Tag Archives: Staff Recognition

Spoede First Grade Teacher Jenny Weber Recognized with December Excellence in Education Award

Jenny Weber, a first grade teacher at Spoede Elementary, received the December Excellence in Education Award at the Dec. 11, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Jenny on this prestigious recognition!

Jenny has worked for the Ladue School District since July of 2008, when she took a position as a mathematics teaching assistant at Spoede Elementary School.

If you ask her fellow educators, they will tell you that Jenny is a “whatever it takes” kind of teacher. She doesn’t see her determination as going above and beyond for her students; rather, she just sees the effort as necessary to do what needs to be done for these children in order for them to succeed to the best of their own personal abilities. This also translates outside of the classroom, where Jenny plays a key role on the Character Education Committee at Spoede, serving as co-chair.

Dr. Stallons notes that Jenny is the type of teacher who takes the time to form positive relationships with every one of her students. She understands that being an educator is more than imparting knowledge to students—it’s also making sure that these students know that someone cares about their happiness and well-being, that they have that support system at Spoede.

Jenny is originally from St. Louis. She and her husband, Kris, have been together for 14 years and married for the last 11 years. Their 11-year-old son, Tyler, attends Northeast Middle School.

Jenny received her bachelor’s of arts degree from UMSL. She then went on to earn her master’s degree from Lindenwood.

Ladue Middle School Student Ben Rich Creates Charitable “Mitzvah Market” For Those in Need

Check out the awesome charity work that Ladue Middle School student Ben Rich is doing through the process of becoming a bar mitzvah! Ben organized a clothing drive and market for people who might not be able to purchase new or used clothing.

“I just wanted to be able to help out people who need it, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it,” Ben said in an article by the St .Louis Jewish Light.

Click here to read more of this story!

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.

Reviews

“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

University of Chicago Recognizes Lisa Crawford and Janet Duckham with Outstanding Educator Award

Congratulations to high school language arts teachers Lisa Crawford and Janet Duckham on being recognized with the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award!

The University of Chicago shared this message with the Ladue School District:

This distinguished award has existed for more than three decades. Each year, the university invites first-year students to nominate an educator who has influenced them, challenged them, or helped them along the path toward intellectual growth. Hundreds of students nominate past teachers who taught them to re-imagine texts, to delve deeper into problem-solving, and to think beyond the borders of the classroom in the pursuit of their own education.

“As an institution that prides itself on being committed to the Life of the Mind, we at the University of Chicago are heartened to see that your schools foster and support such outstanding individuals. Our sincerest congratulations to both of you and your faculty for the continued support of excellence,” said James Nondorf, vice president of enrollment at the University of Chicago.

 

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.

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.

Alumnus Publishes First Novel, Bases Character & Setting on Ladue Schools

Michael Currinder (Ladue Schools Class of ’83) has recently published his first novel for young adults titled Running Full Tilt. Praised by Newbery medal winner Jack Gantos as “a quick read with a kick at the finish,” his novel sensitively and memorably captures a teen runner’s relationship with his older brother who is autistic. The novel is set in Ladue Horton Watkins High School circa 2006, and the Coach Gorsky character is based upon former Ladue Schools track coach legend, Phil Brusca. The American Library Associations Booklist publication recently awarded the novel a starred review stating, “The characterizations are complex and realistic, with sensitively depicted virtues and flaws, evoking empathy and sympathy in the reader. Currinder’s novel is poignant and powerful, with a story that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Michael ran cross country and track at Ladue Schools, and earned a college athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His first novel is a hybrid of his collective experiences as a competitive runner and as an adolescent with an autistic sibling. Michael is currently living in Tokyo and is teacher and track and cross country coach at The American School in Japan.

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.

LMS Gaming Educator Talks Game Design in Interviews

Our district’s resident gaming educator, Kathleen Mercury, has had a busy few weeks! Between podcasts and interviews, Kathleen has been able to share what she does and why she teaches her students the art of gaming in the classroom.

Check out one of the more recent stories about Kathleen’s teaching below:

“Teaching game design at this level (middle school) is almost unheard of; it’s why I pursue so many different ways to learn from actual game designers, developers, and publishers in the field,” Kathleen says. “It’s also why I share what I do via my website kathleenmercury.com for free for teachers around the world, so that it’s easier for other game design teachers to get started.”

What else has she been up to?

Kathleen recently participated in a number of sessions as they relate to her 8th grade classes (making siege warfare machines with wood and duct tape, RPG design). “I love innovating and finding new ways to teach and engage students, and I’m excited about what I learned,” she says. And good news: the 8th graders are excited to make pumpkin chunkin’ machines!

Also, in case you weren’t aware, Kathleen has her own game in development! Click here to learn more about this accomplishment!

 

Spoede Educators Share Tips On KSDK On How to Get Students Organized

Thanks to some Ladue Schools educators, KSDK shared tips on how to get your students organized for school! Spoede teacher Jennifer Johnson and retired educator Jan Caimi discussed some classroom-proven tips to make things easier at home. Watch the video and see the tips via KSDK below!