UPPER SCHOOL FACULTY | GRADES 3–6
UPPER SCHOOL DIVISION DIRECTOR [Grades 3-6]
Came to Forsyth: 1996
Education: BA History & African American Studies, Carleton College; MAT, Washington University
Mr. Shelton spent his first 18 years at Forsyth in the classroom teaching Grade 6 social studies and helped expand memory mapping in the upper grades. He received both ISSL Teacher of Distinction and Emerson Excellence in Teaching awards. Mr. Shelton is an outdoor education enthusiast. He designed the Forsyth Adventure Center beginning with the installation of the high beam in 1998, followed by the addition of the high ropes course and climbing wall in 2006. Mr. Shelton has led the development of Forsyth’s challenge education curriculum, trained his colleagues, and has been instrumental in helping the faculty integrate challenge and challenge education into the curriculum across all grade levels. He is a founding Steering Committee member of Experiential Education Exchange. Not surprisingly, he loves adventure travel, sailing, camping, and curling! As Upper Division Director, Mr. Shelton is responsible for teaching and learning in Grades 3-6, and he guides the transition to secondary school in Grade 6.
Grade 3: Jen Ulsas, Ryan Howard, Meredith Harris, Regina Stone
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN GRADE 3:
1. Wagons West Expo
2. Daniel Boone Field Trip
3. Saving the wolves – our community service project
4. Wonder Week
5. Continent Celebration
Meredith Harris | Math, Social Studies
Years teaching: 16
Came to Forsyth: 2008
Education: BS in Secondary Education, Indiana University
Mrs. Harris taught at the Isidore Newman School, an independent school in New Orleans, before moving back to her hometown. She has been an editor of the Forsyth Flash Yearbook. Mrs. Harris has served as chair of the Character Education and chair of the Assessment Committees; she coaches soccer and T-ball; and she leads Summer Discovery camps.
Ryan Howard | Math, Social Studies
Years teaching: 10
Came to Forsyth: 2011
Education: BA Anthropology, Missouri State University
Before he came to Forsyth, Mr. Howard lived and taught in Houston. At Forsyth, you’ll find Mr. Howard in the after-school Math Lab; he’s a 3-season Forsyth coach; and is the Forsyth School Student Council advisor. In the summer, Mr. Howard leads Summer Discovery camps, often sports or game-related.
Regina Stone | Language Arts
Years teaching: 33
Came to Forsyth: 1995
Education: BS in Elementary Education, Southern Illinois University
Prior to joining the Forsyth faculty, Mrs. Stone taught at Rossman School and Bunker Hill Elementary. Mrs. Stone has also taught fourth grade at Forsyth. She leads the New Faculty Mentor Program with colleague Donna Militello; she has coached Girls on the Run; and in the summer, Mrs. Stone leads Summer Discovery camps. Mrs. Stone is an editor of the Forsyth Flash Yearbook. Notable professional development opportunities for Mrs. Stone include the Lucy Calkins Readers Workshop at Teachers College, Columbia University in NYC, and the International Literacy Association Conference. Mrs. Stone has been recognized as an ISSL Teacher of Distinction.
Jen Ulsas | Language Arts
Years teaching: 11
Came to Forsyth: 2015
Education: BS in Elementary Education, University Missouri St. Louis; MS in Education, Southern Baptist University
Before coming to Forsyth, Mrs. Ulsas taught in Mehlville School District. Mrs. Ulsas’ professional recognition includes Elementary Teacher of the Year – Mehlville School District, Emerson Excellence in Education, and Missouri Teacher of the Year nominee, among others.
Grade 4: Leah Hooper, Kristin Veldhuizen, Beckii Pittman, Bil Mermis
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN GRADE 4:
1. The Museum of the American Revolution
2. Mapping the United States from memory
3. The 2-day trip to Jefferson City
4. The Grade 4 Stream Team project in Forest Park
5. The Grade 4 American Revolution Play
Leah Hooper | Language Arts
Years teaching: 12
Came to Forsyth: 2012
Education: BS Elementary Education, Centre College
Before she moved to St. Louis, Mrs. Hooper taught in Nashville and at an independent school in Newport News. She has taken courses in environmental education in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Mrs. Hooper is co-chair of the Language Arts Committee, has coached basketball, and on the lighter side, she has also chaired the Fall Picnic Student Bake-off, a delicious opportunity.
Bil Mermis | Math, Social Studies
Years teaching: 34
Came to Forsyth: 2004
Education: BS in Social Sciences, Webster University
In addition to teaching math and social studies, Mr. Mermis is a veteran outdoor education teacher. Challenge Days in the Forsyth Adventure Center and Forsyth camping trips benefit from Mr. Mermis’ experience. At Forsyth, Mr. Mermis has served on the Social Studies, Character Education and Math Committees. Outside of school life, he coaches elite ice hockey teams.
Beckii Pittman | Language Arts
Years teaching: 41
Came to Forsyth: 2004
Education: BS, George Mason University
Mrs. Pittman taught for many years in Virginia public schools and also served as head of school at Appletree Academy for 12 years. At Forsyth, Mrs. Pittman has served on the Language Arts and Character Education committees; she mentors new faculty; and leads Summer Discovery camps. Professional development opportunities include The Reading Project at Columbia University’s Teachers College and the International Literacy Association Conference.
Kristin Veldhuizen | Math, Social Studies
Years teaching: 10
Came to Forsyth: 2011
Education: BA Elementary Education, Concordia College
Mrs. Veldhuizen taught in a private elementary school in Collinsville before coming to Forsyth. She is co-chair of the Math Committee, serves on the Social Studies Committee, and has coached Forsyth girls soccer teams.
Grade 5: Nichole Kohrs, John McGinley, Dana Lenzen, Mike Pieroni
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN GRADE 5:
1. The Grade 5 Greek Museum
2. Mapping Central & South America from memory
3. The Grade 5 camping trip
4. Art with the Nicholas Aaron Aitken Artist-in-Residence
5. The Grade 5 Greek mythology play
Dana Lenzen | Language Arts, Social Studies
Years teaching: 32
Came to Forsyth: 2015
Education: BA in Elementary Education, Southeast Missouri State University; MA in Social Studies, Webster University; MA in Social Guidance Counseling, University Missouri
Mrs. Lenzen was an elementary classroom teacher and a guidance counselor in the Lindbergh School District for over 25 years. At Forsyth she serves on the Language Arts and Social Studies Committees.
John McGinley | Language Arts, Social Studies
Years teaching: 8
Came to Forsyth: 2010
Education: BS in Journalism, University of Kansas; MAT in Education, McKendree University
Mr. McGinley taught at an elementary school in Illinois, and before that he was a reporter for the Highland News Leader. At Forsyth, he is chair of the Social Studies Committee and leads the Forsyth Spelling Bee. Mr. McGinley coaches basketball and T-ball and leads Summer Discovery camps.
Mike Pieroni | Math
Years teaching: 9
Came to Forsyth: 2017
Education: BA in Education, Harris-Stowe University
Mr. Pieroni taught math at Community School for 7 years, and before that he taught at Confluence Academy and Imagine Academy in St. Louis. Mr. Pieroni was a scholar athlete in college, so it’s no surprise to find him on the playing fields. He has coached baseball, soccer and basketball at John Burroughs, and basketball at Community School.
Grade 6: Susan Zareh, Joe Kaminski, Jamie Paradise, Anne Deken
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN GRADE 6:
1. Walking the high beam
2. Mapping the world from memory
3. TWO Grade 6 camping trips
4. Studying the human body in science
5. The Grade 6 Shakespeare play
6. The house & the bridge projects in math
7. Graduating from Forsyth School!
Anne Deken | Grade 6 Science
Years teaching: 18
Came to Forsyth: 2008
Education: BS in Psychology, Truman State University; Masters in Elementary Education, Truman State University; Middle School Science Teaching Endorsement, Truman State University
Before she came to Forsyth, Mrs. Deken taught science and language arts in both public and parochial schools in Kansas City, St. Charles, and St. Louis. At Forsyth, she taught science to Grades 2-5 before moving into the sixth grade science position in 2015; she chairs the Science Committee. In 2012, Mrs. Deken and Mr. Paradise were the first recipients of the Sayers/Williams Endowment Award. She received a Missouri Department of Conservation Discover Grant, initiated Forsyth’s Stream Team, and serves on the Go Green Forsyth! Committee.
Joe Kaminski | Social Studies
Years teaching: 5
Came to Forsyth: 2013
Education: BS in Science Geography, Southern Illinois University; Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Southern Illinois University
Mr. Kaminski worked as a graduate research assistant with SIUE’s Curriculum and Instruction Department and spent his summers working as a team leader at Quantum Learning Network before joining the Forsyth faculty. He serves on the Social Studies Committee, is our video expert, has introduced 3D printing and iMovie to Forsyth kids, and leads Summer Discovery camps.
Jamie Paradise | Language Arts
Years teaching: 23
Came to Forsyth: 2005
Education: BS in Literature & Language, Webster University; Masters in Secondary Education, University Missouri-St. Louis
Mr. Paradise taught high school before joining the Forsyth faculty. He serves on the Language Arts Committee and coaches basketball and baseball. In 2012, Mr. Paradise and Mrs. Deken were the first recipients of the Sayers/Williams Endowment Award. Forsyth professional development took Mr. Paradise to Port Townsend, WA, for a 2-week writing workshop.
Susan Zareh | Math
Years teaching: 17
Came to Forsyth: 2000
Education: BA in Accounting, University of Illinois; Masters in Education, Webster University
For 8 years, Mrs. Zareh taught Grade 3 math and social studies before moving to sixth grade to teach math. She began her career in public accounting and then pursued her master’s in education. She taught in the Webster School District before coming to Forsyth. Mrs. Zareh is passionate about sustainability. She is co-chair of the Go Green Forsyth! Committee, serves on the board of St. Louis Earth Day, and has led our Green Schools Quest projects. Mrs. Zareh is an ISSL Teacher of Distinction.