From the District Feb.11, 2022
WGHS Alumna Named Vice President of St. Louis Symphony
Congratulations to Dr. Yolanda Alovor, class of 1993, who has been named vice president of external affairs and equity, diversity and inclusion for the St. Louis Symphony. Her new job is also a new position for the symphony. In an interview, she said that her first experience with the symphony came during an Edgar Road School field trip to Powell Hall. Alovor, who grew up in Rock Hill, credits WGSD music teacher Georgene Brunner and High School track coach Gloria Smith for encouraging her self-confidence and music appreciation.
Read more about Alovor in the Webster-Kirkwood Times here https://www.timesnewspapers.com/webster-kirkwoodtimes/a-universal-language/article_e128f65c-8520-11ec-a5c7-6b4bafccb892.html
#TeacherFeature Terry Verstraete, Webster Groves High School
Terry Verstraete started teaching history at Webster Groves High School in 1999. He currently teaches two classes, military history and government. Inspired by his grandfather, he created the schoolwide Veterans Day celebration 19 years ago.
“My Grandpa was in World War II and we were pretty close,” he said. “He told me stories of how he had captured German soldiers during the war.” Those memories prompted him to find a way for his students to learn more directly from people who had served our country in the military. Verstraete started by having an individual veteran come in and speak on a particular war, like Vietnam or WWII, just to his classes. Eventually he realized what a benefit it would be if all students had the opportunity to hear from and speak to veterans.
Because every student has to take a social studies class, the social studies department sponsored the first event. Panels of four or five veterans spend the day in each social studies classroom who to talk to students and answer their questions. He tries to have each panel include veterans from different eras, such as WWII, Vietnam, Iraq, as well as others, so students can get the perspective from different people and different eras.
The first year of the program, ten veterans participated. This year, Verstraete said there were 55, the most he’s ever hosted. “There have been many years where we had 40-50 veterans come in, but never this many,” he said. One of his most memorable experiences was in 2019 when the theme of the program was African Americans in service. He and John E. Thomas, a former High School administrator, gave a speech based on a true story about two pilots during the Vietnam War. One was African American, the other was white.
“The Vietnamese put the two pilots in the same prison cell because they thought the two of them wouldn’t get along due to race relations back in the United States. To their surprise, the two became best friends.” He and Thomas read an excerpt from letters the pilots had written, but they switched roles. Verstraete read from the point of view of the black pilot and Thomas read from the perspective of the white pilot. “That was one of the most powerful programs we have ever put on,” Verstraete said.
Verstraete is retiring next year, but believes that the program will continue on and said that he’ll miss being part of the event.
Thank You to School Counselors and Social Workers!
This is National School Counselor's Week! WGSD would like to take this opportunity to thank its counselors and social workers. You are deeply appreciated and valued. The past few years have been challenging, but each of you has exceeded all expectations. Thank you for all you do for the students, families, and staff!
Save the Date! Board of Education Candidate Forum March 30
The Webster Groves School District will sponsor a forum for candidates running for the Board of Education, moderated by the League of Women Voters, 7 p.m. Wed., March 30 in the Hixson Middle School auditorium, 630 S. Elm Ave.
The forum will also be livestreamed.
Kindergarten Enrollment for Fall 2022
Enrollment has opened for kindergarten in August. Families are encouraged to enroll their kindergarten students as soon as possible so that the district can plan class assignments and allocate resources. Children are eligible for kindergarten if they are five years old before Aug. 1.
For information on what documents are needed to register your child, please see the district's enrollment page https://www.webster.k12.mo.us/Page/26
Enrollment is online. Please click this link to fill out forms and upload documents https://fs9.formsite.com/WgL6Mt/qb8peox0p2/index.html
Winter Weather School Closings
Should bad weather or other adverse conditions prompt the district to consider closing schools, a decision will be made as early as possible. Information will be available through the following outlets:
Phone calls to all families through SchoolMessenger
Local media: KMOV TV (Channel 4), KSDK TV (Channel 5), KTVI (Channel 2) and KMOX radio (AM 1120)
District website www.webster.k12.mo.us
Equity in Action Committee Community Recognition
The Webster Groves School District's Equity in Action Committee https://mo02202299.schoolwires.net/Page/9395 values and encourages peer-to-peer recognition for equity work. The EIA just developed and launched a Community Recognition initiative, which provides an opportunity for members of the community to recognize individuals (i.e. students, teachers, parents, friends, community members, etc.), schools, businesses, and organizations who make significant contributions towards creating and cultivating a culture of dignity that values all human beings within the WGSD. To learn more about this opportunity and to make a recognition, please go to Community Recognition https://mo02202299.schoolwires.net/Page/23953. The deadline is March 25.
Elementary Summer School Program
The Webster Groves School District's Summer Exploration Experience is offered tuition-free to all district students entering 1st through 5th grade during the 2022-23 school year.
- enjoy 23 days of hands-on/project-based learning.
- have a voice in the direction of their learning.
- drive their own personalized final project, reflecting on their interest in a topic.
The program will be taught by certified staff who are trained in project-based learning.
Dates: June 6 – July 8 (June 20 and July 4th are holidays)
Time: 8:30 – 11:30 each day
Registration through the parent portal is open until March 17. Click on View to fill out the e-form on the yellow banner; click on Summer School 2022. For more information or questions contact Tom Havrilka at firstname.lastname@example.org
High School Students Receive Scholastic Art Awards
Congratulations to three High School students who have received Scholastic Art awards.
Senior Rachel Sebastian-Asbed received a Silver Key for her Portfolio “Fleeting Moments,” a collection of 6 graphite drawings.
Senior Isabella Pirozzi received an Honorable Mention for her ceramic piece “Caught in a Web.”
Junior Norah Rohlfing received an Honorable Mention for her painting “All Eyes on Me” and a Silver Key for her illustration “Roadkill Tribunal.”