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Saying goodbye to Leah McCoy

Leah+McCoy+stands+with+the+Spark%21+Students+who+won+%241%2C000+Phelps+Entrepreneurship+grants+from+the+Parkway+Alumni+Association+in+2018.+McCoy+loved+working+with+Spark%21+students+because+she+thinks+the+students+are+what+makes+the+program+special+to+her.+%E2%80%9CIt+has+been+fun+and+inspiring+to+see+how+they+evolve+through+the+year+each+year.+I%27ve+been+so+impressed+with+the+way+the+students+put+themselves+out+there+to+network+and+build+connections+with+mentors+and+others+who+can+help+them+in+the+business+community%2C%E2%80%9D+McCoy+said.
Leah McCoy stands with the Spark! Students who won $1,000 Phelps Entrepreneurship grants from the Parkway Alumni Association in 2018. McCoy loved working with Spark! students because she thinks the students are what makes the program special to her. “It has been fun and inspiring to see how they evolve through the year each year. I've been so impressed with the way the students put themselves out there to network and build connections with mentors and others who can help them in the business community,” McCoy said.

Leah McCoy stands with the Spark! Students who won $1,000 Phelps Entrepreneurship grants from the Parkway Alumni Association in 2018. McCoy loved working with Spark! students because she thinks the students are what makes the program special to her. “It has been fun and inspiring to see how they evolve through the year each year. I've been so impressed with the way the students put themselves out there to network and build connections with mentors and others who can help them in the business community,” McCoy said.

Courtesy of Leah McCoy

Courtesy of Leah McCoy

Leah McCoy stands with the Spark! Students who won $1,000 Phelps Entrepreneurship grants from the Parkway Alumni Association in 2018. McCoy loved working with Spark! students because she thinks the students are what makes the program special to her. “It has been fun and inspiring to see how they evolve through the year each year. I've been so impressed with the way the students put themselves out there to network and build connections with mentors and others who can help them in the business community,” McCoy said.

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Alumna Leah McCoy resigned as executive director of the Parkway Alumni Association (PAA) after working with Parkway for eight years, two of those years as Executive Director of the PAA. McCoy is leaving her position because her family is moving to Ohio.

“We are being transferred for my husband’s career. My next step is to get my kids settled into their new school and our new home. I enjoy working in the non-profit sector, so that’s where I’ll look,” McCoy said. “My career has always been in public education, and I enjoy giving back to the community through my day-to-day work.”

One of McCoy’s favorite memories from her time at Parkway was Parkway Family Day at Busch Stadium in 2014.

“We invited Dr. Al Burr, Parkway West’s first principal, to throw out the game’s first pitch. It was incredible to see how many people came from across the country just to see him! Some had not seen Dr. Burr in over 30 years, and he still remembered every single student by name!” McCoy said. “I heard so many stories that day about what an impact Dr. Burr made on so many students’ lives. He was an incredible educator and an inspiration to many.”

The Light of Parkway program was launched McCoy’s first year as executive director and is one of her greatest accomplishments since working with Parkway.

“The PAA Light of Parkway Award was created to recognize Parkway operations staff members who have helped to create a positive and caring environment for the people they serve in Parkway. The award honors the memory of Sandy Finch, a former Parkway bus driver known for her exceptionally upbeat attitude and helpful interactions with staff members, students and parents,” McCoy said. “Up to five employees are chosen each year, each winner receives $500, a plaque and is honored at Parkway Appreciation Evening. It is the first award that is specifically for Parkway support staff.”

The best part about being executive director of the PAA for McCoy was “awards season” when she would be able to go into classrooms and hand out Granting Dreams awards to students.

“I also love visiting schools and surprising teachers and staff with Albert Awards, Teacher of the Year Awards and Light of Parkway Awards! It is so much fun making someone else’s day, and recognizing them for the great things they do every day in Parkway,” McCoy said.

I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to graduate from Parkway West in 1998 and [then to have the] opportunity to work in this wonderful school district.”

— Leah McCoy

McCoy says that she what she will miss the most about being executive director of the PAA is connecting with alumni.

“There are now over 80,000 Parkway graduates spread all over the world. I enjoy talking to our alumni, hearing their stories and connecting people with each other,” McCoy said.

As she reflects on her time working with the district she has been involved with her entire life, McCoy has advice for Amy Cole Buehler who will be filling her shoes as the new executive director.

“In this job, relationships matter. Make as many meaningful connections as you can with alumni, teachers, retired teachers and staff members. The bigger your network, the better you’ll be able to serve the Parkway community!” McCoy said. “I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to graduate from Parkway West in 1998 and [then to have the] opportunity to work in this wonderful school district. I am sad to be leaving but excited for the new leader who will be taking my place [who is also a West alumni]. I know she’s going to do great!”

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About the Writer
Sarah Lashly, COPY COACH

Grade:  11

Years on Staff:  3

If you were a fictional character, who would you be?  Garfield

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