New staff members wait to meet students in person as they begin work at Lafayette


Anusha Singh

Staff members were greeted to the building the second week with some positive chalk messages from some members of the Class of 2024.

Digital Media Staff

Julie Bayha

Julie Bayha, World Language
Courses Taught:
Spanish 1, Spanish 2
# Years Teaching: 15
Previous Schools Taught At: Olathe High School (Kansas), Timberland High School
College(s): University of Kansas, Truman State

What are some advantages of virtual learning?
“Kids that usually wouldn’t participate in class are participating more online. I also have time to get to know my colleagues because of the collaboration time. I like the chat feature in Zoom and being able to put students in breakout rooms.”

Why did you want to join the Lafayette staff?
“The Rockwood School District has such a great reputation, and after seeing how good the World Language Department here is, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else right now.”

Why did you choose to be a teacher?
Honestly I originally thought that I was going to teach  English in Costa Rica–that was my first plan, right? But, I think I just enjoy so much sharing about culture more than anything else that this seems like a great way to do it. I really enjoy working with teenagers and being in a high school every day.”


Frank Consolino

Frank Consolino, Science
Courses Taught:  AP Physics 1, Chemistry
# Years Teaching: First Year
College Attended:  Truman State University

A few years ago, what did you envision your first year of teaching being like?
“I always imagined my first year of teaching would be in the classroom with students performing lots of fun labs.  I was also looking forward to sharing all of my science jokes. I found they do not translate as well over Zoom.”

If you could tell your students one piece of advice for the year, what would it be?
“I would tell them, just to do your best. Always give your best effort, whether that’s one day you can only give 50% but as long as you are giving 100% of that 50%, that’s all I ask for. Just try your hardest cause I know that this is a stressful time and really at the end of the day, as long as you are giving your all, that’s all we can ask for. My philosophy is just try to get the most out of it. It’s not perfect, and it probably won’t ever be, but as long as we try we can get at least something out. As long as you get something out, I call that a successful day.”

If you weren’t a teacher what job could you see yourself doing?
“I always thought it would be fun to work for the FBI. I don’t think I would be any good at it but it would be an exciting job. You know, I don’t know if I have the athletic ability to chase down bad guys,  but I think that would be a fun thing to do.”


Megan Dill

Megan Dill, Drama/Speech
Courses Taught: Theater, Speech
# Years Teaching: Three Years
College Attended:Hardin-Simmons University
Extracurricular: Theater

Why did you start teaching?
“I did sales for a company and I really liked it but I kind of got to that point where I thought ‘OK, what’s my purpose in life?’ I was enjoying sales and I made a lot of money, but I wondered what the purpose really was, and so I really did some soul searching and realized  that I feel like my purpose in life is to be around kids and help kids especially at the high school age.”

What activities are you looking forward to this year with students?
“We typically do a fall play and we can’t really do that in a traditional sense, but we’re doing a virtual show and so it’s going to be something that we can bring small groups in to audition and rehearse and we’ll film it and piece it together and actually make almost like a movie that we will put together and then you can watch it as a video.” 

What advice would you give students for this year?
We are here for you. I think that because we are virtual when you have a bad day or when you feel overwhelmed, you know, typically if we’re in class, you walk in the door and I can see your face and I can tell something’s up. Virtually, we can’t really do that, and so if I could get one message out there, it is your teachers and counselors–we are here we are here for you.” 


Chad Deakin

Chad Deakin, School Resource Officer
Education: Parkland College (Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement Administration)
Number of Years in Law Enforcement:
24 years

What helped you make the decision to apply for the SRO position at Lafayette?
“I thought that this was a good place for me to be. I have four kids, so I’ve always just enjoyed being around their friends. I’ve coached baseball and softball for like nine years now, and always enjoyed being around their friends and I thought I could help out the school.”

What made you want to become a police officer?
“I grew up as a police officer’s kid. My dad was with St. Louis County. I looked up to him and always wanted to be a police officer. Even through high school it’s always been something I have wanted to do. So I guess my dream came true.”

Why do you think you are a good fit for the role of SRO?
“Once you guys get back that’s gonna be a good time. I’ll talk to anybody, ask my family. I can talk to anybody and have fun with anybody and we can talk about anything, I’m wide open to anything.”

What are your favorite sports teams?
“I’ve always been a Cardinals fan, even though I grew up in the Cubs realm, I’ve always been a cubs fan. For football, I’m a die hard Cowboys fan. I grew up watching and enjoying the cowboys and that’s my team.”

What are you most looking forward to at LHS?
“I’m real excited
to get everybody back in here and be a part of this. I’ve been welcomed by all the teachers and enjoyed interacting with them and I’m just excited to get the kids in here and have some fun with you guys.”


Lori Dziewa

Lori Dziewa, Science
Courses Taught: Biology, Bio-Chemistry
# Years Teaching: First Year
College(s) Attended: University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-St. Louis

What made you want to become a teacher?
“I worked in health care for 10 years, I worked in a surgery center, and we did surgery on people, but we did it all through a needle stick, so we never had to cut anyone open. And while I was working there, I worked with college students and trained new employees, and I really liked helping people become better at their jobs. I decided I really wanted to help people learn science and teach.”

What are your  hobbies?
“I like to be active and outdoors. I do a lot of running and biking and hiking. I am really into kickboxing and boxing. I really like to try new restaurants and go eat. Every weekend we try to find a new place to go and eat.”

What’s one thing you want your students to know?
I just want them to succeed, I know that not all my students are going to go into the science field and I just want them to know that I am here to help them grow and support them in that process. Even though you might not use science in your every day job, I know that the skills I hopefully give you will still help you in life.”


Sam Ritchie

Sam Ritchie, Math
Courses Taught: Algebra 1
# Years Teaching: First Year
College Attended:
University of Missouri

What made you choose teaching as a career?
You know my passion for getting to know people, forming relationships and helping people become successful that’s all we can be as teachers is friends and somebody who’s a guide and somebody who is there to help you be successful, and that is what really fires me up is helping people achieve goals.”

What are your hobbies?
“Some of my hobbies are video games and I also like to ride my skateboard.”

How do you plan on making connections with students during online school?
“I really like to have one-on-one time with my students so I can get to know them better through a computer screen.”

Michaela Rogan

Michaela Rogan, World Language
Courses Taught: Spanish 2, Spanish 3
# Years Teaching: First Year
College Attended:
University of Dayton Ohio

What is one of your hobbies?
“I love to travel. I actually had an opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica during my time in college. That is something that hasn’t been able to happen with COVID, so I’m looking forward to be able to travel again. I’m supposed to be going to Argentina in March, so hopefully that’ll happen.”

How has it been to start your teaching career online?
“It has definitely been totally new for me as a first year teacher having to teach online. It’s obviously something that I did not prepare for during my time in college, but I am excited to take on the journey and just learn as I go.”

What do you think of LHS?
“I am actually an alum of Lafayette, so it’s great to see familiar faces.”


Terence Small

Terence Small/Guidance
# Years in Education: Three years teaching K-12 , Assistant Dean at Kipp High School, also worked in higher education
College Attended: University of Missouri-St. Louis

What inspired you to pursue counseling?
“I was in college, taking a communication theory class and my professor saw that I needed work on my writing skills, so instead of giving me a bad grade in the class he sat me down and showed me how to write a paper. And I just thought he was so nice so I asked him ‘what’s the word for people who sit down and show you how to do things?’ He looked at me and said, “I think they’re counselors’. So that’s when I decided that I want to be a counselor.”

What would you want students to know?
“One thing that I would share with the students is that they are a part of a change in the way things are done.”

If you could tell your students once piece of advice for this year what would it be?
“I would call students trailblazers because the work that you guys are going to do in this situation with all this online learning is going to change the way we do educations in the next 10- 15 years. On one hand, it’s kind of a bummer not being in school with your classmates, but on the other hand when you guys do comeback you’re going to be stronger students and wiser students because you will have made it through the pandemic change the way we do education and then when you do see each other your going to be so happy to see each other like one big reunion so be encouraged.”

Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas/Math
Courses Taught:
Algebra 2, Geometry
# Years Teaching: Four
Previous Schools Taught At: Rockwood Summit
College Attended: Missouri State University, University of Missouri-St. Louis

“What is it like teaching online?
“Definitely different than being in person, it’s a little bit harder to grab that connection with students when they are not right in front of you.”

If you weren’t teaching, what career choice would you find yourself doing?
“I studied a lot of math in college, so probably engineering.”

If you could give one piece of advice to your students, what would it be?

Come in with a fresh mindset everyday you know? Everyday is what you make it and no matter how well or how poorly you did the last day, today is a new opportunity and that’s the way I come into class even if it was a rough lesson or I wasn’t in the best mood, the next day is going to be a better day, so let’s have a fresh start everyday.”


Tim Yeargain

Tim Yeargain/Social Studies
Courses Taught: American Government, U.S. History, Current Events
# Years Teaching: Six
Previous Schools Taught At: Baxter Springs High School
High School/College Attended: Benedictine College
Extracurriculars/Coaching Responsibilities: Football

If you could tell your students one piece of advice, what would it be?
“Everybody’s going to have to be flexible, so we’re going to make the best of it and continue to just be yourselves.”

What are your thoughts of Lafayette so far?
“You know, it’s one of the best schools in the state and it’s an honor to be able to be here. Growing up in St. Louis, you’ve always heard about Lafayette – the academics, the athletics, the programs, the community. And honestly, it’s a blessing to be here.”

What made you decide to start teaching?
You know , that’s one of those things that I’ve always enjoyed the possibility of having those connections with those students and making an impact on a young kid’s life and that’s also what led me to coaching. And so it’s always been that relationship piece for me.”


Rebecca Warren

Rebecca Warren/Administration
(filling in for Assistant Principal Mandy Lewis)
# Years Teaching: “Many” Years
Previous Schools Worked At: Marquette and Parkway School District

“What are some of your hobbies?”
“I have horses, and I keep bees. I’ve been keeping bees for six  years. I was just interested in the environment and what bees can do for us.”

“Did you grow up in St. Louis?”
“Yes, I went to Lindbergh High School.”

What made you want to become an administrator?
“I just love kids. I wanted to influence even more kids”

What is like starting this school year online?
“The learning curve is steep for everybody. It’s a matter of patience. We know that it’s challenging, We understand the issues, and we’re always seeking to find the best solutions.”

What advice do you have for students?
Hang in there, things will get better, and always believe that they can be successful in this environment as well as any other environment they choose.”


Kara Zonies

Kara Zonies/Study Hall
Previous Schools Taught At: Marquette, Valley Park
College Attended: University of Albany (SUNY A)

What is it like being a teacher right now?
I think the hardest part is the fact that I can’t go ahead and see kids’ faces. One of the most important things as a teacher is, and you don’t realize this being a student, but we’re always scanning the room and I’m looking to see how many people go ‘huh?’ have that look on their face or they just don’t quite understand, and those are the people that I want to make sure that I go ahead and help them.”

What are your goals for teaching this year?
“It is my job as a teacher is to make sure that you understand if that means that I have to teach it four different ways until you get it that’s what I’m supposed to do, but if I can’t do that virtually and I can’t see the classroom, I’m going to make sure that I go ahead and I’m doing it on individuals Zooms.”


Nicole Kovaluk, Strings Assistant

Nicole Kovaluk