LEF Quarterly Newsletter                                                                   September 8, 2016  

     Advancing the Excellence of the Ladue School District                                              View this email in your browser


 In this Issue:

Jim Wagner to be Honored at LEF Breakfast

On September 30, the LEF will  honor retired educator and administrator Jim Wagner at its 10th Annual Community Breakfast.

"Not a week goes by that a graduate doesn't give me a call," admits Jim Wagner. Considering Jim retired over 30 years ago, this illustrates the impact he had on his students as a teacher, coach and assistant principal at Ladue Horton Watkins High School during his 27-year career there.

Teaching was not in Jim's original life plan. After graduating from high school in 1943, Jim served in the Marine Corps and then went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, to study business. But he soon realized it wasn’t a fit for him. He met with his college advisor, who asked him what he enjoyed, and without hesitating, Jim answered "athletics." Once Jim realized he could parlay his love of physical education into a career in teaching, he switched majors. "Everything just fell into place. My grades got better because I was applying myself," he says.

After graduation, Jim taught at a high school near Cincinnati for ten years. While he loved his job there, an even greater love propelled him to move to St. Louis: his wife of 56 years, Helen. Jim and Helen met on vacation in Ft. Lauderdale and continued a long-distance romance for a few years between Cincinnati and St. Louis, where Helen was working as an administrative assistant to the superintendent of the Ladue School District. On one of his trips to St. Louis, Jim met Helen's boss, who shortly thereafter asked him to come teach at LHWHS. So in 1958, he moved to Ladue, began his first job as a P.E. instructor and remained in the district until he retired from his role of assistant principal in 1985. During his tenure, he also served as a coach for many Ladue Schools teams, including basketball, football, baseball and golf.

"From the first morning I walked into the high school, I knew Ladue was special," he says. "You could just sense it. It was a whole new ballgame for me." Jim's favorite part of teaching was the interaction he had with the students. "I loved seeing them develop and looking for ways to help them," he says. "At that time, we didn't have counselors, so kids went to the teachers. I wasn't just a coach on the field, I was a coach in their lives. We built good relationships, and the students knew we as teachers were always there for them." READ MORE 
*Jim moved into his role as assistant principal in 1969, where his sense of the exceptionalness of the district grew even more. "Once I moved into the administration role, I got to know the teaching staff so much better. I got to sit in the classrooms and observe the teachers, and I knew I was working with a very professional group of people who wanted to make Ladue excellent," he says. "Ladue is respected all over, not just in Missouri," he continues. "It is noted for the teachers, administrators and leaders. Those are the people who are going to make a difference, and at Ladue, they are outstanding in every department."

Jim recalls his days there as busy ones. "As assistant principal, I walked the halls and sat in the classrooms. I knew everything that went on because I was involved in the day-to-day," he says. His involvement was not limited to the workday, as he made it a point to support the sports teams, as well. "I attended all the games--basketball, baseball and football," he says.

Not only did Jim guide his students while they were in school, it was his goal to prepare them for college and life after high school. "Whenever I run into graduates, I ask them if Ladue prepared them for college, and I've never gotten a negative response. Our students were able to take their place at any university, which is a tribute to the school and the teachers."

Jim continued his involvement in the district even after he retired, co-founding the Ladue Schools Alumni Association. He continues to be honored at the high school with a Scholar Athlete Award in his name, and for many years, he made it a point to take the recipients of the award to lunch to celebrate their success. 

Even though it's clear that the Ladue School District has greatly benefitted from Jim's association, he is quick to deflect any praise, preferring instead to highlight the contributions of others. "I have always been proud to work at Ladue and honored to be there," he says. "I learned a lot from my association with the district, and I was lucky to learn from them," he says.

Judging from his legacy and the continuing relationships he has with so many students and teachers, we are the lucky ones.

—Jill Gaither

For more information and to register for the Annual Breakfast, see this link.
Click here to make a donation in Jim’s name or email us a quote about Jim!


Funding the Gap in the High School Renovation

The LEF’s Capital Campaign for the renovation of LHWHS continues… 

Last April, our generous community supported the $85 million bond referendum, which will renovate the high school with a focus on academic spaces. Now the LEF is continuing our campaign to help complete the total campus project, which includes enrichment areas and athletic facilities. 

Building on the momentum of the initial phase of our campaign, in which we secured nearly $2 million in pledges from our lead donors, the LEF is now moving into phase two, bringing naming rights and opportunities, large and small, to our supporters, alumni and district families.
We invite the community to be a part of this important event in our district's history! Naming rights are still available for classrooms, a ‘green’ roof, outdoor seating, and more.

You can be a part of LHWHS history and order an inscribed brick that will be installed at the renovated high school campus! Two choices are available: 

Small Commemorative Brick: (4” x 8”) $350 (or $250 each for two or more)
Large Commemorative Brick: (8” x 8”) $600

Information about the bricks, including inscription options, is available at this link and by contacting

Imagine the Possibilities…and Mind our Gap! 


'Due Run 4 Education Encourages Individuals and Teams

Last year, the Class of 2022 and Class of 2024 both organized groups to participate in the ‘Due Run, helping raise over $11,000 for the LEF's support of world-class educational and enrichment opportunities.

The LEF hopes to increase team participation at this year's 'Due Run on October 1, with prizes awarded to the team with the largest registered participants and the team with the most Ladue Schools spirit.

"We're encouraging more classes to organize and run together," says LEF Development Chair Amy Barnett. "It's a great way to spread school spirit and showcase it to the entire community. And the kids have a blast."   

The LEF has made it easier this year to register as a team online without the necessity of mailing in a check or registration form. For a $75 donation, participants can register to be part of a team made up of a few friends or an entire class. If a team raises over $1,000, they will be listed on the official race t-shirt.

Individual registrations are available as well at this link.

Saturday, October 1 at 8:30 a.m.
Ladue Horton Watkins High School

After the run/walk, the festivities will continue at the finish line, with attendance prizes, music, food and drinks. Please continue to enjoy homecoming festivities throughout the day.

Register now to secure your spot, guarantee your t-shirt, and save $5 on fees! Early bird registration available until September 18.



Downloadable Registration Form

Individual Registration:
$15/person (Ages 13+)
$10/person (Ages 2-12)
Free under age 2
*price will increase $5/pp
after September 18

The ‘Due Run 4 Education is a community-wide event supporting the Ladue Education Foundation’s mission of advancing the excellence of the Ladue School District by expanding opportunities for student success. Sponsorship is a crucial source of funding for the LEF.



LEF's Tenth Anniversary Brings Increased Engagement

Ten years ago, the Ladue Education Foundation was formed by a group of parents who wanted to enhance an already excellent school district by providing support for programs and community partnerships that couldn’t be realized through traditional school district funding alone.

Since then, the LEF has funded over a hundred grants totalling almost $400,000 in everything from robotics to character education and touching every school in the district.

This past school year, we stepped up our efforts with the help of over a hundred volunteers, with outstanding results.
  • Our events saw record attendance. The ‘Due Run for Education had a 68% increase in participation, with families from the classes of 2022 and 2024 even forming teams.
  • Our spring event, Rhythm & Hues, brought in enough support to fund 33 music teacher wishes, amounting to $36,000. 
  • And the first phase of our Capital Campaign raised almost $2 million in pledges to support the high school renovation.
We’ve got some great stuff ahead, too:
  • We’re continuing our Capital Campaign, with naming rights and opportunities to buy bricks and other items that will help close the gap between the bond referendum and the total amount needed to complete the entire campus renovation.
  • We’ve got our Annual Community Breakfast coming up on September 30. If you’ve never been it’s a great way to connect with the community, hear from Dr. Jahnke about what’s going on with the district, and we’ll have other great speakers as well for our tenth anniversary celebration.
  • That’s followed by the ‘Due Run on October 1 and a family-friendly event on November 6 with the the Harlem Wizards basketball team.
It’s going to be a great year, and we hope you’ll join us at the Community Breakfast on September 30 and the ‘Due Run on October 1.

Thank you for supporting us these last ten years and for helping us give our students these academic and enrichment opportunities.


Save the Date for the Harlem Wizards on November 6

Don’t miss this fun-filled, high flying & interactive community & family event on Sunday, November 6 at 2 p.m. at LHWHS, featuring the world famous Harlem Wizards basketball team as they take on our own home team of Ladue School District teachers, staff and students.

Want to know more about the Wizards, who are now in their 54th season? See

Want to volunteer to help the LEF organize this exciting event? Contact


You're Invited: Our 10th Annual Community Breakfast
on September 30, 2016 from
7 - 9 a.m. at the Frontenac Hilton. Coffee and networking starts at
7 a.m., followed by breakfast and a champagne toast! Guest speakers include Ladue Schools Superintendent

Dr. Donna Jahnke and founding President of the LEF Larry Levin. Childcare is available before school! Sign up at this link.
See our website for more details.
Featured Grant: Osmos
"The second you connect the Osmo to an iPad, it is like magic.  Students are immediately using their right side of the brain, which is the creative side.  Whether they are using the drawing app or the tangram app, the students love it. All levels of abilities have been successful in using the Osmos in class.  It has been a great way for students to make connections and socialize together while creating."
—Emily Taylor
Ladue Schools App
Now Available

The Ladue Schools mobile app has officially launched, offering parents a great new resource for getting information from any mobile device!

The app is now available to download at both the App Store for Apple devices or Google Play for Androids (search for Ladue School District).
Grants in Action:
Creation Station

In combination with a grant from Boeing, this LEF grant funds a Creation Station at Reed School. Students propose a plan, generate a concept or idea, and then construct a model of their design.

 “Pay it Forward” Program 
Ladue Schools Staff Contributors

The LEF is grateful to the Ladue School District staff members 
who generously “Pay it Forward,” by participating in our payroll deduction program or making another type of donation to the LEF.
(list current as of 9/2/16)

Anonymous (2) 
Quentin Alimayu
Jennifer Allen
Lindsey Anderson
Hayley Arnold
 Jill Badalamenti
 Donna Bancroft
 Molly Beck
Brian Beracha
 Dede Boudinet
 Nancy Chambers
 Stephanie Chapie
 Darcy Clausen
 Leah Crawford
Jena Dennett
 Deborah Donnelly
 Kristan Greenberg
 Kathy Hasse
Julie Helm
 Rob Highfill
 Beth Hufford
 Donna Jahnke
 Connie Jander
 Marie Keath
 Brett Kelley
 Susan Kelley
 Jessica Kennedy
 Cheryl Kirchgessner
 Michelle Kriegshauser
Sweeney La Barge
Meghan Ladue
Laurie Lambie
 Joe Landgraf
Sarah Lent
Alyson Levine
 Tegan Litt
Tammy MacLean
Mandy Marchant
 Jon Andani Martin
Caroline McGee
Kathleen McKenna
Paula McMaster
 Kathleen Mercury
 Caitlyn Modde
 Sally Monaco
Kathy Murphy
 Barb Myers
 Mike Noonan
Matt Prange
 Betsy Primo
 Mallory Prost
 Melora Pruneau
Beth Rapoff
 Kristen Reando
Lisa Roth
 Jody Rozbicki
Emily Seabaugh
 Laura Shea
 Kathryn Silvey
 Yvette Sykes
Stephanie Towe
 Maggie Travers
 Jeff Vetter
The LEF gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our sponsors:
(list current as of 9/6/16)

10th Annual Breakfast Sponsors

Salutatorian Sponsors - $2,500
Dr. Michael and Caroline Chicoine
Morgan Stanley—Michael Karasick and Robert Millner

Honor Society Sponsors - $1,000
Thomas and Suzanne Hough
Julie and Rich LaBonté
Ladue Middle School Parent Association
Diane and Rod Patershuk
Barry and Dana Sandweiss
Julie and Glen Schuster—Radio Arts Foundation
Spoede School Association
Scott and Nicky Stern

Dean’s List Sponsors - $500
Jeff and Jeri Bogard—R.E.A. Homes, LLC
Jill and Matt Powell
Tueth, Keeney, Cooper, Mohan & Jackstadt P.C.

Friends of Ladue Education Foundation Sponsors - $250
Sarah and Jack Baumstark 
Chris and Megan Frank


'Due Run 4 Education Sponsors

Marathon Sponsors - $1,000
Michele and Mark Gorski
Julie and Glen Schuster—Radio Arts Foundation
SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital-St. Charles

Sprinter Sponsors - $500
Jeff and Jeri Bogard—R.E.A. Homes, LLC
Vantage Credit Union 

Jogger Sponsors - $250
Harry Diwakaran

The LEF gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our sponsors:

Rams Leadership Circle—
donations of $1,000+

Drew and Lisa Acree
Kenny and Jennifer Avery
Marc and Amy Barnett
Dan Berglund and Suellen Greco
Holly and Marc Bernstein
Jeffrey and Sara Bernstein
Jeff and Jeri Bogard /R.E.A. Homes, LLC
Andy and Donna Bresler
Ann and Doug Brown
Katherine and Andy Byer
Ryan and Archna Calfee
Clare Chapman
Dr. Michael and Caroline Chicoine
Click 4 Glik
Dr. Alice Conway
Conway School Association
Pat and Paula Coughlin
Dr. Pradip K. Das
Jennifer and Jonathan Deutsch
Doug and Amy Dove
Susan Downing
Amy and Kevin Fischer
Tripp and Dawnya Gebhard
Chuck and Sarah Gerding
Lisa and Jim Goebel
Mark and Michele Gorski
Dawn Grench
Bob and Jennifer Hardester
Tom and Amy Harmon
Patrick and Sue Hensley
Jeff and Susie Horowitz
The Intermec Foundation
Kurt and Carolyn Jaeger
Chris and Katherine Jones
Michael and Kathy Karasick
Keith and Gail Kitsis
True and Elizabeth Knowles
Drs. Mark and Claudia Krasnoff
Richard and Julie LaBonté
Ladue Horton Watkins High School Class of 1960
Ladue Horton Watkins High School Parent Association
Ladue Middle School Parent Association
Ladue West Parent Association
Paul and Kathy Lang
David Lang and Suzanne Epstein-Lang
Joelyn and Ed Levy
Michael and Katie Loynd
Michael and Amanda Lucier
Joanne McAndrews and Larry Eisenman
Mark and Alicia McMachan
Mark and Sarah Miller
Robert and Joy Millner
Charlotte and Bob Minkler
Jodi and Robert Minkler
Mike and Reagan Minkler
Monsanto Fund
Elizabeth Monticelli and William Stoll
Morgan Stanley
Nina Needleman
Scott and Carrie Nelson
Old Bonhomme Parent Teacher Organization
Marc and Jennifer Ozimkiewicz
Sonia Partap
Rod and Diane Patershuk
Marcia and Adrian Peters
Mitzi and Steve Pummer
Reed School Association
Terry Rogers and Gina Kurre-Rogers
Marissa and Howard Rosen
Gretchen Ross
Susie and Jonathan Sachs
Joel and Jessica Samson
Dana and Barry Sandweiss
Bruce and Pam Schneider
Christopher and Ashley Schneider
Glen and Julie Schuster
Dr. Erin Shannon
Kim and Steve Shirar
Abbey and Jeff Small
Cate and Dean Small
Robert and Nancy Spewak
Spoede School Association
Scott and Nicky Stern
Gaurav Suri and Dr. Anju Gupta
Tim and Stephanie Towe
Tueth Keeney Cooper Mohan & Jackstadt
Vantage Credit Union
David and Ann Von Allmen
Carol Weisman and Frank Robbins
Wells Fargo
Kristen Wild
Sherry and Daniel Wolk
Pele and Wilma Yu

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