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News and Updates

Welcome to the South Tech news archive where we feature stories on students, school programs and activities, alumni and professional partnerships.
Give Respect Get Respect Anti-Bias Program Impacts South Tech Students

Edward Jones takes diversity awareness seriously and to the next level. Collaborating with Diversity Awareness Partnership (DAP) this company sponsors opportunities for their associates to participate in a diversity awareness program, “Give Respect Get Respect (GRGR).” Edward Jones hosts students and educators to participate in a non-consecutive, five day, half-day workshop over the course of an academic year. Their associates, associates from local businesses, and educators have the opportunity not only to increase diversity awareness and encourage respect and acceptance but to also mentor today’s youth. The program gives students the tools to become leaders within their schools and help break down walls that separate students from each other. Each session focused on a specific topic, introduction to stereotypes, religious intolerance, race and multiculturalism, disability awareness and sexual orientation and gender identity. Providing snacks, lunches, a Give Respect Get Respect t-shirt for every participant and Cardinals tickets at no cost demonstrates that Edward Jones has truly invested in not only making this a meaningful but fun experience. The activities, discussions and a safe place to talk about sensitive topics had a powerful impact on the students as reflected in the following feedback after having experienced this empowering program.

“I could be open with my thoughts and viewpoints without others judging. Along with that I was able to gather new perspectives because of others’ input. I also enjoyed going to the Holocaust Museum because we listened to a survivor with was a great experience all together.” Oliva Lopez—Health Sciences

“We learned how to approach people who are discriminating others and how to support those who need it. People made sure to respect others opinions and create a comfortable, welcome environment for others to speak freely.” Nadia Decker—Veterinary Assistant

“The GRGR program is one of the best programs I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. I learned so much about how to be accepting and how to advocate for others. Everyone can be an ally, you just have to reach out. This program gave me the courage to reach out and I will always be grateful for that.” Emily Dunn—Veterinary Assistant

“GRGR made me feel that not only will I leave with a better understanding but eager to speak up and be more helpful and aware of those around me. The program made me feel encouraged and curious all at once.” Dominique Aldridge—Pharmacy Sciences

“This program puts a lot of time and effort into making sure each student and adult knows how it feels to go through different problems just because someone is different.” Kamia Davis—Pharmacy Sciences

“I really like conversing with the associates and hearing what they had to say. I learned that the woman who is blind dreams in scents and sounds instead of images and how she picks out her clothes. I learned that you should never assume someone’s gender or sexuality because it can hurt the person. I also learned about the different parts of someone’s life that can fall away when they come out.” Kelaiah Killmade—Veterinary Assistant

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars. Even when your life is dark and dreary you can always look for the little stars in your sky that can brighten your world. What GRGR taught me was that it’s perfectly fine to be different. Everybody should stand beside each other even if you feel alone and different you can always find someone to push you forward.” Zelun He—Health Sciences

“When I used to see people with disabilities I would assume they needed help and try to help. I learned how to ask and offer before doing. I learned how to be a better ally and stick up for those who are bullied for being LGTQBI. Mekayla Caruthers—Early Childhood Education

“We talked about our own personal experiences and how we can stop and inform others about bullying and how it affects the community.” Xyon Dubose-Scott—Veterinary Assistant

“When I first started the GRGR program, I didn’t expect to meet the people I did and learn so much. Every person I interacted with gave me a new perspective. This program provided a great opportunity to find out who you are and become more self-aware.” Rebecca Gorman—Early Childhood Education

“GRGR program as a whole was an amazing experience and I recommend it to everyone.” Katherine Sanders—Veterinary Assistant

“The way people treat each other is crazy. This taught me a lot about how to go about things. When you see a LGBTQI person getting bullied you should stick up for them and help them.” Vanessa Holweg—Early Childhood Education

“I learned a lot and it was exciting getting out of my comfort zone. Meeting new people was cool.” Hailey Burt—Early Childhood Education

“Some of the talks we had touched me and gave me a new outlook to carry in life. The program expanded my mind on different people and to accept everyone. Hearing personal, life experiences hit me in the heart and I loved hearing their stories.” Phanaysia Harrold

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.”

South Tech students brought home 26 medals in the hands-on part of the SkillsUSA competitions earlier this month. Most of them will be representing Tech at the state competitions in April. Great job everyone!

Gold Medals:

  • Max Buckel: Computer Programming
  • Josh Schaeffer: Internetworking
  • Ethan Schrunk: Web Design
  • Minh Trang: Web Design
  • Ethan Morris: Customer Service
  • Joseph Venable: First Aid/CPR
  • Joel Biesch: Welding Fabrication Team
  • Jared Jacquot: Welding Fabrication Team
  • Lloyd Peal: Welding Fabrication Team
  • Caleb Harter Automated Manufacturing Team
  • Michael Steppig: Automative Manufacturing Team
  • Marke Witte: Automated Manufacturing Team
  • Kennan Kolenda: CNC Milling Specialist

Silver Medals:

  • Robert Fox: Web Design
  • Trevor Sirles: Web Design
  • Christopher Moore: Information Technology Services
  • Kenneth Sweet: Computer Programming
  • Stephanie Swink: Advertising Design
  • Harrison Dye: Welding
  • Zachary Wilson Welding
  • Caleb Halbrook: Automated Manufacturing Team
  • Quentin Randell: Automated Manufacturing Team

Bronze Medals:

  • Alianna McCormick: Computer Programming
  • Crystal Price: Customer Service
  • Cameron Hood: Collision Repair Technology
  • Ethan Portray: HVAC
Automotive and Collision Division Receives Donation

South Technical High School’s Automotive and Collision Department receives generous I-CAR St. Louis donation in recognition of their Gateway Motorsports Park and Enterprise Rent-A-Car job fairs in 2016 – which generated $25,000 from employer sponsors. Employer sponsors partnered with I-CAR St. Louis to purchase job fair tables and conduct interviews of automotive and collision students from participating schools.

I-CAR is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the information, knowledge, and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs. I-CAR’s focus is to provide everyone involved in collision repair with access to high-quality, industry-recognized training solutions and support ongoing conversations in the industry on issues that impact collision repair.

Funds raised from the Gateway Motorsports Park and Enterprise Rent-A-Car job fairs helped technical schools support their automotive and collision programs. North and South Technical High School received $4,000 each for their program and Lewis and Clark Career Center received $4,000 for their program. Rolla Technical Institute and Lake Area Career Center in Camdenton each received $4,500 respectfully. Each school may use funds to purchase equipment from the Collision Repair Education Foundation.

South Technical High School campus was presented with their check on March 22nd at 2:30 p.m. The donation has been used to purchase supplies and tools for their automotive and collision department.

For more information contact Gene Slattery at 314-422-7885 or at gene@automotivetechnology.com

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!

Welding Class Competes at the 7th Annual Missouri Welding Institute

On January 27th, 2017 students from Mr. Holt’s welding class competed at the 7th annual Missouri Welding Institute Vo-Tech welding competition in Nevada, MO.  There were 193 competitors from all over the tri-state area competing for a full-tuition paid scholarship. Pictured from left to right:

  • Harrison Dye placed 1st overall receiving a check for $14,000 (full-tuition), a trophy, and a new Lincoln ranger 225 welding generator.
  • Zach Wilson placed 2nd overall receiving a check for $7,000 (half-tuition), a trophy and a new victor cutting torch outfit.
  • Jared Jacquot placed 3rd overall receiving a check for $3500 (quarter tuition) a new Lincoln Viking auto-darkening welding helmet and a trophy.
  • Cody Sehie placed 4th overall receiving a $1,500 scholarship, plus an additional $1,000 scholarship, as well as a new DeWalt grinder and trophy.
  • Jason Neier placed 5th overall receiving a $1,000 scholarship, pipeline welding helmet, and trophy.
  • Nycholas Welch placed 6th overall receiving a $1,000 scholarship and a trophy.
  • Alex Juelfs placed 10th receiving a scholarship for $1,000 and a trophy.

South Tech welding students were able to secure 7 of the top 10 places at a very rigorous welding competition amongst some of the best welding students around. These students plan on continuing their education at Missouri Welding institute where they will complete the Master Pipe Welding and Fitting course this summer. Congratulations on a successful weekend in Nevada, Missouri.

Cardinal Canine Visits Law Enforcement

South Tech Law Enforcement students learned about canine units on March 20th when Officer Mike Cognasso and his partner, Police Canine Young, visited our campus.

Young, who is a specially trained Vapor Wake detection canine and part of St. Louis Cardinals Security Team, demonstrated his skills for students by following the scent trail of an object hidden within our conference room. Students were able to see Young catch the scent, follow its movement around the room, and then sit at attention once he had discovered its location. “You watch for the shift in his behavior,” said Cognasso as he described to the students how Young indicates when he has discovered the trail.

Officer Cognasso jokingly described himself as Young’s “driver” because they share their vehicle as partners. Young also lives with Cognasso and has his own “office” in their home which holds his kennel. Young is 4 years old, a Labrador Retriever, and was trained at Auburn University, a school which specializes in Vapor Wake detection. This training teaches dogs how to detect body worn explosives on a moving target.

Students enjoyed both the demonstration and Young’s “off-duty” personality as he is quite playful and full of energy. Thanks to the St. Louis City Police Department, Officer Cognasso, and Young for taking the time to visit South Tech!

South Tech Welders Sweep Oklahoma

On Saturday, February 18th, South Technical High School Welding students competed at Tulsa Welding School’s Annual high school Senior Welding Competition in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

There were over 220 registered competitors, representing 16 different states. During this timed welding competition, students are required to fabricate and weld a project based off a given set of drawings and procedures.

  • Jared Jacquot placed 1st receiving a full-tuition paid scholarship to attend Tulsa Welding School, as well as a new MIG welder, belt buckle, and a premium Lincoln electric gear kit. (total prize package valued around $19,100)
  • Harrison Dye placed 2nd overall receiving a half-tuition paid scholarship to attend Tulsa Welding School, as well as a new MIG welder, belt buckle, and a premium Lincoln electric gear kit. (total prize package valued around $10,100)
  • Cody Sehie placed 3rd overall receiving a quarter-tuition paid scholarship to attend Tulsa Welding School, as well as a new MIG welder, belt buckle, and a premium Lincoln electric gear kit. (total prize package valued around $5,600)
  • Jason Neier placed 5th overall receiving 2-$500 scholarships, a new Makita drill/impact combo kit, and a premium Lincoln electric gear kit. (total prize package valued around $1,600)


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