Mehlville High School alum is Mehlville School District’s Teacher of the Year

Mehlville High School alum is Mehlville School District’s Teacher of the Year
Posted on 04/18/2024
Tom Harper Tom Harper, an English language arts teacher at Mehlville High School, was named the Mehlville School District Teacher of the Year at the Recognition Night ceremony on April 18, 2024.

In addition to his work in the classroom, Harper also serves as English department co-chair and coaches boys soccer and girls basketball. An alum of Mehlville High School himself, Harper noticeably works to make every student feel welcome in the halls of MHS.

“Mr. Harper is someone who really cares about Mehlville High School,” said Dr. Jason Landherr, Mehlville High School principal. “He does a great job of building relationships with all of our students. In the morning when students are arriving, he talks to nearly every student as they walk by him in the halls.” 

Tom HarperImage: Harper leads his English language arts class in a lesson about "Romeo and Juliet." 

Harper creates a welcoming environment in his classroom where students feel safe and comfortable and are open to constructive criticism and feedback on their work.

“He makes sure to get to know all of us,” said Anna Wolf, a Mehlville High School junior. “In addition to teaching us, he always makes time to talk to us about what is going on in our lives.” 

After graduating from college, Harper was hired to return to his alma mater, and he has spent his entire 25-year teaching career as a Panther.

“Mehlville High School has always felt like home to me, even as a student,” said Harper. “It was a no-brainer for me to come back to a place where I was comfortable, that had treated me well and that was like family to me.” 

“I cannot think of a more deserving candidate who embodies not only the attributes of the Mehlville School district but truly gives of their time and energy for students,” said Dr. Jeff Haug, Superintendent of Schools. “Tom is an amazing teacher who, through his interactions with students, reminds us of why we all chose education as a profession.”

Harper will represent Mehlville School District in the state teacher of the year selection process. 


Related stories:
Mehlville School District’s Teacher of the Year finds new ways to engage students in learning (April 2023)
Mehlville School District’s Teacher of the Year builds lasting, meaningful relationships with students (April 2022)
- Mehlville School District’s Teacher of the Year creates an inclusive environment for all students (April 2021)
- Connections are key for Mehlville School District’s Teacher of the Year (May 2020)
- World-traveling English teacher named Mehlville School District Teacher of the Year 
(May 2019)

Our Teachers and Classified Employee of the Year
At Recognition Night, the district also honored all of the school-level teachers and classified employees of the year for the 2023-2024 school year. Congratulations to these incredible members of the Mehlville School District family! 

Teachers of the Year
Kari Hof, Mehlville Early Childhood Teacher
- Julie Werton, Beasley Elementary math interventionist
- Chrissy Fallert, Bierbaum Elementary kindergarten teacher
Jill Kleffner, Special School District resource teacher at Blades Elementary
- Donny Griffin, Forder Elementary PE teacher
- Jessie Schellman, Hagemann Elementary first-grade teacher
- Jessica Ketzner, MOSAIC Elementary third-grade teacher
- Krystle Skinner, Oakville Elementary second-grade teacher
- Chris Gerwitz, Point Elementary librarian
- Stephanie Montgomery, Rogers Elementary third-grade teacher
- Karah Galmiche, Trautwein Elementary English language development specialist
- Kristy Voithofer, Wohlwend Elementary second-grade teacher
- Cassie Trueman, Bernard Middle science teacher
- Renee Ganley, Buerkle Middle science teacher
- Lacey Cupp, Oakville Middle choir teacher
- Abby Riess, Washington Middle English language arts and social studies teacher
- Pati Van Kirk, At Home art teacher
- Tom Harper, Mehlville High English language arts teacher
- Kyle Bryant, Special School District teacher at Oakville High
- Karen Denson, SCOPE math teacher

Classified Employees of the Year

- Melanie Cole, Mehlville Early Childhood paraprofessional
- Mike Edwards, Beasley Elementary head custodian
- Kathryn Gardenhire, Bierbaum Elementary cafeteria recess monitor
- Marc Raines, Blades Elementary head custodian
Vicki Pollman, Special School District paraprofessional at Forder Elementary
- Chris Hawes, Hagemann Elementary head custodian
- Kendra Nichols, MOSAIC Elementary substitute teacher
- Andi Postawko, Special School District paraprofessional at Oakville Elementary
- Calli Busso, Special School District paraprofessional at Point Elementary
- Stacey Bader, Rogers Elementary nurse
- Steve Mathis, Special School District paraprofessional at Trautwein Elementary
- Sara Watson, Wohlwend Elementary secretary
- Tom Luedde, Bernard Middle head custodian
- Aaron Poe, Buerkle Middle substitute teacher
- Katie Uthoff, Oakville Middle secretary
- Jill Haertling, Washington Middle secretary
- Ellie Aboussie-Ashley, Mehlville High athletic department secretary
- John Klevorn, Oakville High head custodian
- Lindsey Bayless Boyet, SCOPE nurse
- Kim Bess, benefits coordinator
- Amanda Hebden, fine arts and federal programs secretary
- Adam Austermann, HVAC technician
- Holly Elterman, administrator MOSIS specialist
- Jean Williams, bus driver


Thank you to our retirees
These incredible men and women are retiring from Mehlville School District at the conclusion of the 2024-2025 school year.
- Michelle Hancock, Beasley Elementary fourth-grade teacher
- Shannon McCreight, Beasley Elementary third-grade teacher
- Michelle Kovacich, Blades Elementary cafeteria manager
- Cindy Bright, Forder Elementary counselor
- Joe Coco, Bernard Middle custodian
- Tiffany Wedel-Aboussie, Buerkle MIddle language arts teacher
- Derek Norton, Oakville Middle language arts teacher
- Thomas Leibach, Oakville Middle custodian
- Scott Jackson, Mehlville High math teacher
- Maureen Landwehr, Mehlville High social studies teacher

- Elizabeth Neighbors, Mehlville High counselor
- Kenneth Setzer, Mehlville High custodian
- Amy Clark, Oakville High business teacher
- Thomas Lutz, Oakville High art teacher
- Sally Ellrich, Communications Department secretary
- Melea Genthon, Federal Programs and Fine Arts secretary
- Scott Lancaster, carpenter
- Darrell Sewell, boilerperson
- Dwayne Quesenberry, kitchen maintenance technician
- Denise Anderson, bus monitor
- Kenneth Bossaller, bus driver
- Kathy Grau, bus driver
- Joseph Klarsch, bus driver
- Michael Klund, bus driver
- Laura Mueller, bus monitor
- John Thuet, bus driver

Retiree Luncheon
Image: Staff who are retiring this school year were recognized at a luncheon in early April.

Thank you to our sponsors
Thank you to the following Platinum and Gold sponsors for their support of district recognition activities: Goodcents, Queen of All Saints Activities Association, The Medicine Shoppe and Cocos Plumbing!

Recognition Night Sponsors
The Mehlville School District strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees, students or others on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or sex including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity and other characteristics protected by law. The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: contact Adam Smith at 314-467-5006 or [email protected].