Return to Headlines

District Celebrates 2019 Honorees & Retirees

Honorees retirees collage Nearly 200 people gathered to celebrate The School District of University City's 2019 honorees and retirees on Thursday, May 9 in the Jackson Park School gym.

Tables were set with black and gold table clothes and napkins and elegant floral centerpieces containing flowers and plants grown in gardens created U. City in Bloom. Retirees received commemorative clocks, while other awardees received trophies and other special momentoes.

The evening began with the University City High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp's Presentation of Colors, and Cadet Ali Mitchell singing the National Anthem. 

Lyndlee Mabry of Jackson Park Elementary School and Michelle Turner of Pershing Elementary School were recognized for 25-years of service. 

Kathleen Collins, the 2018-19 Educational Support Person of the Year, presented the award to the new 2019-20 honoree Darlene Holliday, administrative secretary at Barbara C. Jordan Elementary School. 

Julie Hubbartt, an advanced math teacher at Brittany Woods Middle School, was formally awarded with the District's Teacher of the Year honor by Dr. Ian Buchanan, assistant superintendent and director of curriculum and instruction.

The district honored 10 retirees, two of whom are Special School District staff assigned to U. City Schools. The group represented more than 250 years of combined service to the District. Our 2019 distinguished retirees were: 

  • Christopher Blumenhorst (LLC) with 27 years of service
  • Linda Brown (JP) with 31 years of service
  • Charles Brown (UCHS) with 16 years of service
  • Delores Garner (UCHS) with 21 years of service
  • Susan Jackson (JP - SSD) with 18 years of service
  • Deborah Kuster (FP) with 29 years of service
  • Jacqueline Meyer (UCHS) with 27 years of service
  • Eric Morgan (UCHS - SSD) with 27 years of service
  • Dorthea Nevils (UCHS) with 31 years of service
  • Nicole Wight (FP) with 25 years of service

The event also recognized the District's newly chosen PACEsetters. A PACEsetter is an individual or organization that has set the PACE by Positively Affecting Community Education for students in the District. These awardees were recognized for going the extra mile to help students succeed in both seen and unseen ways. The 2019 PACEsetters were:

  • Parent Volunteers: Nicole Adewale, Jodie Burditt & Anica Rothrock
  • BCJ Math Club: Alisha Ashford, Ellen Bern, Anita Qualls & Beth Skelton
  • Brittany Boutique: Kim Dann-Messier & Rebecca Salem
  • Challenger Learning Center: Tasmyn Front, Kristen O’Neil & Erin Tyree
  • Kathleen Kapayou (The Green Center)
  • Jan O'Brien (Master Card)

The event ended with the presentation of Uniquely U. City awards honoring people hand-picked by the District superintendent for their "uniqueness" to University City schools. They were:

  • Graduating senior Dominic Bryant, who served as the 2018-19 student representative to the University City Board of Education. 
  • Tracy Gritsenko, who served as a director on the University City Board of Education from 2016-19. 
  • Middle School service project and social justice entrepreneurs: 
    • Tae’Shia Johnson, who demonstrated empathy and caring for the homeless by coordinating a supply drive in partnership with Loaves and Fishes.
    • Mouhamed Ly, who worked to reduce disposable water bottles by working to purchase and install a water bottle filling station at each District elementary school.  
    • Lucy Rhoades, whose interest in equal pay for women lead her to investigate why women are paid less than men for equal work.
    • Alara Stewart, who created a “giving garden” at BWMS in which produce grown in the garden will be shared with refugee families in U.City.

Special thanks to the "behind the scenes" committee, including the SDUC Operations crew, U. City in Bloom and the Communications team.