Karen Engelkenjohn, a Gifted Specialist at Reed Elementary, received the March Excellence in Education Award at the March 13, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Karen on this prestigious recognition!
Karen has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 2005, when she took her position at Reed Elementary.
Karen practices what many educators preach. She truly believes that all students have areas of strength and can learn. In the classroom, Karen challenges every student and acknowledges and celebrates the uniqueness of each. She encourages students to ask questions and facilitates lessons in such a way that students assume responsibility for their own learning.
“We would need to search far and wide to find a person with as much commitment to student learning as Karen,” Principal Chris Schreiner has said. “Karen devotes extreme amounts of time both inside and outside of instructional time in order to meet all students’ needs. She is in constant search of learning opportunities that will motivate and inspire students.” Karen utilizes community resources to offer students these experiences; she has partnered with the St. Louis Science Center, Monsanto, and Boeing, just to list a few.
Outside of the school day, Karen meets with students to help them prepare for upcoming competitions or simply to allow them the opportunity to immerse themselves in hands-on activities. Karen also devotes her time as a major contributor to school, district, and community initiatives. She is an active member on numerous building and district committees, such as the Evaluation Committee and Stipend Committee. She also organizes and leads various school events, such as STEM Night, Spelling Bee, and the Noetic Math Competition. Karen was the one to bring robotics to the Ladue School District. Without Karen, the Ladue School District would not be as far along in integrating robotics in all the schools. She continues to be an active participant in the St. Louis FIRST Committee. In fact, she was recipient of the FLL Volunteer of the Year Award.
Karen is also highly respected by her colleagues; she frequently provides training for her peers and other Gifted/Enrichment Teachers in the district, and she supports her fellow teachers by providing them with materials to differentiate for students inside their classrooms.
Karen is an excellent ambassador of Reed Elementary and the Ladue School District. She sets high standards for both students and herself.
Karen was raised in southern California, but St. Louis has been her home since high school. She and her husband, Dennis, have been married for 34 years. The two have three children: Amy, 33; Daniel, 30; and David, 29.
Karen received a Bachelors of Art in Art History from Principia College and her Masters of Education in Special Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.