“At the 15th annual Service and Outstanding Achievement Recognition Program—better known as the SOAR awards—the Affton School district celebrated some of its most dedicated teachers, staff and community members. The event took place Wednesday evening at the Rogers Middle School library.
Karen Schuering, a math teacher at Affton High School, received the district’s teacher of the year award and a check for $2,000 provided by an anonymous donor.
The other teachers of the year from each district school each received $1,000. These were Kim Duy of Mesnier Primary, Amy Todt of Gotsch Intermediate School and Cathy O’Brien of Rogers Middle School.
Also recognized at the ceremony were the building teacher of the year nominees: Natalie Hake, Denise Moore and Jan Winchester of Mesnier Primary; Beth Daniels and Clare Iffland of Rogers Middle; and Chris Boley of Affton High.
Beth Daniels won the award for professional staff member of the year. The Rogers Middle math teacher is an 11-year veteran of the district. She is currently piloting a “math levels system” for the sixth grade.
The other professional staff nominees were Cathy Gieselman, Lynn Hennessy, Cynthia Hernandez, JoAnn Levering, Patti Vogt and Adrienne Wemhoener.
The award for support staff member of the year went to Karen Vance, the nurse at Mesnier Primary. Vance has been at Mesnier for nine years and helps out in diverse ways around the school, including organizing events like Breakfast with Santa and Pancakes with the Easter Bunny.
Other nominees for the support staff award were Rickey Bolin, Sue Colmo, Ginny Fischer, Sall Rieger, Deanna Roberts, Jackie Todt and Joan Todt.
Michelle Petterchak got the SOAR award for her work as a community volunteer. Petterchak chaperones field trips, volunteers with the Partners As Learning Program and mentors SAIL students in nursing skills.
Beth Mohr and Barb Hegger were also nominated.
Interim Superintendent Ken Weissflug also gave the 2011 superintendent award to both JoAnn Levering, the district’s director of special education and student services, and John Brazeal, the district’s director of business affairs. Weissflug thanked Levering and Brazeal for their help and support since last summer, when he stepped in for the previous superintendent, who unexpectedly resigned.
In the same vein, the board of education presented an excellence award to Weissflug himself, thanking him for his leadership during what they said was a pivotal year.”
Printed in the Affton-Shrewsbury Patch on April 15, 2011
Article by Andrew Dana Hudson