Tag Archives: Excellence in Education Award

LHWHS Art Teacher Patricia Chavez Recognized with October Excellence in Education Award

Patricia Chavez, an art teacher at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, received the October Excellence in Education Award at the Oct. 23, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Patricia on this prestigious recognition!

Patricia has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 1999, when she took a position in the art department at Ladue Horton Watkins High School.

Patricia takes on leadership roles in the high school, offering her eye for design and her expertise when it comes to the blend of art and education. She serves as a the Fine & Performing Arts chair at the high school, and has played a critical role in the interior design of the newly-renovated high school building!

As high school principal Brad Griffith has said, “Patricia is a veteran master teacher, serving a wide range of students from all ability levels, motivating each student to do the best work possible, and nurturing creativity when some of these students don’t yet recognize their potential.”

If you ask her fellow educators, they will tell you that Patricia is both honest and diplomatic in her actions and words, and that she brings an enthusiastic attitude to work and radiates positive energy every day!

Patricia was born in Lima, Peru, and moved with her family to St. Louis when she was 5 years old. She and her husband, Mike Daus, have been married for 15 years and have three children: 12-year-old Mate, who is a seventh grader at Ladue Middle School; 10-year-old Vincent, who is a fourth grader at Conway Elementary; and 5-year-old Xavier, who is a kindergartener at Conway.

Patricia received both a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in Visual Arts and a bachelor’s of arts degree in English from Fontbonne University in 1996. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in Education from Maryville University in 2010.

Ladue Middle School Counselor Roger Scherck Recognized with September Excellence in Education Award

Roger Scherck, a counselor at the Ladue Middle School, received the September Excellence in Education Award at the Sept. 25, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Roger on this prestigious recognition!

Roger has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 1994, when he took a position as a high school social studies teacher and soccer coach at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. During his time with the district, Roger has coached boys and girls soccer and track and cross country at the middle school, supported the Learning Center at the high school and taught three years in the Excel program.

Assistant Principal Sarah Adams Schwartz has said, there are few people who contribute more to the Ladue Middle School community than Roger Scherck. Roger offers his time, energy and support to various areas throughout the school and district. He is involved in Character Ed at both the district and building level, as well as in the local community.  He has coached in the 8th grade sports program, as well as coordinated the Middle School Milers running program. He oversees the I Am LMS day program that is put on by the LMS Diversity cadre.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

LHWHS ELA Teacher Lisa Crawford Recognized with October Excellence in Education Award

Lisa Crawford, an English-Language Arts teacher at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, received the October Excellence in Education Award at the Oct. 24, 2016, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Lisa on this prestigious recognition!

Lisa is known among her coworkers as an engaging teacher, always encouraging students to strive for their absolute best in the classroom. These students understand that Lisa holds them to this high standard so that they can achieve the highest level of success once they leave LHWHS. And of course, she professional and hard-working; Lisa is usually the first person to arrive in the mornings, ready to start the day imparting knowledge to her students.

As Principal Brad Griffith said, Lisa is sharp and extremely intelligent; and seamlessly teaches to a wide range of ability levels.

“Seeing Lisa’s dedication and commitment toward her craft, it’s obvious that teaching is her calling,” Principal Brad Griffith said. “I wish I had the fortune of having her as one of my teachers when I was in high school.”

Lisa has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 1991, when she took a position teaching at the high school. She is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. She and her husband, Joe, have been married for eight years and have one child: 4-year-old Erin.

Lisa received her undergraduate degree from Southwest Missouri State in 1990. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in English from St. Louis University.

Conway Counselor Amy Grunwaldt Recognized with April Excellence in Education Award

Amy Grunwaldt, a counselor at Conway Elementary, received the April 2016 Excellence in Education Award at the April 25, 2016, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Amy on this prestigious recognition!

This marks Amy’s seventh year with the Ladue School District. She began working here in 2009 as a counselor at Conway. Amy is originally from St. Charles, Missouri. She and her husband, Adam Grunwaldt, have been married for 14 years. The couple has two children: 9-year-old Jacob and 5-year-old Carly. Amy received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology from the Lindenwood University. She received her master’s degree in School Counseling from Lindenwood University and acquired more than 30 hours in Special Education from Webster University.

Amy is an invaluable member of Conway’s team. She has a great rapport with kids; she is supportive and always willing to sit down with a student who is struggling and work through the problem. With Amy, the students’ voices are heard, and she lets them know that their problems are important to her. She has an innate ability to listen to what students have to say and respond in a way that makes them feel as if someone understands what they’re going through.

“We all have job descriptions,” Principal Dr. Lane Narvaez says. “Amy views her job as helping to make Conway the best that it can be! And that’s why she’s the perfect candidate for this award.”