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From the District Dec. 17, 2021

Have a wonderful winter break! See you in January!


District Offers Vaccination Clinics for Students, Staff

clinicAs part of efforts to do as much as possible to make WGSD schools safe and healthy places for learning, the district has offered several vaccination clinics for students and staff. The district has scheduled clinics for booster shots as well as vaccinations for students from five through 18 years old. 

The district hosted two clinics last Friday (one for staff and one for children five to 11) and is holding another clinic Friday, Dec. 17, also for students five to 11.

Thank you to all staff who helped out at the clinics, including at left, district Math Coordinator Susan Bergman.


Music Students Earn Top Honors at State

Congratulations to the Webster Groves High School music students chosen for the Missouri All-State Orchestra and Missouri All-State bands.
musical notesFive students were chosen for the All-State Orchestra. They are Silas Garrett, cello; Myka Stewart, cello; Celia Alexander, violin and Isabella Pantano, viola. The competition, which included 451 music students from across the state, was held at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Sixty-eight students were chosen for the orchestra.

For the ninth year, WGHS has come away with more students in the All-State Jazz Band than any other school in Missouri. Out of 961 eligible schools, more than ten percent of all-state jazz musicians over the last 17 years have come from WGHS band students selected for all-state honors this year are
Taliyah Roash, 2nd flute, Missouri All-State Orchestra
Sarah Veldhuizen, principal oboe, Missouri All-State Band
Evan Christman, 1st alto saxophone, Missouri All-State Jazz Band
Miles Cole, 1st trombone, Missouri All-State Jazz Band
Zach Andrews, bass trombone, Missouri All-State Jazz Band
Shiloh Roash, honorable mention French horn, All State Band

In addition, Sarah Veldhuizen, Miles Cole, Evan Christman and Zach Andrews were named top-ranked players in the state.

Fashion Design Students Chosen for Lindenwood Fashion Show

Three fashion design students from the High School were chosen to participate in the Lindenwood Fashion Show. Letta Thompson, Greta Eames and McKenna Williams showcased their work in a New York-style runway show at the university. McKenna, who earned honors at the show last year,  won Best Evening Wear at this year's event. 

WGSD Once Again Receives Clean Opinion From Auditors

Auditors from CliftonLarsonAllen LLP issued a “clean, unmodified opinion” for the Webster Groves School District for fiscal year 2020-21, the highest rating possible. The auditors checked financial reporting internal controls to ensure that district assets are being safeguarded and found no deficiencies.
The unmodified opinion expresses that the financial statements are presented fairly in all material respects. No significant adjustments to the district's financial statements were required and the district has complied with all requirements of the law.
"We are extremely proud to have once again received a clean rating as a result of the audit,” said Pam Frazier, WGSD chief financial officer. “It is a reflection of our employees across the district who strive to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

Hixson Dedicates ‘Heart of Hixson’ Garden

gardenHixson Middle School officially opened its “Heart of Hixson” garden in the school courtyard this week. The garden – which includes a greenhouse, chicken coop, native plants and vegetable gardens – was built by students in the school’s new sustainability elective class, and supported by grants including one from the Webster Groves School District Foundation. Science teacher Eric Hayes led the group in spreading soil and mulch, laying edger bricks and planting. They recently harvested a variety of fall vegetables, such as radishes and leaf lettuce. The garden also features bird feeders and birdhouses to attract some biodiversity and a small pond, as seen in photo at left.

News From the WGSD Gifted and Talented Program

Please click this link for the Gifted and Talented newsletter:

#TeacherFeature Sam Snyder, Hudson School

Sam Snyder, first-grade teacher at Hudson Elementary School, became a teacher because she loves to see the excitement, enjoyment and enthusiasm that her students have for learning. “I love being a part of those ‘eye opening’ moments when students truly understand what they are working toward,” Snyder said.  

Sam SnyderSnyder realizes the importance of getting her class excited about what they are learning. One example of how she has done this recently is a class trip to the Saint Louis Zoo.

 “One goal of our social studies unit was to understand and use a map. The Zoo was a perfect place for this! Students mapped out their plans ahead of time and then used the Zoo Map to navigate and see their favorite animals. It was wonderful to see how they took their learning and applied it while at the Zoo.” Snyder said.

 “Webster really comes together when it comes to our students and schools,” Snyder said. Her favorite things about Webster are the staff members, students, families, community and school, as well as district-sponsored events. Snyder did some of her observation hours in the Webster Groves School District while in the teaching program at Lindenwood University. After moving to Rock Hill, Snyder saw what a caring community she was a part of, and spent even more time at Hudson doing practicum work for her teaching program. When she became a student teacher, Webster was her first choice.

“I was ecstatic to get my confirmation email stating that I would be student teaching at Avery Elementary,” she said. After completing her student teaching, she was hired at Hudson and has been teaching there since 2011. “Both the school and district communities have been such a great support system. The kind and caring community is another reason I wanted to become a teacher in Webster,” Snyder said. 

Snyder has been passionate about teaching her entire life. “As a child, I was always teaching and playing school with my younger siblings and my stuffed animals,” Snyder said. Her family, she said, has always supported her passions and goals and they were there for her when she started her teaching career.

If she weren’t a teacher, she would want to be a meteorologist. “Besides teaching, I have always been fascinated with weather and how it works,” she said. When Snyder isn’t teaching, she likes to read, spend time with family and friends, and go camping.

Prince to be Head Coach of Statesmen Football

Munir Prince has been chosen to be the next head football coach of the Statesmen. Coach Prince is in his second year as the assistant athletic director at WGHS and was named the interim head football coach for the final month of this season.
Coach PrinceCoach Prince has extensive coaching experience at the collegiate level with stops at the University of Missouri, Drake, Missouri State and Pittsburg State before coming to Webster Groves High School in 2020. As a player, Prince was a part of multiple Big 12 North Division championship teams and multiple bowls during his playing career as a defensive back for the University of Missouri. He started his collegiate playing career at Notre Dame.

"I'm humbled and honored to be the next Head Coach for Webster Groves High School,” said Prince. “The game of football has the ability to not only teach life lessons, but bring together entire communities. We have an opportunity to shape the future of our program's student-athletes and I'm excited to give our players, community and high school everything I have to consistently compete at a high level."

WGHS Athletic Director Jerry Collins said, “Coach Prince is a natural leader and has earned the respect of our players and his fellow coaches. He has an extensive background playing and coaching football at a high level and I am confident that he will be successful in our program.”

Girls and Boys Basketball vs Kirkwood Tonight

Girls and boys basketball will host Kirkwood in Roberts Gym tonight, Dec. 17. Season passes will be accepted and there are only a limited number of single game tickets available online at the link below. No tickets will be sold at the gate.