Several of the new teachers to Lafayette gather together to listen to a presentation from Associate Principal Michael Franklin and other administrators in the building. (Samantha Haney)
Several of the new teachers to Lafayette gather together to listen to a presentation from Associate Principal Michael Franklin and other administrators in the building.

Samantha Haney

New LHS staff join Lancer community

Teachers, counselors , other staff look forward to school year

September 1, 2021

Lafayette is welcoming 11 new staff members to the hallways this year. Each of them, in their own ways, is excited to join the Lancer community and to learn more about the student and academic culture at the school. Their positions range from math teacher, to music teacher, to special school district (SSD) teacher, to guidance counselor and more.

Julie Bates: American Sign Language

Q: What college(s) did you attend and what are some of your previous jobs?

A: Florissant Valley for Deaf Communication, and Fontbonne University for Special Education. I worked for Special School District for 9 years with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Department at Parkway West High School.

Q: What was your first impression of Lafayette?

A: Everyone at Lafayette has been very supportive and encouraging. I feel like I belong here.

Q: Why did you want to get into the educational field?

A: I love school and kids of all ages. I love sharing my knowledge with students. I love learning from my students their perspectives, opinions, and experiences.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this school year?

A: Building lasting relationships with my colleagues and students

Q: Are you a part of any activities, sports, or clubs at LHS? If yes, what are they?

A: I am not, yet. I would love to start an ASL club, like an ISign group that does various activities at Lafayette and in the community for the language and Deaf Awareness.

Ryan Butchart: Spanish

Q: What college(s) did you attend, and what are some of your previous jobs?

A: I attended Lindenwood University where I played collegiate soccer for four years. My previous job before teaching was as a Student-Athlete Advisor at Lindenwood University as well as an Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at Lindenwood University.

Q: What made you want to work at Lafayette?

A: After attending and graduating from Lafayette in 2013, it was always my dream to come back here as a teacher and coach someday. It feels incredible to have fulfilled that dream.

Q: Why did you want to get into the educational field?

A: I always enjoyed helping others, but I realized I wanted to be a teacher when I was in high school. I used to tutor my friends in Spanish and that was when I realized I had a passion for educating people about the Spanish language.

Q: Are you a part of any activities, sports, or clubs at LHS? If yes, what are they?

A: I am the Head Boys Soccer Coach and the Assistant Varsity Girls Soccer Coach here at Lafayette.

Q: If you could teach any other subject or do any other job in the school, what would it be?

A: If I could teach any other subject, I would teach history. I have always enjoyed learning about history.

Timothy Casey: Study Hall

What college(s) did you attend, and what are some of your previous jobs?

I went to Southeast Missouri State for my four years in college and then a bit at University of Missouri, St. Louis in high school for the dual credit program. In the past, I’ve worked in retail, and I was also a long-term substitute teaching government and law and justice last year at Lafayette.

What made you want to work at Lafayette? 

I actually went to Lafayette. I came back again last year and I’m happy to be back here again this year.

What was your first impression of Lafayette as a teacher?

I guess it’s a different responsibility level. Last year, Lafayette was kind of different dealing with COVID, that was a lot different than my years in student teaching. It was a bit of a challenge but I think that we all did pretty well.

If you could teach any other subject or do any other job in the school, what would it be?

I guess I would love to get a job in my certification area, teaching history. I’m really passionate about it and I’d like to do that. I kind of like U.S history a bit more, but I’ve done world history as well and liked them both.

Is there anything else that you want the community to know about yourself?

I’m excited to get to know all of my students. Hopefully we’ll be able to stay in-person this school year, and make it through until the end.

Sarah Est: Math

Q: What college(s) did you attend, and what are some of your previous jobs?

A: I graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2016 then I moved to Madison, Wisconsin and worked at Middleton High School in the math department for the last five years.

Q: What made you want to work at Lafayette?

A: The Rockwood School District as well as the community is highly regarded in the Saint Louis area. I appreciate that Lafayette is a large high school with tons of opportunities for staff and students to grow.

Q: What was your first impression of Lafayette?

A: My first impression was that it is a school filled with experts in their fields that will support staff and students, be successful and also have fun.

Q: If you could teach any other subject or do any other job in the school, what would it be?

A: I would happily teach any subject given the proper training, but I cannot picture myself anywhere but the classroom.

Q: Is there anything else that you want the community to know about yourself?

A: I am super excited to be here and I would love to hear from families how I can best support their kids in the classroom.

Bryan Keim: Math (Online)

Q: What college(s) did you attend, and what are some of your previous jobs?

A: Hannibal LaGrange College. Winfield High School, Bowling Green High School and Elsberry High School.

Q: What was your first impression of Lafayette?

A: How big it is. I’m from rural Missouri and Lafayette was a bit overwhelming walking through it the first time.

Q: Why did you want to get into the educational field?

A: I’ve always wanted to be able to impact the lives of others and what better way to do that than education?

Q: Are you a part of any activities, sports, or clubs at LHS? If yes, what are they?

A: I’m the head boys basketball coach.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this school year?

A: Getting to know my new colleagues, the students and building a culture that everyone can be excited about.

Deborah Lorsung: Special School District (SSD)

Q: What college(s) did you attend, and what are some of your previous jobs?

A: I went to Augsburg College and Bethel University. Some jobs include secretary, hobby farmer, business owner, mortgage broker, women’s and children’s minister, preschool director and camp director.

Q: What made you want to work at Lafayette?

A: The opportunity to work with staff and students who are committed to excellence academically and in their character. Also, I was drawn to the sense of community here.

Q: Why did you want to get into the educational field?

A: I love working with others in their journey to become the best they can be. It is exciting to share in their joy when they have learned something new and have overcome obstacles.

Q: What was your first impression of Lafayette?

A: How kind and relaxed they are in character. There is a healthy sense of high expectations.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this school year?

A: Working with students and my peers.

Katie Moorman: Guidance Counselor

What college(s) did you attend, and what are some of your previous jobs?

Missouri State University for a Bachelors in psychology, and Lindenwood University for a Masters in counseling. Most recently, I was the school counselor at Miriam Academy, a private independent school that supports unique learners by focusing on students’ strengths and providing individualized services. I also worked at UCP Heartland as the Director of Day and Family Supports, managing a respite home and day program that support individuals with disabilities.

What made you want to work at Lafayette?

Rockwood School District is a dream for most educators and counselors. It has a strong mission, supportive administration, and dedicated faculty. It was also very important to me to find a school with a strong counseling team, since I was a solo counselor at my previous employment.

Why did you want to get into the educational field?

It can be challenging to navigate the world as a teenager. Often times, we adults, forget about the struggles teens face and the lasting impact these events can have on their futures. I became a counselor to help adolescents learn how to navigate challenges and empower them to make decisions about their lives.

What are you most looking forward to this school year?

I am most looking forward to meeting the students. I can’t wait to learn and see all of the fun things they are doing inside and outside of the classroom: improv, band, sports, Student Council, ROTC, ceramics, photo editing, the list is endless.

If you could teach any other subject or do any other job in the school, what would it be?

I would enjoy coaching a sport such as basketball.

Josie Muenks: FACS

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Q: What college(s) did you attend, and what are some of your previous jobs?

A: I attended St. Charles Community College and Missouri State University. While in college, I worked as a waitress and at a carwash.

Q: What made you want to work at Lafayette?

A: I student taught at Lafayette and fell in love with everything about the school.

Q: Why did you want to get into the educational field?

A: I have always loved helping others and being surrounded by kids, so teaching has been on my radar since I was a kid.

Q: If you could teach any other subject or do any other job in the school, what would it be?

A: If I knew how to speak Spanish, I would teach Spanish. I have always wanted to learn another language. I took three years of Spanish when I was in high school, and I wish I stuck with it.

Q: Is there anything else that you want the community to know about yourself?

A: I am a traveling teacher, so I am split between Lafayette and Marquette. I am going to do my absolute best to give my all to both schools. I am so excited for this year to start.

Amber Peper: In-School Suspension (ISS)

Q: What college(s) did you attend and what are some of your previous jobs?

A: The first college I went to was Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois. My major was physical education. Then I went to Southern Illinois, University of Edwardsville and got my health degree. I’ve been working for Rockwood since 2013 and I’ve worked as a hall monitor, study hall supervisor, subbing for teachers and now I have the in-school suspension job. I also used to work at a daycare center and I coached basketball.

Q: What was your first impression of Lafayette?

A: I really like Lafayette. I haven’t really been here prior to having this job but I do really like it. And my son goes here this year now so I’m excited to see him.

Q: If you had to teach a different subject, what would you teach?

A: P.E, it’s what my degree is in.

Q: Why do you enjoy teaching?

A: I really enjoy working with kids of all ages, and I love sports. Giving back to the community is also really important to me and if I’ve done [P.E] all my life, I’m happy to continue doing it.

Q: Is there anything else you want the community to know about you?

A: I’m personable, I’ve been told I’ve had a good sense of humor. I like being around people and socializing. I love spending time with my two kids, and my husband who is a great guy.

Sean Schierbecker: Band

Q: What college(s) did you attend, and what are some of your previous jobs?

A: I attended Truman State University for all of my degrees. I was a teaching assistant at Truman, and before that I worked at two different golf courses. I was a greens and groundskeeper, if you haven’t had the experience of weed eating for multiple hours, you’ll leave with your hands shaking for sure.

Q: What is your first impression of Lafayette?

A: Everyone is very spirited in whatever their activity is. If they are into academics, I noticed clubs like our debate team is very dedicated. Our sports teams are very dedicated, our music students are very dedicated. Everyone is very driven in whatever they find the most interesting to them.

Q: What has been your favorite part of Lafayette so far?

A: The students. Working with dedicated students makes the job more fun.

Q: If you could teach any other subject, what would it be?

A: Wood shop. My dad is really big into woodworking so we’ve made desks together, tables, lamps and guitars. It’s just really fun and I would love to share that love of woodworking too.

Q: Why do you teach?

A: It’s fun. You can’t find a better job, at least in the music field. It’s equal parts different every day, contrasting from the previous. You have a constant flow of new personalities, new students. Every year is slightly different but there’s also a consistent element too it too.

Annie Tichacek: Guidance Counselor

Q: What college(s) did you attend, and what are some of your previous jobs?

A: I went to Webster University for a BA in Social Science and Missouri Baptist University for a MA in Counseling.  I worked at St. Louis Bread Company throughout high school and college, after receiving my MA I started at Behavioral Health Response, and Gateway Science Academy as their high school counselor.

Q: What made you want to work at Lafayette?

A: I was drawn to LHS because of the resources and opportunities we are able to provide to all of our students. I was then amazed to learn was that if that opportunity does not yet exist the incredible students and staff will create it. Bonus points because my high school alma mater was also the Lancers.

Q: What was your first impression of Lafayette?

A: Hands down, the people. Every interaction right from the beginning was that of warmth and acceptance. I already feel like part of the family!

Q: If you could teach any other subject or do any other job in the school, what would it be?

A: This is a tough one. In another life I would have loved to work as a speech-language pathologist and work one on one or in small groups with students who are in need of the extra support and be able to watch and measure gains as they grow and improve.

Q: Is there anything else that you want the community to know about yourself?

A: I love to cook, bake, garden, and play my saxophone. I am so excited to be at LHS and I look forward to seeing what this new and exciting year has to offer for all of us.

About the Contributors
Photo of Morgan Vehige
Morgan Vehige, News Editor

Morgan Vehige is a senior, and this is her fourth year on the news production staff. When she can't be found in the newsroom, Vehige can be found spending time with family and friends, playing softball, volunteering or reading a great book. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Photo of Samantha Haney
Samantha Haney, Staff Reporter

Samantha is a sophmore and this is her second year on the news production staff. When she’s not reporting, Haney can usually be found reading, taking pictures, helping various art teachers or playing with her dog, Audrey. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Photo of Devan Ellison
Devan Ellison, Staff Reporter

Devan is a senior and this is her first year on the news production staff. In addition to writing for the Lancer Feed, Ellison can be found playing flute in the band, swimming with the swim team and playing water polo. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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