Middle School Newsletter 


August 2019


I would like to welcome each of you back. Can you believe this our 20th year open…where does the time go?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like the summer came and went in a blink of an eye. The summer was certainly busy as I reflected on our past successes and struggles, and then made any necessary changes so that we are set up to successfully give students the very best this year.

 However, I am absolutely thrilled to have everyone back in the building. The day before school started, I popped in every class and immediately knew our kids were coming into the very best. I was beyond impressed with the love and care the teachers put into their classrooms.  The team spent hours upon hours planning activities, so that they could get to know their students and the students can get to know them and one another. These first weeks are so vital as we begin building relationships, which we wholeheartedly believe is the cornerstone to success. For some students, this happens very quickly and for others it takes some time. Regardless of time, we passionately believe that every student in our building deserves to have an authentic relationship with at least one adult in our school. 

I strongly believe that building solid relationships with you is just as important. You know your child better than anyone, and I know that together we can give them the very best educational experience. Thank you in advance for trusting us with your child every day. What a privilege it is to watch them grow and continue to amaze us with all they do.  I welcome you to stop by anytime. I would love to have the opportunity to sit and get to know you better.

 Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any concerns or questions you have...there is no concern that is too small.  I am confident that together we will make this a remarkable year!



314.645.9600 (607)~kwright@premiercharterschool.org

Meet Your MS Grade Level Teams…

6th Grade:

Hi everyone!  My name is Erin Deason, and I am one half of the 6th grade ELA team!  Because I teach English, you can easily guess that reading is a big hobby of mine.  When I’m not lost in a good book, I also enjoy traveling to new places, crafting Pinterest projects, and taking walks with my pup, Layla.  You can reach me by phone at extension 404 or by email at edeason@premiercharterschool.org.  You can also follow all the fun things we do in class on Instagram and Twitter at @msdeason_ela! 

Hey there! My name is Jenny Schuth and I am the other half of the 6th grade ELA team! I absolutely love reading and am doing that most of the time. I also love being outdoors hiking, kayaking, camping, or swimming. I have a golden retriever named Oliver and a cat named Nova. I can’t wait for another year teaching and am so excited to join the PCS family this year. You can reach me by phone at extension 403 or by email at jschuth@premiercharterschool.org. You can follow our class on instagram and twitter to see all the fun we are having at @msschuth. 

Hello!  My name is Stacia Clark, and I am so excited for my fourth year of 6th grade Math!  Along with teaching my amazing students, I love hanging out with family and friends, hiking, singing, baking, gardening, and traveling.  Fun fact: I got married to my best friend this summer, and my name changed from Ms. Berwick to Mrs. Clark! 6th grade Math is full of hard work and lots of fun as we study and grow together.  Throughout the year students will do the “detective work” of finding LCM and GCF, become more comfortable with fraction, decimal, and percent operations, calculate areas and volumes of polygons, compare ratios, analyze data, and even jump into algebra.  Along with lots of pencils, numbers, and focused thinking, there will be gummy worms, lava lamps, celebrations, #tbt homework, yummy treats, and lots of smiles on hard working kiddos! You can reach me at extension 402 or by email at aberwick@premiercharterschool.org, and follow our class on Twitter/Instagram at @mrsclark_pcs.

Hey! My name is Stan Graczyk (Gray-zick), and I will be your resource for all things science related this year. I have had a passion for science and the outdoors for the entirety of my life, and I feel privileged to share my love for this subject with you! I just returned from an extended trip to California  with my wife Sally and our baby boy Griffin. We spent 7 days backpacking and exploring the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Joining us in our our classroom is Hashbrown, the spiny soft shell turtle. He is as excited as I am to get this year started. You can reach me at extension 406 or Sgraczyk@premiercharterschool.org and follow our class on Twitter @SgraczykPCS.

Hello! My name is Jake Dodge and I am super excited to be joining the 6th grade team here at PCS. Before I joined the 6th grade team, I spent time in China, where I taught 13 classes, 4 of which were 6th grade classrooms. I have a tremendous amount of passion for history, travel, and the international community. I have traveled to many countries and had the chance to work with students from all over the world. This summer I recently got engaged to my girlfriend of 6 years on our last vacation to Hawaii! When I am not traveling, I love to play sports like volleyball, basketball, and soccer. I played college soccer and enjoy all types of sports.

Hello, I’m Sheila Bottoms and I will be teaching TLC Reading and Creative Community. If your child receives special education services, I will most likely be his/her case manager. I have earned both my Bachelors and Masters degree from Webster University.  In my spare time, I love to swim, read, and spend time with my family and friends.  

7th Grade:

Hello, I’m Amelia Garcia and I will be teaching TLC Math and Resource. If your child receives special education services, I will most likely be his/her case manager. I grew up in Nashville, IL and attended SIUE for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. It’s hard to believe, but this is my 16th year teaching.  My husband and I live in South City with our two children, dog, and cat. In my spare time, I love to cook, read, camp, run, and spend time exploring. I’m excited to start the school year and get to know our new 7th graders! You can reach me at agarcia@premiercharterschool.org and/or ext 421. 

HELLO! I am Taylor Lemmon, and I will be teaching MATH! I grew up in Edwardsville, IL and graduated from UMSL for my bachelors degree. I have always loved math and hope to help all of my students see that they are mathematicians and scholars, and they can love math too! In my free time, I like to play board & card games, explore the city, and hang out with my friends and family. I am the eldest of five siblings, and being a big sister is my second favorite job, after teaching. I am so excited and thankful to get to know my students and build great relationships. You can reach me at tlemmon@premiercharterschool.org or ext 422. 

Hi! I’m Meghan Batson, one of the two 7th grade LANGUAGE ARTS teachers. I’m kicking off my 7th year teaching ELA at PCS and can’t wait for a great year ahead! Originally from the Chicagoland area, I graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in English, and earned a Master¹s degree in teaching at the University of Missouri. Outside of school, I love spending time with my husband and our  dogs, as well as cuddling my newborn son, Jack. Jack surprised us early at the end of July, so I will be on maternity leave through much of the first semester. I can’t wait to meet everyone upon my return! Once I’m back from maternity leave, you can reach me at mbatson@premiercharterschool.org and/or ext. 423.

Hey, I’m Alexa Franke, and I will be teaching LANGUAGE ARTS. Born and raised in the St. Louis area, I didn’t stray too far from home for my undergraduate studies at Lindenwood University. There, I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Middle School Education with an emphasis in Language Arts. This is my third year at PCS and I could not be more excited to meet your students and begin further cultivating a love of learning. In my free time, I can be found exploring the Saint Louis Art Museum, reading, and playing with my dog Teddy and my cat Ellie. In January of this year, I will be doing one of the things I love most with those I am closest with, when my fiance and I travel to England for our wedding. Fortunately, there won’t be another name to learn, I’ll just be changing my ‘Ms.’ to  ‘Mrs.’ I cannot wait to get to know all of you more than I already do. We’re going to have a fantastic year! You can reach me at afranke@premiercharterschool.org and/or ext. 424.

Hi! I’m Caroline Brockhaus and I will be teaching SOCIAL STUDIES! 

Similar to many other teachers, I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I started my journey at PCS as a student teacher and then graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. I joined the 7th grade team last year and am continuing my journey this year. In my free time I enjoy reading, camping, gardening, and spending time with my friends and family. I come from a large family scattered across the United States so I love to travel and visit them! I cannot wait to get this year started with all of the awesome incoming 7th graders! You can reach me at cbrockhaus@premiercharterschool.org or ext. 425

Hello! My name is Melanie Rhine and I am so happy to be teaching my favorite subject, SCIENCE! I was born and raised in Nashville, IL and my family still lives there. I often will go back home to visit with family and friends. College was a great time for me to explore athletics and opportunities. I attended 3 schools in 4 years in 2 different states. I graduated from Webster University in St. Louis. This will be my 5th year teaching at PCS and I couldn’t be happier. It feels good to be a part of a family and to have found a home at such a great school. At PCS I am also involved in the girls basketball program and the Middle School Trip. When I am not at the school I like to take walks with my dog and cook awesome meals. You can contact me at mrhine@premiercharterschool.org or ext. 426

Hello! My name is Ms. Niehoff and I will be plan day teacher! I was born and raised in the St. Louis area but decided to go to Murray State University for my Bachelors of Science in Middle School Education in content areas Science and Social Studies. I taught at another local St. Louis school for a year before spending 6 months at PCS subbing and then accepting the position as plan day. Until Mrs. Batson returns from her leave, I will also be 7th grade ELA and am ecstatic to get to spend so much time with 7th grade as well as I am thrilled to get to know each and every one of the students in middle school! When not in school you can find me spending time with friends and family or running with my dog. You can contact me at kniehoff@premiercharterschool.org or ext. 445

8th Grade:

Hello, I’m Katelyn Slattery, and I will be teaching TLC Language Arts. During my free time, I love to sew and go camping! I am excited to meet new 8th graders and see what is in store for this year! Follow me on instagram and twitter @mstlc435.

Hi, my name is Kassidi Thomas, and I teach 8th grade science. This will be my fourth year at PCS, but my second year teaching 8th grade. A few of the topics we will be exploring in science are chemistry, the human body, ecology, and geology. If you want to know more about what is going on, follow the class on Instagram or Twitter @msthomaspcs!

Hi! We’re the 8th Grade Language Arts/Literacy Lab teachers. We both got married this summer! Mrs. McAdams-Velten loves the outdoors, and Mrs. Anzalone enjoys spending her free time with her 2 dogs. In our classes, students will work on deepening comprehension skills through exploring issues of justice in books like Inside Out & Back Again and To Kill a Mockingbird. To find out more, follow us on instagram @hey_mrs_mcv and @MrsAin8ELA.

Hi, my name is Michelle Reddic, and I will be teaching social studies this year. I have been teaching at PCS since 2002, and I have taught 5th, 6th, and 8th grade. This year we will learn about world geography. I am looking forward to working with all of you! Follow me on instagram @mrs.reddic@pcs.

Hello! My name is Erika Varel and I am teaching Math/Algebra this year. I love taking my dog on walks and playing volleyball and basketball. This year in class we will be diving into finding patterns in data, solving equations, and much more! To stay updated on all the exciting things happening this year, follow me on twitter and instagram @VarelPCS.





STEM Computer Science…

STEM Engineering…

I am excited to start my 9th year at PCS teaching the STEM Engineering Pathway as well as 7th and 8th grade Quest. I strive to allow students to personalize their learning adventures. With our 6th year underway, I also lead the Girls on Fire program at PCS which helps empower young girls to become resilient leaders. My busy summer included St. Louis excursions with my energetic 2 1/2 year old daughter Brooklyn and my witty 5 year old son Camden who just started school at PCS. Writing poetry, eating ice cream, reading, and traveling bring me joy. I am excited for an awesome new school year. I can be reached via email at ndaugherty@premiercharterschool.orgor phone at (314) 645-9600 ext. 437. Follow us on Instagram @pcsengineers, @mrsdlovesquest, and @girlsonfireignite!


My name is Mrs. Kathy Brann; you can find me in the group picture. I have been teaching PE here at PCS for 20 years. I have 3 daughters. I love golfing, spinning, walking, and working out. I spend a lot of time watching my kids play sports! We will do a lot in the new fitness center this year. Looking forward to 2019-20. You can see us at on twitter @PremierPE.


Dyslexia Update:

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently began requiring all  public schools in Missouri to screen students for dyslexic tendencies annually.  

It is important to note that students who are identified as having dyslexic tendencies are not being medically diagnosed as having dyslexia or suspected of having a disability of any kind.  This screening simply indicates if a student could benefit from additional reading support.  

In accordance with DESE requirements, we will be screening all students in grades K-3.  This screening is a very short assessment conducted by your child’s teacher or a certified reading specialist.  You will be contacted if the results of the screening indicate that your child could benefit from additional reading support.

We will screen all 1st through 3rd grade students within the first 30 days of the school year.  Kindergarten students will be screened later in the school year, after we return from winter break.  We will also be screening any 4th-8th grade students whose teacher indicates that he or she would benefit from being screened.  Parents of 4th-8th grade students can also request that we conduct a screening. If you are the parent of a 4th-8th grade student and wish to request your child be screened, you can contact Dr. Schrimpf or your child’s principal.  

If you have any questions, please contact me or your child’s principal.


Dr. Schrimpf

Assistant Head of School

Fitness Center:

We are so excited about our new "Don't Quit!" fitness center from the National Foundation of Governors' Fitness Councils (NFGFC).

We were one of three Missouri schools to win this award from the governor and Jake Steinfeld, fitness guru and chairman of the NFGFC. We were able to show them that fitness and health is one of our primary goals for our students as well as the love we have for our students! Jake and some of his staff as well as board members etc will be at the ribbon cutting on September 26, 2019.

Here is the website if you are interested in knowing more about this foundation and award.


Message regarding BAC for 2019-20
Dear PCS Families,

Our primary goal with our Before and After Care program is to provide a safe, engaging and enriching experience for all participating students.  In order to do so, each year we limit enrollment to 225 students. 2019-2020 will be no different, we will again be limiting enrollment to 225 students, evenly distributed among all 9 grade levels.

After speaking to parents over the course of the last few years and analyzing BAC enrollment, we believe that the most equitable way to distribute spots in BAC to all our families, old and new, is through an enrollment lottery.  This is the same way that we fill open spots at the school.

We will begin accepting applications for BAC on April 1st and hold our BAC enrollment lottery on May 1st.  This schedule will allow us to notify all families who applied for BAC if they were accepted or not before the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

We have also decided to offer a special, early bird enrollment lottery for all families who have submitted applications by April 15th.  We will fill as many spots as we can on April 15th and fill any remaining spots on May 1st.

As a school of character, we believe strongly in the importance of equity and believe that this enrollment system is in line with our core ethical values.  I am happy to answer any questions about this policy change and look forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Mike Schrimpf

Assistant Head of School


Free/Reduced Meal Status 2019-2020

As a reminder, Free/Reduced lunch statuses from the previous school year are expiring here soon!  If you have not filled out an application for this current school year, or are interested in turning one in for the first time, make sure that you do so and turn it into any of the offices ASAP!   We ask that all families have one on file as our Free/Reduced Meal numbers have positive funding implications.  

If you have any questions feel free to contact Ben Huebner at bhuebner@premiercharterschool.org

Vending Machine…

Thanks to the hard work of three former 8th grade students we have our a vending machine! We have made sure that the machine is filled with healthy snack options. Students may make purchases from 8:10-8:25, during lunch and from 3:25-3:35 daily.

Safety Awareness…

We want to remind you that PCS has safety structures in place if we were ever to be in a lockdown situation because of an outside threat.  Please rest assured that we understand communication in these situations are of utmost importance. Parents will be notified through the automated school system; calls texts and emails.  We have a very good relationship with the police department down the street and if we hear of or are made aware of a situation where lockdown might be a possibility, we will be in contact with district 2. They will be able to provide accurate details of the situation and from there we can receive their recommendation on our course of action.  At all times, student safety is on our minds and we will always communicate with what you need to know. As always please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Dress Down…

Beginning in September on the last Monday of the month any student who has earned 80% or higher on their homework completion grade may dress down. Students can check their grade on Infinite Campus to ensure that they have indeed earned this privilege. Please remember  that all clothing must be school appropriate.


Let Me Run

It’s time to register for our fall season! Let Me Run is a running program for 4th-8th grade boys.  The season begins September 17th, and will run 7 weeks. Our team practices will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:35-5:00pm and we will end the season with a 5K race. Interested? Get a permission slip form from your classroom teacher, during PE or at the front office.  More about Let Me Run can be found online at www.LetMeRun.org

ATHLETICS: coming soon


Middle School Trip…

Our trip this year is to New York City! This is an optional trip offered to all middle school students. If you are interested in hearing more information please come to our meeting coming up. At this meeting I will give New York specific information and answer any questions you have. If you would like your child to go on this trip you can fill out paperwork and bring a $100 deposit (cash , check, money order) to help reserve a spot for your child. 

When: Wednesday, September 4

Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Location: Middle School Cafeteria

Please reach out to Ms. Rhine with any questions.

Melanie Rhine


314-645-9600 ext. 426

PCG Update…

We have a wonderful Parent Community Group here at PCS. They are always looking for families to get involved in anyway that works best for you.

Please make sure to look at the wonderful fundraisers that were sent home. The top seller in middle school for the IMOs fundraiser will earn their classroom a pizza party and the top seller for the Tom Evans anyone that sells 20 items will be able to take a trip in a limo to McDonald’s for lunch!

Our first family night is Tuesday, August 27th at Chick-fil-A. These family nights are a great way to meet other PCS families. Please see the attached flyer for details.

All soccer forms are due August 28!! We are still looking for middle school coaches. Please contact Lisa Simon if you are interested at lrsieve@yahoo.com.

SFE Update…coming soon

Fun Around Town…

Below is the Website for Kids Out & About which lists many free events this weekend


Fri Aug 23  6-9 p.m.

Free Blues Concert under the Arch


August 24-25

Festival of Nations 


Important Upcoming Dates…

8.27.19-Family Night at Chik-Fil-A

8.28.19-Soccer Forms Due

9.2.19-No School

9.3.19-Fall Fundraiser Orders Due

9.4.19-MS Trip Meeting 5:00

9.4-5.19-Cheerleading Tryouts

9.5.19-8th Grade High School Night 5:30-7:30

9.9.19-Board Meeting 4:30

9.19.19-Peace Rally

9.20.19-No School

9.25-26.19-Vision Screening

9.26.19-Fitness Center Ribbon Cutting 9:00

Girls on Fire-Tuesday Meetings 3:30-5:00

Included Attachments

  • August Menu

  • PCG Save The Date Flyer

  • Family Night Flyer