Teacher alter Egos

Brocksmith Guitar Guru 

Joe Brocksmith teaches science and is the sponsor for Ecology Club. Outside of school, Brocksmith is the lead guitarist and back-up vocalist in a ‘90s rock cover band, “That’s What She Said.” “I always enjoyed playing music, and I’ve been playing music since I was like 10 years old,” Brocksmith said. Although Brocksmith says he likes being in the band, there are disadvantages to it as well. Every Monday the band practices at the drummer’s house in South City and almost every other weekend the band plays late at several local establishments and taverns. “I really don’t like getting home at three o’clock in the mornings after we play our shows,” Brocksmith said. Some students would be surprised to know that Brocksmith is in a band, but many students who know think it’s a cool thing to do. “I’ve been frequently asked questions by my students about the band; they always harass me to perform for them,” Brocksmith said.

Santos Fluent Flutist

Brian Santos, Spanish teacher  at FHN, leader of the Spanish Club,and a flute player of 12 years. “I enjoy the challenge of it, the fact that I can practice for decades and never master it,” Santos said. “In order to sound good you have to be a perfectionist.”  Every Christmas Santos plays “Feliz Navidad” to his students. He also plays when they do work stations to indicate when it’s time for the students to change stations.  “At first I was shocked, but then I was thrilled,” Senior, Knight Pride member, Kelliann Corrao said.

Gunnell Books n’ Bikes

Over the summer, FHN librarian Angie Gunnell biked the entire 225 miles of the Katy Trail, which stretches most of the state of Missouri.  “I bike almost exclusively on the Katy Trail because I love being in the outdoors, like in the woods. I’m kind of a nature girl,” Gunnell said.  Most students don’t know that Gunnell biked the entire Katy Trail but are pleasantly surprised when they find out. “I think it’s cool that she rides bikes,” sophomore Natasha Kozak said.

Barlow Savvy Stylist

Ami Barlow is a third- year history teacher at Francis Howell North and a hair stylist at Great Clips. “It’s kind of like coaching a sport,” Barlow said. “If you do something you really love then you make time for it.” Barlow is repeatedly asked to cut her students hair but con- tinually turns them down, not wanting to mix the two worlds. “I think [having two jobs] shows students they can have a serious side and a creative side, and you can do whatever you want,” Barlow said.