Two SG R-II Teachers Receive  2023 Missouri Retired Teacher Foundation Grants

Congratulations to Traci Roemer, special education teacher at Ste. Genevieve High School, and Stephanie Sulser, first grade teacher at Ste. Genevieve Elementary, who were recently chosen as recipients of a $500 grant from the Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation (MRTF) for classroom supplies! The Missouri Retired Teachers Association (MRTA) encompasses 14 regions statewide and over 140 local units. Ste. Genevieve County is located in Region 11, which also includes nine other counties. Congratulations to these two educators for receiving these funds to bolster our students’ educational experiences this year!

The district would like to thank the Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation for funding the following supplies for our students. Their generous support will go toward building our students’ skills, knowledge and confidence in learning!

Mrs. Sulser submitted an application for four sets of decodable readers for her students, a resource that supports the district’s approach to literacy instruction that follows and implements the Science of Reading. The decodable readers help target phonics skills that each individual student can work on during small group instruction. 

“The goal for this project is to provide texts that will focus on the skills students need to be more accurate and fluent readers,” she said. “This particular set of decodable readers follow a scope and sequence that works well with our phonics curriculum; therefore, these books will be a great tool for teaching these littles how to read. They feature a set of characters in which my students can get to know and love across all the books in the set.”

Mrs. Roemer submitted an application for four different graphic novels for her students in Program English. The graphic novels she requested would enhance the success her students feel with reading, with the hope of carrying over to other classes they attend. 

Research suggests that graphic novels provide the following benefits:

  • help students develop comprehension, inference, and vocabulary skills as students don’t struggle with the format

  • foster comprehension and vocabulary through illustrations 

  • improve literacy in reluctant readers due to the visual elements

  • teach students to read with expression

  • use text and pictures to draw conclusions which requires deeper thinking than just reading

  • expose students to many literary devices with images and text

  • allow students of all abilities to read and discuss the same text

  • help students learn about using precise language and punctuation basics

“My goal with providing students with more relatable graphic novels is simple: I would like them to read independently, build comprehension skills, and grow their reading skills through the use of words and pictures,” she said. “I want my students to have the opportunity to read high-interest, relatable, grade level, diverse texts to get them to connect to books.”


The Missouri Retired Teachers Association (MRTA) is an association of retired educators whose purpose is to promote the professional, social, and economic welfare of all retired school employees. MRTA was organized in December 1960. According to the MRTA website, the association includes nearly 27,000 members.


The Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation was created in 2001 by the Board of Directors of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association as a not-for-profit organization. The Foundation is devoted to raising funds to carry out certain charitable, educational, scientific, and literary purposes of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association and Public School Personnel (MRTA).