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District News

9/21/16

Adam Gauzy and students in the automotive technology program recently were recognized as the Washington High School and Four Rivers Career Center Students of the Month.

A senior at Washington High School, Gauzy holds a 4.0 grade-point average and is vice president of the senior class. He is involved in National Honor Society, Student Council, Leadership, track and baseball. He plans to pursue a career in physical therapy in college and would like to compete in track on the collegiate level.

Automotive technology students accepting the award were Andrew Katzung, Nick Dierking, Alec Kreiftmeyer, Brian Reid, Tyler Moore and instructor Dan Brinkmann.

Gauzy and the automotive technology students were presented their student of the month plaques by Dennis Kramme, Washington Rotary Club President. See the photos below.

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WHS Student of the Month

Adam Gauzy receives his student of the month plaque from Rotary President Dennis Kramme.

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Four Rivers Career Center Students of the Month

Students in the Automotive Technology program receive their plaque from Rotary President Dennis Kramme. From left are Andrew Katzung, Kramme, Nick Dierking, Alec Kreiftmeyer, Brian Reid, Tyler Moore and instructor Dan Brinkmann.

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9/20/16

The WINGS Educational Foundation awarded its second S.T.E.A.M. Collaborative WINGS Grant to Washington Middle School on Thursday, Sept. 15, during the annual WINGS Hall of Honor Dinner.

The $9,100 grant will be used to transform the school library into a “makerspace,” a flexible, creative, collaborative learning environment that allows students to create and self-direct their learning by making.

The improvements will not impact the book collection in the library, but will modernize the classroom space and provide resources including a 3D printer, animation studio tools, video display monitor, robotic ball, kits for building and programming circuits, and other components to build, capture, design and store.

"In the makerspace, students are encouraged to be innovative, collaborate, and problem solve," said WMS Library Media Specialist Valerie Jankowski. "Technology-based activities are the primary focus of makerspaces, but they can also include other activities, such as writing, origami, and knitting. If it can be 'made', it can be included in the makerspace."

WINGS is the educational foundation for the School District of Washington.
Washington Middle School staff accepting the award include were Valerie Jankowski, Danielle Snider, Melissa Ziegler, Emily Hardee and Logan Stapp.
WINGS members presenting the grant were Brad Mitchell, Dawn Kitchell, Casey Zastrow and Cindy Lohmeyer.

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Pictured are 2016 WINGS STEAM Grant winners from Washington Middle School. Front row, from left, representing Washington Middle School, are Melissa Ziegler, Logan Stapp, Valerie Jankowski, Emily Hardee and Danielle Snider, and Dawn Kitchell (WINGS). Back row, from left, are WINGS representatives Dr. Jane Reed, Casey Zastrow, Cindy Lohmeyer and Brad Mitchell, and School District of Washington Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer.

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9/20/16

Molly Eckelkamp, a senior at Washington High School, has been selected to be an adviser for the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS).

The (NOYS) is a coalition of nonprofit and for-profit youth-serving organizations and government agencies working together toward the common goal of addressing health and safety issues that affect youth in the United States.

The mission of NOYS is to build partnerships that will save lives, prevent injuries and promote safe and healthy lifestyles among all youth while encouraging youth empowerment and leadership.

Working in collaboration with member organizations, the NOYS coalition maintains a strong focus on traffic safety, while also addressing other issues affecting youth safety such as injury prevention, substance abuse prevention and violence prevention.

It’s the second straight year a WHS student has been selected for the adviser role. Kristen Mittler, a 2016 graduate who currently is attending the University of Missouri, received the honor last year.

“NOYS is a really interesting program. I like what they are advocating for,” Eckelkamp said. “I really wanted to see what they included and how everything played out, so I decided to go for it.”

Molly and her mother were flown (expenses paid by the NOYS) Friday, Sept. 9, to Washington, D.C., where she spent the weekend in leadership training to become an adviser to a group of student correspondents.

“We did a lot of things on coaching. We had an instructor come in and teach us the basics of coaching, which is a new kind of leadership training,” Eckelkamp said. “We used that for our correspondence, who we will be working on a team with to promote youth safety.”

"When Kristen Mittler experienced this amazing opportunity with NOYS last year, she was hopeful another BJJTV staff member would take advantage of it this year. Over the summer, Kristen messaged BJJTV staffers a reminder. Molly was instantly hooked on the idea,” said Washington High School instructor Michelle Turner. “She often asked all of us what we felt her best stories were and bounced ideas off of us for our applications process. Her hard work paid off. She just returned from an all-expense paid training trip to Washington, D.C. courtesy of NOYS. I’m excited to see the work she produces to encourage youth safety through BJJTV (Blue Jay Journal Television) and the NOYS program in the upcoming months.”

“It was a very eye-opening experience in Washington, D.C.,” Eckelkamp said. “I learned a lot of new things involving coaching and we did a lot of improv training and things like that. It really opened my eyes to new ways of leadership, and that was an amazing experience.”

Eckelkamp is active in Blue Jay Journal Television at WHS. She’s also involved in the Junior Optimist Club, Link Crew, Student Council and Key Club.

Molly is the daughter of Eric and Danette Eckelkamp.

Click on the attached links below for Eckelkamp’s online biography and more information on the National Organizations for Youth Safety.

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Molly Eckelkamp

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9/19/16

The Washington School Districts’ WINGS Educational Foundation inducted its eighth class to the Hall of Honor on Thursday, Sept. 15.

The WINGS Hall of Honor was formed to recognize alumni, community contributors and educators who have shown exceptional personal, community or professional achievement.

The 2016 honorees were Jim Gephardt, who will receive the Educator Award; Steven Minning, who will receive the Alumni Award; and James P. Jackson, who will receive the Community Contributor Award.

A formal dinner to honor the recipients was held at SFB Jesuit Hall.

See the bios of each honorary and photos below.

Jim Gephardt

Educator Award

Jim Gephardt was born in January 1950. He graduated from Washington High School in 1968.

While a student, he was a member of the National Honor Society and served as class president. He also participated in track, basketball and football. He was a football co-captain his senior year.

He attended Northeast Missouri State on a football scholarship. His love of education led him to major in math during his time there (1968-1973). He then began his teaching career at Ft. Zumwalt where from 1974-78 where he taught math and was an assistant coach in both track and football.

However, he soon moved back to the family farm in Washington. He taught math at Washington High School from 1978 until his retirement in 2005.

During that time, he also spent countless hours coaching — first as an assistant and then as varsity track coach from 1978-1986; assistant football coach from 1988-1990; and varsity football head coach from 1991-1997.

One of his former players said that Coach Gephardt taught his players to handle both victories and defeats as professionals — a lesson they carried to other aspects of their lives.

WINGS also heard from many students that Gephardt was a superb teacher. One of his students remarked that she respected his ability to teach difficult concepts while also making his classes interesting and engaging.

He encouraged questions and discussions regarding math, students said, but also about issues taking place in our country and the world. He led by example, they said, demonstrating how important it is to be a knowledgeable and responsible citizen.

Gephardt has become even busier since his 2005 retirement. He is active in his church, volunteers many hours at the food pantry, tutors individuals seeking to earn their high school equivalency certificate, and is still working the family farm.

Gephardt is an ideal recipient for the WINGS Educational Foundation’s Educator Award. He touched and influenced many lives during his teaching and coaching career and continues to do so still today.

As one of his fellow teachers said, “Jim personifies the spirit of Washington. He is first and foremost a solid citizen, a good neighbor, a dedicated caretaker of the environment and a willing volunteer who passionately supports the community.”

Gephardt and his wife Diane reside in Washington.

Steven Minning

Alumni Award

Minning was born in Washington in 1953. He got involved in theater his freshman year at Washington High School in the production of “Bye Bye Birdie.”

For that part, he received a notice in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

As he says, “It was my first part, and the fact that The Post singled me out . . . hooked me for good.”

He graduated in 1971 after doing three more plays — the beginning of a lifelong career.

Minning graduated from Central Methodist College in 1975, although he did not attend his graduation because he was on a USO tour entertaining troops in Germany. He then taught for a year in Potosi before receiving his master’s degree in theater in 1977 from Emporia State University.

Minning’s first directing job was in 1988 when he directed Gladys Knight and Dick Clark in an event that celebrated Mobil Oil. As a professional theater director, his first job was in 1989 when he directed a production of “My One and Only” at the Music Theater of Wichita.

That began a very impressive string of accomplishments. He performed on Broadway in “42nd Street” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”

He has been a creative and stage director for corporate business theatre/events featuring world-renowned speakers including John Travolta, Tommy Lee Jones and Bill Clinton.

As a special events director, Minning directed the 1996 Coca-Cola Ceremonies starring Celine Dion honoring the International Olympic Council, and the World Cup Opening Ceremonies at both Giants Stadium in New York and Foxboro Stadium in Boston.

As a resident of both New York City and California, he has worked on Broadway as a director, associate director, resident director and choreographer.

Minning has toured Japan and Australia as the artistic director for Cirque de Soleil’s DRALION which fused Chinese acrobatic art with Western theatre.

For five years he was the associate director worldwide for Disney’s Tony Award-winning musical “The Lion King.”

There have been many, many more theatrical accomplishments in Minning’s life, but in 2013 he also began sharing his love of the theater with high school students. He is currently the director of creative arts at Menlo Upper School in Atherton, Calif.

WINGS directors said Minning is a very deserving recipient of the Alumni Award. He is an inspiring example of a person who found something he loved to do while he was in high school, worked hard to be the best and discovered that the possibilities are endless.

Jim Jackson

Community Contributor Award

James P. Jackson, known as Jim to his friends, was born in 1925 in Paris, France, to American parents who brought him to the United States when he was 8. He graduated from Maplewood’s Richmond Heights High School in 1944.

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-1946 before attending the University of Missouri. He completed bachelor degrees in both biology and wildlife management in 1950, followed by a master’s degree in education in 1957.

In 1960, Jackson began teaching biology at Washington High School, a perfect career choice for someone who has described himself as a lifelong naturalist. He continued teaching until his retirement in 1980, while also serving as the chairman of the science department.

His commitment to education did not end there though. In fact, many local schoolchildren might recognize him as someone other than Jim Jackson. On many fourth- and fifth-grade history days, he brought the subject up close and personal by portraying Daniel Boone, much to the delight of both students and teachers.

He also has taken on the same role when the Beaufort School students visited the Coulter Museum in New Haven.

Jackson has been involved with the Washington Historical Society for 19 years. As a member of the education committee of the Historical Society, he has talked to numerous students about World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

On Washington Trail Days you can find him giving participants the history of Lewis and Clark’s passage through this area and the importance of the Missouri River to Washington.

After his retirement, Jackson and his wife Charlene began taking trips through the Elderhostel Program, now called Road Scholar. They have been participating in the programs for 25 years — the couple continue to be lifelong learners.

Jackson was a seasonal Road Scholar instructor at the YMCA of the Ozarks from 1992-2015. He conducted many weeklong programs at the Camp Lakewood Lodge in Potosi sharing his knowledge and excitement of the great outdoors.

For numerous years Jackson has volunteered his time at the Shaw Nature Reserve and participates in Pioneer Days at the Reserve. He also is a Friend of the Daniel Boone Burial Site. He helps maintain and improve the site and has even taken it upon himself to plant young trees at the site.

In addition, he has authored several books. Among them are “A Biography of a Tree,” January 1979; “Passages of a Stream: A Chronicle of the Meramec,” February 1984; and “Views From the Back Forty,” October 2007.

WINGS officials said Jackson is a very worthy recipient of the Community Contributor Award. Many teachers have stated that he has made significant contributions to the lives of countless schoolchildren in the Washington School District and contributes to our understanding and appreciation of the community in which we live.

Jackson and his wife Charlene have two sons, Keith and Glenn, and they currently reside between Marthasville and Dutzow.

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Pictured are 2016 WINGS Educational Foundation Hall of Honor inductees. The inductees, holding the plaques, from left, are Jim Gephardt, Jim Jackson and Tim Elder, who was accepting on behalf of Steve Minning. Also pictured, from left, are Lynda McCoy (WINGS), School District of Washington Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer and Brad Mitchell (WINGS).

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Pictured are members of the WINGS Educational Foundation Hall of Honor who were on hand for the 2016 ceremony. Seated, from left, are Jackie Krafft and Jo Hagedorn. Standing, from left, are Ruth Wood, Frank Wood, Jim Gephardt, Don Northington, Ron Cowan, Jack Hagedorn, Jim Jackson and Brad Mitchell (WINGS).

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District Calendar

Today: 9/25/16

Early Release Days

The next Early Release Day is Wednesday, September 28. All students will be released (1) hour early. Click here for Early Release Day schedules and procedures.

Immunization for 8th and 12th Grade Students Required For 2016-17

There are new immunization requirements that have been put in place for incoming 8th graders and 12th graders. The Meningococcal vaccine (Menectra) is now a requirement for these age groups. Please make plans to have your child immunized before the start of the 2016-17 school year. Click here for more details.

CAPS/Pathways to Prosperity

The School District of Washington’s CAPS/Pathways to Prosperity Planning Teams continue to make progress toward moving the program forward. Click here for more information.

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