Hazelwood District Efforts to Assist Tornado Victims Highlight Bd. Meeting

By Jeremy Thomas

Staff from Russell School help remove a tree after the tornado.

The May 7th Hazelwood School board meeting was rather  light  as far as attendance and length of the meeting  but it still provided a few outstanding presentations. The Special School District salutes award winners were announced and presented by Supt. Grayling Tobias. Along with this was a small presentation from communication specialist Vicky Schiber-Arciga regarding the recognition of Arts & Education.

Perhaps the headline of the night was the presentation from the board mentioning the many different efforts the Hazelwood School District did in response to the April tornado. The school board met with area school principals and staff especially Russell School in Hazelwood  to discuss efforts to offer any assistance needed. One way the school district helped out was providing free child care at the HSD Learning Center for the families affected by the tornado. The days after the tornado area principals and school board members went around the damaged neighborhoods offering assistance, as they helped repair garage doors, clean yards and move debris from residential houses.

A tremendous amount of donations were received from area and out-of-town residents.  A slideshow displayed HSD rooms stocked with food, baby supplies, clothes and many other items for the families impacted by the tornado.  Dr. Tobias shared a few comments with the local media days after the tornado.

“It’s a very difficult situation, were very concern about our students, staff and the whole Hazelwood community, the community has been so remarkable in supporting all area school, we would just like to give back to the community and help them through this tough time,” Dr. Tobias said in an interview on  KMOV Channel 4 Efforts are still being made every week to get the families impacted by the tornado back on their feet.

Another part of this meeting was the presentation for this year’s SSD award winners. The 2013 Key to the Classroom award recognizes the achievements of SSD’s excellent educators. These teachers are selected for their creative approaches to student learning, innovative programming and commitment to student success. 10 teachers were chosen that represented the Mehville, Hazelwood, Parkway, Rockwood, Lindbergh, and the Brentwood school districts. Out of those 10 chosen was Denise Inman who teaches at Hazelwood West High School.

Inman has taught with SSD for 11 years now and has served six years as a special education department chair at Hazelwood West High School. She is also the sponsor for the high school’s chapter of the Future Educators Association, along with coordinating a co-op work experience program for students with special needs. If that was not enough she also helps lead the project walk dropout prevention program. Since Inman won this award she will represent SSD next year for the Missouri Teacher of the Year award. A senior at Hazelwood west named Karyn Jones nominated Inman and expressed why she did.

“Mrs. Inman has been my case manager for the last three years and in those three years, she has taught me more about myself than I even realized was there,” Jones said.  “Through all of this she helped me see what it means to be a good teacher. A good teacher is someone who sees what a student cannot see in themselves, and knows how to bring out great qualities in their students,” Jones said. Mrs. Inman still received a standing ovation from the audience as well as the board.

There were no patron feedback to the board at the end of the  May 7th meeting



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