By Ralph Echtinaw
St. Louis classrooms will soon be a little safer in the unlikely event of an active shooter or other nefarious character invading school buildings thanks to student Caleb Noack.
As part of an Eagle Scout project for Boy Scout Troop 648, Noack got an old fire hose from the St. Louis Area Fire Department and cut it into sections about 18 inches long. They fit nicely over door-closer arms on classroom doors, so students or teachers can effectively lock themselves in the room.
“In today’s current situation, with school shootings happening, and you don’t know when they’re going to happen or if, because we live close to the prison, somebody were to get out and get near the schools the classes could slide these over and protect the students inside,” Noack told the school board Monday.
Superintendent Jennifer McKittrick was pleased with Noack’s creation. “Thank you, Caleb, for thinking of our school and making something for us. We’ve looked at things of this nature, and it would have cost us thousands of dollars to be able to provide for every classroom.”
McKittrick said the district priced similar devices a few years ago, and the cost was $80 or more per sleeve.
Field trip to Canada
The board approved a May 5 trip to Stratford, Ontario to see the stage musical “Chicago.”
This will be the eighth year in a row that teacher Erin Busch-Grabmeyer has taken a bus load of students there.
They will leave at 6 a.m. and return well after dark. The trip is five hours each way.
There is room on the bus for 56, including four teacher chaperones.
However, the cost of $78 per student is the highest yet in the history of these trips.
Busch-Grabmeyer is working to reduce that cost. She applied for a United Way grant and plans to write local businesses seeking donations. “Every $52 we get will knock a dollar off the ticket,” she said. Busch-Grabmeyer is also running the sports concession stand thrice during the winter and expects that will reduce the cost per student by $5.
“Experiences are harder to get people to buy into because it’s a memory,” Busch-Grabmeyer said. “It’s not something that will last for years. Although I disagree with that.
“We do believe inherently that students should have to do something to go on this trip. because then there’s buy-in and it’s more meaningful.
“Some people have said, ‘Why don’t you just go to the Wharton Center (at Michigan State University).’ Well, the Wharton Center is lovely, but it’s not the experience of getting out of the mid Michigan area, going to Canada, having to go through customs. There’s so much of an experience that is just in this one day.”
If you’d like to make a contribution to defray the cost for students of this trip, contact Busch-Grabmeyer here: firstname.lastname@example.org
The board approved the hiring of Toby Megregian as the new varsity baseball coach. Megregian was the JV coach at Heritage High School in Saginaw for 15 years and took this job so as to be a varsity coach. Megregian is a Heritage High grad, class of 2001. And he’s looking for a house in the area, so if you have a hot tip, please let him know.
Teachers of the month
McKittrick named the November teachers of the month:
Tiffany LeBlanc at Carrie Knause Elementary
Beth Philson at Nikkari Elementary
Gail Janasik at the middle school
Terri Reeves at the high school