Elementary School

  • Maya Gross
    Kindergarten Teacher
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    Maya Gross
    Kindergarten Teacher
    Maya is very excited to be beginning her teaching career at LPA, in the same classroom she completed her student teaching in. Maya graduated from Saint Louis University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a specialization in early childhood. She is passionate about instilling a love of learning in our youngest learners. She believes in allowing children to explore their personal interests and inquiries and providing a strong social emotional curriculum for her students. When she is not teaching, Maya enjoys watching movies with her family and having picnics with friends at Forest Park.
  • Jessica Clark
    Kindergarten Teacher
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    Jessica Clark
    Kindergarten Teacher
  • Amy Hertert
    First Grade Teacher
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    Amy Hertert
    First Grade Teacher
    Amy Hertert joined the first grade team at Lafayette Preparatory Academy in 2014. Amy moved to St. Louis from Oregon where she taught for 4 years. Amy graduated from the University of Oregon in 2008 with a bachelors degree in education and a bachelors degree in ethnic studies. In 2009 she received her masters degree in educational studies. Before attending graduate school, she worked for several years providing early intervention services for young children and has a strong background in differentiated instruction. She is dedicated to supporting each student individually and creating a learning environment that is purposeful, meaningful, and empowering. When Amy is not teaching, she loves reading, gardening, and riding her bike around the city.
  • Kayomi Williams
    First Grade Teacher
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    Kayomi Williams
    First Grade Teacher
    Kayomi Williams is excited to be in her second year at LPA. She is a native of St. Louis and graduated from the University of Missouri- St. Louis last year. She has one son who is a great basketball player and Playstation gamer. Kayomi has been in education for the last seven years working as a Teacher's Assistant and long term substitute. She has worked at many schools in the St. Louis area. Kayomi loves spending time with family and friends. Her favorite thing to do is to sing karaoke. She loves watching her students get excited about learning and reaching their goals.
  • Lisa Carlin
    Second Grade Teacher
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    Lisa Carlin
    Second Grade Teacher
    Lisa graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2011 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Lisa began working at LPA in the 2014-2015 school year. Before working at LPA, Lisa gained experience in both early childhood and special education settings. Lisa resides in St. Louis with her family. When she is not working, she loves to read, watch movies, and be outside. Lisa believes that teaching is a lifelong learning process. She is consistently inspired by the LPA community of teachers, parents, and students to learn and grow more. She works to instill that same love of learning in her students.
  • Sarah Demezier
    Second Grade Teacher
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    Sarah Demezier
    Second Grade Teacher
    Sarah was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is Haitian-American and speaks Haitian Creole fluently. Sarah attended Stony Brook University in New York where she received a BA in English. In 2011, Sarah moved to St. Louis and started her career as an Early childhood educator with the support of Teach For America-St. Louis. Sarah worked at Sigel Elementary as a preschool teacher for 3 years. During her time at Sigel, she gained her MEd in Early Childhood Education at University of Missouri-St. Louis. She was a Kindergarten teacher for 4 years at LPA and is now going into her second year as a second grade teacher. She enjoys reading, singing, loves to try new food, and spending quality time with friends, family, and her dog Pharah. Ms. Demezier believes in building independence in children and instilling a love for learning for a lifetime with her belief in 5 principles: kids are scholars, kids are responsible for the choices they make, kids are independent problem solvers, kids are leaders, and kids are advocates for themselves.
  • Erin Mikel
    Third Grade Teacher
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    Erin Mikel
    Third Grade Teacher
    Erin Mikel is in her fifth year of teaching and third year with the LPA team. She teaches 3rd grade with an emphasis in Reading along with sponsoring Student Council. Erin grew up in Eureka and after college she moved to the city. She attended the University of Missouri where she received a bachelor’s degree in Communication and minors in Human Development in Family Sciences and Leadership & Public Service. After college, she joined Teach For America Saint Louis where she taught 2nd and 3rd grade at Aspire Academy. In addition, Erin has earned a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis. Erin loves to spend time with her puppy, Auggie, and crafting. Erin believes that the students at LPA are capable of amazing things and she wants to empower them to take charge of their learning. She can’t wait for your students to join her loving, exciting and innovative treehouse!
  • Michelle Owens
    Third Grade Teacher
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    Michelle Owens
    Third Grade Teacher
  • Dan Clark
    Fourth Grade Teacher
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    Dan Clark
    Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Matthew Dade
    4th Grade Teacher
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    Matthew Dade
    4th Grade Teacher
  • Brittani Wade
    Dean of Students (K-4)
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    Brittani Wade
    Dean of Students (K-4)
    Brittani Wade is the current Elementary Dean of Students for Lafayette Preparatory Academy. She is passionate about building genuine relationships with staff, students, and families. Her work is fueled by her understanding and appreciation for neuroscience and collectivism. Her work with Responsive Classroom and restorative practice seek create a positive and safe school environment for all students.

Middle School

  • Meghan Bliss
    5/6 Math Teacher
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    Meghan Bliss
    5/6 Math Teacher
    Meg has always loved math, especially because when she was in school she could check her work and know that she was right before turning in her assignments. When she's not problem solving or analyzing data, she enjoys traveling, cooking (and eating!) new foods, reading, hand lettering, spending time outdoors, and going on walks with her dog, Vixen. In the summer, Meg volunteers with the American Youth Foundation at their National Leadership Conference held at Camp Miniwanca, a place where she spent her summers growing up and learned to strive to be her own self, at her very best, all the time.
  • Lester Jones
    5/6 Soc. St. Teacher
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    Lester Jones
    5/6 Soc. St. Teacher
    Lester is very excited to return for another year at LPA as the 5th and 6th grade Social Studies teacher! He graduated from Westminster College in Fulton MO, with his Bachelor of Arts in Curriculum Instruction, and Adolescent Development. He is currently finishing his Masters of Education at Missouri Baptist University.
  • Olivia Pocost
    5/6 Science Teacher
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    Olivia Pocost
    5/6 Science Teacher
    Olivia Pocost is so excited to be back at LPA for a third year to teach the best class ever, 5th and 6th grade science! Prior to LPA, she taught middle school science for two years in the Saint Louis Public School District and spent a year teaching preschool and substitute teaching at Rohan Woods School. Olivia graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in communication and then went on to get her Master’s degree in Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She loves being creative, cooking, and spending time with her two dogs, Rosie and Neera!
  • Emily Stobbe
    5/6 ELA Teacher
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    Emily Stobbe
    5/6 ELA Teacher
    This will be Emily's second year as LPA’s 5th and 6th grade ELA teacher. Before working at LPA, she earned her Master of Arts in Education from Truman State University. She is a St. Louis native who loves reading; doodling; going for walks; eating (but not cooking); playing with her two puppies, Milo and Archie; and laughing with her students. She believes education is one of our greatest opportunities to work for equity, and looks forward to working with her students to build a better world.
  • Valarie Gorza
    7/8 Science Teacher
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    Valarie Gorza
    7/8 Science Teacher
  • Amanda Howard
    7/8 Math Teacher
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    Amanda Howard
    7/8 Math Teacher
    Amanda Howard is excited for her 4th full school year at LPA and her 1st as a classroom teacher. She has spent the last 3 years at the front desk and then bouncing around the school as the building sub. After completing her Masters of Arts in Teaching in December of 2019 she’s finally ready to be in a classroom of her own. She is so excited to join the Middle School team as the 7th and 8th grade math teacher. Amanda spends her free time running through all the different STL neighborhoods and parks, reading, and playing/coaching volleyball. She’s looking forward to bringing her cheesy math jokes to the middle schoolers.
  • Kat Mowczko
    7/8 ELA Teacher
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    Kat Mowczko
    7/8 ELA Teacher
    Kat Mowczko is excited to return to LPA for another year of mock trials, dramatic reenactments, and corny teacher jokes. Reading and writing are the cheese to her macaroni. Mrs. Mowczko graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Anthropology and French and later earned her MSE in Curriculum and Instruction from Missouri Baptist University. She is currently pursuing her MLIS from Mizzou. (Go Tigers!) This will be her tenth year in education. In her free time, Mrs. Mowczko enjoys reading (a lot), baking, and spending time with her husband, Joe; cat, Tookie; and dog, Taco.
  • Amy Stricker
    7/8 Soc. St. Teacher
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    Amy Stricker
    7/8 Soc. St. Teacher
    This is Amy's third year at LPA and she is delighted to have a role on the team building LPA Middle. While Amy has almost 20 years of experience in curriculum research, writing, assessment, and gifted identification; her primary joy is helping middle school students connect with the world and realize their full potential through the social studies classroom.
  • Chip Clatto
    Dean of Students (5-8)
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    Chip Clatto
    Dean of Students (5-8)

Specialists

  • Kate Eckelkamp
    Art Teacher (5-8)
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    Kate Eckelkamp
    Art Teacher (5-8)
    Kate is proud to be teaching another year at LPA and loves adding color to the hallways! Kate has a passion to help students build a legacy of creativity and care. Kate moved to St. Louis from Indianapolis, Indiana to attend Webster University. There she received her Bachelor of Arts in Photography, with a minor in Business, and her Master of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in aesthetic education. This is her 11th year teaching art where she previously was teaching in parochial schools. In addition to teaching, Kate is very involved with her community as President of her neighborhood association. She lives in the city with her husband, Phil, and two wonderful children, Lydia and Noah. When not at school, she loves traveling, watching the Cardinals, gardening, biking, dog sitting, and playing kickball in Tower Grove Park!
  • Emily Jones
    Art Teacher (K-4)
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    Emily Jones
    Art Teacher (K-4)
    Emily is so happy to join the LPA team! She's taught art to preschool through 8th grade. She graduated from Fontbonne University in 2017 with her undergraduate degree in Art Education and is currently enrolled at Lindenwood University working on her graduate degree in Art History. She was raised in St. Louis but enjoys traveling often. Her other interests include painting, reading, kickboxing, and spending time with her dog named Basil.
  • Daniel Baker
    PE Teacher (K-4)
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    Daniel Baker
    PE Teacher (K-4)
    Danny graduated in 2013 with a degree in Kinesiology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He taught Physical Education for five years at a K-8 school in Decatur, Illinois before coming to St Louis in 2019. Danny is currently teaching in his 2nd year at LPA, this year teaching K-4 students. He is also the proud parent to a 1st grade student at LPA. When he is not teaching, he loves spending time with his fiance and daughter, going on outdoor adventures, playing games, watching movies & shows, and hanging out with friends. Danny has a passion for PE and wants to instill his love for physical activity, games, and sports to all of his students.
  • Allison Cousins
    Athletics Director / PE Teacher (5-8)
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    Allison Cousins
    Athletics Director / PE Teacher (5-8)
    Coach Cousins is the Athletics Director and 5-8th Grade Physical Education Teacher. Coach Cousins is passionate about helping student athletes find a balance of mental and physical health through fitness, sports and community. She deeply values the life skills of cooperation, problem solving, work ethic and teamwork that are built through various aspects of physical education and sports programs. In her free time, Coach Cousins enjoys running, reading, enjoying delicious food, playing with her two kids, exploring new cities and watching (or preferably playing) sports. She attended the University of Alabama, Huntsville earning a BA in English, Secondary Education while playing four years of collegiate volleyball. She continued her education at the University of Western Oregon obtaining a Masters in Management and Information Technology. This year, Coach Cousins is looking forward to building an Athletics Program at LPA.
  • Joe Burress
    Music Teacher
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    Joe Burress
    Music Teacher
    Joe is so excited to begin his second year at LPA as music teacher. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Eastern Illinois University and his Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Memphis. In addition to teaching music at LPA, Joe maintains an active schedule of playing and teaching drums and percussion and has toured and recorded in a variety of settings throughout the Midwest and Mid-South areas. Outside of teaching and performing, Joe enjoys reading, the outdoors, and spending time with his daughters, Holland and Harper, and his wife, Bethany.
  • Sarah Hunt
    Technology Teacher
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    Sarah Hunt
    Technology Teacher
    Sarah Hunt is excited to begin her fifth year at LPA. As the technology teacher, Mrs. Hunt enjoys working with students to build basic computer skills and dynamic portfolios. A St. Louis native, Mrs. Hunt graduated from Webster University with B.A. degrees in Studio Art and Communications, and graduate school at University of Missouri – St. Louis. She has worked with The French School at St. Louis Language Immersion Schools and also as a graphic designer in the nonprofit sector. Mrs. Hunt enjoys cooking, reading, working on projects around the new house, and spending time with her husband, Colin, and three dogs, Texas, Journey, and Sirius.

Special Education

  • Jodi Boyd
    Federal Programs Coordinator
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    Jodi Boyd
    Federal Programs Coordinator
    Jodi Boyd is excited to begin her Fifth year with the LPA team. Jodi graduated from Missouri Baptist University in 2011 with her degree in Early Childhood, Elementary and K-12 Cross-Categorical Special Education. She worked with the Special School District of St. Louis County for four years in an early childhood special education classroom and was then chosen to help start an intensive behavior intervention team in May 2012. While working on the behavior intervention team, she had the opportunity to work in districts all over St. Louis County helping students with high frequency and high intensity behaviors become successful within their classroom. Jodi believes that all students can succeed and enjoys helping them reach their fullest potential. She is happy to be a part of establishing Lafayette Prep and their Special Education program. In her free time, Jodi likes hanging out with her friends and family, exploring the city and spending time outdoors.
  • Gianni Gardiner
    Special Ed. Teacher
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    Gianni Gardiner
    Special Ed. Teacher
    Gianni Gardiner is excited to be a part of the special education team at LPA. Gianni is both a parent and a teacher at LPA - her two children, Milo (4th) and Scout (3rd) also love being a part of our LPA community. Gianni has a master's in social work and worked in social work education and evaluation, specializing in and teaching research methods, prior to coming to LPA. She has taught learners of all ages, from Kindergarten through graduate school, and finds something special about teaching at all levels. She has a firm belief that all people deserve the opportunity to learn, and is excited to support the growth and learning of all students in an intentionally diverse environment. When she is not at school Gianni enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, making music with her sisters, and finding a few spare minutes to stick her nose in a good book.
  • Kaelin Lawler
    Special Education Teacher
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    Kaelin Lawler
    Special Education Teacher

Operations

  • Ciera Major
    Operations Manager
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    Ciera Major
    Operations Manager
    Ciera is excited to continue to expand her knowledge with all things school operations. She is a graduate of East Alton Wood River High School with secondary education from Lewis and Clark Community College as well as the Southern IL University of Edwardsville. Her love for learning began at a young age and she is committed to the belief that ever child deserves a quality education. As she approaches her 5th year living in the city Ciera continues to love developing partnerships in the community. Before LPA Ciera directed 2 afterschool programs and was a Teacher’s Assistant at Montessori Children’s House in Godfrey IL. In her free time she enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends, exploring the city, and spending time outdoors with her 2 labs.
  • Wes Marino
    Facilities Manager
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    Wes Marino
    Facilities Manager
  • Tyler McCann
    Operations Asst.
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    Tyler McCann
    Operations Asst.
  • Ta’Nisha Pirtle
    Office Assistant
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    Ta’Nisha Pirtle
    Office Assistant
    Ta'Nisha is a proud LPA Lion and is thrilled to provide administrative support to the LPA team. She is a graduate of Jennings Senior High School and is currently majoring in Educational Studies at Harris Stowe State University. When she is not working, she likes to spend her spare time reading books and enjoys baking for her friends and family.
  • Jana Tunell
    Office Assistant
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    Jana Tunell
    Office Assistant
  • Kristine Wentzien
    Office Manager
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    Kristine Wentzien
    Office Manager
    Kristine is excited to join the LPA team! She comes to us from the Carondelet Leadership Academy where she was the Business Manager for 7 years. Mrs. Wentzien is a graduate of Truman State University with a B.A. in Business Administration. Born and raised in St. Louis, she loves to explore and enjoy the city and its parks, see live music, enjoy great food, and spend time with her family and their dog Russell. She is looking forward to a great school year at LPA!

Support Staff

  • D. Buckingham
    Teacher Assistant
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    D. Buckingham
    Teacher Assistant
  • Deja Miller
    Teacher Assistant
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    Deja Miller
    Teacher Assistant
  • Ebony Sanders
    Teacher Assistant
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    Ebony Sanders
    Teacher Assistant
    Hi! My name is Ebony Sanders. I am so happy to be apart of the LPA team. I am currently working on a degree in Educational Studies at Harris Stowe State University. I enjoy listening to music, binge watching old TV shows, and traveling . I have 2 pretty cool kiddos, Kaylin who attends LPA and a son named Miles. I have been in the education field for over 10 years and have grown so much. The LPA community has been amazing and I am so thankful to share my world with you! “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”- Nelson Mandela
  • Roberta Williams
    School Librarian
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    Roberta Williams
    School Librarian
    Roberta Williams retired from her 20+ year career teaching preschool and kindergarten in a suburb of Los Angeles and moved to St Louis in 2015. She is very happy to have joined LPA, where she can continue working with children and sharing her love of reading. She enjoys welcoming students to the LPA library and is on call to help out in any way LPA needs her. She earned her BA in Elementary Education at Ball State University, Certificate in Early Childhood Development from UCLA and Masters in Multicultural Education from the University of California, Dominguez Hills. When not at LPA, she might be scraping away at 100+ years of paint in her historic home, riding her bike around Tower Grove Park, or digging in her garden.
  • Natalie Gould
    School Counselor
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    Natalie Gould
    School Counselor
    Natalie Gould- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) Natalie has been a part of the LPA team since January 2017. She specializes in child and adolescent counseling. Mrs. Gould has a Master’s degree in Clinical/Counseling Psychology and a Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is currently finishing training hours to become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and hopes to be done December 2021. Natalie assists staff, parents, and children to build resilience and skills to succeed both socially and academically. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, being outdoors, and playing with her family.
  • Jill McInnis
    Instructional Coach
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    Jill McInnis
    Instructional Coach
    Jill McInnis is excited to be in her 8th year at Lafayette Preparatory Academy. Jill works as an Instructional Coach at LPA. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2009 with her degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, and from UMSL in 2018 with her Masters in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading. She loves teaching Reading and Writing! Jill has experience working with students from many different backgrounds in both St. Louis County and St. Louis City, and she was a founding Kindergarten teacher at LPA. Jill loves working at Lafayette Prep! When she is not at LPA, Jill likes to hang out with her friends and family, catch a musical at the Muny or the Fox, travel, read, walk her dog, and explore this wonderful city.
  • Christy Murphy
    Instructional Coach
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    Christy Murphy
    Instructional Coach
    Christy is excited to be part of the LPA instructional team and loves working with LPA's mathematicians and scientists! Before transitioning to a coaching role, Christy was a fourth grade teacher at LPA for two years. She also taught third grade and worked as a Program Director for a mentoring and tutoring program in Saint Louis Public Schools. She attended William Jewell College and Lindenwood University, earning her M.A.T. in Elementary Education. Her unwavering belief in the unique gifts of every student drives her teaching every single day. Christy is from rural Missouri, but now enjoys living in Benton Park. She frequents ice cream shops, hiking trails, and the many restaurants along Cherokee Street with her husband, two kids, and Benny the pug.
  • Emily Robertson
    Instructional Coach/ Curriculum Specialist
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    Emily Robertson
    Instructional Coach/ Curriculum Specialist
    Emily Robertson teaches fourth grade at LPA and serves as instructional coach for the K-2 learning team. Before coming to LPA, Emily has worked with students in a range of capacities and locations, from urban middle schools in Durham, North Carolina, to rural primary schools in Muhuru Bay, Kenya. Emily also taught elementary school at a charter school in north St. Louis for several years before coming to LPA. Emily attended Duke University in North Carolina and is originally from South Carolina. She is happy to call St. Louis home and be part of the revitalization movement in our city!
  • Sarah Ranney
    Executive Director
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    Sarah Ranney
    Executive Director
    Dr. Sarah Ranney has been with LPA since 2014 and is a proud LPA parent to a 5th grader and student support dog (Lucy). She believes that every child has an inalienable right to attain an excellent education no matter their economic status, residential location, or background. Sarah joined LPA after four years working as an instructional coach with Teach For America where she focused on developing Early Childhood and Elementary teachers across the metropolitan area. She supported more than 300 teachers in more than 40 schools during her tenure there. Prior to Teach For America, Sarah spent several years in the classroom in the St. Louis Public Schools and an Independent, Private School. Sarah has an Ed.D in School Administration as well as an Education Specialist and Masters in School Administration from the University of Missouri- St. Louis, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University, a Bachelor of Arts in Media Relations and a Bachelor of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is a certified teacher, Principal, and Superintendent. Sarah is also a Doula and Certified Lactation Counselor. When not at school, you might find her playing strategic games like War Chest or Settlers of Catan or hanging out in Tower Grove park with her family.
  • David Bosch
    Head of School
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    David Bosch
    Head of School
    Dave is thrilled to be LPA's Head of School this school year! This will be his 8th year working at LPA. Before becoming the Head of School, Dave served as the Middle School Dean of Students and spent time teaching 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th grade. Previously, Dave worked as a 4th and 5th grade classroom teacher in the St. Louis Public School District and founded the DIG it! after-school volleyball program for girls in the city. As a lifelong St. Louis citizen Dave is excited about continuing to help LPA work toward its mission and vision. Dave has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from St. Louis University (SLU), a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and Teaching from the University of Missouri-St.Louis (UMSL), and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Marquette University. He is also currently working toward his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from SLU. You can catch him trying new restaurants around the city, cooking for his wife Mrs. Robertson-Bosch, walking his dog Charlie around the park, or spending time with his new son Robbie.