Marine Elementary teacher Sharon Logan and Highland music teacher Lori Ruebhausen have both been honored as recipients of 2016 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Each year, the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards program recognizes more than 100 educators — from kindergarten teachers to college professors — in the St. Louis metropolitan area who are examples of excellence in the field of education.
Recipients were selected by their own school’s administration to honor their accomplishments and steadfast dedication to the teaching profession. The ceremony and reception, where recipients received engraved Tiffany & Co. crystal apple boxes, were held at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis on Sunday, Nov. 13.
“Emerson is proud to honor the most dedicated educators in the St. Louis area who are striving to create bright futures for all of their students,” said Patrick J. Sly, Emerson executive vice president. “We are delighted to support these smart, talented men and women who are an inspiration both inside and outside the classroom.”
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Lori Ruebhausen, or “Ruby” as she is lovingly called, is the “musical anchor for Highland schools,” said Highland High School principal Karen Gauen.
Ruebhausen serves as the vocal and choral music director for grades 3-12 throughout the district. She is also the Music Department chairperson at Highland High School.
“For 35 years, she’s enthusiastically instilled a love for music in students from early childhood to high school,” Gauen said. “While she is known for excellent teaching at every grade, it’s at the high school that her teaching shines through her accomplished students.”
At HHS, Ruebhausen teaches chorus, acappella choir, music theory, musical theater, and A.P. music theory. After school, she directs the Jazz Choir, Onyx Jazz Singers, Madrigal Singers, Chamber Singers, the Coffeehouse Cabaret and the Madrigal Dinner at the high school.
Her award-winning Madrigal Singers have been featured at festival and events throughout the region.
“These shows are rich in Renaissance history, with students creating costumes that align with the time period,” Gauen said. “Students from multiple areas — history, language arts, visual arts, vocational and drama — work together to create a show worthy of Broadway! Mrs. Ruebhausen enlists teachers, parents and community members to create a show that’s a positive milestone for every student.”
A leader in her profession, Ruebhausen also serves on the Fine Arts Hub and the Illinois Comprehensive Arts Project. She is a past chair for the IMEA District VI High School Chorus Division. She was a past staff member and conductor with the Illinois Ambassadors of Music, who went on tour through Europe. And, she has been an adjudicator at state and local music contests, a guest conductor at festivals, and a performer at many events.
“She’s a sought-after guest clinician for other choirs,” Gauen said.
Ruebhausen earned a master’s in music education from Southern Illinois University in 1996. Her graduate work focused on music of the Holocaust, another arena where she conducts seminars. Vad Yashem Library in Israel recently asked that her thesis be added to their museum.
Ruebhausen resides in rural Highland with her husband, Ron. She has two grown children, Erin and Michael and two grandchildren, Matthew and Clara. She enjoys spending time with her family and pets, and doing landscaping and costume design in her free time.
“I am extremely honored to receive this prestigious award. I love my job and could not think of a better way to end my career,” said Ruebhausen, who is retiring at the end of the year after spending her entire career teaching in Highland.
Sharon Logan has been teaching at Marine Elementary for 19 years.
Marine Elementary principal Renee Iberg said Logan “is a professional in every action.”
“She stays late, works weekends, evenings, and is committed to helping her students reach their full potential. Students make gains in her classroom through structured and routine teaching methods. Her classroom is a true community of helping others where students have a shared belief in the importance of learning,” Iberg said.
Triad School District posted the following on its website to describe Logan’s classroom: “She sets high expectations and her students reach their mark! They celebrate their success together in a highly contagious classroom of cheers and kudos to their peers. They assume responsibility for high quality work by making suggested revisions and helping each other without prompts. Many times you can hear applause and cheers coming from inside her classroom as the entire class celebrates a student’s success in the area of math or reading. Her classroom is a true community of helping others.”
Iberg said that Logan is continually researching ways to better her instruction and stay current with the Common Core Standards, Standard Based Report Cards, and technology.
“An example of this is her successful implementation of our one to one technology initiative,” Iberg said. “Mrs. Logan exhibits all the attributes of an excellent teacher; professional, nurturing, and reflective. She is an extraordinary educator. and Triad is fortunate to share her expertise with students, colleagues and parents.”
“I feel honored to have received the Emerson Award,” said Logan, who holds a master’s in Elementary Education from SIUE. “The good fortune of working with so many deserving teachers at Triad over the years has been a blessing. Most important to me is the community effect of the small school of Marine Elementary, where I teach fourth grade.”
She and her husband, John, have been married for 43 years and raised three sons. She loves animals, especially horses, llamas, goats, dogs and cats. And, with retirement on the horizon, she and her husband also began a new activity last summer — kayaking.