Monthly Archives: December 2017

Spoede Second Grader places 8th in National Chess Competition

Spoede Elementary second-grade student Alex Zhang competed in the 2017 National K-12 Grade Championships tournament on Dec. 9 – 11 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida. National K-12 Grade Championships was a major national scholastic chess championship, with 1,809 competitors and 698 teams from 50 states. Students competed in tournament sections according to their grade and US Chess Federation rating. He won 8th place among a field of 213 players.

Alumnus Heads Conservation Partnership Between Wash U, Zoo, Botanical Garden

Washington University, the St. Louis Zoo and the Missouri Botanical Garden are launching a new partnership to bolster their collective conservation efforts, and our very own Jonathan Losos, Class of 1980, will lead the program.

The Living Earth Collaborative is undertaking the goal of slowing down and halting the extinction of plants and animals by sharing research among the three entities.

Jonathan received his tenure at Washington University before moving on to continue his research at Harvard.

As the Post-Dispatch reported, “Losos — who is also a popular author — has been touted as the kind of rare scientist who can translate complex biodiversity science to laymen and policy leaders.”

For more about this story, visit the Post-Dispatch article here.

First Lego League Team from LMS and FGC Advance to Championship

A First Lego League Team, The 8 Sharks from Middle School (7 students) and Fifth Grade Center (1 student), recently participated at a St. Louis Region FLL Qualifier Event on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The team performed very well and received the “Champion’s Award” for their outstanding work and the “Robot Performance Award” for the top Robot game score.
They have advanced to the next level and will now be participating in the Eastern Missouri Championship on Jan. 13.

This year, about 12 teams from our district participated in the competition (250 competed in total), and five Ladue Schools teams have advanced to the next level (a total of 40 students advancing). The participating students are below.

Alumna & Playwright’s Third Play to Debut on Broadway in Chicago

Hollye Levin, Class of 1972, an accomplished playwright, will have her third play, “A Taste of Things to Come”, debuted on Broadway in Chicago beginning in March 2018. See here for details.


It all began in the Ladue School District. Hollye attended Old Bonhomme Elementary and then West Ladue Junior High, where she was on the cheerleading squad and began to play guitar and write my own songs. Her first professional job as a guitar player was at a lounge in Euclid when she was 16.

“I got my first paid gig because the ‘regular’ guitar player had the flu, and he called me to take over a few nights,” she says. “I was nervous, thrilled, but then said, ‘I’m not ready!’ And he said, ‘If you are not ready now, you never will be!’ I got paid $60 that night, and it suddenly hit me that I might have a future as a songwriter and guitar player.”

Spoede First Grade Teacher Jenny Weber Recognized with December Excellence in Education Award

Jenny Weber, a first grade teacher at Spoede Elementary, received the December Excellence in Education Award at the Dec. 11, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Jenny on this prestigious recognition!

Jenny has worked for the Ladue School District since July of 2008, when she took a position as a mathematics teaching assistant at Spoede Elementary School.

If you ask her fellow educators, they will tell you that Jenny is a “whatever it takes” kind of teacher. She doesn’t see her determination as going above and beyond for her students; rather, she just sees the effort as necessary to do what needs to be done for these children in order for them to succeed to the best of their own personal abilities. This also translates outside of the classroom, where Jenny plays a key role on the Character Education Committee at Spoede, serving as co-chair.

Dr. Stallons notes that Jenny is the type of teacher who takes the time to form positive relationships with every one of her students. She understands that being an educator is more than imparting knowledge to students—it’s also making sure that these students know that someone cares about their happiness and well-being, that they have that support system at Spoede.

Jenny is originally from St. Louis. She and her husband, Kris, have been together for 14 years and married for the last 11 years. Their 11-year-old son, Tyler, attends Northeast Middle School.

Jenny received her bachelor’s of arts degree from UMSL. She then went on to earn her master’s degree from Lindenwood.

Second Novel of Alumnus Ed Protzel to be Published in February

Ladue Alumnus Ed Protzel’s sequel to his darkly ironic historical series, DarkHorse Trilogy, will be released and in stores on Feb. 2, 2018, by TouchPoint Press. Honor Among Outcasts offers a glimpse into a time and place that pit neighbor against neighbor in America’s most bloody conflict—the Missouri-Kansas border war of 1863.

As much morality tale as history lesson, Honor Among Outcasts weighs the bonds of friendship and loyalty against personal risk, using actual events such as Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, and the Union army’s infamous Order No. 11.

In addition, Protzel’s futuristic thriller, The Antiquities Dealer, was just acquired by the same publisher and will be released next year.

Protzel, of University City and a graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School, Class of ’64, has completed three novels, five original screenplays for feature film and developed scripts/projects for 20th Century Fox. The first book in his DarkHorse Trilogy, The Lies That Bind, was his first published work; the trilogy will conclude with Something in Madness. He holds a master’s in English literature/creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Alumnus to Participate in 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum

Class of 1989 alumnus Stephanie Hammond Smith will travel to Oslo, Norway, to participate in the Nobel Peace Prize Forum on Dec. 11. She is scheduled to participate on the discussion panel to talk about the state of affairs concerning indigenous peoples in the world.

LHWHS Junior Heads to International Math Competition

Moses Schindler, a junior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, is one of 12 students selected to compete for $10,000 in the 2018 Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Championship featuring top math students from the U.S, Canada, and the UK. The contest will be held as part of the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, California, on Jan. 13.

Moses was selected for the 2018 Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Championship based on his score on an online qualifying test with questions on algebra, trigonometry, probability, and math history, which was administered by high school math teachers in the U.S, Canada, and the UK using Maple TA, a product of Maplesoft.

LHWHS Students Selected for All-State Band and All-State Orchestra

Congratulations to the following students who were selected as members of the All-State Band and All-State Orchestra. These students won a blind audition as they competed against students from across the state and will represent LHWHS at performances at the MMEA convention at Tan-Tar-A, Jan. 24 – 27, 2018.

All-State Orchestra
Grace Crockett, Violin 1
Rebecca Lang, Violin 1
Shelei Pan, Violin 2
Anna Zhong, Violin 2
Jacob Sheldon, viola
Daniel Diringer, cello
Evyn Levy, 2nd chair clarinet

All-State Band
Pema Childs, 7th chair clarinet

Congratulations again on a job well done!