Category Archives: A Salute To Ladue Staff

English-Language Arts Teacher Kim Gutchewsky Named 2017 Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year

The Ladue School District is proud to announce that Kim Gutchewsky, an English-Language Arts teacher at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, has been named a Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year for the St. Louis region. This coming school year will be Kim’s 24th year of teaching and her 18th year of being an English-Language Arts teacher at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. She was honored at a celebration event hosted by the St. Louis Regional Professional Development Center at Education Plus, 1460 Craig Road, on July 27, 2017. See pictures from the event here!

The Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year award is part of the Missouri Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). This program recognizes the efforts of effective teachers in providing a quality education to their students.

“We could not be more proud of Kim for this recognition at the regional level,” high school principal Brad Griffith said. “Kim sees it as part of her role to teach her wide range of students how to navigate their world, to embrace change, constantly evolve and utilize critical thinking. In addition, as chair of the English department, she has been a true teacher-leader, sharing innovative teaching practices, and a willingness to tackle difficult issues. Kim is more than deserving of this award.”

Kim is eligible to compete for the 2017 Missouri Teacher of the Year. The selection committee, comprised of teachers, business leaders and education organization leaders, will choose the Missouri Teacher of the Year following interviews with each finalist this fall. The winner and the finalists will be honored at a banquet in October in Jefferson City. The new Missouri Teacher of the Year will serve as the state’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition.

The Missouri Teacher of the Year program is conducted with financial support by the Boeing Company and the Monsanto Fund.

High Five Fridays Spotlighted on FOX2

Check out this video from FOX2 shining light on the High Five Fridays at Reed Elementary this past year! These morning greetings pump the kids up for school, making them feel empowered and supported. The tradition will carry on to the next school year!

Ladue Schools Programs Receive 2017 Promising Practices Awards

Several Ladue School District’s schools’ programs were selected as a 2017 National Promising Practice by Character.org! The program highlights what classrooms are doing well across the nation and across the world.

The following school received the award for their programs:

  • Ladue Horton Watkins High School — The Big Brothers and Sisters helping Little Brothers and Sisters Initiative
  • Ladue Horton Watkins High School — Peace Wall
  • Ladue Middle School — “I am LMS” Day
  • Ladue Middle School — “Listening Circles for Equity and Diversity”

Congratulations to everyone who had a part in these deserving programs!

Seniors and High School Staff Finish Another Successful Senior Service Day

Nearly 50 students and eight faculty members (Julia Harrison, Roberta McCaffrey, Drew Crismon, Mike Farrell, Bob Westerholt, Jessica Kennedy, Mary Christine Kubik, and Debra Carson) participated in the annual service day. The groups were all over the place doing great things! They planted 1,050 plants in Forest Park, cleared out honey suckle in Millennium Park, prepped 250 meals at Food Outreach, beautified the grounds at Kingdom House, sorted donations at Back to School Store, and shopped for, cooked and served meals at Gateway 180.
 
Below are some pictures from the day’s activities. The kids worked very hard and had a blast!

Fifth Grade Center Math Teacher Tonee Simmons Recognized with May Excellence in Education Award

Tonee Simmons, a math teacher at the Fifth Grade Center, received the May Excellence in Education Award at the May 8, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Tonee on this prestigious recognition!

Tonee has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 2004, when she took a position as a teaching assistant at Conway for one year. She then spent three years teaching third grade and then another three years teaching fifth grade at Conway before she moved to the Fifth Grade Center, where she has been for the past four years.

For Principal Julie Helm, the first words that come to mind when thinking about Tonee as an educator is “student advocate”. Tonee sees her students not only as learners but as individuals who each need support and care. This shows in her actions. At the beginning of the year, Tonee spends a good portion of her time and energy building relationships with her students. She was one of the staff members who felt that the teachers needed more time with the students, so the schedule was adjusted this year to feature a Homeroom Day.

Conway Elementary Physical Education Teacher Ann Chapin Recognized with April Excellence in Education Award

Ann Chapin, a physical education teacher at Conway Elementary, received the April Excellence in Education Award at the April 24, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Ann on this prestigious recognition!

Ann has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 1994, when she took a position as a physical education intern. For the last 13 years, not only has Ann taught at Conway, but she has also held the role of varsity girl’s tennis coach.

Ann has been an important member of the Conway community for 23 years. Her class is organized, lively and focused on specific areas, including cardio, strength training, agility and flexibility.

As Conway principal Lane Narvaez has said, “From seeing Ann’s daily interactions with the students, it is evident that not only does she love her job, but she also enjoys working to encourage a healthy lifestyle among both students and staff.”

Ann has a great sense of humor and is always looking to bring new activities to Conway. For example, she is the school’s pickleball champion (a fast-growing sport that combines ping pong, badminton and tennis skills), and last month, she had all of the students in yoga positions! With her patience, infectious motivation and can-do attitude, Ann makes exercise fun for everyone at Conway Elementary!

Ann is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. She and her husband, Michael, have been married for 15 years.

Ann received her undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology from Maryville College. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL).

See her award video here.

Old Bonhomme Art Studio & Olivette Partner for Community Mosaic

Congratulations to the City of Olivette! On Saturday, April 22, 2017, the City of Olivette, one of the ten municipalities that comprise the Ladue School District, celebrated the grand opening of the new Olivette City Center! The community was invited to tour the new facility, including the official unveiling of a mosaic tree, designed and coordinated by Lisa Roth, art teacher at Old Bonhomme Elementary School. Old Bonhomme students, city officials, first responders and members of the Olivette community participated in creating this piece of art celebrating the community’s growth, strength and individualism.

“The tree mosaic turned out really great!” Lisa said. “I loved the whole process of bringing our community together through art. Each student artist has a tile included in the mosaic, along with every firefighter, police officer, city administrator, family and community members! This is a huge piece of art (10 feet by 28 feet!), and it will beautify the space for many years.”

Reed Elementary Gifted Specialist Karen Engelkenjohn Recognized with March Excellence in Education Award

Karen Engelkenjohn, a Gifted Specialist at Reed Elementary, received the March Excellence in Education Award at the March 13, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Karen on this prestigious recognition!

Karen has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 2005, when she took her position at Reed Elementary.

Karen practices what many educators preach. She truly believes that all students have areas of strength and can learn. In the classroom, Karen challenges every student and acknowledges and celebrates the uniqueness of each. She encourages students to ask questions and facilitates lessons in such a way that students assume responsibility for their own learning.

LMS Science Olympiad Teams Compete at Regional Tournament, Head to State Finals

Congratulations to the LMS Science Olympiad team members and coaches, who represented the school well at last Saturday’s regional tournament! The competition team will go on to the state finals on Saturday, April 8, at Westminster University in Fulton, Missouri. Below is a listing of team members and coaches.

Competition Team:

Fayzan Ali (9), Ashna Chali (8), Harry Chen (8), Jason Ding (8), Stephen Jiang (8), Aditya Kondepudi (7), Shelei Pan (9), William Pan (8), Marina Sha (8), Cindy Wang (9), Daniel Xu (7), Max Yang (6), Christopher Ye (9), Eric Yin (8) and Lucy Yue (8).

Training Team:

Arya Bhushan (7), Yuvan Chali (6), Chris Chen (7), Samuel Chen (7), Huamin Gao (8), Richie Jiang (6), David Ju (6), Shriya Koneru (8), Evan Schreiner (7), Emily Shaw (6), Rohan Tatikonda (7), Ryan Tung (7), Vyomini Vakil (7), Anthony Wang (7) and Justin Zhang (7).

Coaches:

Martin Long (Coordinator), Christine Allen, Mark Biernbaum, Michael Clay, Melody Frese, Kelly Hake, Natalie Jeney, Donna Matthews, Hugh McMonigle, Kathleen Murphy, Deb O’Hara, Elizabeth Rendine, Jody Rozbicki and Lisa Stein.

Old Bonhomme Speech/Language Pathologist Rhonda West Recognized with February Excellence in Education Award

Rhonda West, a Speech/Language Pathologist at Old Bonhomme Elementary, received the February Excellence in Education Award at the Feb. 27, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Rhonda on this prestigious recognition!

Rhonda has worked for the Ladue School District since May of 2012, when she took her position at Old Bonhomme.

If you ask the staff at Old Bonhomme Elementary about Rhonda West, they’ll tell you that she’s an exceptional educator, one whose commitment to her student is foremost and outstanding. She’s skillful and talented when it comes to instructional planning and delivery, and her reservoir of support and encouragement for her students and fellow staff members seems endless.