Nurturing Leaders: October 2016


Avery students Isaac G, Dominic B, and Olivia F presented on student leadership at last weekend’s Missouri School Boards’ Association Annual Conference along with Avery principal, Dr. Tony Arnold.


In order for children to grow and thrive as learners, ready to meet the challenges they’ll encounter as adults, it’s important for systems of education to do their part in helping develop them as leaders.  While leadership is often, and rightfully, associated with a position of power over others, we believe it’s important for each of our students to be able to lead from within, that is, to be able to take charge of their own learning, show initiative and set good examples for others.  Across our school system, caring adults work to nurture the development of our children as leaders.  One example of our district’s commitment to developing leaders can be found at Avery Elementary.

Following a study of Steven Covey’s book, “The Leader in Me,” the staff at Avery created a student leadership program that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Each student at Avery is provided with a variety of learning opportunities and support to develop as a leader from within.  To date over 330 students serve in an explicit leadership role in the building for which they had to apply and interview.  Dr. Tony Arnold shared, “We want to foster leadership skills in our students in as many ways as possible.  If every student at Avery is in a leadership role, we will be helping cultivate confident, caring, high-achieving, and capable leaders for Avery and the future.”

This past weekend, the students pictured above facilitated a workshop on Avery’s leadership program for approximately 35 Missouri superintendents and school board members.  To see Dr. Arnold step aside and allow the three students to conduct the presentation made for an occasion that neither they nor others would soon forget!  In fact, a superintendent standing next to me commented on the children’s remarkable courage and confidence that day.  I heartily agreed!

Each child, Each day…John



  • Seventeen WGHS students have been honored in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship competition. This is the greatest number of students recognized in at least  the past 20 years!
  • There are no longer any waiting lists for the morning session at any of our Adventure Club programs.  Hudson and Steger no longer have waiting lists after school, and we will continue our efforts to eliminate the waiting lists at each of the other schools.
  • Assistant Superintendent Dr. Wiley recently shared with the board that 85% of district teachers and administrators have a master’s degree or higher.  In addition, she said that district teachers average over 15 years of experience.
  • Alyson Goggin, who recently was featured in the WK Times for creating Pars for Patriots to make a difference in the lives of military families, qualified for state in golf.  Aly is the first female golfer from WGHS to qualify for state since  Kate Grumke in 2009.
  • The WGHS History Club provided an opportunity for high school students to register to vote in the upcoming elections.



  • The Webster Groves Recreation Center is hosting an early morning “Hixson RecFest Club.”  The program will meet from 7:15 – 8:20 am each day, and helps to provide assistance for families with middle school children needing before-school care.
  • The WGSD will host a showing of Most Likely to Succeed on October 25 at 7 p.m. at Hixson Middle School.  Everyone, including students, is welcome to attend this free public screening.  To view the trailer, click here:
  • While we have yet to receive the results back from water tests conducted by the St. Louis County Health Department at WGHS and Hixson, the results from each of our other buildings have been returned and yielded no concerns.  The district has tested all buildings in the past and found no problems.
  • Our doors are always open for alumni to return just for a visit, to help our children and staff learn, or support the school community in any way.  The following is a picture Dr. Joe Hays, Clark principal, and some members of the Clark Class of 1958 who stopped by for a tour of their elementary school!