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Specialty Teachers

Erica Spangler - Art

bio_spangler.jpgThough she comes from a family of teachers, it was a college class that instilled in Erica a desire to share her love of art with children. Inspired by the passionate professor of the mandatory course at Concordia University, Erica found her calling.

For more than ten years, Erica has taught art at schools in Minneapolis, Long Island and St. Louis. She also has developed and implemented community art programs, from a high-level visual arts camp to a “Mommy and Me” class for preschoolers.

With a Bachelors degree in art education, Erica brings a broad range of visual art skills to Rossman’s art program, including digital photography, graphic design and exhibit preparation in addition to ceramics, printmaking, mixed media, drawing, and painting.

A lover of the outdoors, Erica also enjoys reading, baking and cooking, and going on adventures with her three children. She and her husband are involved in family ministry at their church as well.

 

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Keylah West - Foreign Language

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Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Keylah adored her English classes growing up. She enjoyed being able to communicate with American children when they visited Puerto Rico and when she traveled to the U.S. for vacations and summer camps.

Keylah moved to the U.S. to attend St. Louis University, arriving in St. Louis just in time for the Cardinals’ ninth World Series win and one of the biggest snowfalls in the city’s history. She graduated with degrees in political science, finance and Spanish. She then began teaching, a dream inspired at an early age by her grandfather, the principal of a school in San Juan.

Keylah loves having the opportunity to teach Spanish to students in every grade at Rossman. “It is amazing to see their improvement year after year and to watch them grow into remarkable young men and women,” she says.

A mother of four, Keylah enjoys tennis, volleyball, biking and jogging. She also dedicates time to volunteering with Crisis Nursery St. Charles, an emergency children’s shelter, and La Casa de Salud, a health center for low-income immigrants.

 

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Lin Edmonston - Library

bio_edmonston.jpgHolding a Bachelors degree in art education and a Masters in media technology, Lin has been teaching for more than 30 years. Since childhood, Lin has had a deep love for art and books, and she has been thrilled to share both passions with children of all ages throughout her career.

“When people ask why I don’t retire, I tell them I’m just not ready yet,” Lin says. “I have been teaching most of my adult life, and I still enjoy it.”

This mother of two loves spending time with her daughters, both of whom are foreign language teachers — one in St. Louis and one in Spain. Over the last decade, Lin has traveled to Spain three times plus visited France and Italy — a dream come true for an art lover.

In addition to travel, Lin’s hobbies include photography, reading, cooking, exercising, and visiting museums.

 

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Chelsea Dorner - Music

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A native New Yorker, Chelsea believes experiencing music is an integral part of being human. The founding member of Lady Blue Saxophone Quartet, Chelsea played alto and tenor saxophones with the group from 2007 until she moved to St. Louis in 2016.

Holding a Masters in music education, Chelsea taught music in New York’s Sachem Central School District for more than 10 years before bringing her gifts to Rossman. Her wealth of experience includes positions teaching general music, chorus, band and strings at the elementary level, as well as AP Music Theory at the high school level. She also has organized countless music festivals and performances, served on several leadership teams and held the role of music department chairperson.

“Music is an integral part of a school community for students both individually and collectively,” Chelsea says. “Whether students are creating, performing or synthesizing it, they are engaging in a unique subject that warrants attention to detail, thinking in the abstract and self-awareness.”

A mother of two, Chelsea enjoys spending time with family, making music, yoga, organizing, and bike riding.

 

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Jenna Lucas - P.E.

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A passionate teacher and gifted athlete, Jenna strives to impart her love for sports and physical activity onto her students and equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Jenna was recognized in 2014, along with co-teacher Larry Huusko, by the American Heart Association for her support of the AHA’s Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart fundraising events. Her efforts have helped raise thousands of dollars and increase awareness for heart research and health education.

Holding a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from Indiana University at Bloomington, Jenna played defense on the Hoosiers’ women’s soccer team. Her many athletic accomplishments also earned her a place in her high school’s hall of fame.

A lover of the outdoors, Jenna enjoys hiking, reading and barbecuing with friends and family. She is a youth leader and a co-leader for women’s discipleship at her church as well as a member of the AAHPERD (American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance).

 

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Larry Huusko - P.E.

bio_huusko.jpgLarry has been sharing his love for physical activity and play with Rossman School students since 1988. In the process, he has led the development of a dynamic P.E. program enjoyed by more than 200 students every day.

A military veteran, husband and father of two, Larry’s passion for physical education is evident. He was awarded the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award in 1999, and in 2014 was recognized, along with co-teacher Jenna Lucas, by the American Heart Association for his more than two decades of support of the AHA’s Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart fundraising events.

Continually seeking to grow as an educator, Larry is a member of the AAHPERD and MOHPERD (American and Missouri Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance) and the ICHPERD.SD (International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance). He has attended conferences around the world in order to discover the latest advances in the field of physical education.

 

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Abbie Duvall - Science & Social Studies

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A graduate of the University of Dayton in Ohio, Abbie taught at MICDS and in the Ladue and Parkway school districts before joining the Rossman faculty. Fueled by students’ joy for learning, Abbie strives to get to know and understand every child so that she can teach in a way that benefits each one.

Abbie’s belief that science is best learned by experiencing it for oneself translates to interactive, engaging and memorable lessons. She aims to create a classroom environment where students feel comfortable taking risks, working hard and having fun.

Each summer, Abbie teaches sports at MICDS’s Camp Pegasus. A lover of the outdoors, she also spends time every summer in Montana, where she enjoys fly-fishing. Her other hobbies include reading and spending time with friends and family.

 

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Julie LaConte - Science

bio_laconte.jpgWith a mother who was a teacher and father who was a school administrator, Julie will tell you she grew up certain that she would not have a career in education. As a young girl, she was excited by science and its infinite possibilities. In middle school she dreamed of being an astronaut and even won a scholarship to Space Camp. High school courses further solidified her interest in science. Then in college, she realized the significant role her teachers had played in igniting her passion for the subject.

For more than ten years, Julie has been sharing this passion with her own students. She loves teaching upper elementary and middle school students because they have an emerging ability to understand and wrestle with more abstract science concepts but still possess an uninhibited enthusiasm for questioning, experimenting and discovering.

Holding a Master of Education degree and Advanced Certificate in Science Education, Julie believes science should be inquiry-based and include lots of hands-on discoveries, which make the learning experience authentic and meaningful. A member of the National Science Teachers Association, Julie has published several articles in the organization’s Science Scope journal. During the summers, she works for McDonald Publishing Company designing and writing products for teachers, some of which you can see in her classroom.

A mother of three, Julie’s hobbies include cooking, crafting, exercising and coaching her children’s sports teams.

 

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Erin Moore - Social Studies

bio_moore.jpgErin feels privileged to be part of children’s journey to reach their full potential. “If I play even a small part in a child’s growth, there is nothing better,” she says.

A St. Louis native, Erin knew at a very early age that she wanted to teach. While pursuing a Bachelors degree in elementary education from DePaul University, she volunteered as a classroom aid at underprivileged schools in Chicago. She then taught third grade for three years and second grade for two years before moving back to St. Louis to obtain her Masters in early childhood education from Webster University.

An enthusiastic and compassionate teacher, Erin is committed to maximizing individual student performance, inspiring children’s interest in technology and instilling a sense of self-worth among all her students. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys spending time with family and her dog. She also is an avid traveler whose favorite destinations include Istanbul, Croatia, Santorini and Paris.

 

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José Holliday - Permanent Substitute

A St. Louis native and father of one, José is passionate about guiding children’s development and enjoys seeing how his students discover and experience new things. His goal as an educator is not only to help children succeed academically, but to help them become respectful, confident and contributing members of society.

Holding a Bachelors degree from Mizzou, José also received his 3-6 year old Montessori Certification from the Missouri Montessori Teacher Education Program. Prior to Rossman, he taught P.E. at The Fulton School at St. Albans and pre-k at Chesterfield Day School and City Academy.

A lover of sports and fitness, José’s favorite activities include lifting weights, running and indoor soccer. He also spends his free time volunteering in the children’s ministry at his church. Above all else, José loves spending time with his family.

 

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Heather Blome - Learning Consultant

bio_blome.jpgBorn and raised in St. Louis, Heather is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist through the National Association of School Psychologists. Holding a Bachelors in psychology and an Education Specialist degree in school psychology, Heather’s education career began with teaching positions at the Webster Early Childhood Education Center and as a special education paraprofessional for Special School District in Parkway. She also has served as a school psychologist for St. Louis Public Schools conducting Early Childhood Special Education evaluations.

More recently, Heather conducted psychological evaluations at Miriam Learning Center for children with mental health issues in their daycare centers, and at Jewish Family & Children’s Services, where she still works, for children ages 3-19 with learning, social-emotional, and/or behavioral concerns.

Heather is passionate about her work as Rossman’s learning consultant. “I make it my personal mission to find ways children can be successful in school,” she says. “I enjoy watching them learn and grow as young people and figuring out what motivates each of them in life.”

In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband, son and daughter. “As a parent, my joy is rediscovering the world through the eyes of my children,” she says.

 

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