Altemeyer’s new career equation equals assistant principal’s position at OHS

Dave Marner

Kris Altemeyer’s mathematics students begin their class period sharing quick stories before getting down to business working difficult equations.

“Who has a story?” Altemeyer asks as his group of freshmen honors algebra students settle in after their lunch period. A quick story or two, he says, helps them relax a bit before an intense period of working math problems on their white boards begins.

It’s an honors class. Students want to be there and the pace is designed to stimulate this group of high achievers,  Altemeyer says.

Altemeyer will leave the classroom at the end of the spring term after 15 years to become the school’s assistant principal.

Altemeyer was offered an administrator’s contract following a Jan. 23 special meeting of the R-2 Board of Education. Also offered a contract that night was Dr. Scott Davidson as principal of Owensville Elementary (see related story).

“I’m excited about the energy they both bring,” said R-2 Superintendent Dr. Chuck Garner.

In selecting Altemeyer, the district’s directors chose a former student who has excelled in teaching mathematics to be their new assistant principal to Cindy Hawkins, who is completing her second year at Owensville High School.

“Kris is another good fit for the high school,” said Garner said of Altemeyer. “He has historical knowledge of the district. His strengths in working together with Mrs. (Cindy) Hawkins and his knowledge of the classrooms are great.”

Altemeyer is a 1998 graduate of OHS who went on to earn his undergraduate degree in secondary education at Fulton’s Westminster College. He earned his masters degree in educational administration with certification as a secondary school administrator in May 2009 from Missouri Baptist University.

He taught and coached basketball in Hermann for a year following his undergraduate work and joined the OHS math staff the following year in 2003. He has been an assistant coach in basketball and baseball at OHS and also coached middle school basketball during two extended stints over the past 15 years.

He has helped with overhauling the school’s student handbook and in analyzing and developing math curriculum  across the district.

 “He’s been a great math teacher for us,” said Garner. “He knows that side of the of the educational equation well, and knows the kids really well, so the transition will be really smooth.”

Altemeyer is ready for the new challenge.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the new challenge and the chance to do something different to help  out at the school.”

He and his wife, the former Anita Farris, have two young sons, Alex, 5, and Leo, 3. Their oldest will enter kindergarten in the fall; the youngest will begin preschool.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and my family and the next step in my career,” said Altemeyer.

His honors students were working the equation to determine distance between two points. Altemeyer walked between rows of chairs Thursday as they worked together to help each other understand the formula. One added a cheeseburger to her white board to signal success in solving the problem. There was some serious learning going on that afternoon. 

But first — there were a couple of quick stories.

OHS Class of 1998 produced 

several educators

Several of Kris Altemeyer’s classmates from the OHS Class of 1998 went into the education field.

Among those are Tina (Lewis) Wnuk, Andy Jahnsen, Neil Nowack, Dustin Gross, and Hillary (Alexander) Winter.

Wnuk left the OHS science program this past year to teach at St. James High School. Jahnsen teaches math and is head basketball in Ashland at Southern Boone County High School where he’s taught since 2003. 

Nowack is head football coach at Ft. Zumwalt West High school near St. Louis and teaches physical eduction. Gross taught and coached at Holt High School outside St. Louis before relocating to the east coast to join his wife’s family’s business. Winter was assisting with the OHS marching band this past fall.