Category Archives: Academics

Journalism National Conference Award Winners

Congratulations to the journalism students who attended the National Convention in Dallas this past weekend and brought home the following awards!

Ope Falako- Superior award in Poetry Writing
Anya Tullman- Excellent award in Newspaper Design
Hannah Suffian- Excellent award in Newsmagazine Design
Adam Rush- Honorable Mention award in News Writing
Madi Ward- Honorable Mention award in Sports Photography
Gigi Goebel- Honorable Mention award in Yearbook Writing
Jackson Bry- Honorable Mention award in Sports Writing
Lily Hauptman- Honorable Mention award in Feature Writing

Julia Wang Announced Regional Finalist in 2017 Siemens Competition

Senior Julia Wang was selected as a finalist in the 2017-2018 Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology. One of 101 finalists, Julia has a chance to compete for $100,000 in scholarship money.

These regional finalists were picked from an exceptional group of 491 semifinalists​ who were chosen from the pool of more than 1860 projects submitted this year. The 101 regional finalists will now advance to the next round of the competition – the Regional Finals. All regional finalists receive at least $1,000 in scholarship money while the 1st place individuals and teams from these regional competitions win $3,000 and $6,000, respectively.

The Regional finalists will compete in one of six regional competitions virtually hosted over three consecutive weekends in November at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Nov. 3-4); University of Notre Dame (Nov. 3-4); The University of Texas at Austin (Nov. 10-11); California Institute of Technology (Nov. 10-11); and Georgia Institute of Technology (Nov. 17-18); and Carnegie Mellon University (Nov. 17-18).

Winners of the regional events will advance to the National Finals to be held at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4-5, 2017, where $500,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including the two top prizes of $100,000 and one of the most prestigious science honors awarded to high school students in the country today.

In a change from previous years, this year’s national finalist prize structure​​ will be: first place – $100,000, second place – $50,000, all other finalists – $25,000, elevating the minimum prize level in recognition of the overall high quality of research represented by national finalists.

Conway Elementary School Named Apple Distinguished School

The Ladue School District is pleased ​to announce that Conway Elementary School has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2017–2019 for its unique application of technology solutions in classrooms from kindergarten through fourth grade. Specifically, Conway Elementary has one-to-one technology availability for the 345 students the school serves and has intricately woven the use of technology into curriculum to leverage the ability to deliver differentiated instruction to meet the unique learning needs of each child. This integration is enhanced by a full-time technology specialist, Kristie Lehde, who works with both teachers and students.

Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, ​collaboration and critical thinking. Like Conway Elementary, the schools chosen to receive this designation showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment and have documented results of academic accomplishment.

“The selection of Conway Elementary School as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success as an innovative and ​compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment,” Conway Elementary Principal Dr. Lane Narvaez said. “The initiatives that have led to this designation have been supported broadly within our school and district and could not have been accomplished without the generosity and dedication of our parent association. We are proud of this designation as it signifies the teamwork and commitment of our community and the strides we are making in moving each and every student forward at his or her level of understanding.”

Conway Elementary School received the Gold Star Award for the 2002-03 and 2006-07 school years. This is the highest recognition granted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to an individual school. In addition, Conway Elementary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2007-08, which is the highest recognition granted by the United States Department of Education to an individual school.

High School Junior Marilyn Lercel’s Video Story Published by HEC-TV

Below is a link to HEC-TV’s most recent #1 rated show, “Behind the Minds”. High school junior Marilyn Lercel’s video story about the eclipse was included at about the 1:40 mark of the show. Congratulations to Marilyn on this accomplishment!

KSDK Highlights Moses Okpala, LHWHS Athlete

Moses Okpala is a junior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, and he came to Missouri from Nigeria. KSDK told his story in a segment following his transition and success both through sports and academia. Check out the video below!

Spoede Elementary Hosts Annual S.T.E.A.M. Carnival

Last week, Spoede Elementary held its annual S.T.E.A.M Carnival (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) over two days! The event helps kids get excited about the science and technology topics they will explore throughout the year. All of the 1st and 2nd graders attend one day, and 3rd and 4th grade students attend the next day. Students are placed in groups of five or six and rotate through eight stations, which are run by parents, teachers, community members, high school teachers, and high school students. The stations provide opportunities to explore scientific topics the learn about in the curriculum throughout the year, but in fun and engaging ways. This year, the students had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; they got to touch a real human brain!

Booths This Year:

  • Lava Lamps (mixtures and solutions)
  • Blueberry DNA
  • Virtual Reality
  • Microscope Investigations
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Human Body
  • Rockets
  • Hot Air Balloon
  • Electricity
  • Sound
  • Leaf Identification
  • Nutrition

Check out the gallery of photos below, and click here to view more!

Spoede Best in State for 2017 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Congratulations to Spoede Elementary School, which has officially been named the #1 school in Missouri for logging the most minutes in the 2017 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge! Thanks to our inspiring teachers and parents, we have some excellent young readers in our schools, and they’re powered up to read throughout this school year!

Spoede Elementary students read a total of 191,466 minutes this summer!

The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is designed to help kids turn the “summer slide”—the learning loss which can occur over the summer months—into a “summer leap” by discovering the power and joy of reading for fun. The program offered kids the chance to log their reading minutes to earn digital prizes as they completed weekly reading challenges, gaining access to 18 reading activities, including games, quizzes and videos based on popular children’s books. Parents and families also had access to free summer reading resources, including booklists across all age groups in both English and Spanish.

The school will be listed in the 2018 Scholastic Book of World Records and will receive a special personalized plaque to commemorate the students’ summer reading achievements.

Nearly 4,000 schools, libraries and community partners participated in this year’s Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Students from the U.S. and around the world read a whopping total of 138,399,392 minutes! That’s the fifth year in a row kids logged more than 100 million minutes.

Conway Elementary Third Grade Class Worked Collaboratively in Creative STEM Project

Students in Mrs. Brooks’ 3rd grade class at Conway worked in collaborative groups to act as safety engineers. This lesson is a trans disciplinary project inspired by the district’s STEM cohort. The students were given the task of making an “evacuation plan” for a flood on the “Island of Fun and Fitness.” This project allowed students to think about the challenges and struggles being faced by the many areas that have recently been dealing with flooding.

Their work included strategically deciding on supplies to purchase, using their math skills to round and estimate their total cost for supplies, and then making a map to plan the evacuation route. The final step was to test their evacuation plans, and then work to improve upon the plans. The third graders did an amazing job asking questions to ensure their plans met all of the constraints and criteria. The drone footage shows 1 of the 6 “engineering teams” testing their first evacuation plan. The other engineers are analyzing the plans to help them during the revision process.

The class loved fulfilling the STEM vision: Students and Teachers Engaging Minds!

Twenty-One LHWHS Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Twenty-one Ladue Horton Watkins High School seniors have recently been recognized as semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Competition—the highest number of Ladue Schools students to be honored in a single year, and more students than any other school in the state. These students qualified based on their performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) taken in their junior year.

“We are incredibly proud of these students. They have demonstrated the results that can be achieved through years of dedication to their studies and I have no doubt this is just the beginning of great accomplishments these students will experience,” Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke said. “This year, we celebrate the largest number of students to receive this recognition, but it’s important to remember that while this accomplishment is made in high school, every educator who has inspired and supported these students along the way has played a role in their success.”

All of these students are eligible for scholarships that will be offered next spring.

These students include (from top left to the bottom right of the attached picture): Abhay Cashikar, Anthony Schuster, Glen Morgenstern, Joel Hsieh, Charles Loitman, Aaron Umen, Eric Yang, Lily Hauptman, Audrey Wang, Julia Wang, Xiwen Zhang, Ryan Miller, Annie Liu, Evyn Levy, Justin Chen, Albert Liu, Aleesha Shi and Sophia Li. Levi Dyson, Macey Goldstein and Edward Wu were not pictured.

High School Students and Staff Witness Solar Eclipse

On Aug. 21, 2017, students and staff enjoyed witnessing the total solar eclipse together. Check out the time lapse video below taken high school art teacher Jono Robbins with the district’s drone!