moore Real Estate Team on Facebook for the latest real estate trends.

Nearby Listings