Tools for Teachers

Mr. Kain teaches 5th grade at Brown Elementary School, and is “truly a treasure and the model for how teachers should show genuine care for children” said Tish Dickson, the mother of one of Kain’s students. Mrs. Dickson nominated Mr. Kain for KPLR’s June Tools For Teachers award.

Rakya Johnson nominated Ukyah Rawls, a 5th grade teacher at Dorris Intermediate School of the Collinsville Community Unit School District 10, for KPLR’s Tools For Teachers award after she noticed Rawls’ positive impact on students’ lives.“Ukyah goes above and beyond in every aspect of what it means to be a teacher,” she wrote in her nomination. “She not only strives to provide the best education to her students, but she also provides them with skills and lessons to navigate their lives.”
She went on to describe Rawls’ involvement in forming the school’s Black History Museum, a program that creatively teaches students about famous African Americans. And not only does Rawls lead an after-school Bible study, but she frequently attends the kids’ extracurricular activities during school nights and weekends, as well.

Andrew Miller is a Spanish teacher at Herculaneum High School. Always ready with smile to help his students in and beyond the classroom.
He was nominated by his former student Emily Schultz. Who says “He is just a geninue person and he deserves the world, despiste suffering majors losses in his life he comes in everyday and just wants to teach.”. For Andrew having fun and not duelling on the negative is important. Helping young adults grow keeps him focus and he his swallowed by purpose. Andrew receives the $500 Tools for Teachers award from Weber Chevrolet.
Jenny Vise teaches seventh grade Science at Waterloo Junior High School. With the “Student of Character Award,” she celebrates her students character and helps them aspire to be more confident learners.
She was nominated by her friend  Sharon Marquardt.“Her selfless demeanor is a breath of fresh air and I am so extremely grateful to have her as a personal friend and a positive influence on the adolescence in our community,” Marquardt wrote in her nomination. For Jenny recognising the character of her students is important. Their character traits are very vital to her to see the full student and all they can offer. Jenny receives the $500 Tools for Teachers award from Weber Chevrolet.
Kaycee Dragone teaches seventh grade and Science in Wentsville Middle School. She also offers counselling to adolescents  at a private school in Troy Missouri. She also coaches cheerleading and is currently in the process of earning her PhD. She was nominated by her mother Kelli Ewing . She says “Kaycee utilizes a lot of her own time and her own money to help out the students at school whether it be with supplies personal hygiene items extra lunches” For Kaycee she’s always wanted to be a teacher, gving back to them gives her happiness. Kaycee receives the $500 Tools for Teachers award from Weber Chevrolet.
Meagan Bradford is a preschool teacher at St. Joesph’s Catholic School in Collinsville Missouri. She also helped run a school in Haiti.
She spends her evenings and weekends working on Haiti school items and travels there on breaks to continue the support of the school. she has accomplished such great work there. She was nominated with her friend Crystal Penny. She says “She is amazing she loves all of her students like her own and she just has such a vibrant spirit” For Meagan teaching is what she loves and she loves children.
Meagan receives the $500 Tools for Teachers award from Weber Chevrolet.
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Bob Monroe teaches Language art at Pontiac Junior High School in Fairview Heights and was nominated for KPLR’s February Tools For Teacher, He was his nominated by Kelly Monroe.  She says “he is a huge impact…” ” he used his own funds to set up his classroom to accommodate each student’s individual learning styles we’re very impressed”. For Bob Monroe, it’s all about the kids and being a positive role model in their lives.
Bob received his $500 award from Weber Chevrolet which he says will go into his classroom.
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Sarah Eastman teaches art at Berkeley Middle School in Berkeley, Mo., and was nominated for KPLR’s February Tools For Teachers award by Dale Hockenberry, the school’s head custodian. In his nomination, Hockenberry wrote how Eastman not only arranged the school’s art festival events but also helped students receive free dental work.“She is always helping our students in the best way that she can,” he wrote. “She goes above and beyond the call of duty for our students, always.”Both Eastman and Hockenberry joined KPLR 11 Friday, Feb. 22 so that Eastman could receive her $500 award from Weber Chevrolet.
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December Weber Chevrolet Tools For Teachers winnner Hillary Heinlein. Ms. Heinlein is an amazing 5th grade teacher at Dorris Intermediate School in the Collinsville School District. She is fantastic at communicating with both her students and with parents. She maintains a website, sends daily emails, and records great (and maybe not so great) behavior via an app. Heinlein encourages the kids, while making sure they are respectful and kind. She also participates in extracurriculars with her students. So, any help to make her job easier and to benefit her classroom would be well-deserved and appreciated.
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Mr. Stegman is the band director at Francis Howell North. Having just completed a successful marching band season it has dawned on we parent that he spends more time with our kids than his own (and he just had a baby too). He has inspired our kids to do their best every day. He constantly pushes the limits of what the band can achieve. And he takes risks because he wants to accomplish more than he thought possible. He takes the line of excellence and raises it even higher. He’s has shown our kids what it means to really win. His little band that could is becoming the big band that is!! It’s expensive to “run” a marching band – uniforms – instruments – feeding the kids during competitions – music development – performance fees at competitions – choreography – it all adds up. I would love Mr. Stegeman to be recognized and presented with a check so he can continue to inspire our kids, not only in Marching Band, but all the other bands he works with – Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, numerous ensembles, and more.
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My wife is a 4th grade teacher at Carondelet Leadership Academy in South City. She began her career as a teacher 6 years ago and has moved around within CLA, from 2nd to 3rd and now 4th grade, after being asked by administration to do so. This has not been done with any other teachers at her school. She is especially interested in gifted education which is known today as STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) or STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts & Math).  In order to better herself and get more involved in this type of classroom teaching, she enrolled at Maryville University last week and started graduate classes specializing in Gifted Education.
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Kristen Wilkey is a tireless educator. She not only has a full-time classroom, but devotes so much of her time to Student Council and Student Government along with overseeing so many sporting activities and helping with concession stand details. We are a small school district and she is constantly taking up the slack in every direction. She also is such a role model for our children. Kristen is always there for her students during and after school. She is constantly guiding them and pushing them to their fullest potential. She deserves this recognition so much! She’s the kind of educator that you hope and pray your children get the opportunity to meet along the way. See Weber Tools For Teacher Program.
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Kent Lineberry is an outstanding educator. He oversees the percussion program for Rockwood Summit High School and Middle School. His students and percussion ensembles have reached incredible levels of success. For state solo and ensemble this year, the high school sent over 20 percussion ensembles and soloists with the majority of them earning 1 or top ratings. Kent spends hours and hours daily, even during the summer, working working with the students to give them the best experience possible. There is a strong alumni base with numerous students coming back to visit each year because of the relationships he made on the students. 
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SAPPINGTON, MO (KPLR)-Kindergarten marks the official start of children entering a traditional learning environment. Often overlooked are the teachers who establish a desire for learning before a child starts kindergarten. And that is why we are honoring, Christie Perkins with our Tools for Teachers award this month. She has been teaching pre-schoolers at Sappington Child Care Center for almost 35 years. She will receive $500 today from WeberChevrolet.
Passion, Commitment and Love are just some of the values that Samantha exudes everyday in her classroom. I have never met a more dedicated and passionate teacher both in and outside of the classroom. Working at one the most at risk schools in the inner city is not an easy task. It requires creativity in the midst of lack of resources, peace in the midst of tragic murders amongst students, grit in the midst of constant change and love in the midst of an often-hopeless environment. Within her 8 years at Vashon, Samantha has literally changed the lives of countless students. One of her biggest projects is the “Show Me Costa Rica” Project. Within this initiative she takes nearly 15 students on a trip to Costa Rica where they explore the culture, landscape and education system of the country. 
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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Education, children who read at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who do not. And that brings us to Denise Ruebhausen, a teacher at Wilson Elementary School in Granite City. She created “Baggie Books” for her students to learn to love reading. She is the recipient of our Tools for Teachers award, presented by Weber Chevrolet. Denise will receive $500 to continue her mission to get her kids to love reading. Denise was nominated by a parent of one of her students who couldn’t be with us, but is joined by a co-worker, Lisa Smith who has seen the impact of the Baggie Books program. If you would like to nominate a Tools for Teachers recipient, click here
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Weber Chevrolet works with KPLR 11 to recognize the winners of the 2015 Tools For Teachers Program. St. Louis area teachers are nominated by students, colleagues, and parents. Each month 1 winner has been selected to be recognized and receive a $500 award. Skip Weber has regrouped the 2015 Winners and donated an additional $500 for each previous winner in the 2015 year! Weber Chevrolet has 3 Dealerships in the area and support teachers through various programs.
Ashley Crompton is a Second Grade Teacher who has the biggest heart when it comes to children. All year long she does fundraising to raise money for a camp she puts on for abused children. The camp is called Royal Kids Camp. It’s a week long camp where these kids go to do Team building activities that build their self-esteem. She also recruits teenagers to volunteer their time to help out and be role models for these abused kids. Not only does she put a lot of her time, money and effort into helping these kids but she also requests the children who have behavior issues to be in her class so she can boost their self esteem as well. She knows these children struggle with making good choices and she celebrates their successes when they do the right thing. I don’t know any teacher who goes above and beyond to helping children more than Miss Ashley Crompton! Ashley received $500.00 from Weber Chevrolet. To nominate a local teacher, click here
An English teacher with a passion for video production created a media production coordinator need across multiple schools in the Ferguson Florissant school district. Kevin Hampton is our “Tools for Teachers” recipient and today, will receive $500 from Weber Chevrolet for his efforts to reach high school students with video production, something not offered in every high school district. Kevin was nominated by one of his former students, Matt Sanders.
Shelly Schaefer is a 3rd grade teacher at Roosevelt School in Belleville District 118 and our Tools for Teachers recipient sponsored by Weber Chevrolet. She was nominated because of her abilities to focus on the curriculum in her classroom, but also create well-rounded students OUTSIDE the classroom. She sits on the curriculum committee but when she noticed kids seemed to need more physical activity; her character running club was created.
Mr. Kaylan Holloway has a resume that could open doors to teach in any privileged high school in America, yet he chooses to embrace students at Central Visual Performing Arts High School, one of our St. Louis Public schools where many students come from the inner city. One of his dedicated students, Chelsey Smith, sent us a nomination that allowed us to select Mr. Holloway for our Tools for Teachers award, sponsored by Weber Chevrolet.
Weber Chevrolet Tools For Teachers June 2015 Kari Kraichely ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)- This week’s Tools for Teachers recipient is Direct of Special Education at KIPP St. Louis, Kari Kraichely. Kari was nominated by Jill Villani. Here’s what Jill shared about Kari. I have been working in public schools since 1987, when I was a TA as an 18 yr old undergrad, in CA. I’ve lived in three states and have worked primarily in Special Education and in the inner cities over the last 25 years providing intervention for those children K-12 that are under served in public schools. I began working for Kari in September. She is the teacher in charge of Special Services grades 5-6 at Kipp Inspire. Her IEP caseload is unheard of, twice the load I’ve seen in my years in public education, yet she never complains. Her students are 97% free and reduced lunch and are many grade levels behind, yet she has hope and is tenacious in her quest. 
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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)- Our May Tools for Teachers winner is a Biology Teacher at Hancock Place High School. She’s a cross country and cheer-leading coach and the founder of Varsity H. It’s an organization to promote school spirit, service and sportsmanship within the school community. Amie Branch embodies what our Tools for Teachers Program is all about. She was nominated by her student, Fatima Sehic. Skip Weber of Weber Chevrolet is proud to sponsor Amie and her dedication to her students, school, and community through the Tools for teacher program. Amie was nominated by her students and co-workers to be recognized with this award. This is proof of her effectiveness in her efforts. Everyone at Weber Chevrolet and KPLR extends a Congratulations and Thank You to Amie for her work!
Ms. Tyler is an amazing person. She has been a great inspiration to not only my child but to the parents as well. Ms. Tyler takes the time to greet each child in the morning with a smile and a few nice words no matter what she is the middle of. She talks in a soft loving way and does a great job making sure each child feels welcomed and wanted in her classroom. Her communication with parents is outstanding and never seems to be bothered by the fact that you want to check in with not only how your child is doing academically but how they are doing socially and emotionally. Ms. Tyler has opened the eyes of her students up by taking a different approach when it comes to the students holiday parties. Her class still has a holiday party but the focus becomes on how the students can serve others in their community. 
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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)- Sam Lakey, Adaptive PE Teacher from Mehlville School District wins the $500 award. Mr. Lakey is one of two educators who created, organized, and run B.R.O.S. (Boys Running Onward to Success) at Point Elementary School. B.R.O.S. is a 3rd through 5th grade running club at Point Elementary to help young men grow and develop fundamental life skills through the activity of running. B.R.O.S. is a program that works side-by-sidewith the national female organization of G.O.T.R. (Girls on the Run). The current curriculum meets six times in the spring and in the fall with activities that promote the participant’s strength, endurance, and overall wellness. The group then has the chance to run in the G.O.T.R. 5k road race to celebrate their development, success and new friendships. 
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Congratulations go to Darnell Young, our Tools For Teachers winner for Jan 2015 – Mr. Young has taught 7th grade earth science at Crestview Middle School in the Rockwood School District for approximately 28 years. As a science teacher, he takes pride in working successfully with “at risk kids”, and children from various cultures and backgrounds. His science curriculum is also reflective of the many achievements and contributions of minorities in science over the years. In his classroom you can find a wide array of posters reflecting the pride he shares for minority scientists and inventors. What sets Mr. Young apart from others is that he goes a step beyond what is expected of him.
In 2014, KPLR 11 and Weber Chevrolet teamed up to tell the local stories of teachers making a difference in the lives of young people all over the metro area. We asked you to nominated amazing teachers for our Tools for Teachers and every month more than 100 nominations flooded the newsroom. The teachers who joined us today were just a few of the educators you asked us to honor. Skip Weber, Owner of Weber Chevrolet came by to represent our Tools for Teachers program. Skip has generously given each of these amazing individuals $500 each month towards their efforts. 
Weber Chevrolet would like to congratulate Dawn Poe , an English teacher at Pontiac Junior High School in Fairview Heights, IL., our December winner in the Tools for Teachers Program. She was nominated by one of her previous students. Her nomination follows: I would Like to nominate a very special educator/ friend/ Mom figure in my life. My 8th Grade Teacher Dawn Poe. Mrs. Poe is an 8th Grade English Teacher and Athletic Director at Pontiac Junior High School in Fairview Heights Il and she is the greatest person not just teacher I have ever met in my life. Growing up I attended a school from pre K- 7th Grade and my 8th Grade year I moved to a different school district where I met Mrs. Poe. Mrs. Poe challenged me and was there for me in ways I was not use to before from a teacher. A Brief Paragraph is not enough to explain or to do justice for what she has meant to me in life. 
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Our Tools for Teachers program sponsored by Weber Chevrolet awarded $500.00 from Weber Chevrolet to our first ever Principal, Mr. Thomas Dittrich from Hancock Place Middle School. Tom and his wife Erin, also an administrator at the school, started the Tigers Elite baseball and softball programs growing to coach over 150 kids during the summer months. Tom is known for motivating students to have a passion for education – he’s eaten bugs, hosted dunk tanks, and ice bucket challenges. He was nominated by 5 teachers within the school including this nomination below: Mr. Dittrich has been in education for over 16 years and has worked his entire career at the Hancock Place School District. What is special about this man is that he graduated from Hancock Place in 1993, he attend Hancock Place from Prek-12th grade and came back there once he graduated from Harris Stowe State University. 
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Kyle Gordon is today’s Tools for Teachers Recipient for October. Mr. Gordon teaches Social Studies & Leadership at Collinsville High School. He was nominated by his student, Kelsie Jeffries. Here’s how Kelsie describes her advisor. “Mr. Gordon is one of the most dedicated teachers I have ever had. He teaches social studies and leadership at Collinsville High School. Most importantly, he is my Student Council Advisor at Collinsville. We have over four hundred members on our council, the largest in the nation. This is because of his devotion to the council and the students that make it up. Mr. Gordon devotes countless hours every day to improving our student council, school, and community. He makes sure that everyone has a voice and is included in council activities. Mr. Gordon is a great role model, leader, and teacher. ”
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Today, we are thrilled to feature our first high school coach who is going above and beyond in the world of sports. This coach wants to make sure his students are active learners across all of their subject areas. Coach Stephen Mouser is a basketball coach from Herculaneum High School who received $500.00 from Weber Chevrolet plus two tickets to the St. Louis Science Center for his students. Mouser was nominated by Ila McGuire. KPLR 11’s Tools for Teachers program is presented by Weber Chevrolet. If you’d like to nominate a teacher visit: Nominate a “Tools for Teachers” candidate on KPLR11. com.
August of 2014 Tools For Teacher Winner — Matthew Edmundson! We often think of teaching being the traditional subjects – math, science, social studies, English, but equally as important is music education. This month, we’re pleased to be able to showcase a music teacher in our Tools for Teachers program sponsored by Weber Cheverolet. Matt Edmundson, or “Mr. Eddie” as his students call him, is a music teacher at Wildhorse Elementary School in the Rockwood School District. Mr. Eddie finds very interesting and innovative ways to use music education to inspire his students – including the reason for his Mohawk. He was nominated by a former co-worker, Mia Fusco, both join us today!
(KPLR) – Even during the summer months, KPLR’s Tools for Teachers sponsored by Weber Chevrolet continues. And just before the school year starts up again, we want to tell you about a special teacher at Cleveland Junior Naval Academy which is a part of the St. Louis Public Schools. What is unique about this teacher is that he was nominated by his principal! When you get a nod from your boss, it’s a very special way to be recognized. Dr. Susan Viviano is the principal at Cleveland Junior Naval Academy and she wrote in to tell us how Michael Baird’s high school English course is leaving a lasting impression on his students. KPLR 11’s Tools for Teachers program is presented by Weber Chevrolet. If you’d like to nominate a teacher visit: Nominate a “Tools for Teachers” candidate on KPLR11. com.
Today we honor Loren Widmer with our Tools for Teachers program presented by Weber Chevrolet . We received a nomination from a former student, Cassandra, at Alt Academy in the Mehlville School District, about her teacher, Loren Widmer. Loren will receive $500.00 from Weber Chevrolet to use in her classroom. She also gets 2 tickets to the St. Louis Science Center Omnimax Theater for every student in her class. Tell us about a teacher who has made an impact in your life and once a month, Weber Chevrolet will give a local teacher a package including: $500 to use in their classroom, 2 tickets to the Science Center for every student in their class, and $100 U-Gas fuel card.
Joel Gherardini is a dynamic charismatic 6th-8th grade autism teacher. His students are learning social skills daily, as well as their needed academics. The students all have Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition along the Autism spectrum. It’s a small self contained class with 6-9 students. Joel has brought these children up to grade level learning through his innovative teaching techniques. He has not only taken into account their academic needs but also physical. Mr. Gherardini is currently on a quest to acquire “busy body seating/stability ball chairs” for these students in order to provide a safe, passive way to keep their bodies busy during the school day. Mr. Gherardini is a young innovative teacher that would put this award to wonderful use in his classroom.
April’s recipient is Mrs. Christa Luu from St. Theodore Catholic School in Wentzville MO. Teachers are our gateway to the future for our children. They have many roles in our children’s lives – they are coaches, tutors, advisers, guides, mentors, and partners to the family in the growth and education of our children. As a parent, I love hearing the stories from my children not only enjoying their time at school with her, but also being excited about what they learn from her. Christa does science experiments with her class, and she loves teaching Math to her students. Mrs. Luu has also brought the JA Biztown program to her school which allows the 5th graders to experience life in the grown-up world for a day.
Kendra Berry was our second “Tools for Teachers” recipient of $500.00 from Weber Chevrolet that she can use in her classroom along with 2 tickets to the Ominmax St. Louis Science Center for each student in her class. We received a heartfelt nomination about Ms. Kendra Berry from Pershing Elementary in University City. We all know that it takes a special person to be a teacher- one that loves, cares, is open, passionate, and willing to go each day pouring into the lives of others. I am sure you will get hundreds of nominees all of which have amazing stories and are amazing individuals. I am writing you today to tell you about an individual that embodies what a teacher should be. One that loves, guides, motivates, empowers, and builds students every day. 
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John Morrison, February 2014 and First Winner of the Weber Chevrolet Tools For Teachers Award! What happens when students get great teachers? Their world of possibilities opens. KPLR 11 is honoring the outstanding teachers in the St. Louis area with our Tools for Teachers program sponsored by Weber Chevrolet. Abigail Hebron is a student at Barat Academy in Chesterfield. She nominated her teacher John Morrison for the award. Both discuss what the nomination means to them. Skip Weber from Weber Chevrolet talks about the program. If you would like to nominate a teacher for our “Tools for Teachers” award, click here .
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