Mr. Joel Rademeyer, 6th grade Integrated Science teacher, was recently named Parkway South Middle's Teacher of the Year for the 2012-13 school year.
After graduating from Truman State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Master's degree in Education, Rademeyer began his 14 year career as an educator.
Originally Mr. Rademeyer had planned to teach high school science after obtaining certification to teach through the high school level. However, after a teacher retired at South Middle mid-year, he finished the year as a long-term substitute. Rademeyer has been teaching at South Middle ever since.
"When I began teaching at South, I taught science to 8th grade students. Around my 5th year of teaching, I transitioned to teaching 6th graders where I have taught both Communication Arts and science. I have a great team of teachers I work with and really enjoy this grade level.", he explains.
Rademeyer loves the enthusiasm and curiosity this young students show each year. His goal is to keep them engaged and asking questions. One peer who nominated Rademeyer to receive this honor stated. "I have had the pleasure to proctor Joel's 6th grade science class on more than one occasion and have enjoyed and been amazed by his use of technology, organization and creativity in the classroom. The kids all love him and speak very highly of him!"
In the summer of 2011, Rademeyer was awarded a Saint Louis Science Center grant to further his education and depth of knowledge in the archeology and paleontology fields. From this field study, he was able to take the experience and bring it into his classroom beginning in the 2011-12 school year.
"Students in the Parkway School District attend a week-long Outdoor School held at Camp Lakewood (YMCA of the Ozarks) during their sixth grade year. During the five days students are engaged in numerous experiential learning activities which teach them about the natural environment, engages them in cooperative and interpersonal skills, and teach them a variety of outdoor skills. The unit that I have incorporated is an archeology/paleontology unit. During this activity, students apply the methods used by archaeologists and scientists in locating artifacts and collecting data. They learn the everyday skills used by professionals in the field," (To read more about his grant experience, you can access a link here.)
Joel Rademeyer has been married 6 years to Marcy, who is also a 6th grade teacher (English Language) for Parkway Central Middle. They have a daughter who is beginning her own Parkway education and a son who is still in preschool.
"It is a great honor to be selected and to be chosen by my peers. There are a lot of great teachers and to be recognized is an amazing honor." Rademeyer says.
Mr. Rademeyer will receive a staff recognition celebration in the building, a plaque, and an upcoming appreciation celebration by the Parkway Board of Education.