Category Archives: A Salute To Ladue Staff

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 Published

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.

LMS Science Teacher Receives Inspiring Teacher Award

Congratulations to Ladue Middle School science teacher Hugh McMonigle, who will receive the 2017 Challenger Learning Center’s Inspiring Teacher Award on Jan. 26.

Hugh, along with six other area educators, will receive the award at UMSL’s College of Education. This recognition is given in honor of the Challenger Space Shuttle crew. Congratulations, Hugh!

Spoede First Grade Teacher Krystal Florez Recognized with December Excellence in Education Award

Krystal Florez, a first grade teacher at Spoede Elementary, received the December Excellence in Education Award at the Dec. 12, 2016, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Krystal on this prestigious recognition!

Krystal has worked for the Ladue School District since 2010, when she took a position teaching at Old Bonhomme Elementary. She is the type of person who can juggle many balls and manage not only to keep them in the air, but also make it look easy. During her time with the district, she already has many accomplishments under her belt. In addition to working on her master’s degree in reading, she has also taken on a leadership role at Spoede serving as chair of the Character Education Committee and the Assembly Committee. And last year she was recognized as Spoede Elementary’s Teacher of the Year!

Principal Dr. Kim Stallons had this to say about Krystal’s work ethic: “As a teacher, Krystal’s goal is to educate and nurture the whole child. She sets high expectations for her students in all areas. With her as a model, Krystal’s students know what is important: Do your best, try your hardest and never give up! Her students stay motivated because they know that she will never give up on them.”

In addition to all of her work at Spoede, Krystal is making time to raise her three daughters. Krystal is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Krystal and Cordez Vaughn have been together for one year, and she has three daughters: MaKayla, who attends Lincoln College; Rylee, who attends LHWHS; and Jaelyn, who attends LMS.

Krystal received her undergraduate degree in Special Education from Harris Stowe University. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in Special Reading K-12 from Lindenwood University.

Broadcast Technology Teacher Don Goble Published in Literacy Today

12516_Literacy Today PicLadue Horton Watkins High School Broadcast Technology Teacher Don Goble co-wrote an article entitled “Beyond Text: Literacy for a digital culture”, which was published in the August issue of Literacy Today. You can check out the article here!

Ladue Horton Watkins High School Seniors Score Perfectly on ACT

Eight Ladue Horton Watkins High School seniors earned perfect scores on their ACTs. Noah DiAntonio, Patrick Naughton, Maya Mutic, Jeffrey Wang, Hans Chan, Gloria Zhou, Jake Loynd and one other senior, who wishes to remain anonymous, each earned a 36 on the college readiness test.

This means that the students correctly answered every question in each of the following subject areas: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science Reasoning.

KSDK ran an extended segment on the students’ achievement, which you can view here.

“We have a large number of seniors who achieved a perfect score on the ACT this year, but it’s important to remember that while these accomplishments are made in high school, they are a product of our students’ learning experiences throughout the district,” Principal Brad Griffith said. “Every educator who has inspired and supported these students along the way has had a hand in helping them succeed, and we are all excited to see what our students will go on to accomplish after graduation.”

Noah is the son of Aaron and Bronwen DiAntonio; Patrick is the son of Michael and Cathy Naughton; Maya is the daughter of Sasa and Jada Mutic; Jeffrey is the son of Peter Wang and Natalie Chen; Hans is the son of Tat Chan and Carol Wong; Gloria is the daughter of Jianpeng Zhou and Jing Liu; and Jake is the son of Michael and Katie Loynd.

Each student plans on attending a four-year college after graduation. Noah plans on majoring in political science; Jeffrey would like to pursue computer science and continue playing tennis; Gloria is interested in scientific fields and studying abroad; Hans plans on majoring in piano and economics; Patrick will major in electrical engineering and computer science; and both Maya and Jake plan on studying engineering.

Talking Rams Make Prestigious 200 Club

Congratulations to last year’s Talking Rams, the high school’s speech and debate team, and its sponsor and coach Molly Beck for their recent recognition by the National Speech & Debate Association for their outstanding achievements last year!

In the 2015-2016 school year, the group earned a total of 200 or more degrees, ranking it among the top 8% of schools nationwide and earning membership in the association’s prestigious 200 club.

“This milestone is remarkable because it demonstrates outstanding commitment to teaching students essential life skills—including communication, research, listening, writing and organization,” J. Scutt Wunn, executive director of the association said. “I encourage you to build upon this momentum to ensure that even more students are empowered to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals and honorable leaders in our global society.”

In speech and debate, students earn points and degrees based on competitive and service-related activities, ranging from the Degree of Merit with 25 or more points to the Degree of Premier Distinction with 1,500 or more points.