Category Archives: A Salute To Ladue Staff

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.

Superintendent Discusses Digital Citizenship on METC Conference Panel

Ladue Schools Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke discussed the importance the district places on digital citizenship while participating in an “Issues in Education” live broadcast that was part of METC’s 2017 conference (Midwest Education Technology Community). The event was held on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at St. Charles Convention Center.

Joining Donna on the panel were Orlando Sharpe, STEM Program Director at YMCA Community Development & STEMpact Facilitator; Julie Smith, Adjunct Professor at Southern Illinois at Edwardsville and Webster University; and a student from Ritenour School District.

These conversations are aired live on The Big 550 KTRS Radio, streamed nationally, and then videotaped for later access on YouTube and on www.issuesineducation.net.

Sixth Grader Wins LMS Spelling Bee and Heads to Semi-Finals

Congratulations to 6th grader Sassy Saleeby, winner of this year’s LMS spelling bee! Sassy will go on to compete in the semi-finals of the Regional Spelling Bee sponsored by the St. Louis Post Dispatch on March 11, 2017. Finalists from that written bee will go on to compete in an oral bee on March 18, 2017. The winner of that Spelling Bee will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. later this spring.

Eighth graders Ashna Chali and Anna Demkovitch also earned perfect scores on the written bee (including getting all of the tie-breaker words correct). An oral bee was held after the written bee between the three finalists to determine the winner of the school bee. The winning word this year was “edamame”.

Thank you to Brian Beracha, Laurie Lambie, and Janice Davis, the teachers who helped grade spelling tests and supervise the 45 students who participated in the bee!

Olivette Residents Invited to Create Community Art Project with Old Bonhomme

Old Bonhomme Elementary students are partnering with their local heroes—Olivette Police and Fire—to create a community artwork for the new Olivette City Center that is scheduled to open in April! The project is a mosaic tree pieced together from clay tiles to be installed in the foyer of the new building. The tree symbolizes the community’s growth, strength and individualism.

And not only do the kids get to have a hand in being a part of history, but the public is invited to participate, too! The Old Bonhomme Art Department will host two open studio days for community members to craft a piece of the Olivette Community Tree, personalize it and choose a final color. The actual creation of the piece should take no more than 30 minutes. The students will then complete the glazing and firing of the clay pieces. The installation of the piece will be the week of April 10.

2017-01-20 15.08.36_editedThe two dates are:

  • Sunday, Jan. 29 from noon to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. to noon.

In order to ensure adequate space, the school asks that everyone RSVP here.

Lisa Roth, the school’s art teacher, has been planning this community art project for over a year with the help of Chief Knox and the City of Olivette. Each student at Old Bonhomme has made a clay piece to be included, with the help of Olivette police, fire and the mayor’s office staff. These heroes visited the art classes to help the kids create their clay creations for the tree, whether that was leaves, flowers, bugs, birds or any number of creative ideas!

Check out the pictures here!

 

 

LMS Teacher Kathleen Mercury’s Board Game Will Be Pubished

We have a published game-creator on staff! Kathleen Mercury, the Gifted Teacher for Apogee at Ladue Middle School, has recently signed a contract with IDW, a game publisher for her board game, Crash Course.

The game is currently in the development phase, which means that it is currently undergoing playtesting and tweaking of the rules. “It’s exciting to be part of this process as a designer, as I’ll get to work with a variety of other game design professionals to push this game to completion,” Kathleen said.

Crash Course is a race game in space, where players race around a circular board trying to outlast the other racers by using lasers, shields and other fun toys. IDW has a game in the works called “Rayguns and Rocketships,” and this game will fit into that story line.

Her love of games translates to the classroom, too! Teaching board game design has been a part of the Apogee curriculum for the last 10 years, Kathleen said, but for the last eight years or so, the students have shared their games online. They engage in online discussion and answer questions from other games, designers and publishers. You can check out some of the students’ work here!

LECC Special Education Teacher Terri Linhoff-Balk Recognized with January Excellence in Education Award

Terri Linhoff-Balk, an Early Childhood Special Education teacher for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, received the January Excellence in Education Award at the Jan. 23, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Terri on this prestigious recognition!

Terri has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 2000, when she took her position at the LECC.

Part of the Special School District’s vision and mission is the Commitment to Excellence, which includes nine core belief statements. One of those is: ‘We believe that what we do is more than just a job.’ Terri exemplifies this belief every day in her work with students and their families. She goes beyond what is expected to strive to make learning as fun and meaningful for her students as she possibly can. Through her efforts, she creates learning experiences that many of her students would not have the opportunity to experience outside of school. A few of these include the circus, the princess ball and the Thanksgiving feast.