Students rally around fourth-grader
Sts. Joachim and Ann School in St. Charles celebrated Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 25-31) with a special recognition of one of its fourth-grade students.
Ten-year-old Luke Kahrhoff was diagnosed with cancer last year, and has been undergoing treatment. In an effort to support the Kahrhoff family, students and teachers celebrated Kahrhoff Community Day on Jan. 29.
“It is very exciting to see the children pull together to support Luke as he undergoes medical treatment for his non-Hodgkins lymphoma,” said Principal Debbie Pecher.
The school kicked off the day with an assembly where St. Peters Mayor Len Pagano presented Luke with a proclamation and a key to the city. Students and teachers – donned in T-shirts supporting Luke – also participated in a school-wide dodgeball tournament.
“Being around his friends and doing the fun, everyday activities was a way to show our school support and encourage him throughout the treatment. As we cheered on the teams of the dodgeball tournament, students said they thought they were also cheering on Luke,” Pecher said.
Students honored for STEM achievements
Seventeen local high school students were honored for their achievements in science, technology, engineering, and math on March 6 when the civic group Partners for Progress of Greater St. Charles hosted its annual STEM Celebration Breakfast.
Nominated by educators from every public and private high school in St. Charles County, the 2015 honorees included:
• Kate Adams, Lutheran High
• Grace Arias, Christian High
• Anthony Buchholz, Duchesne High
• Aiza Bustos, Francis Howell North High
• Brian Engel, St. Dominic High
• Nicholas Fields, Fort Zumwalt North High
• Saivaroon Gajagowni, Fort Zumwalt West High
• Sara Lively, St. Charles High
• Scott Lyon, Orchard Farm High
• Mackenzie Meyers, Wentzville Holt High
• Aishwarya Mogulothu, Fort Zumwalt South High
• Alexander “Alex” Ostrander, Fort Zumwalt East High
• Andrew Powell, Wentzville Timberland High
• Gary Rudolph, Francis Howell High
• Christopher C. Smith, Francis Howell Central High
• Lawrence Thompson, St. Charles West High
• Exander Turnbull, Lewis & Clark Career Center
International IT winner named
Andrew Wall, a third-grade teacher from Harvest Ridge Elementary, was recently recognized by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) as this year’s Making IT Happen award winner.
At the 2015 Midwest Educational Technology Conference, the best and brightest in the education field congregated to share ideas on how to continue innovation in the classroom, and to honor those – like Wall – who have gone above and beyond the norm to better engage students via technology.
“It was absolutely amazing,” Wall said after winning the award. “I was completely blown away by the honor, and never would have thought that the things I am doing would be seen as innovative.”
To incorporate technology in the classroom, Wall utilizes Google Drive.
“We have made movies using green screens, blogged, explored faraway places through Google Earth, watched videos of all kinds, and have podcasted – all of this and so much more on whatever device I could get my hands on,” Wall said. “I have bartered with librarians, begged administration, and anything else I could to get the devices that allow this to happen.”
Though making a lesson more enjoyable can foster better learning, the technology does more than that – it promotes concentration on the lesson.
“I think giving the kids these tools keeps them engaged and motivated to stay on task and focus on learning, which in turn translates into less behavioral issues and more learning, not to mention truly unique learning experiences that take their learning beyond anything I could do without it,” Wall said.
Wall was honored at the METC Conference held Feb. 9-11 at the St. Charles Convention Center.
Francis Howell goes pink
The Francis Howell High community held its annual Pink Out Night on Jan. 23 in support of a Francis Howell teacher who is battling cancer.
“This year’s Pink Out game had special meaning since the Francis Howell High community was honoring one of its own teachers, Mr. Phil Colter,” said English teacher Jessie Altman. “Phil has been an IT teacher for 26 years and was recently diagnosed with cancer. The Francis Howell staff, parents and students truly displayed their Viking pride by generously donating in order to help Phil and his family.”
Prior to the game, Pink Out T-shirts were sold to staff, parents and teachers. At the game, the student council sold pink cupcakes and the cheerleaders collected donations during a 1-minute dash at halftime. The event raised a little over $5,100.
“This evening was an amazing night in that it showed the lengths the Francis Howell High community will go to in order to help one of its own,” Altman said. “Phil and his family were able to attend the game; it was really amazing to see the crowd give him a standing ovation and to hear all of the students shouting, ‘Mr. Colter!’ in unison.”
Colter has been teaching since 1986, joining Francis Howell High in 1989. He has taught computer aided design (CAD), Introduction to Engineering Design, auto and power mechanics, residential architecture, and woodworking.
“Phil is a wonderful man who pours his craftsmanship and artistry into each of his classes at Francis Howell High,” Dr. Dave Wedlock, Francis Howell High principal, said. “Many of the class projects involve leading students in complex operations, meaningful collaboration and real life problem-solving to create intricate finished products. He takes great pride in seeing his students reach the highest standards of performance, and spends many hours ensuring he has the tools, techniques and technology ready to help them reach their goals.”
Wedlock said the impact Colter has made on several generations of Howell industrial technology students has been immense.
“I was so proud to see him have an opportunity to let students express their gratitude in our gym at a basketball game. It was something I will not forget,” Wedlock said.