Author: Lori Christiansen

LASE Alumna is on the Move

Keeping up with 2008 LASE Alumna Lindsey Hawkins is no easy task. This young woman keeps busy with work, sports, volunteer activities and speaking engagements for a very full schedule of activities.

Shortly after graduating from the LASE Learning Center at Lutheran High, St. Charles, Lindsey started work as a hostess at 026 Pub N Biergarten in Fenton and has worked there ever since. As a hostess three days per week, this friendly and outgoing woman has the opportunity to greet guests to the restaurant and make them feel welcome.

When Lindsey is not working, she can be found volunteering at the Down Syndrome Association one day per week or doing a speaking engagement for Special Olympics. Lindsey visits 10-15 schools each year, sharing with students how Special Olympics has positively impacted her life and encouraging others to get involved. As a two-time featured speaker at the Shop N Save Golf Tournament, Lindsey has shared with her audiences the joys of participating in Special Olympics.

Lindsey is actively involved in sports through Special Olympics. She competes in six different sports throughout the year including the year round sport of bowling. Last year she was one of 100 athletes on the USA Team for Special Olympics as they traveled to New Jersey for competition. Lindsey came home with three third place medals. Congratulations to Lindsey for being an active member in your community and for all of your successes!

Jeremiah Award Presented to Word of Life Teacher

Enthusiastic, proactive, committed. These are just a few adjectives that Word of Life Lutheran School Principal Alicia Klug uses to describe Kindergarten teacher Jill Moormann. Jill is the recipient of the Third Annual LASE Jeremiah Award. This award is given annually to a general education teacher who is outstanding in his/her work with students with disabilities and special needs. Mrs. Moormann was presented the Jeremiah Award in a special ceremony in front of the entire school on February 18, 2015.

Jill embraces students with special needs. She is willing to adjust her strategies to fit the needs of her students and not afraid of a challenge. Principal Klug says that Jill is in constant communication with LASE teachers to find methods and strategies that will help students with both learning and behavior needs. She is always open for suggestions and ideas that will help. Mrs. Moormann is well loved by ALL of her past and present students. She truly makes a difference in the lives of children!

Green Park Gymnast Works to Achieve Academic Success

 

Allison is a competitive gymnast whose favorite events are bars and floor activities. This friendly Green Park Lutheran School 7th grader also loves to walk her dog, Hershey, and ride her bike. Allison’s mom, Stephanie, says that Allison is able to handle the work at Green Park because of help from LASE Resource Teacher, Mrs. Sandi Loduca. Stephanie believes Mrs. Loduca does awesome work with her daughter with the personal kind of attention that she feels she would not get if Allison was in public school. Allison works with Mrs. Loduca for Language Arts in a small group setting which helps keep her focused. She thinks Mrs. Loduca makes the subject easier to understand and is a fun teacher. Mrs. Loduca observes that Allison has grown in her independence and ability to advocate for herself over the past five years. Her reading and math have improved as see by her report card that is now filled with A’s and B’s. Way to go Allison!

Tyler’s Triumph

Roberta, Tyler’s mom, can’t talk about her son without welling up with tears. Tyler has had many struggles in his young life including two open heart surgeries. Partial DiGeorge syndrome has affected his heart, immune system, fine motor ability, and learning. Before starting kindergarten at Word of Life Lutheran school, Tyler needed a lot of help. All of this sounds like the beginning of a really sad story, but Tyler’s is one of triumph.

Tyler loves to read, laugh, and make jokes with friends. He can often be heard telling his resource teacher, “You’re gonna tell my mom I did this myself, right?” Tyler is proud of the work he does and eager to share what he has learned with others. Partnership with LASE has made it possible for Tyler to be a part of the Word of Life family.

Roberta says, “I want people to know how hard Tyler works. It is a relief to see how far he has come since he started at Word of Life. (The LASE staff) has made it possible for him to learn with the friends he has made here. They help the other teachers understand how Tyler works.”

New Software Enhances Student Writing

For children who are challenged by writing, the task of composing an essay can seem daunting.  Thanks to new software used by LASE, children with writing disabilities can learn to construct stories that include varied sentence structures, a wide range of vocabulary words, and interesting content. Story Book Weaver software is an innovative program that encourages students to personalize each essay by adding colorful characters, outrageous settings, and even sound effects. Austin is a 6th grader at Atonement who uses Story Book Weaver as he learns to write paragraphs with Mrs. Carol Lima, LASE Speech and Language Pathologist, and Mrs. Kim Paquette, LASE Resource Teacher.  His mother, Nicole, is thrilled to follow his progress in writing with this new software.  Recently, Austin used Story Book Weaver to independently write a clever story about Gila monsters.  He accomplished the goal of using lengthy sentences and specific vocabulary words in descriptive fashion.  Austin is delighted to share excerpts from his essay with you:

The Gila monster emerged from the desert.  The man pulled out his binoculars to see what the Gila monster was doing.  The Gila monster was stashing his food.  The lizard came to the man and the man ran away.  He told the guys at work what he had seen.  They did not believe him.  The man cringed and was exasperated at them.  He showed them were he had seen the lizard.  One of the guys was mesmerizing the lizard.  The man was legendary. Way to go, Austin the Author!  

Zion Lutheran Teacher Honored by LASE for Teaching Excellence

Sue Riemenschneider, 6th Grade Teacher at Zion, St. Charles, is known for utilizing many interactive techniques and projects that encourage students to think “beyond the assignment.” Whether she is collaborating with the LASE special educator to help her students learn, or trying out a new strategy in her 6th grade classroom, Sue is always focused on what is best for her all of her students, including those with learning challenges. Sue is empathetic when working with students and recognizes the difficulties that struggling students have. However, she challenges them to use their God-given gifts to overcome their difficulties and shine in their areas of strength. She celebrates successes along the way and perseveres with them during difficult times.

Sue was awarded the LASE 2014 Jeremiah Award for Teaching Excellence on February 26, 2014 in a surprise ceremony after chapel.  She was nominated by Principal Marc Debrick because of her collaborative skills in working with parents and teachers for the good of children who learn differently.  Congratulations Mrs. Riemenschneider.