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Fifth Grade

Annie Menees

Annie dreamed of being a teacher as a little girl playing “school” in her driveway with the neighborhood children. She attended Vanderbilt University on a full athletic scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude as the Valedictorian for the Peabody College of Education. Beyond her two undergraduate degrees, in Child Development and Cognitive Studies, Annie has earned Masters in Elementary Education from Washington University and Private School Leadership from Columbia University. 

For over a decade, Annie has revelled in the challenge of teaching language arts to fifth and sixth graders at Rossman. She loves taking students on journeys through literature books, making the often dry subject of grammar fun and meaningful for the children, and helping them develop their personalities, voice and confidence through writing and public speaking.

Since she was a teenager, Annie has coached tennis all over St. Louis, including stints at Sunset Tennis Center, Missouri Athletic Club, Chesterfield Athletic Club, Frontenac Racquet Club, Old Warson Country Club, Algonquin Golf Club, MICDS and Visitation Academy. She is currently on hiatus from coaching as she now enjoys spending her extracurricular hours with her young daughter. Her hobbies include reading, writing, hiking, biking, dancing, photography, and learning to play the fiddle and mandolin.

Todd Valdez

Todd can remember the exact day he decided to become a teacher — June 1, 2000. Though happy with his first year working in the communications field, Todd realized he wouldn’t find true fulfillment unless he was having a positive impact on others’ lives. He immediately returned to school to pursue an education degree.

Today, Todd is a doctoral student at Missouri Baptist University. In addition to his extensive training and research, Todd’s education experience includes elementary and middle school teaching positions in the Rockwood School District and Paideia Academy in St. Louis. At Paideia, he also served two years as Director of Instruction and two years as Assistant Principal. Twice, he was awarded “Teacher of the Year.”

Todd enjoys traveling and attending sporting events with his wife and three daughters. He has been playing soccer at various levels for more than 30 years and currently coaches the sport as well.