This recolored photo from the CLAMO yearbook shows what the school looked like long before today's students were here. We take a deeper look at what the school used to look like through profiling nearly 50 graduates in this story. (David Higuchi)
This recolored photo from the CLAMO yearbook shows what the school looked like long before today's students were here. We take a deeper look at what the school used to look like through profiling nearly 50 graduates in this story.

David Higuchi

Those Who Came Before Us

With the school board examining what the ideal "Profile of a Clayton Graduate" should be, the Globe profiles some of CHS's most outstanding graduates.

March 15, 2019

Foreword

Dr. Sean Doherty, Superintendent

Photo from Doherty
Dr. Sean Doherty, Clayton School District Superintendent, is working with the school board to lead an initiative on developing the ideal “Profile of a Graduate.”

Start with the end in mind.

In the development of our Clayton curricula, we use an approach called Backward Design or Understanding by Design. The fundamental formula is the development of learning goals first (the WHY), then determining methods (the HOW) for reaching those goals. Backward Design causes educators to be extremely thoughtful about determining the learning outcomes first before thinking about instruction. It makes logical sense.

I believe our students should always be our WHY and the center of our decisions.

As we reached the sunset of our current strategic plan, I felt compelled to think differently about our approach to it. I researched how other successful learning communities handled the strategic planning process and was intrigued by the concept of the Profile of the Graduate.

Similar to Backward Design, it was starting with end in mind – our students.

In developing a Profile, we need to prioritize what competencies we want for every Clayton graduate. I see this not only influencing what our students are learning, but I also feel it would influence how we are teaching and the culture we promote. In developing our strategic plan, the Profile would hold us accountable to what we want to prioritize and how we will measure our impact beyond standardized assessments.

Once our Profile is developed, it will influence the content of our strategic plan and goals. I want our strategic plan to be the driver of our work and not a document completed out of compliance. I envision a plan that will influence our approach to learning and challenge the mental models of what our schools look like for our students.

In Clayton, I believe we have an opportunity to think differently about how learning might look for our students. My hope is a more personalized and experiential learning. For example, if we truly want our students to be critical thinkers, then we will need to think beyond being purveyors of content. We need to think about what the students can do with that content knowledge to critically analyze relevant problems.

We are a great school district. As a District that is focused on a growth mindset, we need to think about consistent improvement. We cannot be complacent in being a great school district – we need to think about how we can be even greater for our students.

The Profile will provide collective agreement for our goals and cause us to question systems and processes that might need to be transformed to better support student personal growth and learning.

Finally, I believe an integral component of the Profile is having student voice in the process.

Our students’ perspectives, experiences and core values will impact the development of our Profile and ultimately our strategic plan. They are our WHY and will provide the input that will help us be transformational in our thinking and approach to education.

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Profiles

Profiles

Justin Atkinson
Event Planner | 2013
BY GABY MADRIZ
Justin Atkinson carried many of the lessons he learned at CHS into college and has kept them close since.
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Bob Barnes
Corporate Development Officer | 1957
BY SASHA KELLER AND LILA TAYLOR
Bob Barnes graduated in a time filled with school spirit, letter jackets and soda fountains.
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Peter Baugh
Journalism Student | 2015
BY DANIEL COHEN AND LOUIS VAN'T HOFF
The Globe served as a second home to Baugh.
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Kate Berland
Google Marketing | 1999
BY JUSTIN GUILAK
Who knew that something as simple as joining the yearbook could lead you to end up in a high-level marketing position at Google?
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Jacob Blair
Student | 2018
BY KATIE HE
Jacob Blair was an active member of Mock Trial and president of Speech and Debate .
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Robert Cohen
Judge | 1964
BY DAVID HIGUCHI
When his friend explained plans to run for county judge, Cohen saw an opportunity and was up for the challenge.
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Alaina Curran
Journalism Student | 2015
BY SARAH BAKER
"I feel like I am a combination of my education and the opportunities that I’ve sought out for myself."
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Tracy Einstein
Health Instructor | 2009
BY BRIDGET WALSH
"For every ‘no’ there are a million ‘yesses’" was Tracy Einstein's mindset for determining her future.
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Amy Feder
Rabbi | 1997
BY CAMILLE CURTIS
She teaches sermons and classes for her young followers and often thinks fondly of the ways CHS has benefited her adult life.
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Sara Garfinkel
Performing Artist | 2012
BY JOSEPHINE CROSS
Garfinkel has cruised through Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Croatia, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and seen most of Central America.
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Max Fischolowitz-Roberts
History Teacher | 2006
BY MORIAH LOTSOFF
Roberts was involved in theater, show choir, orchestra and community service club.
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Milena Garganigo
District Administrator | 1991
BY JIMMY MALONE
"I adored this place as a student, so I figured I would probably like it as a teacher too."
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Mariclare Gatter
Gap Year | 2018
BY LISE DERKSEN
“I realized I defined my goal more based on the expectations of others than my own motivation, and my gap year came from that realization."
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Shelby Girard
Interior Designer | 2003
BY MICHAEL BERNARD
Shelby Girard attributes much of her success to Clayton’s creative atmosphere.
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Elad Gross
Activist | 2006
BY JACOB LAGESSE AND ELLA CUNEO
When Elad Gross walked into St. Louis City Hall on Jan. 30, he fully expected to get arrested.
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James Heuser
Digital Media | 2004
BY MICHAEL MELINGER AND SHANE LAGESSE
"I had no idea that 15 years out I’d be a sports executive."
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Martisse Hill
Filmmaker | 2005
BY BRIDGET WALSH
Hill has known his passions from a young age and worked hard to make them a reality.
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Sarah Hobson
Ethnodrama | 1993
BY NOOR JERATH
Hobson attributes learning surrounded by students from different backgrounds to her present-day awareness.
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Ben Hochman
Journalist | 1998
BY SARAH FREEDMAN
"I never thought I’d move back to St. Louis and now I don’t think I’ll ever leave."
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Jeff Hochman
Entrepreneur | 1967
BY INGRID STAHL
Jeff Hochman has been a Clayton resident for almost 70 years.
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John Howard
College Athlete | 2015
BY VICTOR WEI AND DANIEL COHEN
A dedicated pitcher, business aficionado, part-time historian and full-time community member, John Howard is more than just a student.
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Maria Hyrc
Student | 2017
BY HONGKAI JIANG
Hyrc fell in love with the outdoors and being able to study and learn more about them
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Dusty Kessler
Photographer | 2011
BY GRACE SNELLING
After having his work published in Rolling Stone in college, he gained exposure to the industry.
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Jason Lawshee
Theater Student | 2016
BY MICHAEL BERNARD AND PAUL LIU
"I realized I enjoyed lighting design in elementary school."
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Will Liebermann
Renovator | 1994
BY RUTHIE PIERSON
Liebermann runs his own business renovating and repurposing historic buildings in the St. Louis area.
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Ryan McAdams
Conductor | 2000
BY LANA XU
McAdams ran the New York Youth Symphony as his first job, and he has continued to work with high school students.
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Shula Neuman
Radio Journalism | 1986
BY JACOB LAGESSE AND LUKA BASSNETT
Shula Neuman, Executive Editor at St. Louis Public Radio and 1986 Clayton graduate, hated her time at CHS.
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Ikshu Neithalath
Doctoral Student | 2011
BY DHEERA RATHIKINDI
"I doubt I will ever forgive myself for the amount of time I wasted doing schoolwork."
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Becca Polinsky
Spanish Student | 2015
BY MAX KELLER
She’s preparing to join Teach for America, a nonprofit that enrolls outstanding teachers in low-income schools.
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Hava Polinsky
Music Student | 2017
BY KAIA MILLS-LEE
Hava Polinsky has pursued her career at perhaps the most prestigious art school in the country: Julliard.
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Ruthie Polinsky
News Anchor | 2011
BY MICHAEL MELINGER
For Ruthie Polinsky, Clayton runs in her blood.
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Louise Post
Musician | 1985
Angela Xiao
After her time at CHS, Post started the rock band Veruca Salt.
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Arti Rai
Law Professor | 1983
BY JUSTIN GUILAK
Obama, science, and law - somehow, Arti Rai's career hits them all.
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Meredith Redick
Non-Profit Leader | 2010
BY SIDDHI NARAYAN
Meredith Redick lives in Alaska, where she runs a post-graduate fellowship program and a non-profit.
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Camille Respess
Journalism Student | 2017
BY KATIE HE
Journalism has been a big part of Respess’s life.
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Sean Rochester
CHS English Teacher | 1997
BY SARA STEMMLER
"Coming back here to teach was always a dream."
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Andy Rochman
Retired | 1964
BY VIVIAN CHEN
Andy Rochman now lives comfortably and retired in St. Louis, the city he grew up in and has lived in his whole life.
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Todd Rubin
Business Executive | 1999
BY MICHAEL BERNARD AND PAUL LIU
"Tea is my passion. Tea is all about ritual."
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Owen St. Germain
Engineering Student | 2018
BY ZACH FISHER
One of his most memorable moments was going to the robotics regional and piloting the robot for the first time.
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Juliana Schafer
Architect | 2005
BY LISE DERKSEN
She attributes her passion for architecture to an experience she had at Clayton.
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Shiori Tomatsu
Musician | 2014
BY DANNY CHOO-KANG AND ASHLEY CHUNG
For a perfectionist like Shiori Tomatsu, making even a small mistake could become a major source of stress.
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Kevin Wall
Activist | 1998
BY KEILAN MORRISSEY
He fell in love with the free nature of the circus and how every member is just as important as another.
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Anna Widder
Engineering / Classics Student | 2015
BY ASHLEY CHUNG, SONIA PALAMAND, AND DANNY C-K
“I’m here to go to school, I’m going to learn stuff.”
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Sarah Widder
Student | 2016
BY ZACH FISHER
"Everything Sarah did, both in and outside of class, was stellar."
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Corrine Yap
Actress | 2012
BY SOFIA ERLIN
Corrine Yap is an actor, a playwright, a mathematician and a lover of purple.
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Tong Zhao
Student | 2018
BY KAITLYN TRAN
Zhao will always remember the memories he created over his four years at Clayton High School.
Read Profile
Jake Zimmerman
County Assessor | 1992
BY DAVID HIGUCHI
Becoming County Assessor was never something Jake Zimmerman imagined.
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