Gretchen Harpster
 First Grade

Educational Background

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with emphasis in Early Childhood & minor in Spanish from Southeast Missouri State University May 2002
Master of Arts in Education with a Literacy Concentration, Special Reading Certification from Maryville University St. Louis, May 2011


Teaching Experience

4th grade-Rockwood School District (1 year)
Toddler 2 Classroom Lead Teacher-Elegant Child in Clayton (1 year)
3rd grade-Fort Zumwalt School District (3 years)
1st grade-Leopold R-III (this is my 10th year!)


Plans for this year (and every year)

Strive to teach my students to be strong readers and writers. To instill in them a love of reading and learning in general!

The SECRET to being successful in first grade
Read, read read! Especially "just right" books, ones your child should be able to read most (about 97%) of the words, one that is enjoyable, and one that he/she can understand.
Write, write, write! Lists, stories, posters, signs, cards, notes, anything!



I am married to a great guy--Mitch Harpster! We've been married for 7 years now. We have one fur baby, our dog, Polly. She is a great dog, but can be lots of trouble! We have 3 kids: Owen-4, Aaron-2, and Henry-7 months. We live in Jackson.


Other Interests/Hobbies

I love reading anything from mysteries to teacher books—even children’s books!
Most of all, I love following the St. Louis Cardinals! We pick an out-of-town game to attend every year for our anniversary. We have been to Chicago, Colorado, and just St. Louis the last 5 years because of the kids. Next summer we will take Owen to his first game!

Organizations (professional/community)
I have been a member of the International Reading Association for about 15 years now.


Memorable Events

The birth of all of our sons, (each 2 years apart!) and our wedding and honeymoon in Mexico in 2009!

The month I spent in Scotland with the Golden Eagles Marching Band at Southeast Missouri State University. (We performed at the Edinburgh Military Tatoo for a sold-out crowd every night!)

The day I adopted my first dog, Piper, when I lived in St. Louis and the day we adopted our dog, Polly.

My first year of teaching here at Leopold! There is nothing like it --- I love it!

"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world."






Updated: October 3, 2016