Dr. Sladek: MVR3 - Truman Elementary Principal

Dr. Sladek: MVR3 - Truman Elementary Principal

I'm an educator who can meet and support the needs of the community, students and staff in the MVR3 School District. -- Mother, Wife, Administrator, Leader

Operating as usual


A little summer fun with a side kick passion! Love our little community and the opportunities that Ultimate Performance Training provides for our kiddos.

Don't miss out on our Summer Soccer Camp!!

Kick off your fall soccer season with a new set of soccer skills with our summer soccer camp! Camp is designed to improve soccer footskills, passing, receiving and finishing. Players will have drills designed for their skill level to ensure all members are getting the most out of their summer workouts.

Coach Sladek is in the Webster Hall of Fame and one of the most decorated collegiate soccer players in STL. She brings her vast knowledge of the game to our campers as they prep for the fall season!

Join us at Pacific High School's soccer field this July!

Photos from Dr. Sladek: MVR3 - Truman Elementary Principal's post 23/05/2024

As I settle in for one more sleep before the school year comes to an end…I want to leave you with this message.

“If it’s difficult to say goodbye, consider your life truly blessed”

I have quite the heavy heart as I write this…
Recently, I feel like I have been bombarded with “goodbyes” and the reality of this week creeping in. Quite the bittersweet celebration to behold...a lifetime of memories and magic made in these hallways and the resiliency of this staff, the students and our parent community... and the forward direction everyone is heading into! Each Truman staff, student and family having their own unique path ahead of them ready to conquer.

Saying “goodbye” has many meanings across many environments. Whether you are saying goodbye to a job, a friend, a home, a beloved pet or family member; whether it’s for a moment, for the day or for a life-time – there’s quite an art to the gesture. We have all said goodbye to the “old way” of doing things or been faced at a crossroads where a decision had to be made.

Over the last few weeks –we have started to say goodbye to this school year. A school year... like no other. The crazy, unpredictable, ever-changing, emotional year. Since the decision was made about Truman Elementary's future it felt like the last few months were so long yet so unbearably short. In an instant the year is coming to a close and I am left feeling robbed of precious time with those we cherish most.

Endless questions swirl our brains. – “Did I do enough?”, “What will they remember from this school year?” “What will happen next year?”. While I can’t promise you all of the kiddos will remember the countless hours of work the staff and the parents put in to create such a magical year under such tremendous heartache and pressure, I can promise you that I will. I am honored to have been a part of working with the inspirational teachers, dedicated staff, and supportive families in the midst of a such an emotional roller coaster.

If you take away nothing else from this school year, take away the fact that we all stayed present in a time of uncertainty and this staff gave all they could give and more to the students and families that relied on them to do so.

In my own life, I’m saying goodbye to one "role" in my career while moving onto another. While I am hesitant/nervous/scared for the challenge of a new position and being presented the opportunity to impact even more little lives and families – I reflect on what I’ve learned and how I got here. I take away the invaluable lessons I’ve learned from all the teachers, children, and classrooms I have encountered at Truman Elementary. I cannot think of the little souls who have impacted my life without experiencing pure joy. I am honored and humbled to take with me the memories and lessons from each person I have encountered along the way. Thank YOU for that.

When saying goodbye, remember: we are more than our emotions because we have the ability to stay mindful. Saying goodbye can feel overwhelming. Reflect on how you are feeling when you say goodbye. Realize how that person, thing or situation impacted you. Remember the lessons you learned and teach them to others to honor the memory.

So as we close out this week strong tomorrow ...
I say to you... Goodbye for now – I wish you all endless happiness
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”

And as time does its thing… and continues forward… with no pause’s - this is a reminder that:
-goodbyes take longer than a Thursday afternoon.
-goodbyes take longer than a long breath in and a stuttering breath out.
… and that’s when you realize that goodbyes aren’t for the weak.

Photos from Dr. Sladek: MVR3 - Truman Elementary Principal's post 15/05/2024

Today my heart is FULL.
I am still so suprised and… gosh … just so thankful and grateful for the Tribe I am surrounded by.
To see a big piece of my heart sitting across the gym and all of Truman and its biggest fans waiting for me to walk into our morning assembly - phew 😮‍💨 -
A homegrown hero.

This morning I was SURPRISED with the Homegrown Hero Award. Implemented by St. Louis District Dairy Council (SLDDC), the award rallies schools to nominate those who make a difference.

If that doesn’t make you feel like a 🦸‍♀️ super woman I don’t know what would.

The article reads, “Overall, eight individuals in Missouri and 18 individuals in Illinois were nominated for the award. On May 14, the SLDDC awarded the grand prize Homegrown Hero Award to Dr. Jenna Sladek, principal of Truman Elementary School in the Meramec Valley R-III School District. Chrissy Meininger’s fourth-grade students submitted a nomination video for Sladek. The students produced the video, from start to finish, and led a recognition assembly for Dr. Sladek.

“Dr. Sladek leads us with courage, honesty and challenges us to be the best version of ourselves so that we can encourage our students to be their best,” Meininger said. “Dr. Sladek is a homegrown hero because she is a selfless leader, giving her time and energy to our school, our students and their families, and our local community. My students all agree that Dr. Sladek makes us believe in ourselves."

⬆️ that’s about me! 🤯
These kiddos are amazing! Their video was amazing! Their teacher is amazing! How LUCKY am I?

Now, with 6 days left…
Thanks for being YOU!
Finish strong and…
…Go be your best you🫶

Full article: https://www.mvr3.k12.mo.us/o/truman/article/1599007

Photos from Dr. Sladek: MVR3 - Truman Elementary Principal's post 13/05/2024

It’s May.

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and I feel the need you to close it out strong and just send a gentle reminder that those “teachers” are people….

Teachers have moms and dads and babies and friends and significant others and feelings and burdens. Just like the average human.

Teachers get to school early, and leave late, and worry. They text each other on Sundays, grade on Saturdays, and spend too much of their own money on classrooms that are second homes. Rugs and lamps. Juice boxes and snacks. Framed pictures and extra chargers.

Teachers wonder about your kids, build relationships with your kids, and remember them years later. Teachers worry about them, and are thankful for them even years later. Possession changes—they are your kids, but they are their kids, too.

Teachers inspire, protect, defend, and advocate for your kids. Every single day.

Ceaselessly. Doggedly. Unashamedly. Teachers root for for the underdogs and cheer for the successes and even when their hands are tired of clapping—they just don’t stop.

They are exhausted. It’s spring, and your kids are tired, and you’re tired, and teachers are trying to make up the difference. And that difference sometimes looks like bigger gestures, later nights planning new, inventive lessons, more excitement, more, more, more.


They somehow always find a way to do more with less.

The final bell rings, they sit at their desks, and they take a deep breath. And they’ll do it all again the next day, and the next. Because teachers are rooted in love.

It’s a marathon.

It’s not a sprint.

And they signed up for the long haul.

And your kids are worth it.

So tomorrow, when you’re dropping off your kids or sending them out the door—say an extra prayer of thanks for the teachers. Chances are? Your kid’s teacher is offering one up, too—one full of joy and gratitude—just for your kiddo.

And the way I see it?

The world could use more of that right now.

***⬆️ from Rebecca Cooper, Author***

A quick recap of our Tribes last Tecaher Appreciation week together:
-Monday everyone received a word cloud of reasons they are loved from students and parents.
-Tuesday we spent some quality time together having lots of laughs and starting a Truman Timeline from beginning to end. Also got to give away donation giftcards from the The Husereau Team🫶
-Wednesday we teamed up with the AH-Mazing Sam from Vero Fitness Pacific turning out Zen Den into a leg compression sleeve, red light therapy, paraffin wax hand massage spa room and it was 👌perfection!
-Thursday the crew was split into teams and given a $20 bill and 30 minutes to go spread kindness and man oh man … MY HEART WAS OVERFLOWING … with their smiles and thoughtfulness
-Friday everyone received a shadow box with a flowers to remember the beauty of growth they give to every kiddo and family that walks thru our halls and their own personal growth from their years at Truman, a quote for reflection about phases we all go thru and the realization that our last day at Truman Elementary with kids, May 23rd 2024, will be a FULL MOON. And lyrics to our song we have been clinging to as a school and singing weekly, Let Me Be by Fancy Hagood

Closing out this week hits different.
I’m just so proud and so thankful to work in this exhausting, emotional, heart work, dedicated, one of a kind, field of work… education!


I have had a week of reflection, kind texts, emails, and words of encouragement from many of you and others throughout our community and I have smiled and embraced each of those – so thank you!

I read a quote recently and it perfectly sums up this news and transition:

“And then it happens…
One day you wake up and you’re in this place. You’re in this place where everything feels right.
Your heart is calm. Your soul is lit. Your thoughts are positive. Your vision is clear.
You’re at peace,
at peace with where you’ve been, at peace with what you’ve been through and at peace with where you’re headed.”

I am excited and feel grateful to have the opportunity to take on this new role in the coming 2024-2025 school year. It has taken me a bit to process how this all worked out but this transition will be smooth and exciting all in one big wave of fun! 💜

Two MVR-III Principals Transition to New Roles

Meramec Valley R-III School District is delighted to announce the appointments of Mr. Keith Orris as the Pacific High School principal and Dr. Jenna Sladek as the principal of Zitzman Elementary for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year.

Mr. Orris, an educator with 17 years of experience, is returning to Pacific High School where he began his educational journey as the Business Education teacher. Dr. Sladek, current Truman Elementary Principal and a 13-year educator, joined the MVR-III School District in 2017 as the assistant principal at both Zitzman and Coleman Elementary schools.

Visit bit.ly/mvr3news to read more, and please join us in congratulating Mr. Orris and Dr. Sladek on their new roles for the 2024-2025 school year.



Photos from Dr. Sladek: MVR3 - Truman Elementary Principal's post 05/02/2024

Dear Mrs. Lydon-Lorson,

Thank YOU for being a main source of continuity for students amidst changes and challenges both inside and outside of school. Your thoughtful encouragement and consistent presence helps students to feel seen and supported every. single. day.

Thank YOU for reaching beyond the school walls to support families. You are a bridge between students and families and local community organizations that provide support for food, housing, mental health needs, and so much more. SO. MUCH. MORE.

Thank YOU for helping all students plan for their futures or even just ground them to be their best selves in the 'now'. At Truman Elementary, you make sure students have the social and emotional skills they need to be successful both now and in the future.

Thank YOU for the comfortable space you provide. Whether it be a listening ear, a place to calm down, or a trusted presence nearby, you have a way of meeting students’ needs – oftentimes even before they realize they are in need of support. Not to even mention the staff support and overall gift you are to every human under our roof.

Thank YOU for your constant advocacy. You know how to support our students, and you work tirelessly to get them what they need. You work to creatively remove barriers to learning and engaging with peers, and always lead with putting students first.

Thank YOU for finding ways to reach all of our students – from those that need more gentle nudges and support to those that require one-on-one mentoring. Your ability to know all of our students, for their unique selves, and what they need is REMARKABLE.

Thank YOU for playing a central role in our school support system at TE. You find ways to collaborate and evaluate each situation as it presents itself so we can work together to deliver the best support to all students and staff in all situations. YOU ARE MY LIFE LINE.

Thank YOU for the professional development you provide to all of those within our school building. From impromptu conversations in the hallways that guide teachers to new perspectives and understanding to leading more formal meeting and helping put supports in place.

Thank YOU for all of your work in helping to build a positive school climate. I recognize all that you do to teach important social emotional skills and model effective conflict resolution and collaboration. Your lessons and leadership have a positive ripple effect throughout the entire school community.

And, during these past few months of school when everyone – students, teachers, and families – have required more support than usual, you have been there to lend a helping hand or jump in to support wherever needed. You constantly smooth out rough edges and find a way to turn big emotions into positive action.

Thank you for changing lives for the better, one day at a time.
I am forever grateful to have led alongside you the past 5 years.
What a gift you have been to me and my leadership...just by being YOU.

Thank YOU - Happy Counselor's Week friend.


The Meramec Valley R-III School District has been actively engaged in a Long-Range Planning process for the past year. The Board of Education priorities throughout this process have been to enhance the educational experience for all students, be good stewards of tax dollars by operating with efficient learning spaces, while planning for a future of providing innovative learning opportunities. In the face of district challenges such as declining enrollment, aging facilities, and financial constraints, the Board of Education approved to consolidate an elementary school. With this consolidation, Truman Elementary students will become part of either Coleman Elementary or Zitzman Elementary school for the 2024-2025 school year. District leaders are actively working through next steps to deliver a seamless transition for Truman Elementary students and staff, and will provide future communication regarding additional details.

The consolidation recognizes the need for efficiency and sustainability in the Meramec Valley R-III School District. The restructuring of elementary schools not only addresses immediate operational budgetary concerns, but also positions the district to positively navigate future facility upgrades and improve student programming. Specifically, the Truman Elementary site will be the focus of the Long-Range Planning process and a possible middle school for all district students.

The Meramec Valley R-III School District appreciates the feedback and collaboration with staff, parents, and the community to balance making these difficult decisions while always doing what’s best for our kids. District leadership and the Board of Education will continue their proactive approach to Long-Range Planning, seeking to secure a sustainable future for the students, staff, and community.


Three MVR-III Schools Earn Missouri Schools of Character Recognition

PACIFIC, MO (January 26, 2024) - The Meramec Valley R-III School District is overjoyed to announce that three of its schools: Zitzman Elementary, Nike Elementary, and Truman Elementary, have earned state recognition for their exemplary focus on character development. This recognition not only reflects the dedication and hard work of the staff, but also underscores the positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate.

Zitzman Elementary proudly joins an elite group, being named one of the eighty-seven State Schools of Character across the nation. Meanwhile, Nike Elementary and Truman Elementary stand out as the only two schools in the state to receive the prestigious Missouri State School of Character Honorable Mention.

The Meramec Valley R-III School District has a longstanding and fruitful partnership with CharacterPlus, a leading nonprofit organization based in St. Louis. This collaboration has been instrumental in fostering student achievement, supporting social and emotional development, and creating positive learning communities. The district's commitment to character development is evident in its collaborative efforts with CharacterPlus, reinforcing a shared vision for holistic education.

Dr. Ketina Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent, expressed her excitement over the achievements, stating, "We are thrilled with the news of Zitzman, Nike, and Truman Elementary Schools earning state recognition for their unwavering commitment to character development within their school communities. The staff dedication of each school to fostering a growth mindset and prioritizing whole-school improvement over the past four years has set a commendable standard. This achievement not only reflects their hard work, but also highlights the positive impact made on shaping resilient, collaborative, respectful, and responsible individuals."

This recognition is not just a testament to the hard work of the staff, but also an acknowledgment of the entire school community's efforts in embracing the journey of character development. The Meramec Valley R-III School District takes pride in celebrating the success of its schools, and this achievement marks a significant milestone in the district's ongoing commitment to excellence in education.

Schools designated as State Schools of Character hold the prestigious title for five years and are eligible for evaluation as National Schools of Character. The State Schools of Character program in Missouri is locally managed by CharacterPlus. Through the Meramec Valley R-III School District’s partnership with CharacterPlus and coaching support of Senior Facilitator, Debbie Brandt, schools receive evidence-based development and training. For additional information, please visit characterplus.org/schoolsofcharacter.


The MVR-III School District will be closed Monday, January 22, 2024 due to inclement weather and road conditions. Stay safe and warm, MVNation!


The Meramec Valley R-III School District will be closed Friday, January 19, 2024 due to inclement weather. Stay safe & warm!


Our notification system is experiencing a high volume of users which is causing a delay in our voice call. The MVR-III School District will be closed Wednesday, January 17, 2024 due to inclement weather and road conditions. Stay safe and warm, MVNation!


The MVR-III School District will be closed Tuesday, January 16, 2024 due to cold temperatures. Stay safe and warm, MVNation!


MVR-III is hiring a school nurse for Truman Elementary (effective immediately). This is a 9-month school year contract, and pay starts at $21.79 (RN) or $16.72 (LPN) per hour with steps given toward experience. If you are interested (or know someone who might be), find out more and apply at bit.ly/MVR3HR.


Meramec Valley R-III School District invites all families and community members to learn more about the Long-Range Master Planning process. Each elementary building will host an informational meeting at 5:30 PM on the following date:
* Truman - Tuesday, Jan. 9
* Robertsville - Thursday, Jan. 11
* Nike - Tuesday, Jan. 16
* Coleman - Monday, Jan. 22
* Zitzman - Tuesday, Jan. 23


We are looking for another big heart to join our Tribe and help keep us healthy and care for us - it would be the perfect way to start the new year! January is the start date since Nurse Barb is retiring in December 💜❤️

MVR-III is now hiring a school nurse (RN or LPN) for Truman Elementary. If you are interested (or know someone who might be), find out more and apply at bit.ly/MVR3HR.


Truman Elementary is continuing to make waves… this one award has been spoken about numerous times over the past couple months from the initial recognition this summer to recognition in Washington D.C. at the International forum to today where there is a article blurb in the Character.org Newsletter‼️

I think the title of the email struck me and an instant smile hit my face “This Promising Practice Will Inspire You!”

All the steps of recognition is a part of it I know but the idea of the impact ….and the ripples of effects ….that this promising practice can have on our district, this community, to inspire others, or even …the world… just wow.

The staff at Truman Elementary is THAT INCREDIBLE - they are game changers that take an idea… an intentional connection…and bring it to life year after year, day after day, for our kiddos

Click here to view the video and this practice in action:

Photos from Dr. Sladek: MVR3 - Truman Elementary Principal's post 09/11/2023

I had the honor and privilege of traveling to Washington D.C. alongside two deserving teachers the past couple days to receive recognition and our award for a National Promising Practice 2023.
Our promising Practice recognition was for our 10x2 “I Believe in You” initiative.
Something that Truman Elementary has done consistently now for 3+ years is every fall take 10 days and talk to the same/specific student all 10 days for 2 minutes (or more) … every staff member picks a kiddo and devotes time for connection and just being human. Connection and intentional relationship building is something that is easily lost in an education world with high standards, expectations and fast-paced forward thinking and all the hustle and hard work that goes along with it.
These two teachers took time, energy and above and beyond effort to highlight this practice at Truman and the pay off was big. Getting to spend time with them outside the classroom was humbling, fun, and the amount of growth one can have by surrounding yourself with amazing people is unmeasurable.
Plus being surrounded by Joe Beckman, Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, and all things Character.org it was simply a privelege to be piece of the time given to be together … to learn, grow, reflect and just be.

I am a proud principal and going to bed with a full and grateful heart.

Photos from Dr. Sladek: MVR3 - Truman Elementary Principal's post 31/10/2023

October is Principal Appreciation Month and Truman Tribe staff have totally gone above and beyond to use the entire month to make me feel special and appreciated.
From flowers, to a basket of goodies, to a hot coffee delivery, to a delivered lunch, and to a gift card to eat out with the fam.
Woooweeee do those little things feel like great BIG things to me.
The love.
The appreciation.
Thank YOU for letting me be… my own kind of leader and thank YOU for doing the little things and making everyone around you better and brighter!



My OG's here already know this, but for any new darlings who've stumbled into my little corner of the internet, here is my yearly PSA about the first week/weekend of school:

Listen up and listen up good. The first week of school is a gauntlet that I wonder how our kids survive every year. Having basically lived in a frat house all summer, they are now expected to sit in chairs all day, pay attention, learn new rules, figure out the social hierarchy, be quiet, and keep their mental foot on the gas for 7-8 hours a day.

They are WASTED. Absolutely cooked. If by some miracle they don't melt down at school, you can bet your bottom dollar they will at home. Prepare to experience armageddon over the after-school snack being cut wrong. They can't deal. It is like their little minds and bodies went to Marine Boot Camp for babies. Remy started her senior year yesterday, came home at 2:00, and slept from 2:06-10:45pm. God help us.

So do NOT, under any circumstances WHATSOEVER, plan anything for the first Friday night/whole weekend of the first week of school. I don't care if Barack and Michelle Obama invite you over for a barbecue. You are staying home. You make exactly zero plans. Zero. Your only job is to keep your wasted children calm enough to fall asleep on the couch by 6:15pm.

"Mmm-hmmm. That sounds hard."
"We can work on that."
"Let's have a snack."

They are wild, crazed animals. Do not take the exhaustion bait. Just nod. They are right. Everything is terrible and you did everything wrong. Let them air all their grievances. They need a banana and some water. Don't ask them a hundred questions about school. Don't ask them four questions about school. It's not the time, moms.

When they come home Friday, have the lights low, their cozy spot on the couch ready, a soft blanket to cover them with, pizza ordered, and a movie on. THAT IS IT. That is the end of your agenda. They will make it through 8 minutes of the show and be in REM sleep.

If in an emergency you can't peel them off the rafters, put them in a Feelings Bath: bubbles, music, a candle, a little snack and drink next to them. This has a 100% success rate. They will NOT WANT A BATH except when you put them in it and they emerge as a calm, regulated child again. Then off to the pizza and movie couch.

Trust me on this one. If I know anything at all, I know that your "fun plans" for the first Friday night of school are doomed to catastrophe. Unless you love throwing sobbing, overstimulated children into your minivan halfway through the thing, just stay home.

Last year, moms posted pics of their kids asleep after school on the first week, and this is the whole reason Al Gore invented the internet. Half off couches, face down on the tile, asleep next to their dinner plate. God bless and keep the babies. Please post below accordingly.

Finally, teachers? Take every word I said above and apply it to yourself. MAKE NO PLANS THIS WEEKEND. The most you are allowed to do is call Domino's.



Hello Little Ireland 🇮🇪 followers….

With St. Bridgett’s starting school 🏫 tomorrow and Pacific next week we thought a drink marking the occasion would be amazing. Introducing the Pacific Punch Refresher.

Stop in and get one to make going back to school amazing.

Don’t forget skip the line - order on-line: https://little-ireland-coffee.square.site




The MVR-III Bridge Foundation is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to develop community support to enhance the educational experience of MVR-III students, faculty, organizations, and families by raising, managing, and distributing financial resources. Their annual Back-to-School Bash is Saturday, Aug. 5th at Pacific High School for MVR-III families. Participants are asked to complete the 23-24 Free/Reduced Meal Application prior to visiting event booths. See the flier for details.


Join our team! Family friendly schedule, full employer paid health insurance, and retirement benefits. Training and certification available for various positions. If you have interest in applying for a position, use the link to apply or call 636-271-1400. TOGETHER, we can make a difference for kids! 🤩
Link to apply: https://www.applitrack.com/mvr3/onlineapp/

Photos from Dr. Sladek: MVR3 - Truman Elementary Principal's post 21/07/2023

Day 2 surrounded by strong women…it hits different.
It’s that good stuff that makes your soul shiny and your heart warm.
All the feels for the warriors with hearts of gold leading the way for an opportunity and network that is bound for greatness

Women’s Leadership Retreat was empowering and encouraging and I feel honored to have been a part of it!

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