|Pattonville names district Teacher, Support Staff of the Year honorees|
|Tuesday, May 8, 2018|
Congratulations to Amy Schwendemann, science teacher at Pattonville High School, on being named Pattonville Teacher of the Year, and Tron Williams, custodian at the Pattonville Learning Center, on being named Pattonville Support Staff of the Year. Both were surprised with the news during District Appreciation Night on May 7. Find out more about Teacher and Support Staff of the Year honorees.
Amy Schwendemann, science teacher, Pattonville High School
During Schwendemann’s 16 years as a teacher, her approach has gone from a teacher-driven classroom to a more holistic style. She has made it a priority to step out of her comfort zone to learn and implement new teaching styles. To do so, Schwendemann has flipped her classroom and is integrating more project-based learning activities into her classes.
“Through changing my teaching style over the past few years, I have found that my students are much more engaged and are retaining what they have and are learning in real life situations,” she said. “I want my students to walk away from my class and have the confidence to begin the next chapter of their lives.”
This year, Schwendemann created the Applied Science and Technology class. Students researched, designed, presented to administrators for approval and implemented the building of a greenhouse and garden at Pattonville High School where they not only learn science but practice 21st century skills. In another class, she incorporated resume writing and an interview process to a group project to simulate skills needed throughout life.
Schwendemann has served as the sponsor for the National Honor Society (NHS) for 10 years. She leads professional development, participating in Pattonville’s PIRATE Rally this year, as well as the Innovation High School Advisory Board Meeting, Ed Camp Conference, Raspberry Pi Workshop, Learning Space Design Workshop at IKEA, the Design Challenge and more. She has a master’s degree in secondary education from Lindenwood University, certificate in secondary education from Southern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from the University of Evansville in Indiana.
Tron Williams, custodian, Pattonville Learning Center
Williams is the guy at the Pattonville Learning Center that anyone can count on to get things done. And done with a smile. Williams is more than a custodian who comes in and goes through the paces; he gets things done quickly and accurately, volunteers in other areas and finds ways to make Pattonville a better place to work and visit.
“When you can come in to work and spend time with students by riding a tricycle or even playing ball, seeing them laugh and smile, that’s when you know you are doing your job,” he said. “I love when students ask me ‘Mr. Williams, are you playing with us?’ or even ask me to help them solve a clue (during an activity).”
When there is down time, Williams doesn’t stop. He goes to offices to volunteer to help however he can to make that person’s life a little easier, even if what they need isn’t part of his responsibilities. He not only sets up for meetings, but, without even asking, moves things that person needs from another location to the meeting space and even gets the coffee poured into carafes and snacks set up. He anticipates needs and even goes the extra step to making the building a little more homely, just because he cares. Something that Williams said of his co-workers is something they would say about him: “I’ve got the best co-workers in the world.”
“I like working for Pattonville because of family,” Williams said. “We are one big family. The love you get when you come in to work is remarkable. Pattonville is your home away from home no matter if you are a teacher, student, maintenance worker or even a custodian. I'm proud to say I am a Pattonville Pirate.”
Finalists for Pattonville Teacher of the Year
Finalists for Support Staff of the Year
Other Building Teachers of the Year
Other Building Support Staff of the Year