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Celebrating our Quarterly Board of Education Recognitions

Community Partner Gives Back to Parker Road

Mr. David Greer, owner of Dairy Queen, is a generous partner with every school within the District and most recently with Parker Road.  He provides discounted lunch menus for many Ferguson-Florissant students.  In an effort to help offer incentives for academics, attendance and attitude, Mr. Greer offers free items for students in our community.  He has a genuine concern for the students that we serve in the Ferguson Florissant School District.  His response to any request is usually YES. We are thankful for his continued partnership with our students, families, and staff.

Thank you to Mr. Greer and Dairy Queen for your continued partnership.

Career Exploration in STEM Careers for Parker Road Students

Dr. Christy Jenkins, owner of Naturo Health Solutions and Health Spa, and her daughter Cearra Jenkins, owner of Ageless Spa have served as class presenters, encouraging to explore STEAM-related careers. They encourage students to take math and science seriously and follow the PBIS Universals in school. In the Spring, Dr. Jenkins speaks with students, sharing about her experience as a natural health doctor and health counselor. As part of their outreach, they adopt families at Parker Road, offering gifts for the holidays meals, and more.  They are a true example of a community partner and we are so thankful for their continued partnership with our school community. Their commitment for the last seven years has been wonderful. 

Duchesne Student Gives First Weather On-Air Weather Report

Meet Quincy Shorter, a first-grade student at Duchesne whose curiosity and love for learning turned a school project into a dream come true. At the Duchesne Living Museum, Quincy showcased his idol, KSDK meteorologist Anthony Slaughter. This led to an encounter and opportunity of a lifetime that became a turning point for Quincy. This enthusiastic learner's passion led him to give a weather report on the morning news, proving that when we foster curiosity, dreams can become a reality. Quincy's story is a testament to the power of education and the endless possibilities it can unlock for students.

Innovation Student is a Leader in the Community

(Pictured: Innovation teacher, Tony White)

Darrius Turner has been the president of the youth advisory board for the Ferguson Youth Initiative since 2020. Additionally, he is a member of the Sheldon All-Star Chorus and a leader in our building. He is welcoming to staff and students and brings a positive energy to every space he enters. We are so proud of him and the work he is doing to support his community. 

Innovation Student Among Leaders in Her Class

Chloe Samson has taken on leadership roles at Innovation High School and works hard to unite the greater FergFlor community. She was selected as the Student Voice representative for Innovation and had the courage to campaign amongst the other Student Voice leaders in the district. In this role, Chloe has gathered other students interested in making a difference and reflects the diverse views of the student population. Chloe has also made extensive efforts to maintain relationships with teachers at schools she has previously attended or worked with. She volunteered to help gifted classroom teachers at STEAM and reached out to show gratitude to teachers of impact at Robinwood Elementary. Students, staff, and administration agree she shines a bright light on the district.

Ferguson Youth Initiative Gives Back to the Community

Aaron Harris, Executive Director of Ferguson Youth Initiative, has provided unwavering support for the internship program at Innovation High School since 2019. FYI has also partnered with McCluer as part of a pilot program preparing students with the skills needed to make sure they are career and college ready. 

Aaron has gone above and beyond to connect students with organizations and businesses that align with their individual goals and aspirations.

Aaron's dedication to providing students with valuable paid internship opportunities is truly commendable. His willingness to collaborate with the school and seek out mentors and community partners has made a significant impact on the lives of our students. 

Thank you to FYI for their unwavering commitment to Ferguson-Florissant students. Together, we can continue to create even more opportunities for our students to thrive and make a positive impact on our community.

Guest Teachers Go Above and Beyond

Nicholas Caccia and Tony White have been dedicated long-term guest teachers at Innovation. Their unwavering commitment to student-centered learning, dedication to serving students and staff, and ability to provide real-world learning through internship experiences for their advisory students are truly commendable.

They consistently go above and beyond to ensure Innovation students receive the best possible education. Nick volunteered his time over the summer to work on the science curriculum writing with coordinator Eric Hadley.  He has also collaborated with Kid Smart to secure materials for the school science lab, demonstrating his resourcefulness and commitment to supporting the building principal. Additionally,  Nick Caccia and Tony White are actively involved on the OLT committee and crisis response team, showcasing their willingness to support our school community in times of need.

STEAM Middle Team Wins NASA Tech Rise Challenge

Huge congrats to STEAM Middle eighth-grade students in Mrs. Gina Pereda’s class for being one of only 60 teams across the country to secure a spot in the NASA TechRise Challenge, a national contest by NASA. Their experiment will study thermal and vibration control to design warning sensors to deploy safety measures for astronauts during lunar missions or re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. 

Ms. Pereda’s 8th-grade Science classes began the school year with a PBL (Project Based Learning) through a National Competition called The NASA TechRise Challenge. 

Congratulations to students: Miyauna Bryant; Henry Bowes; Thomas Chatman; Olivia Ramspott, and Garek Bonkowski. Also, congrats to Science Department Chair and Leader, Gina Pereda.

STEAM Middle Students Lead the State in Imagine Math

Imagine Math is the program that Ferguson Florissant School District students use in order to provide enrichment and interventions in Mathematics.  Students are expected to use this program for at least 1 hour a week and pass at least 30 lessons at their grade level or higher in a school year.  Many students have surpassed the district goal. 

We would like to recognize: Amaya Griffin. She is ranked #2 in the entire state of Missouri with 2,122 Imagine Math lessons passed. We would also like to recognize Pippa Gutting, who is ranked #1 in the state of Missouri with 3,180 Imagine Math lessons passed. We would also like to recognize Mr. Nathan Calcari, 7th-grade math teacher and department chair, for finding creative ways to drive student engagement around mathematics.

Also, congrats to Math Department Chair Nathan Calcari.

St. Louis Suburban School Counselor Association's Middle School Counselor of the Year

Mrs. Erica Hayden has been named St. Louis Suburban School Counselor Association's Middle School Counselor of the Year.  

Mrs. Hayden is STEAM Academy Middle School's AMAZING School Counselor.  She is dedicated to assisting students, parents and staff with their mental health needs.  She is an advocate for all students.  She works hard to make sure all are taken care of and assists in finding resources if we are not able to take care of something in-house.  

Middle School students get to explore many careers due to Mrs. Hayden's efforts.  Last year, she launched a career fair where many people from the community came to the school to share information about their career paths.  Students were able to move to different tables and ask community members about their careers and what they needed to do in order to enter that career path.

Congratulations, Mrs. Erica Hayden, St. Louis Suburban Middle School Counselor of the Year! 

St. Louis Suburban School Counselor Association's Elementary School Counselor of the Year

Mr. Antojuan Owens has had a profound impact on the Commons Lane community. As a counselor, he has developed a check-in-check-out program that has been effective in shaping student behavior. Mr. Owens is consistent in the delivery of lessons and uses lesson content when working with real-time student behavior. He provides engaging assemblies and field trips as well as other fun events for students to build community at Commons Lane. Mr. Owens runs a streamlined Care Team process in which he creates and monitors intervention strategies for student needs- academic, behavior, and social/emotional. Commons Lane Attendance has improved greatly because of the work Mr. Owens has done with families and the school community. Commons Lane’s attendance has been 89-90% for the entire 23-24 school year because of the work he has put in. Mr. Owens is a great family partner and is able to work with families where their needs exist. He has also partnered with community members to help students. 

Through his work with the Assistance League, Commons Lane was able to provide uniforms for 100 Commons Lane students. Mr. Owens organized and ran the Commons Lane Student Council. This is Mr. Owen's third year as a counselor at Commons Lane. 

Congratulations Mr. Antojuan Owens, St. Louis Suburban Elementary School Counselor of the Year!

McCluer North HOSA Chapter Earns Honors

McCluer North’s HOSA Chapter, an organization dedicated to empowering students to become future health professionals, experienced tremendous success and is eligible to participate in the Missouri State Leadership Conference, which will be held March 25-26, 2024, in Rolla, Missouri.  Led by their chair advisor - Brenda Schnettler -  and scoring in the top ten of their events, Anya Griffin and Michael Squalls will showcase their mastery in their competitive events - Clinical Nursing and Medical Law and Ethics. HOSA is for students enrolled in health science education and biomedical science programs or who have an interest in pursuing careers in health professions.

We recognize:

Anya Griffin and Michael Squalls. Led by Brenda Schnettler

McCluer North DECA Students Earn Recognition 

McCluer North’s DECA Chapter, an organization dedicated to fostering business, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurial skills, proved their competitive edge at the District 7 Competition in February 2024.   Competing against Pattonville, St. Charles, Orchard Farm, Hazelwood, and other school districts, Cornelius Moore earned 1st place in Quick Restaurant Serve Marketing, Rahman Childress earned 3rd place in Sports and Entertainment Marketing, and Juan Hamm and Jeremiah Altheimer earned 3rd place in Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making.  Led by the chapter advisor - Jacob Lapinksi - these four McCluer North stars will advance to the state competition, which will be held on March 3-5, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

We recognize:

Cornelius Moore; Rahman Childress; Keshaun Williams; Juan Hamm; Jeremiah Altheimer ; and Jacob Lapinksi - Chapter Advisor 

McCluer North Student Earns Excellence in the FBLA Competition

McCluer North’s Future Business Leaders of America Chapter demonstrated excellence at the district competition at St. Louis University. Specifically, Tameria Jefferson competed in the Public Speaking event and landed in fifth place, demonstrating her mastery of oratorical skills.  Led by Akilah Penny and Lamika Cannon, chapter advisors, the Future Business Leaders of America is soaring. The team is led by Akila Penny and Lamika Cannon.

McCluer Student Lands Excellence Honor at FBLA Competition

McCluer High’s Future Business Leaders of America Chapter demonstrated excellence at the district competition at St. Louis University. Specifically, David Middleton competed in the Job Interview event and landed in fourth place, demonstrating his strong knowledge of the employment process.  Led by Velma Glenn, chapter advisor.

McCluer Senior Earns Army ROTC Scholarship

Congratulations to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Rhanita A. Smith, who has been awarded a U.S. Army ROTC National  3-year Advance Designee Scholarship to attend one of the following universities of her choice once accepted. These are the three schools she has narrowed down her selection to include:

Jackson State University

Bowie State University

Lincoln University (MO) 

Her scholarship will include 100% FULL tuition and fees paid, a $1,200 stipend for books, all room and board, and a $420 monthly stipend. 

STEAM High Teachers Earn Excellence in Teaching Award from St. Louis Science Center

Sarah Winstead and Brett Vargas were recently nominated for the St. Louis Science Center Jerome T. Loeb Prize for excellence in teaching science and math. Ms. Winstead has been a STEAM High teacher for four years, serves as the department chair for science and PLTW, and is a national scorer for the AP Physics Exam.  

Mr. Vargas has been a STEAM High teacher for two years, teaching upper-level math and dual credit math courses, and has had students earn college credit on the AP Calculus Exam. 

STEAM High Students Invited to St. Louis Urban Planning Institute

Three STEAM High students were extended invitations to attend a session at the St. Louis Urban Planning and Development Institute. During the meeting, they engaged with the development team, exchanging their perspectives and suggestions regarding forthcoming business and commerce development strategies for the city of St. Louis. Their ideas and insights left a strong impression on the team, who expressed their intention to incorporate their feedback into future planning discussions. 

We recognize:

Dani Stehle; Evan Hines; and Sarah Kasoff


STEAM High Students to perform in the St. Louis All-Suburban Orchestra

The very prestigious High School All-Suburban Orchestra requires students to be accepted by a blind audition for a panel of judges. Congratulations to two students, Ben Robinette and Isaac Rhodes, who were selected. They are both highly skilled violinists and they have been invited to showcase their musical talents to perform in the St. Louis All-Suburban Orchestra. 

STEAM High Students Are Finalists in MLK Oratory Contest

Each of these students was chosen as a finalist for the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratory Contest, which is sponsored by North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice (NCCU). They each submitted an essay reflecting on Dr. King's legacy, which was reviewed by a committee panel. Nyla, Dani, and Evan emerged as winners of the contest and were invited to present their essays at Florissant Valley during an event commemorating Dr. King and his enduring legacy last week. 

We recognize:

Evan Hines; Ja’Kaylah Cromer; Nyla Rayford; and Dani Strehle

Second Red Tail Cadet Student Earns Pilot License

We have another pilot in Ferguson-Florissant. STEAM High senior Matt Gaikins, a participant in the Red Tail cadet program, has achieved significant milestones. He completed the Red Tail program in August. Matt has recently fulfilled all the criteria needed to obtain his private pilot's license, marking him as a certified professional pilot. He also has acceptance letters from several universities. Matthew intends to pursue aviation studies.

Congratulations Matt Gaikins!

Students Earn Full and Partial Scholarships

Congratulations to these graduating seniors who have received scholarships from the following universities. Many of the awards are for full or partial tuition funding for their post-secondary plans. This list is certainly not exhaustive. Many of our students go on to college, trade and vocational school, military, and the workforce.  We would like to recognize the following students:

Chelsey Boehmer - Maryville University (scholarship)

Alyssa Clark - Arizona State, Harris Stowe, University of Arkansas (scholarship)

Jaidon Evens - SLU, Coe College, Webster University (scholarship)

Sebastian Gutting - Washington University (scholarship)

Kennedy Jones - SLU, Maryville (scholarship)

Ashley Taylor - Washington University (scholarship)

Sterling Moore - Webster University (scholarship)

Marke’Lla Worth - Saint Xavier University (scholarship)

Nyla Rayford - Lindenwood University, Maryville University (scholarship)

Martel Coleman - Maryville University (scholarship)

Tyrese Walker - Webster University, Maryville University (scholarship)


AVID Coordinator Becomes First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps 

Congratulations to First Lieutenant Charlie Moore on his recent promotion as a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps. Mr. Moore serves as the District’s AVID Coordinator. He is a skilled educator grounded in rigor, student relationships, and relevant instructional practices. AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is an academic acceleration program that aims to prepare students for college and career readiness. Mr. Moore continues to find ways to elevate student voice through various opportunities like the Student Advisory Council, the Board of Education student rep process and more. 

McCluer & McCluer North Students Earn Full Scholarship for the National Black Fire Chief Conference in Florida This Summer

We're pleased to announce the recognition of two outstanding students who have earned full all-expense scholarships to attend the Black Fire Chief Officers Conference this summer, taking place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the Westin Resort.  Both students are dedicated to pursuing a career in firefighting, with aspirations to become future fire chiefs. Lauryn Fitzgerald, a senior at McCluer North, recently garnered attention for her accomplishments, having been featured on KSDK and in the Post-Dispatch for her surprise visit by Kinloch Fire Chief Kevin Stewart. Amon Stewart, a senior at McCluer, shares the same passion for firefighting and aims to make significant contributions in the field. 

Kinloch Fire Chief Kevin Stewart, an alum of Griffith Elementary and McCluer High School, joined to present the honor. Chief Stewart was a student of board member Dr. Thurman while she was a principal at Griffith. Additionally, Fire Chief Quinton Randolph from the Northeast Ambulance and Fire Protection District helped to provide this opportunity. We recognize the importance that Representation Matters and we're thrilled they provided this opportunity for our students.