Wednesday, April 27, 2016

WGHS Physicists Compete at Regional Event

Good morning,

I wanted to extend a special "congrats" to our high school physicists who recently performed quite well at a regional physics event coordinated by WGHS teacher, Dr. David Schuster!  Dr. Schuster reported that the AP1 team took 2nd Place in the Mechanics Division and the AP2 team took 2nd Place in the Comprehensive Division.  

In addition, Donovan Smith won $50 for 2nd place and Harry Fu, Brendan Gillow, Luke Beggs, Ben Keller, Nicholas Haines, Easton Culver, and Prem Rao earned honorable mention (being in the top 20% of contestants).  If you'd like to learn more about the competition, you can read below.  

Congrats to our physicists and Dr. Schuster!

Each child, Each day...John

Monday, April 25, 2016

WGHS Students Solving Real Crimes...

Good afternoon,

Please check out this thoughtful email to sent to Jeanette Hencken, Forensics Teacher at WGHS.

Each Child, Each Day...John

Ms. Hencken, and AFSR students of Webster Groves HS

I am Detective Doug Farmer with the Sylva Police Department in Sylva, NC. I am currently working alongside of my fellow Detective Amy Watson trying to identify the footwear that created the attached partial pattern. We have looked at multiple brands of shoes and boots but have not been able to identify this pattern.

I wanted to ask if you and your students would be interested in trying to identify this pattern and shoe brand. Your current work sounds very interesting and will provide a valuable asset for many. I had read about your work online and thought I would ask if you would assist us.

We salute you for spending your time and energy to help law enforcement solve crimes. We could not do it without the help of great people like you. We thank you in advance, and wish Webster Groves High School all the best in their endeavors.

Det. Doug Farmer
Sylva Police Department
755 W. Main Street
Sylva, NC 28779


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Warm Your Heart

Good afternoon,

To see a touching example of the relevant and meaningful learning taking place in the WGSD, you must click below to watch the Channel 4 news story from last night!  Such amazing learners we have in this school district!

Each child, Each day...John

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Happy Counselors' Week!!

Good morning,

As most of you know, the WGSD is blessed to have some amazing counselors who support the well-being of all the district's children.  For some children and families, their love, care, and support will forever be remembered for the difference it made in their lives.

Our director of student services, John Thomas, worked with the teachers and students in Digital Art at WGHS to create an expression of "thanks" on behalf of the district community.  Check out the original, digital designs (no clip art) our talented students produced in Mrs. Thomas' and Mr. Throm's course.    

With much appreciation for our amazing counselors...John



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Thoughtful Teacher + Determined Students + Passion + One Company = Relevance and Possibility

Good afternoon,

One of the many reasons I enjoy working in the Webster Groves School District is the priority that is placed on children discovering who they are and how they might uniquely contribute to this world. Kara Siebe, who teaches Marketing II at Webster Groves High School, recently shared a story with me that beautifully exemplified this commitment.

In order to create an authentic learning experience for students, Ms. Siebe worked with the CEO of a wholesale jewelry company to create a design contest for her Marketing II students, many of whom would travel to New York as members of DECA (global organization centered on business).  To help with context, this company's merchandise is found in over 23 countries and over 5000 stores.

Following the contest, the CEO stated, "Setting up a design contest seemed like the best way to get them a taste of what it’s like to truly run a business, because it required them to do market research, trend forecasting, design, and marketing—as well as to understand product viability and cost constraints. The project was a super success and we intend to do it again next year!"

In teams, students had to evaluate the company's product line of rings to determine what style was missing from its current collection.  They then head to develop 6 pieces of jewelry around a specific theme.  Each team's concept would then be critiqued by the company's president who directly heads the merchandising and design teams.  Using his feedback, teams would have to redesign as necessary and ultimately produce a 3D prototype of one select piece.  The president would then judge the prototypes to determine which team won and would possibly produce the winning piece if worthy.

Over the length of the project, the president provided students with some pretty critical feedback which allowed them to experience and feel what input can often look like in competitive business. Ms. Siebe stated, "(they)learned how to handle criticism without falling apart or taking it personally." Definitely different than marks or grades on a paper!

When they arrived in New York and came face to face with the president with whom they'd been interacting, he introduced a manufactured replica of the "winning ring" and provided the winning team with a cash prize.  In addition, he announced that the ring in front of them would be sold in stores across the country!

According to Ms. Siebe, soon after the annoucement of the cash prize, the boys in the group (below) gave their earnings to Nicole (middle below).  Because of her dedication and commitment to the project, they felt she was most deserving of the money.  Our students are such good people!!

Due to her commitment to the project, quality of the work, and interest in graphic design, Nicole was offered an internship in graphic design with this company and will be heading to New York soon after graduation.  Way to go, Nicole!!!

"Thank you" to all who contributed to making this an amazing, and possibly life-changing experience, for all!

Each child, Each day...John


Friday, January 15, 2016

All Stars in Action!

Good afternoon,

This week I had the pleasure of spending some time with the learners at Avery Elementary.  With each space and learning opportunity, the faculty demonstrated a genuine care for the children. Evidence of this care included joyful laughter, intentional creation of spaces, and students interacting with one another to solve challenging problems.

Thank you to the community of learners at Avery for making my day!

Each child, Each day...John

Spaces dedicated to photos of children's families.

A special section of space designed to invite children to read.

Children physically constructing letters.

Tyra, an amazing 3rd grader, creating a Google Slides presentation regarding being a wonderful sibling.  Hearing her speak of her siblings, I can state with confidence they are blessed to have her as a big sister!

Collaborating on a challenging problem and generating multiple paths to the same solution.  

Some very creative art work that demonstrates both creativity and a deep understanding with a variety of math concepts.