Barretts Elementary principal distinguished among peers
Kelli Moreton, principal at Barretts Elementary in the Parkway School District, was selected as the 2014-15 Missouri Distinguished Principal by the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP).
The program honors outstanding elementary- and middle-level administrators who ensure that Missouri’s children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement.
Moreton will be honored at a banquet during the MAESP Leadership Conference in mid-March.
Community Education partnership honored
The Parkway and Rockwood school districts have only been officially collaborating on the Parkway/Rockwood Community Education Program for a short time, but they are already being recognized locally and internationally for their one-of-a-kind partnership.
Each year the East-West Gateway Council of Governments honors local jurisdictions, public officials and projects that are making special contributions to their communities and regions.
Parkway and Rockwood received a 2014 Outstanding Local Government Achievement Award for Exemplary Intergovernmental Collaboration.
“The work of these two school districts underscores the importance of collaborative public efforts across jurisdictions that pool resources and streamline services while delivering quality opportunities for the publics they serve,” said East-West Gateway Executive Director Edward Hillhouse.
Parkway and Rockwood also have received the Learning Resources Network (LERN) International Award for Innovative Practice in Business and Industry.
“Parkway and Rockwood formed a single identity to deliver programming more effectively to a more diverse audience,” said Julie Coates, vice president for LERN Core Services. “These two districts exemplify the innovative approaches to partnering that will be increasingly required for programs to remain strong and successful.”
Rockwood teacher named finalist for $1 million prize
Rockwood Summit High teacher Jamie Manker has many passions – making sure young children have the resources they need to become great readers is one of them.
“I know the ability to read and read well begins before children enter kindergarten,” she said.
“I believe building parent and community involvement in the pre-K years is a very good place to start.”
Manker wants to make a difference – and winning The Global Teacher Prize would help. Manker said she would use the $1 million prize money to bolster parent education programs to start building vocabulary from birth.
The Global Teacher Prize is open to teachers in every school worldwide. Applicants are judged on how they open up their pupils’ minds, their contributions to the community and their encouragement of others to become teachers.
Selected as one of the top 50 finalists, from a field of more than 5,000 nominees, Manker said the entire event has felt surreal.
“As a teacher, many of the things I view as success are not about me. I see success in the tremendous level of hard work done by my students. I see success in the excellent parenting done by the members of my community who trust their children to me every day. I see success in the hundreds of amazing teachers out there whose ideas I borrow and incorporate into my own classroom. I see success in the tremendous support, care, and encouragement I have received as an individual working in Rockwood School District,” she said.
The final 10 candidates will be announced in February, and the winner will be named in March at the Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai.
Excellence in Physical Education
Two Parkway teachers have been recognized for their commitment to the field of physical education.
Laura Beckmann, physical education teacher at Shenandoah Elementary has been named the Missouri Elementary P.E. Teacher of the Year.
Ron Ramspott, Parkway’s Coordinator of P.E. and Outdoor Education, has been awarded the Helen Manley Lifetime Professional Service Award.
Beckmann and Ramspott were selected by Missouri Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MOAHPERD) and received their awards at the MOAHPERD state conference on Nov. 15.
WGU offers military scholarships
WGU Missouri, in partnership with the National Military Family Association, is offering scholarships of up to $2,000 each to veterans and active-duty military, along with their spouses.
Scholarships will be awarded through Feb. 28 in an effort to encourage military personal and family members to further their education. The scholarships can be used toward both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
For additional information or to apply, visit missouri.wgu.edu/militaryappreciation.
Rockwood teacher, students publish e-books
Marquette High English teacher Rob Durham is working on self-publishing his third book.
But Durham doesn’t limit his literary efforts to his own publishing. He also uses self-publishing to encourage students to write.
“I have so many talented writers that I didn’t just want to teach them how to write but to actually publish what they write,” Durham said. “They deserve an audience.”
To accomplish his goal, Durham built the publishing process into his creative writing classroom curriculum. He also worked with Marquette fine arts teacher Jamie Wildt’s graphic design class to design digital covers for the e-books.
Kelsey Owens didn’t even know it was possible to publish books as a high school student.
“I thought you had to be a more ‘official’ writer to publish a book on something as well-known as Kindle,” she said. “It’s pretty cool to see that it’s possible for an average high school student to have published work.”
Owens’ book “High Heels High Hopes” is about a girl who gets a phone call that could change her life.
“My favorite part about writing is the possibilities are endless,” she said. “You get to create something, someone and even any place imaginable into a story to share with others”
Fernando Solari’s book is about a middle-aged, white-collar worker whose dull life just keeps getting worse. While it might not be an uplifting story, his parents embraced Durham’s project.
“We are extremely proud of him,” said Susana Solari. “English is not his first language, and he just got to the United States only a year and a half ago. However, you can’t tell from what you read. He is an independent thinker and on top of this he adds layers of emotion, crafting and rigor on what he writes.”
Durham had Honors English classes do the proofreading and editing for 18 creative writing students, all of whom have self-published a short story on Kindle Direct Publishing.
Keeping Teens Safe
Lafayette High School, the Rockwood Drug-Free Coalition and the National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse (NCADA) have scheduled a program for parents of high school and middle school youth on preventing substance abuse.
The event will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 10 from 7-8 p.m. at Lafayette High School, 17050 Clayton Road in Wildwood. The program is free and open to the public.
Jenny Armbruster, Director of Community Services for NCADA, will discuss the science of addiction, review current trends among teens, and share community resources available to families. A four-person panel, including Armbruster, a Rockwood parent, a young person in recovery and a St. Louis County police officer, will follow the discussion with more information sharing and ample time for Q&A.
For more information, contact Renee Heney at 733-2136 or visit www.RockwoodCoalition.org.