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First Grade

Julie Smith

Julie is fueled by the joy of working with children and the challenge of creating fun and exciting lessons that enable her students to grasp the foundational knowledge, skills and character traits they will use for the rest of their lives. She enjoys seeking new ideas for Rossman’s first grade classroom at reading, writing and math workshops.

Julie strives to provide children with a strong academic program that challenges them intellectually, stimulates their learning and prepares them to become responsible, productive and caring members of society. She also believes the classroom should be a safe and nurturing environment where children feel comfortable and appreciated and know what is expected of them.

A mother of six, Julie loves to attend her children’s sporting events. Her favorite evenings are those spent out to dinner or at home having a movie or game night with her family. During the summer, you will often find her walking her two dogs in Queeny Park, visiting Starbucks, or reading a memoir.

Arika White

Arika knew at an early age that she wanted to dedicate her career to helping children grow. However, it was traveling abroad that opened her eyes to the full power of education.

In addition to positions in St. Louis’ Clayton and Jennings school districts, Arika has taught children in Tanzania and Thailand. In 2010, she co-founded Cheka School in Arusha, Tanzania. The area’s only free pre-primary school, Cheka also offers adult classes in English and math and supports local families by helping them to establish self-sustaining businesses. Today Arika serves the school as a teaching adviser and co-manager and as its chief fundraiser.

Arika’s heart for serving others is evident in her work at Rossman. She strives to build classroom environments that promote character development, cultural awareness and community service.

Arika holds a master’s degree in elementary education and a reading specialist certification from University of Missouri - St. Louis.