November 2017 

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In September, the Ladue Education Foundation & Alumni Association (LEF) took its commitment to enriching the minds of Ladue Horton Watkins High School (LHWHS) students to a whole new level with an entirely different kind of brain—sheep brains. Thanks to a grant from the LEF, LHWHS social studies teachers Meg Kaupp and Bob Westerholt were able to give advanced placement psychology students the hands-on experience of dissecting sheep brains at the Adventures in Medicine and Science (AIMS) lab at St. Louis University (SLU).

At the AIMS lab, a SLU professor walked the students through the dissection of a human brain, describing its structures and functions, and then turned them loose on their own sheep specimens. The students were broken into groups and worked in pairs, making incisions and locating the interior structures the professor had highlighted on the human brain.

“Our hope is that by getting to engage in a hands-on brain dissection, students will gain a deeper understanding of brain structures and how there is an intersection of biology and psychology,” Kaupp explained. The teachers’ goals were realized, as the students not only enjoyed the experience, but came away saying that it helped put everything into place, building on all their prior studies.

The LEF is grateful to our supporters, who make opportunities like these and many others, possible for our students. Visit our website to learn more about LEF grants and how you can support our work.  LEARN MORE. . .



​In the most recent episode of Ladue Schools Today, host Don Goble discusses the new Ladue Education Foundation and Alumni Association partnership with LEF Executive Director Kristen Wild, Ladue Communications Assistant Bailey Otto, and Past LEF President Julie LaBonte.

The segment covers how the newly branded LEF will build on the district’s work in reaching out to connect with the more than 20,000 alumni who have passed through our halls. Through the district’s new alumni website, the contact database, newsletters and events, the LEF is enabling alumni to both renew old bonds and discover new opportunities to provide leadership to younger generations. The goal is to help grow and reinforce a strong network of dedicated individuals who are committed to the present and the future of the district and its students.


  • Make Class Connections
  • Read and Share Alumni News
  • Plan Your Reunion
  • Update Your Information & Search for Classmates

If you’re a recent graduate and would like to connect via Young Friends of the LEF, email

WATCH the video here.
LEARN MORE about the alumni association here.



Grateful alumni have joined together to honor the legacy of beloved teacher Bill Heyde by establishing the William A. Heyde III Endowment, which will enhance speech and debate programs at LHWHS. "We want to support the efforts that reflect his passions: generosity to students, love of literature, analytical writing, speech and debate and the doggedness to instill in his students clear thinking and writing at the highest level," says Joe Goldenberg (class of 1974).

The increased funding for the speech and debate tournament, which will be renamed in Heyde's honor, will attract more participants and more seasoned judges, with the goal of raising the prestige of the tournament to become one of the premier events in high school debate. The fund will also provide for additional training and need-based subsidies for students to travel. Finally, it will provide a stipend to an existing English Department award, named after Mr. Heyde, to encourage and recognize outstanding writing.

Donations in honor of a cherished educator are a special way to recognize the legacy of those who have dedicated themselves to so many and to continue the mission of supporting current and future students.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Heyde Fund and to make a contribution.



Joy Millner, LHWHS class of 1980 (pictured above, right), was on track to pursue a successful career in marketing at a Fortune 500 company in Dallas when she pivoted toward the passion that has sustained her ever since: fitness and nutrition. When she and her husband, Rob Millner (class of 1979 and an LEF Honorary Board member), moved back to St. Louis in 1995, Joy continued to teach fitness classes and raise her three children, enrolling them all in the Ladue School District. "I loved my experience at Ladue. But I started from scratch, doing the research to make sure we were choosing the best schools, and it turned out we were." All three of her children have now graduated from Ladue Horton Watkins High School.

As the kids grew older, Joy became more and more determined to help nearby communities have access to similar advantages. "I’m the biggest fan and supporter of our district, but there’s a whole world that doesn’t have what we have." She decided to combine her passions of wellness and health with giving back. "I knocked on a door in North St. Louis and asked if I could hold a group fitness class, and I started mentoring and encouraging people."

She eventually co-founded the nonprofit, the Fit and Food Connection (FAFC), with her partner, Gabrielle Cole. "She was feeding people in North St. Louis, where she's from, and we joined forces. We soon realized there was nothing like it being done, and it was so needed." They now have run five programs: a community garden, a food assistance program (which delivers healthy food to 20-30 families each week), group fitness classes, group nutrition classes, and one-on-one programs with physical trainers, nutritionists and instructors. "Everything we do is free, as long as they meet the goals they've set for themselves," explains Joy, "and we always include an education component." 

Joy is full of enthusiasm for the work she feels privileged to do, helping address the impact of poverty on health. "We're an all-volunteer run organization, with volunteers from several countries and states that wake up every day to make St. Louis a better place," Joy says. I am lucky to be doing this work." Although her focus might appear at first to be directed toward the health of the body, Joy actually feels the key is the support, encouragement and stress relief their programs provide from a holistic standpoint. "If you love people from the inside out, their whole lives get transformed."

To learn more about Joy's work with FAFC and support their work with donations, please visit their website.





Music can be a powerful part of a child’s life, and on this Giving Tuesday, the Ladue Education Foundation & Alumni Association wants to give every student in our district the opportunity to play along. We need your help because the Ladue Schools’ music program does not have enough quality loaner instruments to ensure that every interested child can join the band or orchestra regardless of family circumstances. A generous donor has pledged $5,000 toward the purchase of essential instruments that will help students in our district become musicians… if the LEF can raise the remaining $6,500.
All donations made to the LEF on November 28, Giving Tuesday, will go toward this effort, but you may donate to the instrument initiative any time through the end of the year by calling Kristen Wild at 314.983.5334 or by visiting
Thank you for supporting our student musicians! #GivingTuesday
The Ladue Education Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that
enables individuals and organizations to support student achievement
in the Ladue School District through tax-deductible donations.

Copyright © 2017 Ladue Education Foundation, All rights reserved.

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