News

Friday, September 17, 2021 - 11:14am

A friend of mine left the teaching profession recently.

She didn’t retire. She didn’t win the lottery or get offered more money in another career field. She left because she was burned out. She was a young teacher — and a good one — but the field wasn’t working out for her. She’s not alone.

Friday, September 17, 2021 - 11:14am

James Young of the Ferguson-Florissant School District has won the 2022 Missouri Teacher of the Year award, the state education department said Tuesday.

Young teaches musical theater, vocal music and guitar at Johnson-Wabash Sixth Grade Center. He is the first teacher from the north St. Louis County school district to win the award, which is voted on by a committee of teachers and education leaders.

Friday, September 17, 2021 - 11:14am

BALLWIN — Fourth grade teacher Caroline Ayers was the same age as her current students, sitting in the same classroom at Henry Elementary School, when the intercom crackled the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, with unthinkable news.

Ayers said she can’t recall much else from that day, but she does remember the camaraderie of the class, their impromptu kickball games and feeling “safe and cared for” that year by her teacher, Tom Koerner.

It’s what she wants for her own students as she prepares the 9/11 anniversary lesson developed by Parkway School District administrators.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 12:48pm

Most often, but not always, a teacher becomes a teacher because he or she was inspired by a teacher.

That was not the case with Tom Keating, who died in June at the age of 86. He grew up on the far south side of Chicago and attended parochial schools in the days when nuns rapped knuckles and considered intimidation to be a more effective tool than inspiration.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 12:48pm

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — After a year with a lot of virtual learning from home, students and teachers in the Mehlville School District are thrilled to take their studies outside.

A new elective physical education class at Mehlville and Oakville high schools introduces students to kayaking, fishing, hiking, archery, camping and rock climbing.

“If I could do this class all day, I would,” said sophomore Carlos Mueller, 15.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 12:48pm

ST. LOUIS — School bus driver Marshall Cohen navigates tight city streets each morning to pick up a dozen kids before dropping them off at Lift for Life Academy. Then Cohen heads to his day job — executive director of the charter school.

“He owns the school and he drives the bus!” said King Moore, 8, as he hopped aboard recently.

Monday, August 30, 2021 - 11:28am

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Jordan Wade and Ja’Bryan Grissom are teenagers taking traditional classes before joining the workforce.

But Wade, a freshman at Southwestern Illinois College, and Grissom, a senior at East St. Louis High School, have also found another way to boost their preparations before stepping out as adults.

They are part of the East St. Louis-based R3 Development organization, which aims to empower youths with “job opportunities that equip them with the resources and skills necessary for success.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 10:34am

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Public Schools has joined a growing number of school districts nationwide that will require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The St. Louis School Board passed the vaccine mandate unanimously at its meeting Tuesday. Staff members must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15 or apply for a medical or religious exemption. Those with approved exemptions will be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 10:34am

ST. LOUIS — For many first graders across the region, Monday was their first day in a classroom after spending the last year learning virtually.

That meant lots of extra time practicing lining up, raising their hands and finding the right bathroom.

“I love this school!” Travis Shelton, 6, said to his teacher, Karin Versen, at Patrick Henry Elementary School just north of downtown St. Louis.

“I love this school too!” Versen said. “I’ve been here for eight years.”

“I’ve been here for 20 minutes!” Travis said.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - 3:27pm

The Ferguson-Florissant School District is requiring staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly tests for the virus, the first district in the area to announce such a move, and part of a growing list across the country.

“Widespread vaccination is one of the best mitigation tools in providing safer schools and working environments for students and staff,” the district said in a statement.

The district’s goal, it said, is to safely keep students in school five days a week.