Dustin Bitikofer, a 2003 Webster Groves High School graduate, and Lindsey Wilson, a 2003 MICDS graduate, have announced their engagement. Lindsey is the daughter of Jerry and Caryl Wilson of Creve Coeur. She works as an administrative coordinator at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine. The groom-to-be is the son of Webster-Kirkwood Times owner/publisher Dwight Bitikofer and South County resident Lisa Stevick. He is circulation manager for the Webster-Kirkwood Times, South County Times and West End Word newspapers. The couple will be married on Sept. 9 at Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Town and Country.
Kirkwood resident Chris Nieburg has accepted a new role as senior project manager for Maryland Heights-based Spiegelglass Construction Company, a 110-plus-year-old commercial general contractor. Nieburg will be supervising projects for longstanding clients including national chains, franchises and independently-owned businesses.
Melissa Ford, a graduate of the Webster Groves School District, Nerinx High School and Wellesley College, has recently accepted a position as associate professor of history at Slippery Rock University in Western Pennsylvania. Last year Ford completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at St. Louis University. She is revising her dissertation, "A Bible in One Hand and a Brick in the Other: African-American Working Women and Midwestern Black Radicalism During the Great Depression, 1929-1935," into her first book, under a contract with Southern Illinois University Press. Her parents, Nanette and Jim Ford of Webster Groves, also announce that Melissa is engaged to Todd Wermager of Minneapolis, Minn.
Luca Lane, son of Tom and Whitney Lane and an eighth grader at North Kirkwood Middle School, recently competed in the Super Nationals VI Chess Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. This is the largest rated chess tournament in the world. Lane tied for 35th place out of almost 400 players in his division.
Kirkwood native and Kirkwood High School graduate Jenny Laster received her doctor of philosophy in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on ethical and creative leadership in October 2016 from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati at age 70-plus. Her dissertation was titled, "An Autoethnography on a Nontraditional Career." Her Ph.D. work also included being a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar. In April she was featured in the Cincinnati Herald's supplement Prime for her many accomplishments.
Benjamin Krasnoff, a senior at Webster Groves High School, received a 36 on the ACT, the highest possible composite score. Fewer than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT earn the top score. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Scholar Bowl Team at the high school. Krasnoff was a delegate to the Youth Summit on the Environment this summer, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society and The National Zoo.
Kevin Miller and Karen Schleicher, both of Kirkwood, joined the recently established Great Rivers Greenway Foundation. Miller was named chief development officer and Schleicher development coordinator. Miller's prior experience includes 10 years with Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis. Schleicher brings more than 20 years of experience to the foundation. She most recently served as operations director in the Office of Philanthropy of the St. Louis Symphony.
Makenna Chappell, a sophomore at Kirkwood High School, and Georgia Huffman, an eighth grader at Nipher Middle School, were two of over 395 specially selected students nationwide to attend this summer's Joseph Baldwin Academy for Eminent Young Scholars at Truman State University. Chappell is the child of James and Nancy Chappell of Kirkwood; Huffman is the child of Trisha Gassen.
Victor Shah, a student at Nipher Middle School, was recently honored as one of the brightest young students in the world at an awards ceremony by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY). Shah was recognized for scoring exceptionally high on a rigorous, above-grade-level test such as the SAT or ACT. He was one of more than 27,000 students worldwide who participated in the CTY Talent Search. Only about 25 percent of participants earned the High Honors designation.
Andy Struckhoff of Kirkwood was recently promoted from associate director to vice president at PGAV Planners. In his new role, he will help to guide the firm's marketing and business development efforts, lead the professional development and growth of his colleagues, and develop strategies for expanding PGAV.
Kirkwood resident Michelle Chicoineau, a 2011 Nerinx Hall High School graduate, recently graduated summa cum laude from St. Louis College of Pharmacy. She is the daughter of Betsy and Phil Chicoineau.