Top honors for yearbooks
The Fort Zumwalt School District’s high school yearbook staffs are making their mark, being named for the second consecutive year as National Sample Books for yearbook producer Balfour.
“Balfour prints about 7,000 different yearbooks each year,” West High sponsor Loran Marquez said. “About 700 are submitted and from there, 125 are selected to be distributed throughout the country as sample books. This is the second year all four Zumwalt yearbooks have been selected.”
In addition to this honor, the West High staff also earned a First Class honor rating from the National Scholastic Press Association for its 2015 Predator.
West High yearbook staff members pictured are [bottom row, from left] Jenna Terbrock, Jordan Weinberg, Carol Keller and Caitlin Hollander; [second row] Emily Adams, Paige Shirley, Sarah Brewer, Michelle MacCormack and Molly Finnegan; [third row] Ashley Cornforth, Alex Gallegos, Emily Maurer and Abby Price; [fourth row] Sarah Powers, Olivia Healzer, Brittney Bartlett, Maddi Rankin and Brooke Barrett; [top row] Gabi Kaysinger and Logan Kruger. Not pictured are Hailey Dreyer, Jordan Vordtriede and Hannah Wiehe.
Teacher of the Year named
Life is a journey, and for some it’s a journey filled with moments of realization. An experience, or merely a conversation, can be the difference in one’s life. This is true for the Francis Howell School District Teacher of the Year, Warren Elementary’s Brandy Patterson.
While listening to a motivational speaker, Patterson realized she wanted make others feel successful. That’s why she became a teacher, and achieving her goal of making others successful is why she is the district’s Teacher of the Year. For 16 years, Patterson has taught and has taken on leadership roles at Warren and John Weldon Elementary schools and at Barnwell Middle.
“I want to stimulate engagement and creativity,” Patterson, a first grade teacher at Warren, said. “I want to create an experience for them. Most importantly, I want to empower my students as leaders, not just champions. Developing leaders is my greatest contribution and accomplishment.”
Local Girl Scouts win gold awards
By combining dedication, creativity and a commitment to service, three area Girl Scouts improved their communities while earning the organization’s highest honor – its Gold Award.
Carly Freihofer, a graduate of Fort Zumwalt West High and a student at Lindenwood University, wanted to address the heroin epidemic in St. Charles after a family friend overdosed on the drug and died. To earn her Gold Award, Freihofer made a video about the issue, including interviews with law enforcement officers, recovering addicts and drug counselors. She distributed the video to area schools so it could be used as an educational tool in health classes.
“In addition to developing leadership, communication and collaborative skills, I learned a lot about drug abuse in our community,” Freihofer said. “It was a long road and I experienced many setbacks along the way, but earning the Gold Award was so worth it in the end.”
Danielle Farley, who graduated from Fort Zumwalt South High and now attends Millikin University, worked with Crisis Nursery in Wentzville, an agency committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect, to earn her Gold Award. She built a bookshelf and collected donated books for the organization’s clients to borrow and enjoy. She also created a pamphlet to help others recognize and address domestic violence.
Timberland High graduate Michelle Fritsche worked with the Wentzville Parks Department to create a flower garden designed to increase recycling in her community. In addition to making stepping stones out of plastic bags and signs with recycling facts and statistics, Fritsche also planted flowers and a tree for visitors of the garden to enjoy.
Less than 1 percent of all Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which puts those girls among an exceptional group of women who have used their knowledge and leadership skills to make a difference in the world.
Holt senior named as U.S. Presidential Scholars candidate
Holt senior Robert Griesenauer has been selected as a candidate for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.
The program, established in 1964 by executive order of the president, recognizes and honors some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Scholars are chosen on the basis of their accomplishments in academic and artistic success, leadership, and involvement in school and the community.
“I was honored when I found out I was selected as a candidate for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program,” Griesenauer said. “To be one of 4,000 seniors selected out of millions of soon-to-be high school graduates feels like a great accomplishment.”
Principal allows students to tape her to a wall
It happens from time to time – we get stuck.
We can be stuck in traffic, stuck at home in a snowstorm, or stuck in a line at the cafeteria. But if you make a promise to some students at Harvest Ridge Elementary, you might just get stuck to the wall.
Dr. Natalie DeWeese, Harvest Ridge principal, challenged her students that if they could reach a goal of $500 in donations to Special Olympics, she would allow them to duct tape her to the wall of the school gym. The Harvest Ridge community rallied as a result, raising more than $2,000 by paying to participate in Spirit days, and by purchasing raffle tickets for a chance physically tape a staff member to a wall in the gym.
Not everyone was initially sold on the idea. One staff member playfully said she’d “rather kiss a pig” than get duct taped to a wall. Well, someone found a pig.
Being a great sport, Joni Beck, assistant principal at Harvest Ridge, stood by her word and kissed a pot-bellied pig in honor of the kids’ donations.
Dr. Curtis Cain, Superintendent of the Wentzville School District, has been recognized by the Missouri Association of School Administrators for outstanding performance as a new superintendent.
The award is given in recognition of outstanding performance in the demonstration of those skills that reflect the best in educational leadership.
Cain has served as superintendent in the district since July 2013. During that time, the district has added over 1,100 students and continues to be the fastest growing school district in the state. Student assessment scores continue to be in the top 10 percent and the district has been recognized by St. Charles County as a leader in STEM education.