EducationPlus Scholarship Awards Accepting Applications

The EducationPlus Scholarship Awards were established to assist highly deserving teachers to continue professional development. The awards consist of a $1,500 stipend that is to be used to further the recipient’s professional development, with emphasis on improving student performance. There are five scholarships awarded annually:

  • Robert D. Elsea Scholarship— an award established in honor of Dr. Elsea, who served as EducationPlus’s Executive Director for 21 years (1966-1987).
  • Gerald D. Troester Scholarship— an award established in honor of Dr. Troester, who served as EducationPlus’s Executive Director for 5 years (1987-1992).
  • Gary K. Wright Insurance Trust Scholarship— an award established in honor of Dr. Wright, who served as EducationPlus’s Executive Director for 9 years (1992-2001).
  • John Oldani Scholarship— an award established in honor of Dr. Oldani, who served as EducationPlus’s Executive Director for 6 years (2001-2007).
  • CSD Health Insurance Trust Scholarship*— an award sponsored by the school districts participating in CSD’s Health Insurance Trust.

EducationPlus is accepting nominations until March 23, 2015. Each nomination must be accompanied by a completed application showing scholarly achievements, personal accomplishments and professional qualifications. All submissions must include a letter of support from the superintendent. Learn more here.

Cultural Proficiency Institute from Corwin Press and The LearningLab


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corwinThe Cultural Proficiency Institute is designed to bring educators together to discuss issues of diversity, equity, access and opportunity. Participants in this two-day institute, offered in partnership with Corwin Press, will:

Learn the four tools of Cultural Proficiency
Deepen their understanding of Cultural Proficiency as a framework to eliminate the achievement gap
Develop strategies to inquire more deeply into their own practices and embrace culture as an asset
Receive tools to help mediate conversations with colleagues, students, parents
Understand how bias contributes to and impacts ethical decision making for children and their families, contributing to disproportionate education, health and other outcomes

Shift the culture of your school, district and community by learning a research-based framework designed to improve the nature of instruction and enhance teacher effectiveness, heighten achievement for all students and build capacity to sustain long-term change.

Registration is open now for the June 22-23 event and closes when it either reaches  capacity or on June 8. The institute will take place at Lafayette High School in the Rockwood School District. The cost is $399 for EdPlus members, while the standard price is $449. To learn more about LearningLab opportunities and Grow Thy Impact, visit our website.

Education Plus Business Gateway


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gateway imageThe Education Plus Business Gateway is a collaborative effort of EducationPlus, St. Louis School-Business Partnership, DESE’s Pathways to Prosperity and other local educational institutions. By introducing today’s students to the worlds of engineering, manufacturing, health sciences, math, technology, construction and more, EducationPlus and its partners are creating graduates who will be better prepared for entering the workforce.

The Gateway is an online resource for
schools and businesses to find each other.

Schools and businesses can now post their needs or opportunities for community partnership on the Education Plus Business Gateway. These may include requests for classroom speakers, job shadowing opportunities, business tours, or internships.

There are advantages for schools and districts to participate, including placing teachers in real-world learning opportunities and making valuable connections to local businesses. The Gateway offers advantages for businesses by introducing students to jobs in their field; showing students the skills they will need for success; plus supporting education and the community.

Get started on the Education Plus Gateway today by visiting

EducationPlus Offers a Comprehensive System of Support for All Principals


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EducationPlus is hosting a special event on Tuesday, September 23rd from 2-6 pm for principals and assistant principals with Dr. Susan Szachowicz, senior fellow with the International Center for Leadership in Education. At the this kickoff, attendees will learn more about Principles for Principals, the new year-long professional learning program offered by EducationPlus. Developed with the International Center for Leadership in Education, the academy will help good principals become great, and great principals become better.

Susan Szachowicz On September 23rd, Dr. Szachowicz will share how she is dedicated to ensuring all students achieve college and career readiness and firmly believes the ideology: “high expectations, high standards-no excuses.” She has served students at Brockton High School, a large comprehensive urban high school for her entire career. Under her leadership, the school went from 56 percent of students passing the state’s standardized test in ELA to 94 percent and from 24 percent passing in math to above 85 percent.

To register for the kickoff to learn more about the academy and to hear from Dr. Szachowicz, click here. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, CI Select, School Specialty, Tremco and xpedx, EducationPlus is able to offer the kickoff and reception at no cost at at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac. To see topics and dates of the Principles for Principals Academy starting later this fall, see the comments section below. Registration for the seven sessions academy opens online soon.

EducationPlus 2014 Scholarship Awards


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Congratulations to the EducationPlus 2014 Scholarship Award recipients; they were honored at a reception at EducationPlus on June 3. Learn more about the recipients and their plans:

Robert D. Elsea Scholarship Award
Pamela Walker, City of St. Charles School District

  • 12th Grade At-Risk Students; MO Options
  • 32 years teaching experience; 6 years in present position
  • Plans to continue strengths-based education through attending the StandOut Advantage workshop, utilizing new techniques in the classroom to enhance student learning and development

Gerald D. Troester Scholarship Award
Tina Lauer, City of St. Charles School District

  • Works with teachers of all grade levels (Pre-K through 12); Technology
  • 21 years experience; 2 years in present position
  • Plans to attend the EducationPlus Technology Leadership Academy for the 2014-2015 school year, and participation in this academy will help to train the teachers in the district on how to use technology in their classroom

Gary K. Wright Scholarship Award
Jason Lievanos, Parkway School District

  • 6th Grade Social Studies
  • 7 years teaching experience; 3 years in present position
  • Plans to become a Kagan-certified trainer to enhance students’ learning experience, train and support implementation of cooperative learning structures for teachers in the building as an improvement plan, and to offer workshops and support to teachers across the district

John Oldani Scholarship Award
April Burton, Francis Howell School District

  • 9th-12th Grade French
  • 14 years teaching experience; 11 years in present position
  • Plans to continue to learn more about cooperative learning by attending workshops and conferences that teach best practices for implementing 21st century learning into the classroom

CSD Health Insurance Trust Scholarship Award
Beth Moritz, Pattonville School District

  • 9th-11th Grade English/Honors English
  • 19 years teaching experience; 18 years in present position
  • Plans to participate in continuing education in the area of college and career readiness for high school students to ensure that students leave Pattonville with a knowledge of what opportunities exist for them and how to go about obtaining their goals

Character Education Partnership Names 13 in Missouri as 2014 National Schools of Character


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The Character Education Partnership selected 44 schools and districts nationwide as National Schools of Character. All of Missouri’s honored schools and districts, 13 total, participate in the CharacterPlus® program. In addition, Missouri has more national schools and districts of character than any other state.

Those selected as National Schools of Character demonstrate significant increases in academics (increasing or high test scores), behavior (reduction in disciplinary actions) and climate (survey results show students feel safe and respected). All of the schools have created caring, supportive school communities that meet the needs of students. The local schools and districts to receive the recognition include:

Fox School District: Sherwood Elementary
Ladue School District: Ladue Middle
Lindbergh Schools: National District of Character, Sperreng Middle
Mehlville School District: National District of Character, Bernard Middle, Blades Elementary, Margaret Buerkle Middle, Oakville Elementary, Oakville Middle
Parkway Schools: McKelvey Elementary
Rockwood School District: Blevins Elementary
Special School District: Hiram Neuwoehner School

They are now expected to serve as models for other schools, helping them to achieve the same results. They will hold the distinction of a National School of Character for five years.

Focusing on “Academic Success through Character Development,” CharacterPlus helps develop character within young people in and outside the classroom. CharacterPlus programs help students see that they can demonstrate good character throughout their daily lives. Next month, at the CharacterPlus National Conference, participants will have an opportunity to hear from both State and National Schools of Character from Missouri.

To learn more about CharacterPlus, a resource of EducationPlus, visit Congratulations to the National Schools of Character!

Videoconference Dialog Brings Students Together


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This week, the students met face to face after months of conversation through videoconferencing.  (photo courtesy of Parkway School District)

This week saw the culmination of a series of videoconference dialogs between students at Parkway North and Normandy High Schools when the two groups met face to face. Twenty-five Parkway North students in Scott Moeller’s government class took a bus to Normandy High School to meet the students they had been talking to for the past semester over videoconference. They took a tour of Normandy High School and sat down to a lunch prepared by Normandy’s culinary students. The students talked to wrap up the semester-long project that focused on the student transfer program from unaccredited districts and what effect it had on them.


In January, Ed Wright began the dialogs via videoconference; he spoke from EdPlus’ Innovation Room, and each school had a distance learning equipment set up in their respective buildings.

Distance Learning Brings Students Together

The program was conceived, initiated and implemented by EducationPlus. After going through the student transfer program last August, Martha Bogart of EducationPlus and Ed Wright, a retired social studies teacher, discussed talking to the students about the process and what impact the transfers were having on them. Normandy and Parkway agreed to take part, and a series of videoconference dialogs started. The objectives of the program were for the students to research the background of the school accreditation process and the current transfer program, including national and Missouri state educational policy and evaluate and summarize school accreditation from all perspectives. The students also discussed stereotypes that each group had about the other and tried to formulate a solution about how to keep the Normandy School District from “lapsing,” or being disbanded.

The Parkway students were impressed with the auditorium and the state-of-the-art fitness room at Normandy, and one budding chef was jealous of the culinary program, as Parkway North does not have such a program. Another Parkway student suggested having the Normandy students visit their school.

This type of videoconferencing dialog program is not new to EducationPlus. Several years ago we conducted a series moderated by a facilitator from the National Conference for Community and Justice, on race and racism with area high schools. We also conducted a series of videoconference dialogs between local high schools and a high school in Jerusalem, Israel. One of the most touching dialogs was with Iraqi students both before and after the Iraq War.

EducationPlus is always studying education issues and trying to help shed light on important issues in our field in order to reach solutions. If you have an idea for further dialogs with students, let us know. We are here to serve you and the needs of the educational community.

Festus, Kirkwood, Lindbergh, Parkway have Gold Star Schools


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MO Gold Star LogoThe Gold Star Schools program was established by the the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1991 and aligns with the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools whose students achieve at very high levels or schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program sets a standard of excellence for all schools striving for the highest level of achievement.

EducationPlus member districts being recognized by DESE for becoming Gold Star Schools this year:

• Concord Elementary, Lindbergh Schools
• Festus Elementary, Festus School District
• Henry Elementary, Parkway Schools
• Long Elementary, Lindbergh Schools
• Mason Ridge Elementary, Parkway Schools
• North Glendale Elementary, Kirkwood School District

In order for a school to be recommended to the Commissioner of Education as a Missouri Gold Star School, that school must meet the nomination criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Education for the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The school must complete the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program application and the U.S. Department of Education must accept the school’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program application.



Professional Learning Opportunities: Addressing Literacy and Engineering in Classrooms


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Dr. Bridgette Davis is the Director of the Gulf Coast Academy for Science Literacy. She has designed professional development training for middle and high school teachers using STEM modules with embedded literacy instruction. She also serves as an assistant professor at Louisiana State University in the School of Education. She completed her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Science Education and Content Area Literacy in 2010. She presents two all-day sessions next month:

Putting the “E” in STEM | Strategies for Training Engineers in Your Modern Classroom
Common Core State Standards, College and Career Readiness Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards place great emphasis on a multi-disciplinary approach that increases interconnectedness among all disciplines and engineering. This April 21 workshop offers middle and high school teachers from all disciplines an introduction to essential principles of engineering, places to find resources, easily accessible tools, and basic ways to begin including engineering principals into their current curriculum.

Utilizing Careers to Address Literacy Across the Curriculum
Integrating Literacy across the curriculum can be a challenge. This workshop on April 22 offers teachers ways to meet the challenge by using College and Career Readiness Standards to support a focus on careers in instructional design. Teachers will explore ways to integrate relevant information text sources while making connections between the content in the subject area and careers through the use of appropriate literacy tasks. This workshop is designed for middle and high school teachers from all disciplines yet it is appropriate for curriculum coordinators and administrators. Art, music, and physical education teachers will benefit as well by attending.

Registration information can be found at Space is limited, EdPlus suggests interested educators enroll early to secure a place. Both sessions will take place at the  Rockwood Administrative Annex in Eureka.

2014 National Schools of Character Finalists from Missouri include Two Districts


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The Character Education Partnership (CEP) named 50 schools and districts from 16 states as national finalists in the 2014 National Schools of Character (NSOC) program. Missouri has the highest number of finalists, including two districts. All Missouri finalists are members of CHARACTERplus, a resource of EducationPlus:

Belton • Mill Creek Upper Elementary
• Antonia Middle School, Sherwood Elementary
Ladue Ladue Middle School
Lindbergh* Robert H. Sperreng Middle School
Bernard Middle School
Blades Elementary School
Margaret Buerkle Middle School
Oakville Elementary School
Oakville Middle School
Parkway • McKelvey Elementary
Pattonville • Willow Brook Elementary
Rockwood • Blevins Elementary
Special School District Hiram Neuwoehner High School

  • Congratulations to Lindbergh and Mehville, whose respective districts were also named NSOC finalists.

NSOC is not a competition,  rather an opportunity to receive feedback as well as recognition for growth and excellence in the area of character development through CEP’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education framework. NSOC recognizes schools and districts that have demonstrated, through a rigorous evaluation process, that character development has had a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate.


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