Rams News · LHWHS Club/Organization Recap

Check out the accomplishments from various LHWHS Clubs and Organizations for the 2019-2020 school year.

 Animal Allies

The Animal Allies club was revived in 2020!  Led by Junior Diya Diwakaran, the club met numerous times and participated in events to help local shelters around the community.  In February, members of the club volunteered at MICDS at an event to make dog toys out of donated materials.  In March, members met at a meeting and created more dog toys to donate to local shelters.  Unfortunately, our work for the year was cut short with the cancellation of on-campus school.  We are looking forward to making an even bigger impact next school year!


Elements had another successful year recycling building-wide.  Thanks to all who participated in our weekly recycling sessions.  A special note of gratitude to our senior leaders, Kevin Tan and Alex Fu, who lead us every week with humor and enthusiasm.  They will be greatly missed!  – Ms. Hartigan and Ms. Chavez.

National English Honor Society

This year the National English Honor Society launches Ladue’s first Reading Garden!  Co-President Will Minifie led this project for the use of future members of NEHS as well as the entire Ladue community.  Meetings and Readings to be held there in the future–stay tuned!

Ladue Theater

The Missouri State Thespian Conference is held annually, and brings almost 2000 of the best theatre students from all over the state.  The three day conference allows students the opportunity to attend countless workshops related to all aspects of theatrical production, see many outstanding shows and network with all attending universities/colleges.
–The all state show happens every other year.  Students audition/interview one year, then work and rehearse for an entire year preparing for the performance.  It is quite an honor to have two of our students selected, and they were both outstanding!
–The Missouri State Thespian organization gives out a total of ten $1000 scholarships, and we were thrilled that Ladue came away with two of them!
–Students participate in a wide variety of individual events and the judges are tough!  I am very proud of our students receiving superior ratings!

Character Cadre

Character Cadre is a club focused on making Ladue Horton Watkins a place where character and service are just as important as grades and academic achievements. In the 2019-2020 school year, students in Character Cadre got involved in many events at school and in the larger community in order to promote character and serve others. At school, students decorated flower pots and planted flowers for patients at BJC hospital, they promoted Fill the Barrel to feed the community, they spread positive messages throughout the school, and they made gifts for teachers and staff to recognize their hard work and dedication. Beyond the school walls, students packed meals for those in need with hundreds of other local high school students at World Food Day. Character Cadre is dedicated to others, and to making Ladue Horton Watkins a better place to learn and work in.


LHWHS DECA business students had the most successful district competition in history! Ladue had sixty entries qualify for the 2020 Missouri State DECA Competition in Kansas City, which was by far the largest number of any school in our district. Junior Caroline Powell was also selected as a Leadership Delegate which automatically qualified her for the 2020 International DECA Competition in Nashville, TN.


Lexus EcoChallenge

This year’s Ladue Lexus EcoChallenge Team, Ladue RebEarth, won The Regional Air & Climate Challenge for their work, which was to try to improve the health of the soil on LHWHS’ Throwing Field by using organic “garden teas.” This Team presented their ideas to the District Administrative Team and, in light of both weather and COVID-19 events, managed to pull together to complete material for the Final Round.  While they may not have won in the Finals, their ideas will be used to test to see if we can replenish the soil and grow a garden with native plants next to our LHWHS Worm Farm.

Green Team

This Fall, our Green Team assisted various Spoede Elementary School classes during their Ecology and Plant Units. The Team also helped design and plant a variety of flowers in the new English Honor Society Reading Garden, helped to promote S.A.G.E., and assisted the Character Cadre organization with their Plants for Patients and Heroes Project. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we were unable to complete our plans to help Spoede Elementary school in April.

S.T.E.M. $ells

This student created organization was designed to bring all of our clubs and organizations together to help solve local problems. One stellar example was the animated video created by the Animation Club for the Elements Club, which showed students and staff what items could or could not be recycled. Another group was collecting samples from throughout the campus, which were going to be used to help create a video showing how to avoid communicable diseases; the project and video were, ironically, interrupted by COVID-19. However, the most evident example of coming together by the different clubs and organizations was the S.T.E.M. $ells FASS (Friday Afternoon Speaker Series), which brought in a variety of experts in multiple fields to talk to students about career paths.

Muslim Student Association

The year, the Muslim Student Association invited a local imam to address the group about the traditions and beliefs of the Muslim faith. The MSA successfully secured a regular location and time for Friday prayers, a sacred part of the Muslim religion. Our hope for next year is to encourage new members with fresh ideas to keep the club going for years to come!

Ladue Publications National Awards 2020

The Panorama newsmagazine placed ninth in the nation at the Journalism Education Association’s national convention and fifth in specialty edition for their November issue. Panorama was also named a Pacemaker Finalist this year by the National Scholastic Press Association and earned a Silver Crown award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. The Rambler yearbook placed fourth in the nation at the Journalism Education Association’s national convention, the highest we have ever placed before. The Rambler yearbook also won the Missouri Journalism Education Association’s Theme Design of the Year award for their 2020 yearbook theme: “It’s Not Bragging If It’s True”.

  • Hugh Chan placed first in Quill and Scroll’s national competition for Feature Page Design with “Doughnut Telephone.”

  • Grace Hu and Nicole Kalishman placed second in Quill and Scroll’s national competition for Photo Illustration with “Wasteful.”

  • Jackson Bry placed second in Quill and Scroll’s national competition for Sports Page Design with “A Swim-pressive Season.”

  • Sunny Lu and Anna Liner placed third in Quill and Scroll’s national competition for Newsmagazine Front Page Design with “Title IX.”

  • Cassandra Beisheim, Anna Liner and Sunny Lu placed third in Quill and Scroll’s national competition for Feature Page Design with “BLEACH.”

Ladue Publications Missouri Awards 2020

  • Seniors Anna Liner and Cassandra Beshiem were named to the Missouri All-State Journalism Team. Anna and Cassie are the Head Design Editors for the Panorama Newsmagazine and the Editors in Chief of Melodrama, an Arts and Culture magazine created this year.

  • Grace Hu, Anna Liner and Cassandra Beisheim won the Missouri Journalism Education Association’s Infographic of the Year award for “Through the Decades.”

  • Fiona Ferguson won the Missouri Journalism Education Association’s Yearbook Sports Story of the Year award for “Three in a Row.”

  • Alex Fu and Sydney Crump won the Missouri Journalism Education Association’s News Story of the Year award for “Food Insecurity is Real.”

  • Grace Hu won the Missouri Journalism Education Association’s Doubletruck Design of the Year award for “Fast Fashion Facts.”

  • Katie Shaw won the Missouri Journalism Education Association’s Inside Page Design of the Year award for “Got Water?

  • Danielle Zhang was named a Missouri Journalism Education Association Finalist in Editorial Cartoon drawing for “Ram Day.”

  • Hugh Chan was named a Missouri Journalism Education Association Finalist in Sports Writing for “Playing for Gray.”

  • Grace Hensely, Bradford Siwak and Katie Shaw were named Missouri Journalism Education Association Finalists in Cover Design for “Fast Fashion.”


Ladue’s UNICEF club, which raises money to protect and advance children’s rights around the world, had its most successful year in club history. Led by sponsor Mary DeLia and officers Giuseppe Di Cera, Joseph Berglund, Sean Ferguson, Eyob Tewelde, Sarah Chen, Emily DeGraw, and Sam Liu, UNICEF continued its meteoric rise in club membership from having just 2 members in 2016 to over 70 active members in the fall of 2019. Throughout the month of October, UNICEF raised $2,300 as part of its Trick-or-Treat fundraiser in which club members collected donations in small orange cardboard boxes. Additionally, in January, UNICEF planned its annual charitable winter dance, the Snow Ball, which has quickly become a school tradition since it was first planned in 2018. As the club’s largest fundraiser this year, the 2020 Snow Ball raised $3,775 for both UNICEF and the Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. Lastly, in March, UNICEF organized a film screening of the human rights documentary, Never Again: Forging A Convention for Crimes Against Humanity and hosted a Q&A session with Dr. Leila Sadat, Special Adviser to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor and International Criminal Law Professor at Washington University, who is currently creating a global treaty on crimes against humanity at the United Nations. Capping off the most successful three years in club history, in which UNICEF raised a total of $12,000, the club must now say goodbye to its seniors and the original 2 (Giuseppe Di Cera and Joseph Berglund) who were the roots that grew UNICEF into one of the largest clubs at Ladue.

Ladue Mock Trial

This year our Mock Trial team had 21 members who, under the leadership of local attorney Rob Samuelson, and coaches Mr. Saxton and Mr. Snidman, argued both sides of a civil case in multiple rounds at the St. Louis County Courthouse.  The teams had to apply the Federal Rules of Evidence to pursue justice in a wrongful death case resulting from a fall from a ride at an amusement park. After two preliminary rounds and two regional rounds, the team, through a series of victories, qualified for the State tournament which had been scheduled to be held at the St. Charles County Courthouse in March. Sadly, the State and National rounds were cancelled for 2020, but like a Phoenix, the team will be back to handle new litigation in October.

Ladue Club Neuro

Club Neuro began the year with a fundraiser called Bows for Brains at Conway’s Trunk of Treat! We made hair bows and sold to raise money for Spread Ari’s Light and the Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. In November, Club Neuro held a speaker event where Dr. Riley Nickols, a sport psychologist who specializes in working with athletes with eating disorders, came in to talk to Ladue students, parents, and staff about eating disorder awareness and performance-related concerns in athletes. In the second half of the school year, Club Neuro worked with UNICEF to hold the Snow Ball; all proceeds went to UNICEF and Spread Ari’s Light foundations. Finally, Club Neuro spent time reviewing the Brain Facts Book in order to prepare for the Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition for high schoolers held at WashU. Many members of the club competed, and several placed in the top ten. 

Ladue Dance Marathon

Ladue Dance Marathon is a member of a nationwide organization that spreads awareness of the Children’s Miracle Network mission and raises funds to support our two local children’s hospitals: St. Louis Children’s Hospital and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. In 2020 Ladue DM raised $76,021, bringing our 7-year total to over $350,000 for the kids! (FTK!)

Ladue Rambunction

TEAM 4330 Rambunction competed in little Rock Arkansas one week before spring break. The TEAM then returned to compete in St. Louis after numerous repairs to the  robot. Garison Siegel and Jiya Singh were the FIRST Dean’s List finalists for Team 4330.  Noah Smock and George Jurgiel were the primary programmers. Gary Davis II was safety captain. During the matches, Ben Hocaoglu and Jackson Proper were drivers.  Andrew Johnson was coach.We went to the event only to find out it had been cancelled 1 hour before it was to begin, due to COVID-19. Safety F.I.R.S.T.

Ladue Best Buddies

Best Buddies has rallied around inclusive friendships for 4 years now at Ladue! From throwing holiday chapter parties at the high school, to hosting social events on the weekend, raising funds at friendship walks, and even connecting with other chapters in the area, Best Buddies has shown that when we extend a helping hand, friendship can blossom!

LHWHS French Honor Society

The French Honor Society was busy this year! We started the school year with an ice cream social and soccer tournament with the Spanish and German Honor Societies. In the fall we played French card games, read French poems, cooked some delicious crêpes after school, and inducted our new members into the Society. In December we made cards that were put in care packages for the homeless in France and we had a bûche de Noël decorating contest – miam! Second semester was shorter, but just as busy! We watched a French film, tasted a variety of French cheeses and breads, and made Valentine’s cards for our friends and loved ones. International Week in February was a blast – we made crêpes for a culinary sampler, carried flags around the school for the Parade of Nations, and sang our hearts out with the Spanish students during the Student Showcase. C’était Formidable!

Together We Rise

Together We Rise is a non-profit organization devoted to guiding youth through the foster care system in America. This club was founded on the principal of aiding those in need and offering a helping hand. One of our most successful fundraisers from this school year was the MOD Pizza Fundraiser on December 4th. With every purchase, MOD Pizza allowed the customer to donate a part of the cost to our fundraiser. It was absolutely wonderful seeing how many people came to support our mission. We also had a fundraiser during one of the parent teacher conferences in March. Many Ladue families donated, creating a wonderful atmosphere. With all of the love and support offered by Ladue, our club was able to flourish this year. All of the money will be donated to Together We Rise, who will then send us materials in order to make care packages to  send to foster care agencies.

Physics Club

Students would meet regularly to study for exams…the United States Physics Olympiad and the Physics Bowl.  William Bender and Stephen Jiang earned top scores in the first round of the exams. They qualified for the second round before the decision was made to cancel the 2020 International Physics Olympiad.  The 2020 Physics Bowl was also canceled.  So, our team is still the defending champs from 2019.

Ladue Chinese Club

Si Tong He and Di Zhu presented to small groups of students twice a month.  The presentations provided opportunities to learn about Chinese Language and Culture.  These students have built an informative database of presentations for anyone curious about Chinese writing, speaking, idioms, slang, customs, music, food, movies, art, literature, traditions, and history.

Ladue Chess Team

The Ladue Chess Team had a great year, even though the season was cut short by recent events.  This year we had enough great players at the school to have a second team for the Gateway Chess League.  Our White Team played in the East Conference.  They had an amazing year, and exceeded everyone’s expectations for a 7-1-1 record and a second place finish in the East.  They were led Katherine Eisenman on Board 1 (7-2), Andrew Stappenbeck on Board 2 (6-2-2), Kanishk Shanmugam on Board 3 (6-2-2), Alex Rybak on Board 4 (5-3-1), and Andrew Fruend on Board 5 (4-1-1).

The Ladue Blue Team was dominant in the West Conference.  They had a perfect 11-0 record over the season and were 1 week away from winning the Championship outright.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic they were unable to play the Championship match and had to share the title for the second year in a row.  The Blue Team set the records for most points scored (257.5) and highest average points scored (28.6)  Out of 5 games played each of the 11 matches, the Blue Team only lost 2 individual games and tied 1 other.  They were led by Erik Tkachenko on Board 1 (9-0-1), Iris Zhou on Board 2 (11-0), Ben Liu on Board 3 (10-1), Andrew Teh on Board 4 (7-0-1), and Jason Pummer on Board 5 (10-1).  Jason Pummer, as the only senior on our teams, finishes his senior year tied for the career lead with 42 wins and 5th in total points with 236 between the Gateway League and the State Championships.  Congratulations to Jason for the 4 amazing years of contributions to the Ladue Chess Team.
Team:  2nd place overall
Katherine Eisenman – 3rd place – Board 1
Andrew Stappenbeck – 1st place – Board 2
Kanishk Shanmugam – 3rd place – Board 3
Alex Rybak – 4th place – Board 4
Andrew Fruend – 8th place – Board 5
Team:  1st place overall, League Co-Champions
Erik Tkachenko – 1st place – Board 1
Iris Zhou – 1st place – Board 2
Ben Liu – 1st place – Board 3
Andrew Teh – 2nd place – Board 4
Jason Pummer – 1st place – Board 5″

Club Amigos del Espanol

Our club focuses on using the Spanish language for enrichment and looks for ways to connect with the Hispanic culture. Our most successful event this year was our breakfast gathering where students enjoyed watching “Coco” and eating quesadillas, chips and salsa, pancakes, and getting to know each other. The club continued meeting during the year and developed ideas on how to continue learning about the Hispanic culture, food, and music.

 Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica

The Ladue High School Spanish Honor Society has been active since 2014 and was founded by Maritza
Sloan, a Spanish teacher at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. The group has volunteered extensively
with WPP by spending every Wednesday evening at the West County Ronald McDonald House with the
children under WPP’s care. The club also holds annual donation drives for clothing and basic necessities
of the families under WPP, as well as fundraisers to help fund treatments for children.

On August 20, 2019, the Ladue High School Spanish Honor Society was honored by the World Pediatric
Project with the Junior Humanitarian of the Year Award. This award is given to high schoolers who are
recognized for their outstanding dedication to the WPP, a nonprofit organization that provides medical
attention to critically ill children in Central America and the Caribbean. The event was held at Westwood
Country Club to recognize and celebrate 15 years of healing.

Spanish Honor Society students have been staying connected to our friends at World Pediatric during this time by hosting
weekly virtual tutoring sessions.


Please take a moment to congratulate the following students for their achievement this year at the HOSA-FUture Health Professionals State Leadership Conference. As you know, the novel coronavirus pandemic cause the cancellation of most spring events.  Our State HOSA quickly arranged to take the in-person event to an on-line event through a virtual SLC.  While many students on our LHWHS team were unable to compete virtually, several still did. The competitions this year took on a whole new dimension, changing from being a knowledge based test to a comprehension and application based, on-line exam.   I am proud to say that our students who were able to compete adjusted and prepared well for that change. It gives me great pride to announce these winners:
Rohan Tatikona- Medical Law and Ethics : 3rd Place
Aditya Kondepudi-  Pathophysiology: 1st Place
With these results, both students are eligible to attend and compete at the HOSA International Leadership Conference this summer.
The other students competing were:
Sanjana Tatikonda – Behavioral Health
Hieran  Andeberhan- Epidemiology
Justin Zhang – Nutrition
Shriya Koneru –  PathophysiologyIn addition to this event, HOSA also ran a booth last fall performing and teaching visitors about taking their own blood pressure at the Frontenac Festival.


Students for a Greener Earth (SAGE) embarked on a Green Schools Quest for the high school, working closely with their community sponsor, Eric Schneider from Straight Up Solar.  Led by Gabe DiAntonio and Anna Reis, SAGE members met with administrators and facilities managers at the campus and district level to learn about how our school can reduce its waste in the cafeteria while advocating for impactful systemic changes.  They also collaborated with the Earthways Center to conduct a waste-audit of one day’s worth of lunchtime trash.  That entailed literally digging through trash, sorting it by type, and weighing it all.  The findings from the waste-audit coupled with research and communication with building leaders has led the club to design a new recycling process for the school cafeteria, which you can look forward to participating in once we return to eating lunch on campus.