Student Standouts and Faculty & Staff Features for March 11

Student Standouts: Henriksen ’22, Mertz ’22, Patnana ’23, Madala ’26, Bucci ’28, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Track & Field, Best Buddies
Faculty & Staff Features: Voss, Hansen, and Thurman 

Congratulations to this week’s standouts below. Way to go #RamNation! And as always, if you have a story to share, please email

Senior Overcomes Tough Obstacles to Crush State Swim Record

Sophie Henriksen ’22 is featured in West Newsmagazine for setting the state swimming record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56 seconds! She did this at the Class 2 state girls swim meet, her final MICDS girls swimming state meet.

The article highlights Sophie’s challenging yet resilient high school swim journey. She has overcome two knee surgeries, less practice time due the pandemic, and a twisted ankle all while staying incredibly strong and persistent. Head Coach Christopher McCrary is quoted in the article saying, “Nobody has overcome what she had to overcome to win that [state] medal.”

Ram Nation is extremely proud of Sophie who will compete at the college level at Penn. Way to go, Sophie!

Senior Earns Gold Key Award for Writing

Senior Gretchen Mertz ’22 wrote her way into earning a Gold Key Award in the 2022 Missouri Writing Region of the Scholastic Writing Awards Contest! Her piece was selected out of hundreds of submissions received from throughout Missouri and the Kansas City, Kansas area. It will be published in Missouri Youth Write, an online publication available in June 2022.

Way to go, Gretchen!

Rhea Patnana '23 - Athlete of the Week

Put your hands together for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Athlete of the Week Rhea Patnana ’23 who helped lead the Rams to the Division III Girls Squash national championship in Philadelphia recently. At nationals, Rhea won the seventh and deciding match, 3-0 and went 4-0 for the whole event. This helped MICDS win its first national squash title. Amazing job, Rhea!

Eighth Grader Dubbed Spelling Bee Finalist

Congratulations to Abhiram Madala ’26 who is one of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Spelling Bee Finalists! He competed virtually at the March 5 semi-final bee and the final bee is March 12 at Lindenwood University. Let’s go, Abhiram!

Sixth Grader Earns Award at Water Polo National Zones Tournament

Gio Bucci ’28 played for the Midwest Zone Selection at the Water Polo National Zones Tournament in Livermore, California, March 4-6. He won the Nick Johnson Award for leadership and sportsmanship, and for inspiring teammates. Excellent job, Gio!


Boys Basketball Declared District Champs

Congratulations to the MICDS Boys Basketball team who became District Champs last week! They defeated John Burroughs School, 60-36, in the first-ever MICDS versus JBS district championship game. This is the first boys basketball district championship for MICDS since 2010.

Watch this highlight reel of the game by Bryce Ojeda ’22:

Check out this recap of the Class 4, District 6 game according to The St. Louis American. Marcus Coleman ’23 had a career-high game of 24 points, Brandon Mitchell-Day ’22 scored 15, and Jack Hayes ’22 scored nine. Marcus was in the spotlight in this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article for his stellar performance.

The Rams went on to play Vashon in the Class 4 sectionals on Tuesday but were ultimately defeated. Read the recap here by the Post-Dispatch. Top points were scored by Mitchell-Day (18), Coleman (15), and Hayes (10).

Girls Basketball Earns Second at Districts

The MICDS Girls Basketball team finished in second place at Districts last week! Way to go, Rams!

Track & Field Updates Record Board with Four New Records

On Tuesday, March 8, the Track & Field record board update ceremony was held in McDonnell Athletic Center. There were four records set in the 2021 season that replaced old records. Congratulations to these new record holders!

  • Maya Anderson ’23 broke the school record in the 100m Hurdles with a time of 14.02, which beats Zionn Pearson ’18’s 14.83.
  • Julia Ray ’23 got a school record of 5:01.57 in the 1600m Run, beating out Geneva Lee ’16’s record of 5:15.34 from 2016.
  • Julia Ray ’23 broke the school record in the 3200m Run with a time of 10:41.12, which beats Grace Bridwell ’11’s record of 11:28.54 from 2011.
  • Novo Onovwerosuoke ’22, Winston Moore ’23, Harrison Brown ’22, and Tony Nunn ’22 got a school record of 1:29.52 in the 4×200 Relay which beats out the previous record of 1:31.06 by Joshua Sutton ’19, Christian Matava ’16, Keiondre Jordan ’17, and Will Jacobs ’17.

Amazing job, Rams!

Best Buddies Pajama Jam Success

The MICDS Best Buddies club hosted the sixth annual Pajama Jam last Friday, March 4, in the STEM building. While wearing pajamas, MICDS students and their buddies with disabilities enjoyed dancing, snacks, arts & crafts, and a kids movie.

Best Buddies pairs students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities with students without disabilities to foster connection, joy, and community. There are events all around town throughout the year that they attend together, and MICDS partners with KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) through Best Buddies.

Faculty/Staff Feature: Katie Voss & Julia Hansen Present on Independent Reading Program

Last week, two of our own presented at the annual conference for the Association for Independent School Librarians, which was held over Zoom. Katie Voss, Upper School Librarian, and Julia Hansen, Upper School English Teacher, presented “Cultivating a Community of Readers: Launching an Independent Reading Program.”

Their presentation focused on developing a culture of reading through a collaborative, scaffolded, and student-centered independent reading program. They explored how they’ve begun to transform the culture of reading at MICDS using Pernille Ripp’s work as a foundation, capitalizing on the momentum of #booktok, and learning from mistakes along the way. The program centers on reader identity, student choice, and a glorious freedom from assessment.

Katie Voss
Julia Hansen

Staff Spotlight: Vicki Thurman Shares about Mental Health Support Changes at MICDS

Director of Student Support Services Vicki Thurman is quoted in this St. Louis Magazine article on “How St. Louis educators are solving for students’ needs.” She specifically addresses how MICDS has supported students with mental health needs during the pandemic. Two examples she shared were that mindfulness classes are now added into Lower School and a staff counselor was hired to focus on students grades 3-5.