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District Honors 2014 Lindbergh Leaders

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This year's Lindbergh Leaders are (back row, L-R): Dr. Craig Hamby, Brian McKenna, Todd Thomas, Michael P. Steeno, Irv Mueller (front row, L-R) Jenny Merlo, Cyndi Heutel, Dr. Tara Sparks and Laura Conti. Not pictured: Al B. Moore

This year’s Lindbergh Leaders are (back row, L-R): Dr. Craig Hamby, Brian McKenna, Todd Thomas, Michael P. Steeno, Irv Mueller (front row, L-R) Jenny Merlo, Cyndi Heutel, Dr. Tara Sparks and Laura Conti. Not pictured: Al B. Moore

Lindbergh Leaders celebrated its 30th anniversary by honoring teachers, administrators, volunteers and community members for leadership and service throughout the Lindbergh Schools community. Thirty-two outstanding individuals received nominations and 10 were selected to the 2014 class of Lindbergh Leaders at the Royale Orleans Banquet Hall Friday, March 7.

Al B. Moore

Al B. Moore

Established in 1985, the Lindbergh Leader Program celebrates individuals who volunteer time and talents, and show caring for others. Leaders are nominated by fellow community members, with past recipients including volunteers, residents, teachers, administrators, retirees, support staff and Board of Education members.

The Lindbergh Leader Award is the district’s highest honor in recognition of leadership and service.

This year’s honorees, along with comments from their nominators, include:

• Laura Conti, Lindbergh High School German teacher – “Laura is an outstanding teacher who leads largely by example. She has been a tireless advocate for high-quality professional development in the district. She never complains and gives of herself in a way few others will in their lifetime.”

• Dr. Craig Hamby, Sappington Elementary School principal – “Craig has steered students and faculty on a highly academic course, the effort of which has been made evident in Sappington’s recent acquisition of the National Blue Ribbon Schools award. He demonstrates the perfect combination of strength, compassion, intelligence and wittiness.”

• Cyndi Heutel, Lindbergh Schools Foundation and LHS Alumni Association assistant – “Cyndi is the ‘glue’ that holds together both the Lindbergh Foundation board and the Lindbergh Alumni Association board! She is an unbelievably dedicated, hard worker with a great love for the district.”

• Brian McKenna, LHS graduate and host on 590 AM “The Man” – “When Brian found out that Sappington fifth-graders were hosting a ‘Lemonade for Lonnie’ day to benefit a fallen classmate, he arranged for his radio show to broadcast from the school parking lot, secured many prizes and donations, and helped raise enough money to cover funeral expenses for the family.”

• Jenny Merlo, Concord Elementary School parent volunteer – “What stands out about Mrs. Merlo is her willingness to always go above and beyond to support our schools and district. In addition to helping coordinate a successful grand opening at Concord, she has been part of the district Demographic Task Force and District Growth Committee. She shines as a parent and community member, always seeing what is best for students, supporting it, and advocating for it.”

• Irv Mueller, LHS honors coordinator – “Under Irv’s supervision, the number of AP tests taken annually has risen from about 50 to almost 1,000, and the number of students who have completed the International Baccalaureate diploma has also reached record numbers. His guidance over the years has led LHS to be one of the top schools in the nation. Irv is approachable and knowledgeable in his field and always willing to help lead any new initiatives.”

• Al B. Moore, Sunset Hills resident – “I want to thank Mr. Moore for his generous 10-acre property donation at the Tapawingo Golf Course. This legacy gift will benefit Lindbergh students for decades to come, and we are grateful for his overwhelming generosity, which could not have come at a better time considering the district’s aggressive student growth. I feel this setting will enable our staff to discover new solutions to the issues we face every day in the classroom.”

• Dr. Tara Sparks, Truman Middle School principal – “Tara is enthusiastic, capable, positive, warm, energetic and a true leader in every sense of the word. She maintains a positive, focused demeanor in the midst of myriad responsibilities, while performing in an exemplary manner.”

• Michael P. Steeno, Lindbergh Schools Foundation president – “Mike has dedicated nearly two decades in his life to support Lindbergh Schools and he has only one agenda: what is best for students. He has served on the Lindbergh Schools Foundation since 2000, and in the role of president since 2003, and also on the Lindbergh Schools Board of Education from 1992-2001. Over the years, the foundation has expanded to include the financial management and administration of 28 scholarships and the Spirit of Lindbergh Teacher Grants program.”

• Todd Thomas, Dads of Concord founder and organizer – “When Todd attended a Donuts with Dads event at Concord, he was struck by how many great guys he saw at school, and wondered how the dads might find a way to become more involved. In less than two years, Dads of Concord has completed numerous projects for the school and its teachers, as well as accomplished the original goal of making fathers a more involved and visible group in the school.”