COVID-19 – Space for Updates

Dear WGSD Family,

As together we work to care for our students, families and one another during this time, I will use this blog to provide updates, information and resources.  The below information was shared with district families and staff over the past 2 days.

With care,



Dear WGSD Families,

First, I wanted to let you know that I’m thinking about your children and your families.  While it’s critically important that we practice the science of physically distancing ourselves from one another, it’s also imperative that we practice the science of remaining closely connected in every other way – heart, spirit, mind and through other collective efforts to care very deeply for the children and families of our district community – OUR FAMILY!

Following the decision we made to close our schools and suspend in-person classes preliminarily until April 3, district and building-level leaders have been working with much thought and intention on plans for how to best meet the personal and academic needs of our children, to support staff as they work with one another to educate and support our children, and to partner with families and organizations and agencies for the good of all.  While we don’t have all the answers, we’ll continue to work and learn together in order to care for the children and adults of this community and this region. Do we have a plan for educating and supporting 2 – 18 year olds at home that’s guaranteed to work right away? No, we do not. Do we have a plan that we feel good about initiating that will be continually reviewed and adjusted to meet our needs as we implement? Absolutely! While you’ll soon receive a more detailed plan, please click here for the Webster Groves Start Up Schedule, a summary of the work taking place from now until April 3, including a few things you can do as parents/guardians to support student learning while at home.

While there are many things on your mind as it relates to your children and the future, I wanted to address a few of them and to direct you to where you can ask questions and find answers.


Food Service

Starting this Monday, March 23, we will provide breakfast and lunch service free for any child between the ages of 0 – 18 at Hudson Elementary School (9825 Hudson Ave, 63119).  You do not have to live in the school district or be enrolled in the WGSD to receive a meal!  Click here to see the flyer!

Additional details include:

  • Please complete the following anonymous survey if you wish to participate in this program: or call 314-918-4156.

  • Pick-up times from 10:45 – 12:45 pm, Monday through Friday until schools are reopened.

  • At the time of pick-up, participants will have the opportunity to get lunch for that day and breakfast for the next.

  • The child(ren) must be present during pick-up to receive the meal(s).

  • Children and families will not be required to share their names or whether they attend a district school.

  • If families are unable to be present, delivery of meals may be arranged by calling 314-918-4156 or emailing

  • In addition, families can find other local and regional sources for meal support, in St. Louis County and St. Louis City, by visiting the following link:

Essential Items from School

Please contact your building-level principal(s) as soon as possible regarding any items you need, currently in the building or not, in support of your child’s health and education during this time.  Tuesday, March 24 will be the last day administrators have access to the building in order to retrieve such items.



Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working to determine which families would benefit from computer and/or Internet support in the event we could not be in school.  We will be contacting those families and staff regarding our method of computer distribution and support, Internet and otherwise. You’ll also be provided with a technology helpline for set-up and emerging issues.


Alternative Learning Plan for Parents and Guardians

Click here to find the Alternative Learning Plan for parents and guardians.  If you have any questions about the plan, please contact your child(ren)’s teacher or administrator, or submit a question through the district web site, after Wednesday, March 25.



Having clear and consistent channels of communication is paramount in our new education paradigm.  Schools and teachers will establish and communicate such channels of communication with you soon. One way you can get support or share information is by using our schools’ and district phone numbers and emails, which may be found at our district website:  We will check our voice mail regularly and try to return phone calls within a 24 hour period, excluding weekends.  Each Friday the school district will send out an email blast with updated information. We will also continue sharing information via our Covid-19 web page:, Facebook (WebsterGrovesSD) and Twitter (@WebsterGrovesSD).

As always, Webster Groves School District staff will be here to provide care and support for district children and families.  Given all that is new and the impact of the changes and closures, including those directly affecting our own families, we will ask for and rely on your grace and understanding moving forward.  I can promise that we’ll only get better with each lesson learned over each passing day!

With care and gratitude for you and your family…John





2020 Graduation – May 12 at Chaifetz Arena

Dear WGSD Family,

At Monday night’s school board meeting, the decision was made to relocate the 2020 WGHS Graduation Ceremony to Chaifetz Arena on May 12, 2020 at 6:30 pm.  The decision was made following a survey of current parents/guardians, staff and students of WGHS, along with a focus group of high school students.  To view the unedited survey responses, please click here.

While we recognize that a number of community members would prefer we continue to host graduation at Moss Field (Roberts Gym in the case of inclement weather), the past few years have demonstrated a need for change out of respect for all of our families and the special event that is high school graduation.

Hosting graduation at Chaifetz Arena, located less than 9 miles from the WGSD, will allow everyone to:

  • see their loved one graduate regardless of the weather
  • have a great view of the ceremony from an accessible seat in a climate-controlled environment
  • benefit from the highest quality sound and video available
  • access ample parking near the graduation venue

Over the past three years, we’ve witnessed a variety of  problems with high school graduation.  In 2018 and 2019, those problems were significant.  In 2018, inclement weather made it necessary to relocate graduation to Roberts Gym.  Due to the limited capacity in Roberts, graduates only received 4 tickets for family members and loved ones to attend the ceremony.  They were also given 3 tickets for others to view a live video of graduation in Knight Auditorium.   Limiting the number of seats to graduation placed a number of students and families in the unenviable position of determining who “made the cut” to attend the ceremony.  Some not making the cut last year included parents of graduates, grandparents and other loved ones who had flown in from across the country.

With the Class of 2019 at Moss Field this year, a host of other problems included lack of seating for all attendees, poor to no visibility for some, inequitable access to seating for those physically unable to navigate stairs, and poor traffic and parking conditions.  These conditions are highlighted in the pictures below.

View from various seats at Moss Field:


Traffic congestion:

created by dji camera
created by dji camera

Seating for attendees unable to navigate stairs behind graduate seating:

created by dji camera
created by dji camera

Viewing graduation from behind barricades or on grass hill:



Viewing graduation from outside the stadium:


No view of the graduation stage: 


In addition, and as noted by survey respondents, the quality of the restrooms and stadium in general at Moss Field are less than desirable for any event, particularly one of this significance.  Furthermore, and while recognizing that most venues have some seats that are better positioned for a performance or event than others, we don’t feel that one’s inability to arrive early when the gates open or know someone who can, should significantly limit one’s access to fully take in the graduation experience.  This year, we had hundreds of family members and loved ones who either couldn’t see the stage or see it very well from their position on the grass hills north and south of the grandstand, behind the barriers located on the track, behind the stadium fencing or on the far edges of the grandstand.

While respecting the history and tradition of holding graduation at Moss Field or Roberts Gym, we felt this decision needed to be made so that we can provide everyone with the best graduation experience possible.

Take care,




With Gratitude…


Our Story

Dear WGSD Family,

On behalf of the WGSD Board of Education, I want to again thank our community for actively engaging with the school district and one another to develop a proposal for improving safety and accessibility within our schools, and addressing our continued overcrowding at the elementary level.  As always, your contributions on behalf of the children of our community are greatly appreciated!

Don’t forget to vote!

With gratitude,


Our Celebrations

  • Congratulations to the following students who have been accepted for participation in the 2018-19 University of Missouri-St. Louis Bridge precollegiate program: Brianna Arinze, Kreighton Bluette, Kolby Cunningham, Marogan Daniels, Amya Ferguson, Aysha Gray, Jocelyn Hill, Lamar Jackson, and Raquel Robinson.


  • WGHS student Nakailah Shields-Robinson will join Director of Student Services John M. Thomas, on the newly formed Webster Groves Community Engagement Board.


  • Frank Robbins, fifth grade student at Givens Elementary, created the portrait below (right) of Dr. Henry Givens Jr. and presented it to Dr. Givens at the school’s Black History program last week.IMG_2439


  • This past Saturday, Hixson Student Leaders visited The Kingdom House to participate in a poverty simulation and learn about the difficult choices people living in poverty have to make every day. The Kingdom House is a United Way organization that works to support those in need through programming, early childhood, pre-school, and social supports. They help those that don’t have credit, build credit through micro-loans. They provide access to low-cost clothing and food through their bodega and market with healthy food options, all while maintaining the dignity of their customers.55719489_2073870742649285_518608474834206720_n


  • Check out the new Thrive Program that will launch during the 19-20 school year at WGHS!


  • Tommy Koelling and Rebekah Kinworthy, pictured below with Ms. Kara Siebe, will attend the International DECA Competition in Orlando, Fla.  Below are the students who placed at the state competition and qualified for the international competition.
    • Tommy Koelling and Rebekah Kinworthy– 2nd Place Marketing Management Team Decision Making
    • Joe Castleman and Quinton Nehring– 2nd Place Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making 
    • Mario Colombo– 6th Place Automotive Services Marketing 
    • James Groenier and Ray Mcintyre– 5th Place Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making 
    • Elaine Roberts and Mia Schechschulte– 6th Place Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making 

Tommy and Bekah FL

  • Congratulations to Nicolaus Braun and Gabriel Mitchell, who have been selected for the 2019 Missouri Scholars 100, a statewide program that honors 100 of Missouri’s top academic students in the graduating class of 2019.  Students will be recognized at a luncheon in Columbia, MO in late April.


  • Congratulations to High School Echo students Sean Mullins, Maeve Taylor and Lindsey Bennett, named national winners in the 2019 Quill and Scroll International Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest. Students from five countries submitted 2,486 entries over all 30 categories, and judges chose 268 winning entries produced by 319 students, or National Winners. Sean won second place for blogging; Maeve and Lindsey for audio podcast: series.


  • Congratulations to the band, orchestra and vocal music students who performed during the recent solo and ensemble festival. Nineteen soloists and 11 ensembles received exemplary ratings and they will compete at the state festival this month.


  • Steger Science teacher Chantell Mason and some of her students have been interviewed by Red Hat Inc. representatives for a documentary on open source in agriculture. The students explained an aquaponics project they’ve worked on this semester.

Our News

  • ARCO Construction Company, located in Rock Hill, MO recently became the first company to fund a named grant for the WGSD Foundation. Their first contribution of $2,500 will fund STEAM focused grants in our schools. Keep you eyes out for the ARCO Steam grant recipient next school year.


  • View the trailer for Intelligent Lives, playing in the auditorium at Givens/Steger on April 17.



First Annual Health and Wellness Event


WOW_2019_Event_Flyer_front FINAL






Kids Voting!

Our Story


Clark School students “at the polls.”

Dear WGSD Family,

Over the past few weeks, district students have engaged in a variety of developmentally appropriate lessons and activities in order to help them better understand the critically important roll voting plays in our democracy.  Participating in Kids Voting is just one way we help teach students how to understand issues from varied perspectives and how to advocate for what you believe.

Please click on the following link to view a KSDK news story featuring Hixson Middle School students.

Each child, Each day…John

Our Celebrations

  • Congratulations to these former WGHS student athletes who were inducted into this year’s WGHS Sports Hall of Fame last month along with Sam Getz and Angelina Arinze, current student athletes who received the Most Outstanding Student Athlete Awards!

HOF 2018 webstie3


  • Over the past few weeks, the WGSD Foundation raised over $50,000 in support of innovative learning opportunities for district students!  Thanks to each of you who participated in the Ivory Crockett Run for Webster and/or the Sip and Savor Event.  A special “thank you” to Dr. Henry Givens Jr., the featured speaker at this year’s Sip and Savor Event, and Mr. Ivory Crockett, our annual featured speaker to kick off the Run!



  • Congratulations to WGHS Junior Claire Kellick who was one of 26 members on the International Youth Advisory Board at the Youth Volunteer Corps Summit in Charleston, SC. this past week.
  • Congratulations to Charlie Teeter (23rd) and Brett Krueger (127th) on their strong showings at last week’s state cross country championship!


  • New York Times bestselling author Alan Gratz spoke to Hixson Middle School students about his books and the craft of writing!


Our News

  • “Thank you” to the 790 respondents who completed the recent survey regarding draft options for addressing our district’s enrollment space concerns.  To view the responses from that survey, click here.
  • As part of a Veterans Week celebration at Webster Groves High School, students got the opportunity for up close looks at a Stuart tank, fighter jet cockpit and a variety of World War I and II equipment. On Thurs., Nov. 8, the school will hold a Veterans Day ceremony focused on the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I. In addition, panels of veterans will speak to students in social studies classes throughout the day. 45455288_2048410188513778_849364357270732800_n
  • The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently informed districts that individual results from last spring’s MAP tests will be ready for schools to distribute in December.
  • On December 5 at 7 pm, Special School District, Missouri TASH and the Ethical Society of St. Louis are co-hosting a showing of Intelligent Lives.  Email or call 314-989-7807 to register for this free event.


  • Here are some upcoming events taking place in the WGSD:
  • 2

Science Fair how to flyer


Recent Hate Crimes

Dear WGSD Family,

I’m struggling to find the right words to express my emotions regarding the hate-filled murders of eleven people in the synagogue in Pittsburgh and the two people in a grocery in Kentucky.  My thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones and everyone directly impacted by these heinous acts.

Also weighing greatly on my heart and mind are the children and adults of this school community and the effect these acts have on them – in isolation as well as cumulative.  Beyond that, I’m thinking even more deeply about those who can directly identify with those murdered based on the religion or race they share.

While I believe thoughts and prayers are good, those alone won’t change everyone’s hearts, make organizations equitable, or stop such acts which seem to be occurring with greater frequency.  I implore each of us to not just denounce hate, but to actively work to confront and eliminate it. While one can, and should, denounce hate in a moment, the deconstruction of systems that oppress and marginalize requires an intentional, thoughtful and sustained commitment.  The WGSD will continue to work with students, families and community and regional partners to create an educational environment where every person feels valued and respected through every layer of the organization, and where no child or adult is marginalized.  Everyone is deserving of such dignity and care!



Safety and Space

Our Story

Dear WGSD Family,

As I’m pretty certain you are aware (if not you will be after reading this), the Webster Groves School District is currently exploring safety and space in the district including our space issues related to continued enrollment growth.  The timeline of events at this link  was shared with the district’s Board of Education last Monday evening.  While the timeline includes some finer details, those of you who have attended the community forums will notice that overall the timeline is consistent with what’s been shared at each gathering.

We continue to be very interested in what each of you, and all district stakeholders, have to say on this topic.  As the timeline notes, there will be a variety of upcoming opportunities for you to contribute to this important decision-making process – regardless of whether you have ever had children attend district schools.  Our invitation for you to participate in this process is sincere, and it’s my hope that you take the opportunity to do so!

Each child, Each day…John


Our Celebrations

  • The grand opening of Dr. Henry Givens Jr. Elementary School took place earlier this month and attendees enjoyed hearing from the invited guests, especially Dr. Givens himself!


  • Congratulations to the three National Merit semifinalists, Nicolaus Braun, Luke Burbee and John Porthouse, and four National Merit Commended Students,  John Arbuckle, Isabelle Blake, Leah Cooke and Gabriel Mitchell!
  • September 25 was “Jackson Bontty Day” in Webster Groves!  Jackson was recognized for recently attaining the level of Eagle Scout.


  • Members of the Webster Groves School District Board of Education, Eric Dunn (math teacher at WGHS) and John Simpson (superintendent) presented at the Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) Annual Fall Conference this past weekend on the topics: Teacher Compensation and Issues Committees and the Board Self-Evaluation Process.


  • Congratulations to Lamar Jackson, a sophomore at Webster Groves High School, who completed the University of Missouri-St. Louis Bridge Program. The Bridge Program provides students in grades nine through 12 with educational experiences, college planning, and social and professional lessons necessary for the transition into college. Students in the program attended classes and workshops on the UMSL campus.


Our News

  • The annual Ivory Crockett Run for Webster is quickly approaching. This family fun run includes a 5K run, 1 mile fun run, 100 yd dash, pancake breakfast and kid’s activities. The run will start and end on Selma Ave, right in front of Webster Groves High School. The pancake breakfast and activity fair will take place inside the high school. We are currently organizing volunteers for this great event.We would love your support this year! If you are able to volunteer or would like to run/walk in the event, please click on the run website at:

RFW Flyer 8.5x11 2018 FINAL 5 (front and back)_Page_1

RFW Flyer 8.5x11 2018 FINAL 5 (front and back)_Page_2

  • You’re invited to attend the parent workshop “Teens Starving for Intimacy:  An Epidemic of Disconnect in the Age of Connection” on Monday, October 29th from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Steger/Givens auditorium. Details on this workshop can be found by clicking HERE.
  • Please contribute your thoughts regarding the food service program in the WGSD:
  • Don’t forget! If you have questions or comments for the Board of Education, plan to attend the next “Let’s Talk” session with the board, from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1 at St. Louis Bread Co. in Webster Groves.The next session will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wed., Nov. 7 at Global Brew in Rock Hill.
  • To learn more about the ongoing work of the district’s Human Resources Department including some interesting data related to district staff, click here:

Happy New Year!

Our Story

Dear WGSD Family,

Happy New Year!

The 2018-19 school year is off and running, and the faculty and staff can’t be more excited and ready to partner with you, the community, and most importantly your children to make this the best school year yet.  As I’ve traveled the halls of each school this week, I’ve seen, heard, and felt the energy emanating from both the children and the adults (pics below).  It’s our charge and task to maintain this energy as together we begin diving into curriculum and course work, initiating after school experiences and activities, and working to “do life” with peers.  While challenges and trials are inevitable, I believe all things are possible if we demonstrate a sincere, personal care for one another in all things.  I know this can be hard, but I believe we all have the ability to do hard things!

Each child, Each day…John


Our Celebrations

  • Around 300 of us participated in the annual Back to School BBQ at Ivory Crockett Park.  Special thanks to the district’s Equity in Education Committee, the Alliance for Interracial Dignity, the Webster Rock Hill Ministries, the Webster Groves Parks and Recreation Department, the Webster Groves Police and Fire Departments, and everyone else who showed up for making the event special!


  • Check out the fresh new look to our district website that is now more mobile-friendly:  Plus, if you haven’t downloaded the Webster Groves SD app yet, head to the Apple or Android app store now!  You won’t want to miss this resource that can be personalized to your children’s schools.


  • A renaming ceremony for Dr. Henry Givens Jr. Elementary School will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 6 at the school, 701 N. Rock Hill Rd.  The Board of Education approved changing the name of the Webster Groves Elementary Computer School following a presentation on work done by a school committee.


  • Around 200 teachers and staff participated in a variety of professional development this summer in support of our students’ learning and overall well-being.  STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), social justice, and professional learning communities were among the topics explored.


  • New Statesmen spiritwear is here! You can place an order online and pick it up from the High School main office or pay a small delivery fee to have it brought to your front door.


Our News

  • KWRH-LP (Radio 63119), Rotary Club 6060, and the WGSD are partnering to provide books to families with children primarily between the ages of 0-4, and also with children from ages 5-12.  Local Rotarians will regularly deliver books to families from August through January of this year.  The goal of the project is two-fold: provide free books to families who could really benefit from more books at home and work together as a community to support the education of our children!                                                                                                                              To sign up for this great opportunity, please call 314-736-4511 or email


  • The spring 2018 MAP and EOC testing cycle covered the new Missouri Learning Standards in math, English language arts (ELA), and science for the first time.  The assessments taken by our students were fully redesigned and significantly different from the state tests that had been given in previous years.  The types and difficulty level of the questions, as well as the length of test, were two of the changes our students encountered.  In addition, the MAP science assessments given to all 5th and 8th graders, along with the high school Biology end-of-course exam, were developed from questions that were being field-tested to determine their validity and reliability.  Due to all of these significant changes, it is taking the state longer to grade and analyze the results for all students throughout the state.  We will not be receiving MAP and end-of-course results for math and ELA until mid October, and hope to have all student reports mailed home to families by the end of October. Also, since the science assessments were being field-tested, we will not be receiving any information from the state from the spring 2018 tests.


  • The WGSD Foundation is partnering with the Kirkwood School District’s Foundation to host a special golf event on October 7.  Join me and others from the WGSD as we look to bring the new “Foundation Cup” home!  You can learn more and sign up on the Foundation’s website:


  • Join the next class of inductees into the Webster Groves High School Statesmen Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 20th.  This year’s banquet will focus on the sport of track and field.  The Statesmen Sports Hall of Fame will induct the 1980 and 1981 girls track teams that placed in the top 4 at the state meet in both years and the girls 4×200 relay team that won the state championship in 1982.  Six of the women on those teams will be inducted as individuals and two men who were track athletes from the 1990’s will also be inducted.  Four members of the 1980 and 1981 state track teams will also be recognized with their team.                                                                                                                                                                Enjoy a night honoring these Statesmen legends on October 20th at Westborough Country Club in Webster Groves.  Cocktails start at 6 pm, dinner is served by 6:30 pm, and the induction ceremony will begin at 7:30 pm.  Purchase your $50 ticket(s) by contacting the WGHS Activities Office, (314) 918-4176.  Please RSVP by October 10th.


  • Are you on the WGHS Wall of Remembrance? The Wall of Remembrance honors graduates of Webster and Douglass who gave their lives in the service of their country and/or received the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Silver Star or the Distinguished Service Cross. If you have received a Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and/or Purple Heart and are not yet on the Wall of Remembrance, please let the Alumni Office know by either emailing or call the office at 314-918-4548. 

Building Relationships

Our Story


Dear WGSD Family,

A hallmark of the Webster Groves School District community and the five cities which encompass it, is the priority placed on relationships and personal care for one another.  I’ve lived and worked in other places throughout my career, and I can assure you that we have something special here!

One of my favorite events which epitomizes our care for one another is the annual Back to School BBQ at Ivory Crockett Park.  Each year hundreds of students, families, staff members, and community members converge at this great park to enjoy some delicious food, play games, and build or deepen relationships.  This event is a favorite of the Simpson family and many others, and we hope to see you there from 11 – 1 pm on Saturday, August 11!

Each child, Each day…John

Our Celebrations

  • A renaming ceremony for Dr. Henry Givens Jr. Elementary School will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 6 at the school, 701 N. Rock Hill Rd.  The Board of Education approved changing the name of the Webster Groves Elementary Computer School following a presentation on work done by a school committee.
  • Around 200 teachers, staff, and administrators participated in a variety of professional development this summer in support of our students’ learning and overall well-being.  STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), social justice, and professional learning communities were among the topics explored.



  • The district is nearing completion of our districtwide conversion from fluorescent to LED lighting which uses approximately 1/3 the electricity of fluorescent lights.


  • Annually the district completes a variety of projects around the district.  This summer, new flooring can be found in the hallways and locker rooms at Hixson Middle School!

Our News

  • An Enrollment Space Committee comprised of district stakeholders will meet this fall to help develop options for what might be done to address our space needs due to increasing enrollment.  To view the report the Board of Education was given on June 30 related to space and enrollment, please go to the following link:


  • Over the past year, the Webster Groves School District partnered with leaders from Metropolitan Congregations United and the Webster Groves Police Department in order to better clarify the role and responsibilities of the school resource officer in schools.  The MOU will continue to be revisited annually and as needed.  Click here to view the 18-19 MOU:


  • Join the next class of inductees into the Webster Groves High School Statesmen Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 20th.This year’s banquet will focus on the sport of track and field. The Statesmen Sports Hall of Fame will induct the 1980 and 1981 girls track teams that placed in the top 4 at the state meet in both years and the girls 4×200 relay team that won the state championship in 1982. Six of the women on those teams will be inducted as individuals and two men who were track athletes from the 1990’s will also be inducted. Four members of the 1980 and 1981 state track teams will also be recognized with their team.

    Enjoy a night honoring these Statesmen legends on October 20th at Westborough Country Club in Webster Groves. Cocktails start at 6 pm, dinner is served by 6:30 pm, and the induction ceremony will begin at 7:30 pm. Purchase your $50 ticket(s) by contacting the WGHS Activities Office, (314) 918-4176. Please RSVP by October 10th.


  • If you haven’t downloaded the Webster Groves SD app yet, head to the app store and do so now!  You won’t want to miss this resource that can be personalized to your children’s schools.



  • The WGSD Foundation is partnering with the Kirkwood School District’s Foundation to host a special golf event on October 7.  Join me and others from the WGSD as we look to bring the new “Foundation Cup” home!  You can learn more and sign up on the Foundation’s website:

Transitions and Celebrations

Our Story

Dear WGSD Community,

For many of us in the education business, the end of the school year always brings a wide range of emotions as our children, and often colleagues, transition to something new and different.  Graduation signifies this transition for high school seniors.  It was a joy to see the emotions on the faces of seniors as they approached the stage to receive their diplomas and think about the unique journey each took to arrive at that point.  Every bit as fulfilling was watching the reactions from loved ones who were present for that special moment.

In addition to honoring the individual journeys of the students who walked across the stage, the class of 2018 as a group had much to celebrate.  Here is a sampling of the academic honors shared that evening:

  • 47 members of the Class of 2018 graduated with an accumulated GPA of 4.0 or higher.
  • 246 graduated with an accumulated GPA of 3.00 or higher (71% of the class).
  • The Class of 2018 has 6 students recognized through the National Merit competition, and 52 who received recognition for scoring 31 or higher on the ACT test.
  • Two members of this class were recognized as being among the top 100 scholars in the State of Missouri.
  • 242 students earned at least one scholarship to various colleges and universities.
  • More than 103 of our students can receive tuition reimbursement from any public community college in the state because Webster Groves High School is an A+ School.
  • Overall, this class earned scholarships totaling over $31.5 million dollars, a number you will not find in many high schools!

The accomplishments of the senior class, individually and collectively, are noteworthy.  Congratulations first to them, and to district staff, parents, and all who supported them along the way in the WGSD.

Lastly, this graduation will be remembered for the sustained, standing ovation offered to Dr. Jon Clark and Dr. John Raimondo.  They are two extraordinary human beings and school leaders who were participating in the final high school graduation ceremony of their careers, each retiring June 30.  Dr. Jon Clark was participating in his 22nd ceremony at WGHS, the 15th as high school principal, and Dr. John Raimondo was participating in his 28th graduation ceremony at WGHS, the 24th as assistant or associate principal.  We will forever remember and be thankful for these two wonderful people and leaders, and the positive and lasting effect they’ve had on WGHS and the district community.

Each child, Each day…John

Our Celebrations

  • Congratulations to Catie Barnes (Steger) and Kelaiah Killmade (WGHS) who were 2 of 21 students to receive Rosemary Zander Awards through Special School District this year.  To learn more of their accomplishments, click the following link and then their names:


  • Senior Chris Moore was recently named “Tops at Tech,” the big South Tech High award, for his achievements at the school.  He also recently came in first at state in SkillsUSA’s internetworking competition in Springfield.  He will participate in the national event this month.

Chris Moore

  • Congratulations to Hixson Middle School’s Book Battle team!  The Area-Wide Middle School Book Battle, held at Pattonville Heights Middle School, was a trivia style competition where participants read 20 novels and answer tricky and detailed questions about those books.  This year, Hixson took 2nd place out of 42 schools! Team members include Abby Fitzgerald, Cate Curtis, Eva Vognild, Maya Ensor, Molly O’Neill, Elisabeth de Foy, Nora Jennings and Chloe Topel.


  • Hixson Middle School held a “Purple Tie Ceremony” for students who had participated in the Boyz 2 Men group. The club introduces positive role models for the students and encourages them to reach their full potential.

boyz 1

  • Congratulations to Avery students Ruthie Helton (Kindergarten) and Brynn Aranda (1st Grade) who finished in the top 3 of the 2018 Diverse-City Art Competition!  “DAP’s Diverse-City Art Competition gives students the opportunity to express, through art, their understanding and awareness of diversity and inclusion within their communities and schools.”Capture


  • Of the 36 seniors who participated in the Webster challenge, 33 have received college scholarships.  A handful of these students are pictured below wearing a shirt with the college or university they’ll be attending.WC 2018 small group
  • Congratulations to WGHS Senior Anthony Brown who was awarded a top scholar athlete for Missouri by the National Football Foundation.  In the fall, Anthony will continue as a scholar/athlete at Washington University where he’ll major in engineering and play football.


  • Ten choir students were selected to compete at the MSHSAA State Solo and Ensemble Contest. Singers represented WGHS well and received 5 Gold ratings and 1 Silver rating:
    • GOLD SATB ensemble: Rachel Fisher(11), Olivia Bickford(11), Nicolaus Braun(11), and Mitchell Lazarow(12)
    • GOLD SSAA ensemble: Rachel Fisher(11), Keillyn Johnson(12), Bekah Kinworthy(10), and Olivia Bickford(11)
    • SILVER TTBB ensemble: Aidan Jurotich(11), Ray McIntyre(11), Sam Toskin(11), and Mitchell Lazarow(12)
    • GOLD vocal solos: Reagan Austin(9) and Aidan Jurotich(11)


  • Congratulations to our band students for their amazing performances at the State Solo and Ensemble competition:
    • Solos Awarded Gold:
      • Taylor Howard, clarinet
      • Nita Isom, clarinet
      • Myah Frank, flute
      • Jessica Powell, trombone
      • Jack Snelling bassoon
      • Ray Wetzel-Meehan, trumpet
      • Evan Palmer, trombone
      • Sam Swaine, alto sax
    • Ensembles Awarded Gold:
      • Myah Frank, Nita Isom, Jack Snelling – woodwind trio
      • Myah Frank, Maggie Stevison, Nita Isom, Barrett Light and Jack Snelling – woodwind quintet
      • Nicole Preston, Kathryn Heddens-Kocher, Taylor Howard – Woodwind Trio
      • Ray Wetzel-Meehan, Matt Muldoon, Samantha Weber, Max McArthur, and Ben Wieselmann – Brass Quintet
    • Ensembles Awarded Silver:
      • Sam Swaine, Sarah Kaul, Henry Tomiser, and Larissa Striber – Sax Quartet


  • Congratulations to our orchestra students who played in five events at the State level. Results as follows:
    • Gold Rating:
      • Brady Chrisler, Terry Johnson, and Jeremy Ling, violin trio
      • Alex Bird, Anna Bussler, Jeremy Ling and Beady Chrisler, violin quartet Jeremy Ling, violin solo
      • Hope Johnson—cello solo
    • Silver Rating:
      • Anna Bussler, violin solo


  • Our WG Climbing team won another competition last Friday. This propelled them to an overall team season top rope championship. They beat out a dozen area high school teams to take the season title by over 200 points in the inaugural climbing season competition


  • Songwriter / producer Kelsie Johnson (JuiiX) recently made her first big break in the music industry. In January of 2018, the 24-year-old native of Saint Louis, Mo and Webster Groves HS Graduate sold her original song, Payroll,  aired on May 2 in Season 4 of the #1 hit  Fox series Empire. In February 2018, she signed a production deal with Fox to make music for both Empire and Star television shows. Payroll is now available to download on all media outlets including Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music,  iTunes and Amazon music.a juiix Kelsie Johnson


  • The drama department is proud to share that they have been awarded a grant to produce Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the fall.  This grant was awarded to only 2 schools in the nation!  The grant awards our school with the rights and royalties waived for the production and saves our department a great deal of money.  The grant was written by Sam Toskin, and the show will be produced by students and staff!


  • High School marketing students and teacher Kara Siebe organized the 17th annual Jim Schoemehl run held early May.  The event attracted 443 runners and the students will be able to donate $14,000 to the ALS Association and a local family with a member who has ALS.


  • The WGSD School Board earned the Missouri School Boards’ Association 2018 Governance Team Award which recognizes the value of ongoing learning for continuous improvement.


  • The 2018 WGHS Senior Class earned over $31.5 million dollars in scholarships!


  • Congratulations  to our WGHS ECHO (journalism) students.  JournalismSTL released its contest results.
    • Superior Ratings:
      • Ashli Wagner(12), Ethan Weihl(10), Leor Shomroni(12), Ryan Waelterman(12). Evelyn Trampe(11), and Elise Keller(10) for their feature copy “Webster staff members reminisce about prom.”
    • Excellent ratings:
      • Lindsey Bennett(10) and Emily Stisser(10) for their sports broadcast “Volleyball team remembers student, brings awareness”
      • Wagner(12) for her news photo “Community members march in honor of MLK”
      • Riley Mullgardt(12) for her news photo “Senior waits for Eclipse”
    • Honorable mentions:
      • Evelyn Trampe(11) and Sean Mullins(11) for their feature broadcast “Student Council representatives attend state convention”
      • Cole Schnell(11) for his commentary copy “Act should be passed to protect student journalists”
      • Sean Mullins(11) for his commentary copy “Electric Retrospective – Playtime’s Over: The Rise and Fall of Toys to Life”
      • Natalie Johnson(12), Caroline Fellows(12) and Ashli Wagner(12) and Cole Schnell(11) for their commentary copy “More should be done to prevent sexual harassment”
      • Trinity Madison(11) and Colin Shue(10) for their special projects broadcast “Students, staff discuss Halloween costumes,”
      • Natalie Johnson(12) for her news photo “Senior participates in BLM movement”
      • Caroline Fellows(12) for her feature photo “A cappella juniors perform duet”
      • Caroline Fellows(12), Ashli Wagner(12),  Natalie Johnson(12) and Cole Schnell(11) for their news feature copy “Students, staff recognize sexism at WGHS.”


Our News

  • Webster Groves High School Principal Jon Clark is retiring at the end of this year.  In lieu of gifts, we are accepting donations to the Jon Clark Student Support Fund, acct.780. This fund will allow students with financial need the opportunity to participate in field trips, experiential learning opportunities and other school experiences.



  • If you haven’t downloaded the Webster Groves SD app yet, head to the app store and do so now!


  • Here are the 18-19 and 19-20 WGSD School Calendars:

Calendar 2018-2019

Calendar 2019-2020

  • The Webster Groves School District understands the importance of communication as we work together to improve our schools. To help us improve our communication practices, we’ve created a brief survey to help determine how and what residents would like to hear from us as well as what we need to do to gather information to ensure that all voices are heard. Please help us by providing your valuable input. You can find the survey at the link below.  The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, June 16.

2018-19 WGHS Principal Selected



Dear WGSD Community,

Over the last month, we have had the pleasure of facilitating a multi-phase process to identify the next principal of Webster Groves High School.  Our process included, but was not limited to, multiple performance assessments, face-to-face interviews, reference checks, and additional vetting through candidate’s online “footprints.”  A variety of stakeholders including students, staff, parents, community members, and a representative from the board contributed to the process along the way.  The goal, which I believe we accomplished, was to create an interview environment for candidates to comfortably share who they are and what they would contribute to the school and district communities if selected as the next principal of the High School.  At the end of the rigorous and thoughtful journey, Dr. Matthew Irvin was selected to be the next principal at Webster Groves High School.  Dr. Irvin is currently the associate principal at Lafayette High School in the Rockwood School District.

While you’ll soon have the opportunity to meet Dr. Irvin and learn more about him, I do want you to know that he is extraordinarily eager to team with you in support of doing great things for students!  Matt is a natural leader who cares deeply for students and staff members.  A great communicator, he’s a learner himself with a strong knowledge of pedagogy.  A teacher at Kirkwood High School where Matt was both a teacher and a high school instructional coach shared that his “love for learning and students is infectious.”  An assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction who worked with Matt on a variety of projects noted that he was “strong with best practices,” “equity minded,” and “highly skilled at giving feedback and helping teachers grow.”

Dr. Irvin holds a doctoral degree in educational administration from Lindenwood University, a master’s in educational administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University. 

I am confident that Dr. Irvin is the right person at the right time to lead Webster Groves High School forward and into the future!

With great expectations…John