Introducing Our Onsite Learning Team

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Alison Slama – Onsite 3- and 4-Year-Old Teacher

Alison came to City Academy in 2019 to launch the first three- and four-year-old classroom in the newly expanded Early Childhood Center. Alison has over 10 years of experience in early childhood education.

Alison is a St. Louis local and a graduate of MICDS. She went on to earn a BA in Psychology and Early Childhood Education and a Teaching Certificate from Webster University, and a MA in Special Education, also from Webster University.

In her free time, Alison enjoys hiking, playing and watching sports, and spending time with her friends and family.

Michelle Williams – Junior Kindergarten Classroom Monitor

Michelle has worked in the Kid’s Club at Gold’s Gym for many years, and was also a stay-at-home mom for over 18 years. Now that her daughter has grown up, she has rejoined the work force, and this will be her second year at City Academy. She has always had a heart for children, and is so excited to see students back at school!

Eryn Hughes – Junior Kindergarten Classroom Monitor

Eryn is currently in college and is a veteran of working with children. The oldest of 5 (including 4 year old twin sisters), she has helped her parents since the age of 12 with babysitting and her younger siblings school work.

She has enjoyed being there to set a good example for her siblings, and watching them grow and learn from her. Like her siblings, she is looking forward to keeping City Academy students safe and making them laugh.

Zannetta Curry – Kindergarten Classroom Monitor

Kindergarten students may recognize Zanetta, as she joined the City Academy team last year as part of the Junior Kindergarten Extended Day staff. She is excited to be back this year, in the classroom with our on-site learners!

Rozlynn Claxton – First Grade Classroom Monitor

Rozlynn is excited to join the City Academy team. She loves helping children learn and what she can learn from them as well. She enjoys being a part of building a successful future for our kids, and the priceless look of accomplishment they have when they have successfully learned.

Arkia Rusan – First Grade Classroom Monitor

Arkia has strived for a career in elementary school since elementary school, because of the great teachers she had that created a wonderful learning experience. She believes that children are our future and the best way to teach them is to start early. She is excited to be a part of the City Academy team, and your child’s education!

Darnell Irving – Second Grade Classroom Monitor

Darnell is a graduate of Gateway Institute and Technology High School, where he was involved in ROTC, athletics, and Junior Achievement. He later earned a degree in nutrition and hospitality from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. After college, Darnell worked at the Westin St. Louis for 12 years, eventually working his way up the ranks to become the executive sous chef. Most recently he was the executive chef and food and beverage director at the Hilton by the Arch. Darnell and his wife, who works for United Healthcare and Mary Kay, have two sons, 10 years and six months old.

Chanell Beverly – Third Grade Classroom Monitor

Chanell has a B.A. Degree in Sociology and over 20 years of professional  experience working with children in the areas of residential living, community and in-school mentoring,  case management and in-home based services. She has extensive knowledge of the welfare and juvenile system.

Her main goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of children. She loves that there is never a boring moment when working with kids. She strives to build a trusting relationship with her students, to ensure that they will be heard and their needs will be met.

Trenell Jones – Third Grade Classroom Monitor

Trenell loves working with children because she loves to see where their little imagination goes. She is proud to have a positive effect on a young mind at such a crucial age. Working with children keeps her young , fun and energetic.

Stephanie Briggs – Fourth Grade Classroom Monitor

Stephanie Briggs is a graduate of City Academy’s Class of 2009, and is very excited to return to aid teachers and students this year! She graduated with her degree in African & African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and during her 4 years she worked with 3rd-8th grade students at SLPS. Stephanie volunteered a mentor all 4 years in City Academy & WashU’s STRIVE For College mentorship program, and served as President of the program her senior year. Her service to our students ultimately earned her City Academy’s Alumni Service Award, and she is grateful to continue giving back to the school that has supported her over the last decade. Feel free to say hello!

Kevin Gates – Fifth Grade Classroom Monitor

Kevin is a father of seven, and also has seven grandchildren. As a child he babysat often for his aunt’s children. He is currently in school and will graduate in August of 2021 with a degree in human services. He hopes to open up a home for children in the foster care system. Kevin is excited to be a part of the team at City Academy!

Barbara Jackson – Sixth Grade Classroom Monitor

Barbara Jackson, affectionately called “Ms. J” by all; has worked with students of all ages during her seven- year tenure with City Academy. She decided to come out of retirement and accepted a position at City Academy only to discover how much she enjoys working with kids. Ms. J says,  “the children know that I believe learning is their priority”. In addition to teaching our 6th grade class, Ms. J continues to work as a Senior Commercial model.

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Congratulations Class of 2020!

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Last Friday was our last day of virtual learning for our graduating sixth graders, and while graduation has been delayed, we still found ways to celebrate the class of 2020!

Teachers and staff visited graduates to deliver yard signs, mementos and gifts to each sixth grader, and even got to see most of them (from a safe distance).

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Third and Fourth Grade Scientists Zoom with Fox 2 Meteorologist Chris Higgins

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Students in third and fourth grade science classes wrapped up their ecology unit this week with a livestream Q & A with Fox 2 meteorologist Chris Higgins.

The unit began with creating nature journals to record daily abiotic elements of weather such as temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind and clouds. After students practiced recording data, they incorporated analysis in small ways by looking at how the weather/abiotic elements interacted with the biotic elements such as the plants, animals, and us!

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Learning at Home – Tips from Our Counselor

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As the City Academy community moves online, our faculty and staff are hard at work making sure that students and families are supported through these challenges. Counselor Joan Bates shared these tips for setting a schedule for learning at home that works for each family:

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Third Grade Wax Museum Project

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Every year, City Academy’s third grade class completes a Wax Museum project. Each scholar chooses a historical figure to research and eventually portray in the living Wax Museum. To prepare for the presentation, students write a research paper, draw a portrait, and create a display backdrop about their chosen historical figure.

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Extended Day Program Teaches Business Skills

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Students in the Cricut Crafting Extended Day program did an excellent job selling their Dear Black Girl/Boy, Africa is the Heartbeat, and Africa is in My DNA shirts for Black History Month. Their project incorporated 4 out of the 7 Nguzo Sabo (Kwanzaa) principles during this project: Umoja (Unity), Ujima (Collective Works and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) and Kuumba (Creativity).

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African-American Family Celebration

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As part of Black History Month celebrations, City Academy annually hosts an African-American Heritage Celebration for our students and families. This years’ celebration, “A Kaleidoscope of Excellence: Stories and Portraits that Celebrate African-American Heritage,” was held on February 27, 2020, and offered families a chance to explore different activities and presentations celebrating African-American culture.

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Graduation Ceremony 2019 | Speech by Jordyn Jefferson

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Good evening, my name is Jordyn Jefferson. The best way to describe myself as a student at City Academy is through the lens of a rose.

Roses are fragrant, attractive, bright and colorful and when they bloom, they illuminate grace and beauty. They appreciate sunny skies and rainy nights with intentional thorns that protect them from harm.

Today, I stand as the delicate rose I just described, but I didn’t start City Academy as a rose already bloomed. I was a seed, eager to sprout. I began growing my roots that gave me stability. With each spurt of growth, I became resilient and firm. Not even a strong storm could weaken my stem or cause me despair. Each time I gained knowledge, a petal formed. There were times my petals frayed from disappointments and failures, but always another petal would bloom causing me to have hope.

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Graduation Ceremony 2019 | Speech by Jayden Cooley

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Reaching the Summit

Good evening my name is Jayden Cooley. I believe my classmate, Alex, with whom I’ve shared my journey with since junior kindergarten used the analogy of his experience at City Academy as a rollercoaster ride. I would agree. We have experienced some really great times at City Academy and I have enjoyed the ride as well, Alex. But allow me to share my experience at City Academy. Since I can remember, I have always been fascinated with mountains. Not necessarily inclined to climb one, but metaphorically or symbolically. Symbolically, the thought of climbing a mountain represents a sense of achievement. Even with a few stumbles and sudden shifts; reaching the summit seems gratifying. Something similar to my time at City Academy.

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