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Former Teacher Makes History Come Alive at Woerther

Black History Month at Woerther
​​Students at Woerther Elementary​ in Ballwin were treated to a trip back in time Feb. 14, when retired Woerther teacher Saundi McClain-Kloeckener visited the school to commemorate Black History Month.

Students in each grade level were treated to stories pertaining to Black History Month. McClain-Kloeckener dressed as famous historical figures Bessie Coleman and Elizabeth Keckley and treated each grade level to stories about their lives. Keckley was a former slave who became a successful seamstress, civil activist and author in Washington, D.C. She was best known as the personal dressmaker and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, the first lady. Bessie Coleman was an early American aviator. She was the first African-American woman and also the first Native American woman to hold a pilot's license. During the presentation, McClain-Kloeckener used props as well as dressing in period attire to immerse the students in her stories. 

"What I do is tell a story, and through those stories I make history come to life for the students." said McClain-Kloeckener.

Teachers and students enjoyed the presentation by the retired Woerther teacher.

"It is always wonderful having her here," said physical education teacher Cory Hoots. "She brings in stories that give the kids a picture of what life was like back then."

Ashby, a second-grader at Woerther, said she found it interesting to learn about the challenges figures such as Coleman and Keckley faced.

While McClain-Kloeckener travels throughout the district she says, "Woerther is my home. I always love coming home."

Black History Month runs through the end of February and is celebrated in all Rockwood schools. ​