Student Standouts & Staff Spotlight for December 2, 2022

Student Standouts: Ray ’23 (with Coach Lohr), Merlin ’25, Merlin ’28, Fendler ’26 (with Coaches Rappleye & Bey), Joyce ’26, Reddy ’25, Scott ’25, Harris ’25, Field Hockey Players, Football, and Model United Nations Club

Staff Spotlight: Presson

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

Julia Ray's Exciting Finish to her MICDS Cross Country Career

Julia Ray ’23 is in the spotlight in this West Newsmagazine article that covers her incredible MICDS cross country career which started and finished with the state title! Read Julia’s reflections on her exciting high school running journey and see what Girls Cross Country Head Coach Jim Lohr shares after having taught Julia in MICDS Lower School as her P.E. teacher through coaching her all four years in MICDS Upper School. “Julia will be who we compare other runners to in the future,” he said. “She is a once-in-a-program-type athlete and I feel so lucky to have been a part of her career here at MICDS. It has been a fun four years. I am glad she was able to finish her cross-country career here with another championship.”

Also, watch a post-race interview by MileSplitMO with Ray after she won the State Championship title in MSHSAA Class 4 with a time of 18 minutes, 14.7 seconds at Gans Creek Cross Country Complex in Columbia.

What an exciting cross-country chapter at MICDS! Bring on Ray’s final high school Track & Field season followed by her new chapter of running at the college level at the University of Tennessee. Way to run, Julia!

Ram Siblings Fundraise Almost $35,000 for Cancer Research in Pedal the Cause Event

Sawyer Merlin ’25, a member of the MICDS Cyclocross team, was recognized last week by Pedal the Cause as the Youngest Podium Fundraiser ever for the organization. The non-profit raised almost $4.5M this year, and Merlin, along with his sister Lila ’28, raised almost $35,000!

Pedal the Cause is an annual cycling event that has raised more than $40 million over the past decade for cancer research in St. Louis at Siteman Cancer Center and for Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Merlin’s Aunt Lindsey passed away of lung cancer at the age of 38 in November 2020. She and Merlin shared a passion: the love of cycling. Merlin has been volunteering at Pedal the Cause in her honor and cycled with some of his MICDS Cyclocross teammates and Head Cyclocross Coach Britta Siegel at the Pedal the Cause cycling event on September 25, 2022, in St. Louis. He did the 30-mile ride and both he and Lila helped run the Spin Zone.

What an incredible cause to cycle so generously and intently for in honor of your aunt, Sawyer and Lila!

From Cross Country to the Turkey Trot

MICDS Cross Country runner Will Fendler ’26 and his sister and MICDS alumna Sophie ’22 enjoyed meeting up with Boys Cross Country Coaches Changa Bey and Chris Rappleye at the St. Louis Turkey Trot held Thanksgiving morning in Forest Park. Runners Will, Sophie, and Mr. Bey did well, placing 37th, 51st, and 55th respectively out of over 900 runners! The MICDS runners supported the Best Buddies program by participating in this race. What a great way to start Thanksgiving day!

Rams Participate in Webster University High School Photography Show

After over 300 submissions of creative photography, the photographs of three MICDS students made it into the Webster University High School Photography Show along with one honorable mention. Congratulations to the following Upper Schoolers:
  • Beckett Joyce ’26
  • Avani Reddy ’25 
  • Mae Scott ’25
  • Cece Harris ’25 – Honorable Mention
Students and faculty are welcome to attend the opening reception of this juried exhibit of high school photography from local and national applicants. The opening reception is Friday, December 2, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the beautiful, new Kooyumjian Gallery space. The students’ photographs will be framed and exhibited.

MICDS Model UN Club Attends Fall Session

By Kristin Roberts, MICDS Model UN Faculty Sponsor and Upper School History Teacher

The MICDS Model United Nations Club attended its fall Model UN session on Friday, November 19, 2022, at Webster University with other area schools including Marquette, Metro, Nerinx, Parkway Central, and Rockwood Summit. The session was organized by Civitas-STL. Civitas-STL is a local organization that provides “innovative programming for secondary students,” hosting Model United Nations for local schools among other events.

The MICDS Model UN represented a wide range of nations at this session, including Spain, Belgium, Chile, India, Mongolia, Thailand, Yemen, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the United Kingdom. Seventeen MICDS Model UN students attended the session, and, since it was the first time for many club members to experience a Model UN session, it was a learning opportunity for all! The club also submitted two resolutions to the session, both researched and written by freshmen members of our club—one from Spain (Robyn Davies ’26) addressing endangered and invasive species and another from the DRC (Lewis Adkins ’26 and Shil Penilla ’26) addressing famine and poverty. In addition to the research and resolution writing for our nations, club members had the opportunity to observe and engage in mock diplomacy with students from other schools debating resolutions, caucusing for support, and voting on resolutions and their amendments.

A highlight from the session was when Davies, the MICDS delegate representing Spain, presented her resolution to the General Assembly and, after much debate, see it passed by a narrow majority of participating nations. The entire club should be proud of their efforts in preparing for this session, both those who helped research at school and those who were able to attend the session. The club is looking forward to preparing for a spring session! 

All photos below except the final group photo are by Civitas.

According to the United Nations Association, “Model UN is a simulation of the UN General Assembly and its other multilateral bodies where students perform an ambassador role while debating topics such as gender equality, climate action, global health, and more.” Model UN at MICDS focuses on diplomacy, cooperation, and solving real-world issues through research, writing, and debate skills practicing active citizenship. Model UN at MICDS aims to attend at least one Model UN session each semester spending each Activity period researching, writing, and deepening students’ understanding of Model UN nations and global issues.

23 Rams Play in National Field Hockey Festival

Several MICDS students in the Gateway Field Hockey program participated in USA Field Hockey’s National Field Hockey Festival in Tampa, Florida, over Thanksgiving weekend. For the first time, there was a U14 Co-Ed (7v7) pool competing, and more than 400 Gateway players, parents, siblings, and grandparents made the trek to Tampa to cheer them on! 

Congratulations to all teams for placing in the top three spots in all divisions, especially to the U19, U14, and U12 teams named festival champions. Way to play and “stick” together in sunny Florida, Rams!

The roster of MICDS student-athletes who participated in the festival are listed below. Those with an asterisk made the sportsmanship all-star list, chosen by the umpires for best resembling the festival spirit during the tournament.

  • Whitney Akred ’23
  • Isabella Brauer ’24
  • Ella Etherington ’24
  • Ellie Lochhead ’24
  • Virginia Portell ’24*
  • Caroline Birkel ’25
  • Victoria Neill ’25
  • Mia Brauer ’26
  • Georgia Lochhead ’26
  • Katherine Sheehan ’26
  • Ellemieke Ferguson ’27
  • Mallory Jerlecki ’27
  • Sadie Keech ’27
  • Katherine Schott ’27
  • Olivia Brauer ’28
  • Lydia Brown ’28
  • Victoria Noble ’28
  • Hannah Ponciroli ’28*
  • Nora Reynolds ’28
  • Nandini Warrier ’28*
  • Avery Johnson ’29
  • Caroline Westre ’29
  • Jojo Mackin ’32

Rams Play Their Hearts Out in Quarterfinal Football Game

Although the quarterfinal football game of the 2022 season did not end in a victory for our Rams, the team still has a tremendous season to celebrate. Read the recap of the Class 5 quarterfinal game from STL Today. We are so proud of our Rams for playing their hearts out all season!

Staff Spotlight: Lower/Middle School Nurse Earns Certification

A very special shoutout to Stephanie Presson, MICDS Lower & Middle School Nurse, for passing her National Certification in School Nursing exam on Thursday, November 17! We are so grateful to Presson for her incredible work in helping students with whatever health needs arise, even during a pandemic. Vicki Thurman, Director of Student Support Services, commented on Stephanie’s work and exciting achievement. “Stephanie embodies all of the characteristics one would want in a school nurse: warmth, compassion, student-centeredness, and professionalism,” she said. “Her commitment to preparing for and attaining the National Certification in School Nursing credentials is a testament to her desire to support our school and our students to the highest level each and every day. There are less than 4,800 school nurses with the NCSN certification nationally, and we are proud that both of our school nurses now have achieved this high level of credentialing.”

Thank you for all that you do to keep everyone healthy and safe, Nurse Presson!