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South Tech Honors Students at Annual Tops at Tech Banquet

South Tech honored students during our annual Tops at Tech Banquet on Thursday, April 27th at Andre’s West in Fenton, Missouri. Each instructor selected one student to represent their major based on their performance, dedication, and enthusiasm. Families joined their students and teachers for the evening event, hosted by principal Jacob Lohse. Award recipients were:


  • Electronics & Robotics – Anthony Truong, Lindbergh, Missouri Institute of Science and Technology
  • Precision Machining – Caleb Harter, Home School, Western Kentucky University
  • Welding – Harrison Dye, Eureka, Missouri Welding Institute
  • MAKES – Alex Bird, Webster Groves, Continuing Studies at South Tech


  • Graphic Design – Tristan Kottemann, Affton, St. Louis Community College
  • Cisco Networking Academy – Maxxwell Diebold, Maplewood-Richmond Heights, Southeast Missouri State
  • Web & Computer Programming – Maxwell Buckel, Oakville, Missouri Institute of Science and Technology


  • Carpentry – Barrett Province, Parkway South, St. Louis Community College
  • Electrical Trades – Sean Goody, Mehlville, Beginning Career in Field
  • HVAC – Ethan Portray, Home School, Ranken Technical College
  • General Construction – Connor Lange, Mehlville, Apprenticeship with Hamtil Construction
  • Construction Methods & Materials – Thomas Williams, Eureka, Considering Trade Schools and Employment


  • Cosmetology – Madison Kuennen, Lindbergh, Continuing Studies at South Tech
  • Cosmetology – Allison Lawton, Lindbergh, Fontbonne University
  • Culinary Arts – Julie Evers, Lindbergh, St. Louis Community College
  • Culinary Arts – Sierra Plummer, Valley Park, St. Louis Community College
  • Early Childhood Education – Abby Hobold, Mehlville, Truman State University


  • Dental Sciences – Inna Solomakhina, Marquette, St. Louis Community College
  • Health Sciences – Alexandra Heveroh, Oakville, Bradley University
  • Health Sciences – Morgan Harter, Home School, Southeast Missouri State
  • Pharmacy Sciences – Lakelus Corbin, Kirkwood, St. Louis Community College
  • Pre-Professional Health Sciences Academy – MacKenna Morgan, St. Louis Community College and continued work as a PCT at St. Louis Children’s Hospital
  • Veterinary Assistant – Joseph Vanlieshout, Oakville, St. Louis Community College
  • Veterinary Assistant – Alexis Koch, Mehlville, St. Louis Community College


  • Emergency Medical Technician – Chase Rogers, Marquette, University of Southern Florida
  • Firefighting – Austin Menning, Oakville, Continuing Studies at South Tech
  • Law Enforcement – Ethan Morris, Mehlville, University of Missouri – St. Louis


  • Auto Body – Branden Speckman, Parkway South, Plans to open his own business
  • Auto Technology – Anthony Howell, Mehlville, Ranken Technical College
  • Auto Technology – Eric VonFeldt, Rockwood Summit, State Technical College
  • Motorcycle & Small Engine Tech – Brian Rolwes, Marquette, Beginning Career in Field
South Tech also recognized outstanding staff members during the event. Sally DiFani, College and Career counselor and SkillsUSA Co-Lead Sponsor was awarded teacher of the year for the second time since joining our staff. And our new Attendance Secretary, Sarah McManus, earned the staff member of the year award.
South Tech Networking Team Advances to FBLA National Competition

Four members of the South Tech’s Missouri Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)– Phi Beta Lambda Chapter recently traveled to Springfield, MO for the FBLA State Leadership Conference. The conference featured dynamic workshops, innovative keynotes, and professional networking opportunities with Fortune 500 companies for middle school through college students.

Maxwell Buckel, Max Diebold, Zack Jackson, and Corey Watkins enjoyed the new activities this year. Competitors could visit X Academy, an in-depth focused workshop designed to help uncover a student’s true leadership potential, GooseChase, a digital scavenger hunt, and Leadership Labyrinth, escape rooms geared around leadership.

Over 5,000 students and advisers came together for the event, with over 150 business education related contests running during the event; contest topics range from accounting to website design, marketing to mobile application development.

South Tech’s competitors brought home top honors:

  • Maxwell Buckel – 6th place for Coding and Programming
  • Maxx Diebold, Zack Jackson, and Corey Watkins – 3rd place for Network Design Team

Diebold, Jackson, and Watkins qualified to compete in Anaheim, CA this summer in the FBLA National Competition.

Missouri FBLA-PBL, a chartered member of National FBLA-PBL, is a registered 501(c)3. Their mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. Missouri FBLA-PBL membership exceeds 15,500, making it the second largest state chapter of the organization in the nation and the second largest CTSO in Missouri. More information about FBLA is available at http://missourifbla.org/.

South Tech Student to be Honored

When it comes to leadership and individuality, there are few students as forward-thinking as Leila Hodge, who will be honored on April 26, 2017, at the State Capitol for her outstanding accomplishments as the State Female Award Winner of the 2017 Breaking Traditions Award. Only nine secondary and post-secondary students in the entire state will be recognized for their achievements related to nontraditional career paths. Leila will receive scholarship offers from many Missouri colleges, as a result.

Educators and employers known to be outstanding in their fields and contributions toward nontraditional career paths will also receive recognition for their accomplishments during the event. According to MO DESE, “Nontraditional career paths are in occupations or fields of work in which one gender comprises less than 25 percent of the individuals employed in that occupation or field. Since 1994, Missouri Breaking Traditions Awards have honored outstanding students who have chosen specific career and technical education programs based on their interests and have not let their gender influence their career decisions.” (Source: https://dese.mo.gov/communications/news-releases/missouri-honors-2016-breaking-traditions-winners).

It is the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s primary goal for college and career readiness to achieve the Top 10 by 20 Initiative, which has a goal of achieving education performance to rank among the top 10 nationwide by 2020. Congratulations to Leila Hodge and her South Tech teacher, Mrs. Sheree Borcherding, for their accomplishments that will contribute toward this goal.

“It is wonderful to see Missourians who are passionate about pursuing the field of their choice,” said Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “These winners set an example for future generations to follow.”

Julie Evers Awarded $1500 Elijah Moore Scholarship

During @Explore St. Louis’ 10th Annual High School Culinary Cook Off, South Tech’s Lindbergh senior Julie Evers became a multi-scholarship winner.

Evers was South Tech’s captain during the competition and led the team to a 2nd place finish, earning her a $500 scholarship. Evers was also awarded the Elijah Moore Culinary Leadership Award along with a $1,500 scholarship to Forest Park Community College in recognition of her leadership and expertise in the kitchen. Additionally, she was given a culinary knife set valued at $305 and is required for use in her post-secondary courses. Evers is already enrolled at Forest Park where she will complete her Culinary Arts education. She plans to begin a career in catering and event planning after graduating from college.

Evers joined South Tech specifically to pursue her culinary interests. She attended the Explore St. Louis Cook Off last year, but this was her first year of participation. Her role as captain required her to keep her team on task and on time. “Our number one priority was following safety and sanitation practices,” she said. Evers enjoyed the opportunity to get creative as the contest required teams to produce an appetizer, salad, and main course while incorporating secret ingredients that were revealed just before the contest began. Artichokes were one of the required additions and South Tech’s team quickly pickled them in red wine and apple cider vinegar along with carrots, peppers and onions. These were drizzled with a mixed berry vinaigrette that paired with them well. “They were so bright and colorful,” said Evers, who was pleased with the results of her team’s efforts.

Congratulations to the South Tech Culinary team and to Julie!

Ameren Skilled Craft Education Program Participants Visit HQ

North and South Tech students who participate in the Ameren Skilled Craft Education Program recently toured the company’s downtown headquarters. The visit in one of many opportunities these students are given as they learn about exciting and rewarding careers within our local utility industry.

The day at Ameren began with a kick-off chat and breakfast snacks hosted by Vanessa Jones, Ameren’s Manager of Human Resources (HR) Service and Employee Relations, followed by a generous welcome from Ameren President, Michael Moehn.

Students then toured the Emergency Operations Center, an impressive room which houses the full network of power supply in the Ameren service region. The center is used daily to isolate incidents and ensure limited impact to Ameren customers when outages arise. Students also learned about the various ways in which Ameren powers their plants using coal, solar, wind, and hydro energy. Tours continued with a visit to the roof to see 3 types of solar panels with which Ameren tests power supply as a consumer. Because using solar power can be challenging in the Midwest, Ameren uses these panels to gauge effective practices of solar power generation integration. Finally, students visited an Ameren substation near headquarters where they watched a demonstration of the gear and equipment used to keep Ameren workers safe.

During a lunch provided to students, Jim Williams, Senior Director of Power Operations, shared his thoughts on why the program is so important to Ameren and took questions from the students about the job opportunities within the division. Senior HR Services Client Consultant Jessica Godwin said the purpose of the event and talks is to help students see that the utility industry is an interesting and rapidly changing one. She feels the program’s mission is to give students a good feeling about how to go about joining the Ameren workforce. Ms. Godwin assists the Skilled Craft Program along with fellow HR Consultant Curtrena Turner.

The visit concluded with a power line demonstration, a viewing of solar vehicles, a power transmission demonstration by Supervising Engineer Terry Grass, and a Q&A session with Ms. Jones, Gary Weisenborn, Director of Power Operations Technical Training, and Ray Simms, the Skilled Craft Education Program Coordinator.

The Ameren program was launched in 2007 as a partnership between the Power Generation division of Ameren and North and South Technical High Schools. Recognizing the excellent career and technical education (CTE) offerings at Tech and the growing need for skilled craft workers, Ameren mentors groups of students annually in the Electrical Trades, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, Welding, Precision Machining, General Construction, and Carpentry majors to prepare them for potential employment.

The program immerses students into the many professions that make up the labor force of Ameren’s power plants. Students are guided by seasoned pros, get hands on experience with the tools and equipment used daily, are taught interviewing and resume writing skills, and are tutored for the Ameren pre-employment exam. Students are recommended by their CTE instructor to participate in the Ameren program based on superior performance in the classroom. In addition to the tour of Ameren HQ, students will also visit and tour one of Ameren’s power plants later in April.

Since the program began, 56 North and South Technical High School students have been hired by Ameren. The utility company offers generous tuition reimbursement, apprenticeship opportunities, and other opportunities for advancement. Entry-level laborers earn an average of $50,000 per year.

To learn more about the opportunities provided to students at Tech, call 314-989-7400 to reach South Tech and 314-989-7600 to reach North Tech.

South Tech’s Ambassadors Recognized by Board

On Tuesday, February 28th, two members of South Tech’s Ambassador Team were recognized for their excellent leadership skills by the SSD Board of Education. Alianna McCormick, a senior from Lafayette High School and Allison Lawton, a senior at Lindbergh High School, were chosen from several applicants to receive this honor.

Allison and Alianna serve as Lead Ambassadors, a select group of students chosen by a panel of judges to represent their major due to their classroom performance, leadership skills, and dedication to volunteerism. Both of these young women excel at South Tech and their home high schools.

Alianna, a Web and Computer Programming major, is involved in several clubs including the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), SkillsUSA, and the National Center for Women & Information Technology Association (NCWIT). She has won honors in programming and computing, and recently competed in exams in business calculus and journalism through FBLA.

As an ambassador, Alianna enjoyed working with our 8th grade visitors each fall and seeing their reactions to what our students do every day at Tech. She credits South Tech with helping her narrow her college major focus and after graduation plans to pursue a computer science degree. “This school has given me guidance that I know not all colleges can provide,” she said. She also feels her experience here has helped her get “ahead of the curve”.

Allison, a Cosmetology major, dedicates most of her extracurricular time to children. She is a camp counselor, she teaches and participates in dance, and has completed 50 hours of tutoring through Lindbergh’s Early Childhood Education department. She has remained in Renaissance, an honor given to high-achieving students with excellent GPAs, attendance, and conduct, every semester she has been in high school. She is also a Presidential Award recipient.

“Being an ambassador was a very special part of my South Tech experience,” Allison said. Her fondest memories include the annual BBQ and getting to know students from so many other majors. She will be attending Fontbonne University and majoring in special education, while utilizing her cosmetology license to work part-time while she is in school.

Congratulations to Allison and Alianna!

Halilovic Secures Scholarship

Haris Halilovic, South Tech Ambassador and Health Sciences senior from Lindbergh, recently accepted a $285 scholarship from Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. Each year, the South Tech Ambassador team hosts a blood drive with Mississippi Valley and shares scholarships with their partners. Halilovic earned this honor based on his outstanding academic performance in his Tech major, his school citizenship, and his commitment to the Ambassador program.

Halilovic joined South Tech his junior year, due in part to the prompting of his mother who had formerly worked for the school. He followed through and chose the Health Sciences program based on his desire to help others and his love of interacting with people. Halilovic’s experience at Tech has helped him plan a bright, solid plan for his future. He is already enrolled at Meramec where he plans to use his A+ scholarship funds to complete his first two years of college. He hopes to then gain employment locally before pursuing his BSN because so many hospitals now offer tuition benefits. Eventually, he would like to pursue further education and become a nurse practitioner.

Of his clinical experiences at St. Anthony’s and Delmar Gardens, Halilovic felt they helped him discover areas of medical care that fit his talents best. He enjoyed working with the Alzheimer’s patients at Delmar, but also loved the challenge of having new patients each day at St. Anthony’s. In both facilities, he said “I felt like I made the day a little better for them.” Congratulations Haris, we are sure your patients would agree!

Welders Dominate the Competition in Houston, Texas
On Saturday, April 1 South Tech Welding Students Jason Neier, and Natalia Reyland headed to Houston, Texas to compete at the Tulsa Welding School (Houston Campus) High School Senior Welding Competition.
  • Out of nearly 200 welding competitors Jason Neier placed 1st overall receiving a full tuition paid scholarship to attend Tulsa Welding School, a new Lincoln Electric Welding helmet, a new Lincoln mig welder and a nice welding gear prize package worth a total value of $19,100!
  • Natalia Reyland placed 5th overall receiving two $500 scholarships, a new cutting torch outfit, and a new Lincoln Electric Welding helmet worth a total value of $1,600!
Congratulations to both of these outstanding students.

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Special School District does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation against an individual based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, ancestry, disability, veteran status, age, or activity protected by federal or state law in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Direct inquiries and complaints under this policy to Special School District’s Director – Compliance Liaison, 12110 Clayton Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63131, telephone (314) 989-8100 or to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, One Petticoat Lane, 1010 Walnut Street, 3rd Floor, Suite 320, Kansas City, Missouri 64106, telephone (816) 268-0550, fax (816) 268-0599, TDD (800) 877-8339, email OCR.KansasCity@ed.gov Information about the existence and location of services, activities, and facilities accessible to impaired persons can be obtained from the Special School District’s Director – Compliance Liaison at the phone number and address listed above.
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