Tag Archives: Staff Recognition

Reed Elementary Physical Education Teacher Brian Driscoll with March Excellence in Education Award

Brian Driscoll, a physical education teacher at Reed Elementary, received the March Excellence in Education Award at the March 12, 2018, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Brian on this prestigious recognition!

Brian has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 2006, and has been teaching physical education at Reed ever since. He was given the job vacated by now Director of Student Services Derrick Wallace, and Brian says he knew he had big shoes to fill. His first principal was Dr. Donna Jahnke, and during his first year teaching, the Cardinals won the World Series!

Brian is an effective Physical Education teacher, and he and his colleague, Kim Plogger, have continued to build upon the tradition of excellence that Reed has come accustomed to in regards to its PE Program.

“Brian’s greatest impact isn’t easily assessed,” Principal Chris Schreiner said. “However, it is easily observed, experienced, and felt—and that is his impact on how students and staff treat one another. Brian is Reed’s Character Education trailblazer. Like all effective teachers, Brian forms positive relationships with students and models character—or Panther PRIDE—through his daily interactions with students.”

Brian has been Reed’s Character Education Committee Chairperson for many years. He was one of the first staff members to sponsor student leadership positions (STARR Teams) and has consistently been a role model for his special area colleagues by consistently attending class meetings.

For years, Brian took the initiative to organize numerous events and celebrations that focused on character. For example, he turned a simple can drive into a major service project that involves ALL students, staff, and parents—regardless of whether or not they made a donation. Students can participate by donating, helping organize cans or educating others about the can drive’s importance. Parents are also involved by helping to educate students. The food drive culminates in an assembly and is capped off by students going on a field trip to deliver the food themselves. Over the years, Brian has inspired numerous teachers to organize and lead character-focused activities, attend Character Education workshops, and become certified in this area.

“This year, Reed was recognized as a State School of Character,” Principal Chris Schreiner said. “Although every current and past Panther (students, parents, and staff) needs to take credit for this recognition, as the Reed Principal, I can honestly say that we would not have been recognized without Brian’s leadership and determination. Brian is truly deserving of the Excellence in Education Award.

Brian is originally from St. Louis. He and his wife, Kerri, have been married for 11 years, and have two children: Logan, 14, who attends Fort Zumwalt West High; and Tyson, 10, who attends Rock Creek Elementary.
Brian received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education/Health for K-12 and his Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

LECC’s SSD Paraprofessional Sonjoria Sydnor Recognized as 2018 Building Block Award Winner

Congratulations to Special School District paraprofessional Sonjoria Sydnor, who works at the Ladue Early Childhood Center, for being recognized as a 2018 Building Block Award winner by the Special School District of St. Louis County.

SSD honored more than 40 staff and community members on March 8, 2018, at its annual SSD Salutes Banquet. The District recognized teachers, paraprofessionals and other SSD staff and community members who have gone above and beyond in serving its students.


For more information, click here.

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.”

LMS Math Students Dominate 2018 State MathCounts Competition

At this year’s annual 2018 State MathCounts Competition in Columbia, Missouri, 160 of the best middle school math students in the state converged. Ladue Middle School sent seven students to the event, all of whom finished in the top 26! In the overall competition, no other school in the state cracked the Top 5, because all of those positions were taken by LMS students:

1st) Will Bender
2nd) Anthony Wang
3rd) Nicole Li
4th) Sam Chen
5th) Iris Zhou
16th) Richie Jiang
26th) Aditya Kondepudi

In the head-to-head, single-elimination Countdown Round, LMS students placed in the following order (remember, this is in competition with all other state contestants):

Old Bonhomme Special Education Resource Teacher Courtney Conway with February Excellence in Education Award

Courtney Conway, a special education resource teacher at Old Bonhomme Elementary, received the February Excellence in Education Award at the Feb. 26, 2018, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Courtney on this prestigious recognition!

Courtney has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 2012, when she took the position of resource teacher at Old Bonhomme.

Courtney says that she feels lucky to have had the opportunity to learn and grow as an educator in the same position and school for all six years of her career! Along with teaching, Courtney also coordinates an after-school program, Ladue Explorers, which focuses on building connections, friendship skills and problem solving.

Courtney is an outstanding educator for her strong advocacy for students and extensive collaboration with staff and parents to help those students achieve their goals.

LMS Students Take First and Second Place at 2018 Educating for Change Conference

Ladue Middle School eighth-grade students Eileen Suarez and Abby Soldwish-Zoole were the first and second place winners of the Break the School-to-Prison Pipeline Event & Youth Art Contest, and the two were recognized at the 2018 Educating for Change Conference put on by the St Louis Educators for Social Justice on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Eileen gave a speech about her art piece that brought a standing ovation from the audience of more than 300 people!

Check out Eileen’s speech in the video below:

High School Girls Basketball Team Holds Staff Appreciation Night

The high school girls basketball team held a staff appreciation night on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Each player chose a staff member to recognize, and Activities Coordinator Greg Baber read a tribute that one player wrote as they walked out onto the court. A reception was held after the game.

Reed Elementary Named a 2018 State School of Character

The Ladue School District is pleased to announce that Reed Elementary School was named a 2018 State School of Character (SSOC) by The Character Education Partnership (CEP), a national advocate and leader for the character education movement. The State Schools of Character program recognizes schools that have demonstrated the use of character education and development to create a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate.

“At Reed, we believe in making character education an integral part of our students’ daily lives,” Principal Dr. Chris Schreiner said. “To have our hard work recognized with the State School of Character designation is an incredible honor, and well-deserved by our staff, our students and their families who offer such tremendous support.”

Reed Elementary School has 418 students and is located at 9060 Ladue Road, St. Louis, MO, 63124. In 2018, along with Reed Elementary, 64 additional schools and 5 districts across the U.S. were recognized.

LMS Teacher Quentin Alimayu Selected for Missouri Council for Social Studies

Congratulations to Ladue Middle School teacher Quentin Alimayu for being selected to serve on the board of the Missouri Council for Social Studies. Quentin will serve as one of the regional delegates representing the entire Metro St. Louis area for the next two years. He will be seated next month.

“It’s exciting to know that Quentin will serve as an advocate for all students and will represent LMS and Ladue Schools at the state level,” Principal Tiffany Taylor-Johnson said. “What an accomplishment!”

LECC Music Teacher Julianne Schankman Recognized with January Excellence in Education Award

Julianne Schankman, an early childhood music teacher at Ladue Early Childhood Center, received the January Excellence in Education Award at the Jan. 22, 2018, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Julianne on this prestigious recognition!

Julianne has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 2011, when she took a part-time position as the music teacher at the LECC.

It is without question that Julianne plays such an important role in the lives of all of the young students at the Ladue Early Childhood Center. As LECC Director Kerri Wetzel has said, “Julianne makes it a point to get to know each child’s name in our school, and her tender and warm approach invites them to learn acceptance and understanding of the world around them.”