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Duane West Staff Photo

Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education 

Harris-Stowe State College, Saint Louis, Missouri


Masters of Arts in Elementary Education 

Lindenwood University, Saint Charles, Missouri

Concentration in Education Administration


St. Louis Public Schools 

Riverview Gardens School District




This is an article that was written by the "St.Louis American"

Leon Algee Jr. photo Duane West, second-grade teacher at Lewis and Clark Elementary, is the 2006-2007 Teacher of the Year in the Riverview Gardens School District.

Teacher of the Year enjoys mentoring children

For this school year, Duane West has carried a lot of expectations. It's the price he pays for being the Riverview Gardens School District's 2007-2008 Teacher of the Year.

West hears comments and questions from parents, administrators and other teachers that ranges. Some ask about his teaching style/techniques, how to increase literacy, and what are best practices while others continue to offer advice on how to remain relevant on his job.

"Once you earn and/or given the title, there's a sort of expectation," he said. "I'm asked a number of questions about my teaching style. I don't look at it as being pressure, exactly. It would be pressure if I didn't know how to respond/direct all the stakeholders in the right direction." 

West is the second-grade teacher at Lewis and Clark Elementary School. An over 10-year veteran, he enjoys teaching at the elementary ranks, helping youngsters get a toehold on their education.  He looks for opportunities to empower students all the time.

"I once thought about teaching at the high school, but I made a decision a long time ago to remain at the elementary level," he said. "I believe in laying a great foundation for early learners and setting high expectations."  "I love teaching, especially balanced literacy."

West's work attracted the attention of his colleagues at Lewis and Clark. At the end of last year, they chose him to represent the school as the Teacher of the Year.  From there, he underwent a process where the district chose West to represent their district state-wide.

"His excitement and enthusiasm is apparent in his classroom," said Principal Jason Brown. "His classes are orderly and organized.  His class is frequently requested by several parents.  His students love coming to his class. He establishes a routine from the first day of the year. One of his best strengths is he doesn't hesitate to lend a helping hand and look for help when he needs it."

West was surprised when he was chosen for the honor. One of the process calls for candidates to write four to five essays discussing their beliefs in education. A panel of teachers and administrators makes the decision.

"I wrote about why I chose to pursue education," he said. "It was the education I received from my teachers when I was young that persuaded me. I've stayed in touch with many of  my teachers for years now."

West is a proud product of the St. Louis Public Schools. He graduated from Beaumont High School and then went to what is now Harris-Stowe State University.

"All of my education was with the St. Louis Public Schools," he said.

West also competed for the Missouri Sate Teacher of the Year honor, but he was not chosen.

"It was disappointing that I did not win the state title, but you put on your hat and you pursue and soldier on to continue to impact student lives," West said.

His second-grade students enjoy his classes.

"The best part is math," said Lastarza Shaw, 7. "I also like doing the work. He's a great teacher, but he gets mad if we talk too much."

Davian Swinney, 8, likes to read. West is his first male teacher.

It's important, especially to the boys, that a man mentors and teaches them, West said.

"So many of these kids have real issues," he said. "There are young men who need some kind of balance."

Brown agreed, adding that it was important for more men to become teachers.

"We need to find a way to attract more men into education," he said.

West keeps in touch with his former students, following their progress.

"Teaching is a moral activity," he said. "You just don't want to only  teach. You want to be a mentor for the kids. providing sound advice, direction, and lending assistance in any other area that's needed"


Professional Experience:

Educator/Instructional Coach~ Meadows Elementary/Lewis and Clark Elementary School,

St. Louis, MO


Coordinate and lead professional developments for best Instructional Strategies.  Provide mentoring to classroom teachers. Participate in Learning Walks to observe teaching and learning, student engagement, and instructional strategies implemented.  Monitor and evaluate data to make instructional recommendations to all stakeholders. Conduct grade-level meetings.   Provide coaching and modeling for teachers. Development in how to create and implement daily and unit lesson plans. Create assessments in all core subjects, track and disaggregate data. Conduct whole and small group instruction.  Differentiating instruction for all students including special needs mainstreamed in my class.  Provide development on classroom management. Facilitated the PBIS Program. Promoted and implemented PLC trainings and practices.  Established and led alternative approaches to student behavior.  Created, maintained, and implemented accountability for school’s action plan.  Led processes for informal and summative evaluations for PBIS. Create PBIS Lesson Plans for the entire faculty and staff.  Facilitate PBIS trainings.  Develop excellent rapport with students, parents, and teachers. Conduct parent workshops on Reading and Math strategies, and family literacy nights. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills, outstanding presentation and facilitation skills, and collaborating with teachers in all areas of instruction.

Maintain consistent contact with students, staff, and community through daily, weekly, and monthly activities and events. Identified targeted behaviors and wrote Individuals Behavior Plans to ensure student success.  Work with the Building Committees to establish a positive school climate. Supervise Webster University and Lindenwood future teachers in the areas of: academics, behavior, and classroom management strategies. Participate in district level planning committee for Convocation.

Educator~ Saint Louis Public School, St. Louis, MO


Develop and implement daily and unit lesson plans for third and fourth grade, administering assessments in all core subjects, track and disaggregate data. Conduct whole and small group instruction.  Develop excellent rapport with students, parents, and teachers. Foster school and classroom environments by heading Character Education Program. Present professional development training to all elementary staff in the area of reading.  Collaborate with grade level teams to set goals for improving instruction. Prepare forms, records, reports, as directed. Evaluate and analyzed data through frequent progress monitoring, common assessments, and benchmarks to adjust instruction to ensure student success. 

Committees and Leadership:

 Positive Behavior Intervention Support Coach –Building Level

 Principal Leadership Cadre, 2011-2012

 Professional Learning Communities Leadership Team Member

NEA Representative

Black History Program Coordinator

After School Tutoring

After School Gospel Choir

Studio Summer School Instructional Coach


Riverview Gardens District Teacher of the Year 2008-2009

St. Louis Science Center Educational Excellence Award - 2008-2009

Apple Teacher Award 2008-2009


  • Richard Dufour Professional Learning Communities
  • Marzano’s Instructional Strategies
  • Jim Knight Instructional Coaching
  • Positive Behavior Intervention Support- The Tough Kid Workshop
  • Behavior Management :Tough Kids Classroom Management Techniques
  • Win-Win Discipline
  • RTI – Response to Intervention – Data Driven Instruction
  • Literacy Nights Parent presentations
  • Parent Informational Meetings
  • Stress Management for Teachers
  • Rigor & Relevance

·         Curriculum Cruise- An excursion to increase student engagement across the curriculum, District Level Professional Development

  • Using Galileo, DEA, Learning A-Z data to drive instruction
  • Differentiation Instruction
  • Make and Take Reading & Math Activities, District Level
  • Reading Comprehension strategies
  • Vocabulary Strategies
  • PD 360/Edivate
  • Discovery Education
  • Promethean Planet
  • Reading First Staff Development – Data Analysis, Dynamic Indicators of  Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), Wireless palm pilot training


Computer Skills:


Microsoft Windows, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, OpenOffice 3.2 , Apple, SISK12,  Discovery Education, PD 360- online professional development, DIBELS software, Promethean/SmartBoard, ActivStudio/Inspire, Learning A-Z

Other Experience:

Adjunct Professor – Sandford- Brown College, 2007-2009 



Duane C. West, is  a native of St. Louis Missouri.  He has been married for seventeen years and has three children from his union.  He is active in his community volunteering time with many youth programs.  He is currently an Instructional Coach in the Riverview Gardens School District where he serves at Meadows with his instructional leader partner, Dr. Stacey Nichols. Mr. West has faithfully served for over 19 years in education.  Mr. West has been enhancing the lives of children/youth, teachers, and leaders for over nineteen years. Mr. West serves in many capacities in his role, but his main role is developing teachers that will positively impact youth and children. Mr. West is lauded with experiences in being detail oriented. Coming with a wealth of excellent team building skills. Creating highly motivated educators and young learners to love learning andultimately become lifelong learners themselves. Leading educational organizations in collaboration practices: ensuring optimal learning results for all, and creating a positive environment for every learner to fulfill his/her goals and potential.  

Mr. West’s teaching and leadership in the area of education has impacted many educational institutions throughout the metropolitan area. Mr. West is sought out and has been afforded the opportunity to work with many educators in the metropolitan area with providing development of best practices that forms/establish effective teacher teams. Mr. West strategies/skills taught through wrkshops/developments has also been recognized by other organizations. As Mr. West continues to be an inspiration in educational settings around the region, he is committed to the role that has been placed on his life. Whether it's providing workshops, spending time mentoring teachers/teams, or discovering leaders, he has become one of the defining instructional leaders of this generation.