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November 2021: Ritenour Staff Engagements/Weddings/Babies/Kudos


Ally Grubbs
, an SSD teacher at the Ritenour School for Early Childhood Education, got engaged to Brent Kerr on Sept. 16. They plan are planning a wedding for Oct. 28, 2022, in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Grubbs Engagement   Grubbs Engagement   Grubbs Engagement

Congratulations to Laura Straube Tiago (formerly Laura Garay), Spanish teacher at RHS, who married Bruno Tiago on Sept. 25. 
Tiago Wedding

Linda Voelkel, a teacher at the Ritenour School for Early Childhood Education, celebrated the marriage of her daughter, Anna Voelkel, to T.J. Carter on Aug. 31. Anna attended Wyland and Ritenour Middle as a child.
Voelkel Wedding


Yvonne Leigh, fourth grade teacher at Wyland, welcomed a new granddaughter into her family. Ophelia Lavendar Bryant was born on July 19.
Bryant Baby   Bryant Baby   Bryant Baby

Jennifer Schumacher, office professional at the Administrative Center, and husband Jay welcomed their first grandchild, Michael Lawrence Shelton, Jr. on Oct. 12.  He was 8lbs. 10oz. and 21 1/2  inches long.  His proud parents are Breanna Schumacher and Michael Shelton, Sr.
Shelton Baby   Shelton Baby

A double congratulations goes to Kristian White, office professional at Marvin, who gave birth to twin boys on July 19. Chad made his debut at 6 lbs. 6 oz. and Carson was 5 lbs. 1 oz.
Kristian White Twins   Kristian White Twins   Kristian White Twins   Kristian White Twins


Dr. Patricia Closson, assistant principal at Ritenour High School, co-authored an article in the November edition of Principal Leadership magazine titled, “Culture, Systems, and CLimate: Supporting Students’ Postsecondary Aspirations.” Dr. Closson collaborated with a colleague at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

Lisa Hampton, SSD teacher at RHS, and her niece, Stacy Peterson, worked with lawmakers on House Bill 911 to dedicate a section of Highway 64 in Lake St. Louis to honor her nephew, Scotty Wirtz, who was killed by an I.S.I.S. suicide bomber in Syria in 2019. The bill became law on Aug. 28 on Senate Bill 258. Since it is a law, the memorial highway sign will be in place in perpetuity. It was installed on the highway in October. Scotty Wirtz’s friends from DeSmet High School, also worked on the project with Lisa and Stacy. Lisa said she learned a lot about how government works as she went through the process to get this law enacted: “We had to appear before the House and Senate committees to persuade the General Assembly as to why we needed the Memorial Highway forever, not just 20 years.”
Wirtz Highway

Cathy Hudson, an SSD paraprofessional at the Ritenour School for Early Childhood Education,  is proud to share that her granddaughter, Maya Parker, was named Student of the Month in October at her preschool in Omaha, NE.
Hudson Granddaughter

Gwen Jones, an office professional at Ritenour Middle, knows how to look at the bright side despite extreme challenges. On Oct. 28, she reported: “Well I have great news! My house caught on fire today and everything living came out alive. God's blessings!!”

Science teachers Camille Morgan, Dustin Capehart and Rachel Thomas, along with Mandy Harvel, instructional coach, and RMS Principal Dr. Brian Rich are highlighted in photos included in the online publication from Institute for School Partnership at Washington University.

Melanie Turnage, instructional coach for Wyland and Marion, was featured in PBS Magazine in July (p. 6-7) over the summer for a project she worked on called Teaching in Room 9. As part of this project, Melanie and a team of educators from across the region taught 30-minute classes in literacy, math and science for students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. Melanie taught first grade science lessons over the summer. All shows aired on the local PBS station and streamed on YouTube. 

Amanda Thouvenot, eight grade science teacher at Hoech, was spotlighted in the mySci digital newsletter with the Institute for School Partnership at Washington University. 

We are proud of Ritenour's partnership with Washington University's Institute for School Partnership, and the opportunity for Ritenour educators to explore and learn the latest ways to implement high-quality instruction in math. Math314 is one of the many programs that engage Ritenour math teachers. In September, Wash U. professionals from this program met at Ritenour Middle School with math teachers from both middle schools and RMS students for an interactive Learning Lab. During debriefing sessions, Math314 instructional specialists and the middle school math teachers saw firsthand the power of observing colleagues as they implemented their collective learning and saw how routines and culture impacted the learning environment. The professional development continues on early release days.