Tag Archives: Old Bonhomme Elementary

Google Expedition Comes to Old Bonhomme Elementary

On March 7, 2018, Old Bonhomme Elementary was one of the first schools to participate in Google Expedition, a program in which teachers and students spend a day delving into various lessons through augmented reality, thanks to the efforts of technology specialist Patricia Brown!

What is augmented reality?

Google Expedition’s Augmented Reality offers a way to bring 3D objects to life in the classroom environment. Using a smart device’s camera function, an object—such as one of Michelangelo’s statues—appears on the device’s camera screen as if the object is in the room with the students.

These 3D objects appear on the students’ desks so that everyone can examine the object together at the same time. The objects are accompanied by a short text/labels that only the teacher can view, and are designed as a supplement to an existing lesson plan to help bring the subject to life!

“The kids truly loved learning with Google Expedition,” teacher Carly Rudolph says. “Both the students and I had a great time learning through this enriching experience! Our personal favorites were the Coral Reef and the dinosaurs!”

Other lessons from the list of expeditions offered include: forces of nature (tornado, volcanic eruptions, etc.), the circulatory system, the anatomy of—and dangers to—bees, and much more!

Check out the pictures and video below!

Old Bonhomme Reading Specialist Stacy Butz Presents Critical Literacy Workshop at ESJ Conference

At the Educators for Social Justice (ESJ) Conference at Wydown Middle School on Saturday, March 3, 2018, Old Bonhomme’s Reading Specialist Stacy Butz gave a presentation entitled Critical Literacy: Using Picture Books to Create Authentic Conversations in the Classroom.

Stacy Butz published her first children’s book through Guardian Angel Publishing entitled “A Mother’s Gift”, which tells the story of a boy named Matthew who recently lost his father. Struggling with his father’s death, Matthew resolves to give his mother a special gift for Christmas, and in doing so, discovers the true meaning of the holiday.

As an educator, Stacy strives to use children’s literature to generate authentic conversations among her students.

Stacy said that the purpose of the workshop was to allow educators to examine picture books and engage one another to create a lesson to be used in a classroom immediately.

“Literacy is more than reading and writing,” Stacy says. “It is inherently social, cultural, and political. As educators, don’t we want to teach our students to question and challenge the world around them so they become stronger citizens? Critical literacy is not only a type of pedagogy that is different from a more traditional approach; it is a different world view that transforms teaching and the way students and educators see and interact with the world. Critical conversations cross lines of culture, gender, race and class. It allows students to engage critically with the texts they read, as well as the world around them. It leads to an interest in literacy and a desire to use literacies in meaningful ways. The hope is that this type of instruction will yield stronger readers and stronger citizens.”

Five Ladue Schools Teams Advance to FIRST Lego League Championship

Five Ladue teams advanced to the FIRST Lego League Eastern Missouri Championship Tournament at St. Louis Community College in Florissant Valley on Saturday, Jan. 13th. Forty teams from around Missouri advanced to participate in the tournament. Old Bonhomme, Spoede, and Reed each had a fourth grade team led by teachers Tammy MacLean, Kathie Dolan, Carol Kliesen and Karen Engelkenjohn. One FGC team led by parent coach Sherry Wolk and one LMS/FGC team led by coaches Gaurav Suri and Sonali Jain also qualified to participate. Of the five Ladue teams, three teams won awards at the tournament Saturday.

Fourth Grade Robotics Teams Excel at Regional FIRST Lego League Competition

Nine fourth grade robotics teams from all four elementary schools in the district competed in the regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League Competition on Nov. 12 and 13 at Brittany Woods Middle School. One team from Reed, one team from Spoede and one team from Old Bonhomme will be moving on to the Eastern Missouri Championship Event at St. Louis Community College on Jan. 13, 2018.

Congratulations to Reed team “Water Bots”, Spoede team “Nasty & Necessary #7” and Old Bonhomme team “Boom-Shaka-Lake-Ahs” for this accomplishment. Other teams were awarded, as well. The “Brain Waves” team won the Project Award for their innovative ideas and presentation skills. The “Tidal Waves” and the “Nasty and Necessary #7” teams won the Core Values award for their team-work and gracious professionalism, and the “Water Bots” and the “Boom-Shaka-Lake-Ahs” each won the Champion’s Award, which means they did great work in all three categories. Both Spoede teams were awarded Monsanto Fund grants to participate in the event.

The project was led by teachers Karen Engelkenjohn, Tammy MacLean, Kathie Dolan and Lindsay Lombardo. Congratulations goes out to all the teams, parent helpers and teacher coaches for their hard work. Best of luck to all the teams moving on to the Eastern Missouri Championship in January!

Old Bonhomme’s Stacy Butz Has First Book Published

Old Bonhomme Reading Specialist Stacy Butz just published her first children’s book through Guardian Angel Publishing entitled “A Mother’s Gift.”

Just in time for the holidays, “A Mother’s Gift” tells the story of Matthew, a boy who recently lost his father. Struggling with his father’s death, Matthew resolves to give his mother a special gift for Christmas, and in doing so, discovers the true meaning of the holiday.

Publishing a children’s book has always been a dream of Stacy’s. As an educator, she strives to use children’s literature to generate authentic conversations among her students. After losing her sister-in-law, writing became her therapy.

“This particular story was one I was determined to publish,” Stacy says. “I wanted to write about grief after losing someone tragically. I want my readers to feel hope, and to know that even though it is hard to move forward, your loved ones will never be forgotten. Love wins!”

Stacy has been reading “A Mother’s Gift” to her classes at Old Bonhomme for the past seven years. Each time she reads it, she asks the students for feedback, which helped her during the editing and revision. When she received the published version recently, many students told her they were adding it to their holiday wishlists!

“A Mother’s Gift” can be purchased both on Amazon or at guardianangelpublishing.com/mothers-gift.htm.

About Stacy

Although originally from Chicago, Stacy grew up in Chesterfield with her parents, Bob & Maura Whittingham and five siblings, Gina, Bob, Eric, Sara & Megan. She currently lives in St. Louis with her husband Tim and wonderful children, Matthew & Alison. She is thankful for all their support and love. She also enjoys going to school everyday to work with the students at Old Bonhomme. Her colleagues and students have been encouraging through this writing process. She would like to thank local publisher, Lynda Burch, for her hard work in getting the book published before the holidays and the talented illustrator, Marina Movshina. Stacy credits local author, Stephanie Bearce, for helping her achieve her dream. Stephanie invited Stacy to a writing critique group seven years ago and introduced her to many talented, local authors around town.


“This is a beautifully written and touching story about a young boy who is sad that his dad died, but finds hope for the future in the love of his mother. We definitely recommend this book for other teachers and their students, for families dealing with difficult times (death, divorce, hospitalizations, etc), and for counselors working with those children and their families.”

— Leah Crawford, 4th Grade Teacher

“As an educator, I see a great need for more books that speak to the losses many of our students have endured. This beautifully written story takes an honest look at the pain of losing a parent, while simultaneously infusing hope into the future. I love the part in the book when the main character’s mother says, “You know, there will be days when we feel as if everything is falling apart. But we can hang up the white feather all year long to remind us that we have something special.” I am grateful to the author, Stacy Butz, for writing this book.”

— Jennifer Riesenmy; ESL (English as a Second Language) Teacher

“I got goosebumps when I read this touching story! The author’s gentle story about grief and hope is accessible to children of all ages and would be a welcome addition to any collection. I look forward to reading this aloud to my elementary students for many years to come!”

— Susan Kelley; Librarian

“This is a beautiful story for processing grief and loss. Living through a heartbreaking experience, together this family honors difficult emotions in the grieving processing while staying hopeful about the future. I love sharing this book with my daughters as a powerful, simple message for moving through the ups and downs of everyday life.”

— Michelle Marie Brady; Owner & CEO, MMB Music, Inc., Speaker & Coach

Old Bonhomme Giving Assembly: 37 Years and Still Going Strong

Each year, the Old Bonhomme School Giving Assembly spotlights how much we have to be thankful for and how generous we can be towards those in need! During the assembly, students see the toys they have outgrown and decided to donate included in the entire school’s collection! The students then hear from the charity groups about who will benefit from the toys and items collected. For one week, the students and families make contributions of canned goods, used clothing and toys, diapers and other necessities that those in our community need. When students search the garage and basement for favorite toys they’ve outgrown or want to share, it teaches them that generosity isn’t just for grownups. The fourth graders help to sort and then load the items for delivery. A few students and teachers help to deliver the items to the agencies. This Old Bonhomme School event started 37 years ago, and each year it has grown. The items collected go to a variety of local service and charity agencies.

Old Bonhomme Launches Let Me Run STL Team

Old Bonhomme Elementary is one of the new Let Me Run-STL teams this season!

Let Me Run is a nonprofit holistic health program for 4th through 8th grade boys that uses running to inspire and teach. Twice a week for seven weeks, trained coaches guide teams through the program, designed to amplify confidence, self-expression, and respect for others. Each fall and spring season culminates in a 5k race that celebrates the boys’ emotional, social and physical growth.

The LMR boys at Old Bonhomme, one of 17 regional teams, are up and running by 7:30 a.m. before school on their practice days. These are truly enjoying the lessons, are very engaged, and motivated to take on the school day after each practice.

The team recently talked about being a good team player and reinforced the lesson with everyone’s favorite: the downward dog tunnel! While the boys found it to be difficult to hold their positioning, they worked together and each boy successfully made it through the tunnel!

The boys love to run together, and fourth-grader Rohit Laddu shared that he thinks about the “Words to Live By” throughout his day.

What a great way to start your day and set you on the right path for the remainder of the day! Thank you, Old Bonhomme LMR Coaches – Matt Prange and Edna Rodriquez, for supporting our boys!

Teachers Participate in Discovery Educator Network’s Institute

Quentin Alimayu, a teacher from Ladue Middle School, and Patricia Brown, an Instructional Technology Coach from Old Bonhomme Elementary, recently joined more than 100 fellow educators from around the world for the 2017 DEN Summer Institute (DENSI), an immersive, week-long professional development experience. The Discovery Educator Network (DEN) connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration. The six-day professional learning experience was held July 16-22 at the University of California, San Diego.

DENSI 2017 featured a number of interactive seminars and hands-on workshops designed to support educators as they combine the latest technologies and digital content to create authentic digital learning environments that engage students and improve achievement. In addition, DENSI provided an opportunity for participants to connect, collaborate, and share resources, ideas and strategies for integrating the latest technologies and digital content into classroom instruction.

Ladue Schools Students Excel at St. Louis Science Fair

The Academy of Science St. Louis Science Fair has released the results from their competition, and the Ladue School District’s students have performed beautifully!

LMS won one red ribbon; Old Bonhomme won four blue ribbons and one red ribbon; Spoede won six blue ribbons and one green ribbon; Reed won five blue ribbons, six red ribbons and 11 green ribbons.

Congratulations to all of the students who participated!

Old Bonhomme Hosts Fifth Annual Spring Interactive Digital Art Show

On April 25, 2017, Old Bonhomme Elementary School students displayed their artwork with a twist. Using modern technology, visitors were able to learn about any particular art piece via QR Codes. Before the show, visitors downloaded a free QR reader on their smart device (mobile phone, iPad, etc.). Then, they scanned the barcodes on the artwork to hear a familiar voice sharing information about the art piece. New this year was the Eagle Innovator Student Technology group’s special showcase of STEM projects in the gym. Check out the video below to see how the event went!