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Special School District of St. Louis County
 

SSD Salutes Staff, Community, Teacher of the Year

SSD honored 46 staff and community members at its annual SSD Salutes Banquet. The district recognized teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and community members that have gone above and beyond when serving the district.

SSD also announced its 2011 Teacher of the Year. Ken Holzapfel, an SSD teacher at McCluer High School, earned the honor for his dedication to students and his unique approach to teaching students job and life skills. Holzapfel has extensively expanded on-site work programs for SSD students at McCluer, and has developed a small barbecue catering business from his classroom in order to teach students skills they can take with them into the work field after they graduate.

Key to the Classroom Award
Holzapfel was selected as one of SSD's 10 Key to the Classroom Award winners. The Key to the Classroom Award honors the top teachers in the district. SSD has more than 2,700 teacher-level staff.

Key to the Classroom winners and their work sites are:

  • Lisa Andrade, of North County, who is an Itinerant teacher of orthopedic impairment
  • Liz Charlton, of St. Louis, who teaches at Wydown Middle School in the Clayton School District
  • Lisa Flick, of Eureka, who teaches at Ridge Meadows Elementary in the Rockwood School District
  • Lori Foley, of Belleville, who teaches at Wydown Middle School in the Clayton School District
  • Rod Gerke, of St. Louis, who teaches at Southview School in the Special School District
  • Carol Gibbons, of Affton, who teaches at Oakville Middle School in the Mehlville School District
  • Holzapfel, of South County, who teaches at McCluer High School in the Ferguson-Florissant School District
  • Cheryl Lindley, of Wildwood, who teaches at Wild Horse Elementary in the Rockwood School District
  • Terri Linhoff, of Pasadena Park, who teaches at Ladue Early Childhood Center
  • Lisa Rieker, of St. Charles, who teaches Parkway Alternative Credit Experience and Missouri Option programs in the Parkway School District.

Special Ambassador Award
The Special Ambassador Award is the highest recognition given by SSD. It is presented to members of the community who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to the students and/or staff of SSD.

Special Ambassador Group winners:

  • AT&T IT Operations
  • Parc Provence
  • Parkway School District Special Services
  • Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis

Special Ambassador Individual winners:

  • Owen Benben, of Chesterfield, is a student at Highcroft Ridge Elementary in the Parkway School District
  • Chris Holmes, of Crestwood, is a teacher at Hazelwood West High School
  • Suelaine Matthews, of Ferguson, is Access office manager at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley
  • Art McCoy, of Florissant, is Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education with the Ferguson-Florissant School District
  • Sister Rita McGovern, of South County, is the retired director of admissions at Nazareth Living Center
  • Katherine Spross, of Affton, is the volunteer coordinator at Feed My People

Building Block Award
The Building Block Award honors the district's outstanding paraprofessionals for their significant contributions to the lives of SSD students. The district has more than 1,700 paraprofessionals.

Building Block winners and their work sites are:

  • Elaine Breite, of Chesterfield, is a paraprofessional at Carmen Trails Elementary in the Parkway School District
  • Matt Karolcik, of St. Louis County, is a paraprofessional at Neuwoehner High School in the Special School District
  • Kathleen Kidwell, of Arnold, is a paraprofessional at Kellison Elementary in the Rockwood School District
  • Jessica Lasher, of St. Louis County, is a paraprofessional at Central Middle School in the Parkway School District
  • Dan Mueller, of St. Louis, is a paraprofessional at Ritenour High School in the Ritenour School District
  • Alberta Presley, of Eureka, is a paraprofessional at Southview School in the Special School District
  • Toni Towers, of Webster Groves, is a paraprofessional at the Affton Early Childhood Center
  • Maredith Wade, of Festus, is a paraprofessional at Eureka Elementary in the Rockwood School District
  • Roxanne Wolfslau, of St. Louis, is a paraprofessional at Neuwoehner High School in the Special School District

Lasting Impression Award
SSD honors other dedicated individuals within the district through the Lasting Impressions Award. Created in 2006, it is awarded to support staff that make a difference in the lives of students both within and outside the classroom.

Lasting Impression Award winners and their work sites are:

  • Doug Austin, of Hazelwood, is a systems administrator at Special School District
  • Ralph Barroso, of House Springs, is a technical support analyst at Special School District
  • Patty Benner, of Des Peres, is an audiology assistant at Litzsinger School in the Special School District
  • Shaunda Brown, of Florissant, is a speech/language pathologist at Russell Elementary in the Hazelwood School District
  • Karen Carter, of St. Louis, is an area coordinator for deaf and hard of hearing with Special School District
  • Ernest Garrett III, of St. Louis, is a social worker at the Ritenour School District
  • Jean Hantak, of Fenton, is a physical therapist at Kellison Elementary in the Rockwood School District
  • Wanda Harris, of Lake St. Louis, is a school bus driver with Special School District
  • Mandi Jones, of Fenton, is a secretary trainer with Special School District
  • Meaghan Juergens, of St. Louis, is an area coordinator with the Ferguson-Florissant School District
  • Sheri Kanterman, of Town & Country, is an area coordinator with the Parkway School District
  • Suzanne Lang, of South County, is a school bus monitor with Special School District
  • Nancy Richey, of O'Fallon, is a guidance counselor at Neuwoehner High School in the Special School District
  • Kristen Rohrer, of South County, is a school psychologist with the Pattonville School District
  • Ros VanHecke, of Ballwin, is director of planning and development with Special School District
  • Jane Walsma, of Manchester, is a social worker in the Valley Park School District
  • Marty Woytus, of Ellisville, is an area coordinator with the Parkway School District
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12110 Clayton Rd, Town & Country, MO 63131  /  314.989.8100  /  314.989.8552 – 711 (Missouri Relay)

Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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