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District News

2/24/17

On the Spot SDOW will highlight, at random, three employees a month from Certified Staff, Support Staff and Administration/Counseling. The purpose is to recognize and acknowledge the outstanding professionals we have in our District who are leading the way for our students.

The February 2017 On the Spot SDOW recipients are Lynne Kuchem, Joe Dierks and Julie McBride.

Dierks is an assistant principal at Washington High School. McBride is a third-grade teacher at Washington West Elementary. Kuchem is the secretary at Campbellton Elementary.

See the profiles of each On the Spot SDOW recipient below.

 

Lynne Kuchem

Lynne Kuchem, the secretary at Campbellton Elementary, is a graduate of St. Francis Borgia High School and attended East Central College. She has been with the SDOW for 13 years, all as the secretary at Campbellton Elementary.

 

*How would you describe yourself as a person?

“I’m very family oriented and I’m a fun-loving person.”

 

*Describe your job duties?

“Attendance, answering the door, answering the phone. Some days it’s helping with lunch aide, scanning in the lunch room, taking care of the lunch money. Basically anything anybody needs.”


*Best part about your job?

“The kids, and the people I work with. We’re like a big family here. I love my job.”

 

*What would you like other staff members and parents in the district to know about Campbellton Elementary?

“It’s a great place. It’s small and its very community and family oriented. Everybody really gets along.”

 

*Hobbies?

“I like to flower garden. I like to read. But above all, I like to spend time with my grand-kids, and my kids. I have five grand-kids ranging in age from 1 to 9.”

 

*What cheers you up?

“My grand-kids, and going to Los Cabos. And I love vacations at the beach. We go to the Fort Walton/Destin (Florida) area with the family pretty much every year. It’s great.”

 

 

*What’s your favorite time of the school year?

“The fall when school starts is stressful. It gets better after the first few weeks when things settle down. I like the holidays. Christmas here at Campbellton is really fun. Not that I’m looking for the school year to end, but I always enjoy the summer, and then I’m always ready to come back in the fall.”

 

*If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

“Washington, Missouri. I love Washington. I’m lucky because all three of my kids live here. I grew up here. My parents grew up here. I drive along Front Street and see the flowers and the river. It’s a family oriented community. Some people don’t like that, but I do.”

 

*If you won it big in the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy?

“Our own house at the beach, not to live there, but a vacation home. My family would also like to have a lake house around here where they could fish at.”

 

*What do you miss most about being a kid?

“Not worrying about anything. You wake up and have a clean slate every day.”

 

*If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

“Play the piano, and sing. Every time someone in my family has a birthday, I call them and sing, ‘Happy Birthday.’ They expect it now, and they’d be disappointed if I didn’t do it.”

 

*Who’s someone you really admire, and why do you admire them?

“My mother-in-law, Rita Kuchem. She’s awesome. She’s had a lot of hard knocks in her life. She’s amazing. She’s there for the great grand-kids and the grand-kids, and her kids. She’s the youngest great grand-mother I’ve ever known. I hope I can be as good of a great-grandma one day.”


Lynne Kuchem

Joe Dierks

Joe Dierks, assistant principal at Washington High School, is a graduate of Steeleville, Ill., High School and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He holds Master’s degrees from Southwest Baptist University in both curriculum and instruction and education administration. This is his second year with the SDOW and 17th year in education after previously teaching (social students and history) and coaching (basketball and cross country) at Valley Park and Crocker High Schools.

 

*How would you describe yourself as a person and educator?

“I’m a work-hard, play-hard guy. I like to be on the go and have a full schedule. My son, Drew, is a big part of my life and my wife’s life. If I’m not here doing something one night, I’m usually involved with one of his activities, and that’s how I like it.

“I knew early on that I wanted to be a teacher. I enjoyed every day in the classroom. I love working with kids. I have a real passion for history and social studies. It was my mission to spice up history and social studies and make them fun classes for the students. My favorite thing to do, as an administrator, is classroom observation and watching teachers do their thing.

“I didn’t always want to be an administrator. There was nine years between my two Master’s degrees. I got the first one to rise up on the salary schedule, and was very comfortable with that. At Valley Park, I began doing some things and helping the staff with new initiatives. We did some cool things and became a Blue Ribbon school. I helped the staff, who then helped the students, and we worked well together as a team, so I thought maybe this was something I could do. Valley Park was right around 290 to 300 kids, which was right on that threshold, do we need an assistant principal or not? So I became the free assistant principal. I enjoyed working with teachers and kids in that capacity. I subbed a lot for our first-year principal while he was out at leadership academies. So I didn’t even entertain the idea of being an administrator until my 14th or 15th year of teaching.”

 

*What’s been your impressions of Washington High School in your two years here?

“A little eye-opening. It was really tough in the beginning to transition to such a big school. I struggle with names because there’s so many kids. I like to call kids by their name, and I’m trying to get better, but there’s just so many. I went to a high school of 140, and then the two high schools I taught at were 180 and 280, so I knew every single kid in the school. Here, it’s tough to do that. There are also so many teachers. I really want to sit down with every teacher once a year and at least talk to them a little. Our whole team tries to do observations with every teacher at least once every school year. I’m awfully glad we have a four-person administration team here at the high school.”


*Best part about your job?

“Being able to go to the bathroom whenever you want. I think if done right, teaching is the most difficult job in the world. If not done right, that’s a different story. The best part is seeing our teachers doing their thing, and being able to help them a little bit. I love teacher observations because I get to see teachers and students in their element. I also enjoy supervision. I try to take as much supervision as I can if I can work around my son’s schedule because seeing kids succeed in what they’re doing is fun for me.

 

*What would you like other staff members and parents in the district to know about Washington High School?

“The kids we have at the high school are some of the best kids I’ve ever been around. There’s a lot of good parenting and strong core values going on here. A huge percentage of our students are really good kids and they are getting the opportunity to do some pretty cool things here. There are so many different things for them to get involved in, and that’s the advantage of a big school. Our teachers and our entire staff really support the students and what they want to do. And that starts at the top with Dr. VanLeer and filters all the way down.”

 

*Hobbies?

“I like to watch sports. I’m not sure I want to be involved with coaching again, but I like watching sports. I couldn’t imagine life without watching high school and college basketball. We even try to hit a couple NBA games every year. I like to read about history when I have the time. I have a stack of books a mile high that I want to read. I’m a movie and music buff. I love ‘80s music, pop, not rock. My wife is quite the heavy metal person. She’s into Tool, Rage Against the Machine, it’s crazy. I’m more of a Hall & Oates, Lionel Richie, Boy George, Duran Duran type of guy. If given the time and the money, I would be somewhere tropical a lot. I really like the beach. My wife and I have gone to Mexico every year for the last 13 years, and spend four or five days just not thinking and decompressing. We go with friends and we all leave our kids with grandma and grandpa.

 

*What cheers you up?

“My son Drew, and watching him do things that I’ve taught him. He’s going to be 8 next month. There’s nothing that makes me happier than to see him having fun. Being warm also cheers me up. I hate the cold. I struggle with the winter. That first 80 degree day of the year, I’m walking on sunshine.”

 

*What’s your favorite time of the school year?

“I like seeing the kids come back in at the beginning. I really like the end of the school year also, not because we’re getting out, but as a long time AP teacher, I really like pumping kids up to that AP national exam and that total focus I see in an AP classroom at the end of the year. That’s a lot of fun.”

 

*If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

“Somewhere where it never gets below 70 degrees. Maybe Phoenix or Miami, because I would have to watch some college and professional basketball.”

 

*If you won it big in the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy?

“A small condo with a nice outdoor space somewhere warm. I don’t need anything big because I’m never going to be inside. Of course, that would be after I finished my signed contract with the School District of Washington. I would full fill my contractual obligations and then you would never see me again.”

 

*What do you miss most about being a kid?

“It seems like things were a lot easier back then. Every day during the summer, you could take off on your bike and play wiffle ball all day. The rule was when the street lights came on, you had 10 minutes to get home. It’s different these days. It’s really tough being a kid today.”

 

*If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

“I wish I could sing. That would be great. Especially being able to hit the high notes, like a-ha.”

 

*Who’s someone you really admire, and why do you admire them?

“My grand-father Dierks was my best friend. They lived close to us. He was strict and I had to live by his rules, but I liked that. I liked the structure. We went fishing and hunting. I don’t know if I really enjoyed doing those things, but I enjoyed it because I was with him. He imparted a lot of knowledge. Here’s how you clean the fish, and he’d make me do it myself. If I screwed up, he’d make me do it right on the next one and he’d never take over and do it for me. He didn’t accept excuses. He was quick to criticize, but also quick to praise, and I think I took that into my teaching and coaching. He was a big influence with me. I’m a 40-year old who acts like a 60-year old because my role model grew up during the depression.”


Joe Dierks

 

Julie McBride

Julie McBride, a third-grade teacher at Washington West Elementary, was a student in the Washington School District throughout her K-12 career. She attended South Point, Fifth Street and was in the last class at Locust Street as a sixth-grader, before going to the middle school and the high school. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri and received her Master’s degree from Southwest Baptist University. She’s been a teacher for 25 years, 24 years teaching third grade at South Point Elementary and then Washington West Elementary.

 

 

*How would you describe yourself as a person and a teacher?
“As a person, I would say I’m very organized. I don’t like having things to do on my desk. If there’s a task, I want to get it done. As a teacher, I like getting to know my students, and I like reaching the one who needs a little extra. I usually don’t give up on those hard cases. Usually by the end of the year I can reach almost all of them.”

 

*Best part about your job?
“Working with the students who need the extra attention; the ones who either don’t like school or have always failed. Getting to see that change is the best part.”

 

*What would you like other staff members and parents in the district to know about Washington West Elementary?

“From the custodians to the principal, everybody has the kids’ best interests at heart. There’s so much going on out there anti-education and anti-teaching, this is terrible and that’s terrible. I just think if they were in the classroom and really saw what everybody does every day, they would see a big difference from what they see on the news.”

 

*Hobbies?

“Scrapbooking and spending time with my family, I have three grandchildren (ages 4 years, 3 years and 8 months) who keep us busy. Also my husband and I go hiking, so I like to get out, go hiking and just get away from everything.”

 

*What cheers you up?

“Spending time with my grand-children.”

 

*What’s your favorite time of the school year?

“All teachers like the end of May, but at the end of the school year you can see how far your students have come since the beginning of the school year, and I always enjoy that part of it.”

 

*If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

“I would live in the Northwest, in Oregon. It’s gorgeous. Perfect weather. Great hiking. Close to the ocean. I would move there in a heartbeat.

 

*If you won it big in the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy?

“I don’t know that I would buy anything. I would use the money to travel. And I would take care of my children and their families.”

 

*What do you miss most about being a kid?

“Sometimes I miss the no responsibility part of being a kid. I miss being a kid in the days back when I was a kid.”

 

*If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

"Rock climbing."

 

*Who’s someone you really admire, and why do you admire them?

“The person who I taught with for 20 years, Janet Kleinheider. She was an amazing teacher and is still an amazing friend. As I get to the end of my teaching career, I want to go out the same way she did, which was still changing things up very year and still being a strong teacher and not phoning it in. She was really good at what she did.”


Julie McBride

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2/24/17

Students from the Four Rivers Career Center recently participated in the East District SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference Feb. 3 at Four Rivers Career Center, Ranken Technical College, and St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, and Feb. 17 at Four Rivers Career Center.

Gold and silver medalists in Hands-On competitions advance to state competition. Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists of Leadership and Written competitions also advance to state competition.

The State contest is held at the State Technical College of Missouri in Linn April 6-8.

FRCC district medalists are listed below, as are photos of the medalists.

Morning Students

Automotive Technology: Jacob Wade (East Central College) – Bronze in Automotive Service Technical Information

Automotive Technology: Jordan Duke (Washington) – Bronze in Motorcycle Service Technical Information

Automotive Technology: Ben Barnett (East Central College) – Gold in Diesel Equipment Technical Information

Automotive Technology: Trevor Seals (Washington) – Gold in Diesel Equipment Technical Information

Automotive Technology: Steven Hoekel (Union) – Bronze in Automotive Service Technology

Information Technology: Neil Landers (Washington) – Bronze in Computer Networking Technical Information

Information Technology: Joshua Clark (Hermann) – Bronze in Information Technology Services

Information Technology: Bryce Downey (St. Clair) – Bronze in Computer Repair Technical Information

Welding: Christian Feeney (East Central College) – Gold in Welding Technology

Graphic Communications: Logan Jasper (Hermann) – Gold in T-Shirt Design

Graphic Communications: Celesse Smedley (New Haven) – Gold in Promotional Bulletin Board

Graphic Communications: Celesse Smedley (New Haven) –  Bronze in Advertising Design

Graphic Communications: Maranda Heggemann (Washington) – Gold in Promotional Bulletin Board

Graphic Communications: Loraine O’Brien (Washington) - Gold in Promotional Bulletin Board

Graphic Communications: Loraine O’Brien (Washington) – Gold in Advertising Design

Graphic Communications: Makaila Milligan (Union) – Bronze in T-Shirt Design

Building Construction: Mark Senecal (New Haven) – Bronze in Carpentry Technical Information

Building Construction: Melanie Hagedorn (Pacific) – Gold in Electrical Construction Wiring

Building Construction: Melanie Hagedorn (Pacific) –  Silver in Carpentry Technical Information

Machine Tool: Tim Hoekel (Union) – Silver in Automated Manufacturing Technical Information

Machine Tool: Tim Hoekel (Union) – Silver in CNC Turning Specialist

Machine Tool: Jack Tyree (Washington) - Silver in Precision Machining Technical Information

Machine Tool: Ian Hintz (Washington) – Bronze in Precision Machining Technical Information

Machine Tool: Nick Ennis (Union) – Silver in CNC Turning Specialist

Machine Tool: Conrad Hintz (Washington) – Gold in Automated Manufacturing Technical Information

Collision Repair: Andrew Rosenburg (Washington) – Silver in Automotive Refinishing Technology

Collision Repair: Sam Miller (Washington) – Gold in Automotive Refinishing Technology

Collision Repair: Kale Meinershagen (Washington) – Bronze in Collision Repair Technical Information

Afternoon Students

Information Technology: Matthew Dew (Washington) – Gold in Computer Networking Technical Information

Information Technology: Curtis Brinker (Washington) - Silver in Computer Networking Technical Information

Machine Tool: Cole Hanneken (Borgia) – Bronze in CNC Milling Specialist

Machine Tool: Bradley Pohl (Borgia) – Gold in CNC Technician

Machine Tool: Ryan Schwoeppe (Washington) – Gold in CNC Turning Specialist

Machine Tool: Adam McGlenn (Washington) – Bronze in Automated Manufacturing Technical Information

Machine Tool: Mark Schneider (Washington) – Silver in Precision Machining Technical Information

Collision Repair: Brent Schoonveld (Sullivan) – Gold in Collision Repair Technical Information

Collision Repair: Eli Frost (Washington) – Silver in Collision Repair Technical Information

Building Construction: Zach Jasper (Washington) – Gold in Carpentry

Building Construction: Zach Jasper (Washington) – Silver in Carpentry Technical Information

Building Construction: Trevor Voss (Washington) – Gold in Masonry Technical Information

Building Construction: Justin Kleinheider (Washington) – Gold in Carpentry Technical Information

Building Construction: Oliver Brunkhorst (Washington) – Bronze in Carpentry Technical Information

Building Construction: Amber Halley (Washington) – Bronze in Technical Spelling

Building Construction: Abel Alvarez (Warrenton) – Bronze in Action Skills

Automotive Technology: Allen Shepard (Warrenton) – Bronze in Diesel Equipment Technical Information

Automotive Technology: Logan Wiese (East Central College) – Gold in Automotive Service Technical Information

Automotive Technology: Skyler Wilmesher (East Central College) – Silver in Automotive Service Technical Information

Automotive Technology: Sami Jacquin (Washington) – Silver in Motorcycle Service Technical Information

Automotive Technology: Tyler Moore (Washington) – Gold in Motorcycle Service Technical Information

Automotive Technology: Alek Krieftmeyer (Washington) – Bronze in in Automotive Service Technical Information

Automotive Technology: Andrew Katzung (Washington) – Gold in Automotive Service Technology

Graphic Communications: Josh Bond (Washington) – Silver in Pin Design

Graphic Communications: Pierce Simmons (Washington) – Silver in Promotional Bulletin Board

Graphic Communications: Will Mullins (Washington) – Silver in Promotional Bulletin Board

Graphic Communications: Nathalie Rains (Washington) – Silver in Promotional Bulletin Board

Graphic Communications: Mason Parker (Sullivan) – Bronze in Pin Design

Welding: Cole Lensing (East Central College) – Bronze in Welding Technology

Welding: Vittorio Vassalli (Sullivan) - Bronze in Welding Technology


Pictured are FRCC morning students who earned Skills USA district medals. Front row, from left, are Jacob Wade, Jordan Duke, Ben Barnett, Trevor Seals, Neil Landers, Joshua Clark, Christian Feeney, Logan Jasper, Celesse Smedley, Maranda Heggemann and Loraine O’Brien. Back row, from left, are Mark Senecal, Melanie Hagedorn, Tim Hoekel, Jack Tyree, Ian Hintz, Nick Ennis, Conrad Hintz, Andrew Rosenburg, Sam Miller and Kale Meinershagen. Not pictured are Steven Hoekel, Makaila Milligan and Bryce Downey.


Pictured are FRCC afternoon students who earned Skills USA district medals. Front row, from left, are Matthew Dew, Curtis Brinker, Cole Hanneken, Bradley Pohl, Ryan Schwoeppe, Brent Schoonveld and Eli Frost. Middle row, from left, are Adam McGlenn, Mark Schneider, Zach Jasper, Trevor Voss, Justin Kleinheider, Oliver Brunkhorst, Amber Halley and Abel Alvarez. Back row, from left, are Allen Shepard, Logan Wiese, Skyler Wilmesher, Sami Jacquin, Tyler Moore, Alek Krieftmeyer, Andrew Katzung, Josh Bond, Pierce Simmons, Will Mullins and Nathalie Rains. Not pictured are Cole Lensing, Vittorio Vassalli and Mason Parker.

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2/24/17

Kym Blankenship, physical education teacher at Washington High School, is conducting a fitness class for School District of Washington staff called PiYo, a blend of Yoga and Pilates.

The PiYo class is a six-week session one night a week. Each session lasts for one hour.

PiYo combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga.

Photos below are of Blankenship’s third session of the PiYo class on Thursday, Feb. 23, where there were approximately 20 staff members participating in the west wing cafeteria at Washington High School.








 

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2/23/17

The Washington High School Theatre Guild presents “Little Women” Thursday-Saturday, March 2-4, at the CJ Burger Auditorium at WHS. Times for all three days are 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are priced at $10 and can be purchased by contacting Penny Wilmesherr at WHS at 636-231-2200.

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District Calendar

Today: 2/24/17

Staff Spotlight: On The Spot SDOW (February 2017)

On the Spot SDOW will highlight, at random, three employees a month from the School District of Washington from Certified Staff, Support Staff and Administration/Counseling. Click here for the February edition.

Parent Speaker Series Takes Place

Washington High School is inviting all K-12 parents to attend a Speaker Series at WHS on Wednesday, March 15. Topics discussed will be mental health and warning signs of substance abuse. Click here for more details.

Early Release Days

The next Early Release Day is Wednesday, March 1. All students will be released (1) hour early. Click here for Early Release Day schedules and procedures.

iBelieve Initiative

The School District of Washington's iBelieve Initiative continues to develop. Click here for details about the program.

 

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  Technology Integration

Safety

The safety of our students and staff is a top priority. Click here for district safety information.