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Then and Now: Rockwood Valley Middle Social Studies Teacher Abbey Meier

Rockwood Valley Middle social studies teacher Abbey Meier poses in the Rockwood Valley gym, where she excelled at volleyball.
There are more than 300 staff members around Rockwood School District who were Rockwood students during their K-12 years. "Then and Now" is a series that highlights some of their stories and what has made Rockwood special to them as both students and educators.

Abbey Meier, seventh-grade social studies, Rockwood Valley Middle
Rockwood Schools Attended: Chesterfield Elementary, Rockwood Valley Middle​, Lafayette High (class of 2010)
Grades Attended in Rockwood: K-12

When she was a Rockwood Valley student, Abbey Meier would circle the Turkey Smash on her calendar every year. She started playing volleyball in second grade and, once she reached middle school, she relished the opportunity to compete in the school's annual Thanksgiving throwdown: a volleyball match between students and teachers.

It's pretty much the same now that she teaches at Rockwood Valley. She's just a little more vocal than she used to be.

"As a student, I was really quiet and timid, but you still obviously wanted to beat the teachers," said Meier, who is in her third year teaching in Rockwood. "As a teacher, I’m not as shy. At all."

This yearbook photo shows Rockwood Valley teacher Abbey Meier in 2005, when she was a student at the school.Meier traces her desire to be a teacher and volleyball coach directly back to Rockwood Valley and physical education teacher Sue Tillery, who would become Meier's volleyball coach at Lafayette.

Tillery recently retired from teaching, but she still serves as an assistant coach for the Lafayette varsity girls and boys volleyball teams. Meier coaches the Lafayette freshman boys. 

"She’s the kind of teacher that everyone knows, everyone loves. You just can’t help but be happy around her," Meier said. "I wanted to be like that for kids."

Now she's getting that chance in the same community that cultivated that affinity in her when she was a student. 

She hears the same morning announcement sign-off from Assistant Principal Tom McKenna -- "Thank you for your kind attention and have a great day" -- as she did when she was a student. When she looks across the hall from her classroom, she can see where her locker once was and the door to the room of Allen Luensmann, who was her social studies teacher at Rockwood Valley.​Abbey Meier poses in her social studies classroom at Rockwood Valley, across the hall from where her locker was as a student.

"She wasn't very talkative, but she was a model student," Luensmann said. "We have good banter back and forth now, that's for sure."​

Plus, she gets the added bonus of scouting the Lafayette volleyball stars of the future before they get to high school. She'll be spiking on them at the Turkey Smash each year.

"I just feel lucky to be able to teach and coach in the same community that I already loved," Meier said. "This is a great district, and it's really cool to be a part of it."