Two FHSD Teachers Receive Inspiring Teacher Award

Posted on 02/11/2019
Two FHSD Teachers Receive Inspiring Teacher Award

Inspiring students to achieve their full potential and pursuing their next big step in life is something that all teachers want to achieve. The mission of the Challenger Learning Center St. Louis is to inspire the future generation of innovators with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Combining the best of both, two FHSD teachers were recently honored with the Challenger Learning Center – St. Louis 2019 Inspiring Teacher award.

Recipients were nominated by former students who were inspired by these educators to dive further into the STEM field. The recognition is presented annually to seven teachers in the St. Louis area in remembrance of the seven Challenger astronauts. Among these astronauts was Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher in space. Rita Beard, retired Central Elementary teacher, and Missy Kelly, Spectra teacher at Warren Elementary, were nominated by their former students to receive the award.

“Mrs. Beard was instrumental in my STEM journey,” said FHSD graduate Heather Robinett, who is now the director of software architecture and systems engineering at AT&T. “Every time I struggled in college, I reminded myself that Mrs. Beard believed in me. That reminder helped me to believe in myself, too.”

Beard was more than shocked to be nominated for the award. “The student that nominated me was someone I taught in the 80’s! The fact that she still thinks I made a difference in her life and career path is very humbling,” said Beard.

“It’s difficult sometimes to not get discouraged when trying something new time and time again, but Mrs. Kelly reminded us that we were learning even when whatever we were attempting didn’t work out,” said former FHSD student Jordan Banze. “Learning at an early age in elementary school how to persevere, work with others, and to be creative were critical under Mrs. Kelly’s supervision to accomplish our STEM tasks.”

“I think of all of the teachers who have inspired me in the past,” said Kelly. “I only hope that I can be inspiring in the same way for my students.”

Congratulations to these two amazing teachers who have gone above and beyond to encourage and inspire a love of learning in their students!

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