Connecting and Contributing – December


Students at Hixson Middle School yesterday honored Herman Townsend, custodial supervisor at the school, who is retiring Jan. 1. He joined the Webster Groves School District in 1980.  He will be greatly missed!


‘Tis the season for connecting and contributing.  While many of us including myself will demonstrate love and care for others via store-bought goods, I trust that most of us would agree the gifts that endure beyond the moment they’re “opened” are those that can’t be found in stores.  They’re gifts that demonstrate one’s affection for another, shared in a way that’s personal and filled with care and meaning.

It’s my belief that schools should be places where these types of personal gifts are regularly shared in new and different ways both within the school itself as well as in the local and global communities.  It’s important that we as educators continue to do our part to lower the divide that exists between schools and community so that our children are regularly demonstrating care for their community and our community is regularly contributing to the learning of our children.  Below are a small sample of ways I’ve seen this type of sharing take place in the past two weeks.

I wish each of you the best this holiday season!

Each child, Each day…John

Omar shares a musical gift with the entire Steger student body last Friday as part of their weekly Music Friday.

As part of a science study, 4th grade students at Avery connect with a team from the University of Wisconsin studying neutrinos (very high-energy particles with neither a positive nor negative charge) at the South Pole.  They were very excited to talk to former Avery student, Christopher Weaver, who is a member of the team!


After collecting multiple wagons full of goods, this 4th grade class at Bristol walked to Old Community Baptist Church to make the delivery and learn more about the church’s efforts and those being served by them.


After one student shared what he learned regarding the effect of WWII on Missouri history, 4th and some 5th grade students at Clark wanted to learn more about WWII so they Skyped with an expert on the USS Missouri stationed at Pearl Harbor.

This afternoon, students at Hudson were treated to this video of the most recent 3rd-5th grade music concert.


  • There are no longer any waiting lists at any of our Adventure Club programs!
  •  WGHS students Emma Austin and Jared Brown organized and raised over $1,000 for the Little Bit Foundation during the recent Mr. Webster Competition.
  • Congratulations to two WGHS students:
    • Chris Kuse was chosen as one of three students in the United States to fly to San Francisco for the Berlin and Beyond Film Festival in February.  At the festival, Chris will connect with and learn from a variety of German filmmakers, actors and industry professionals.
    • Jack Kincaid has been named one of only 25 students in the country for the Reischauer Scholars Program at Stanford University, an intensive online study of Japan.  Ambassadors, top scholars, and experts throughout the United States and Japan will provide online lectures and engage students in live discussion sessions.
  • Lauren Forsyth, Heather Nichols, Susie Jonn and Deedee Sheehan, teachers from the Walter Ambrose Family Center, presented at the Missouri Early Learning Conference at Tan-Tar-A. The topics were “Passionate About the Outdoors?” and “Not Just About Materials.”
  • The Bionic Bulldogs Robotics Team from Hixson participated in the State FFL competition and brought home the Inspiration Award!



  • Are you looking for summer opportunities for your child this year? The Webster Groves School District’s Summer Elementary Program will be offering an all-new array of exciting experiential and project-based courses for children, at no cost to parents. Stay tuned for details! The program runs from June 1 – July 7.
  • In our continued efforts to improve two-way dialogue with the community, following winter break we will open Facebook comments on our district Facebook page.
  • Assistant Superintendent Dr. Denbow recently shared additions to the 17-18 course offerings at WGHS including: AP Environmental Science, AP Statistics, Game Design 2 and C# Programming, and Android Application Development and Programming.
  • The results of the resident enrollment study conducted by Dr. Charles Kofron were presented to the Board of Education this past Monday night.  While the data projects resident enrollment in some schools such as Avery to decrease, it also projects district resident enrollment to continue increasing over the next five years.
  • Prior to Thanksgiving break, I sent the following note to families of district students regarding our continued efforts to create and maintain the best educational and environment possible for our students, staff, and families.