By Debbie Monterrey

There are plenty of bad stories in the news about schools, students and educators. Monday night was all about highlighting great teachers who not only educate, but inspire their students.

I was honored to emcee for the second year in a row the Peabody Energy Leaders In Education Awards Dinner. All of the educators I highlighted on KMOX throughout the year were in attendance and we named the Educator of the year–Webster Groves High School’s Julie Burchett.

Peabody Energy Leaders in Education 2013 Award Honorees

Peabody Energy Leaders in Education 2013 Award Honorees

Ms. Burchett is a social studies and experiential learning teacher who created the school’s Statesman Center to help at-risk students reach their goals.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee was the keynote speaker and watching the highlights of her career and hearing about the importance education played in her upbringing was a treat.

You can nominate an educator for this award! All the honorees get $1,000 and the Educator of the Year receives another $5,000! But of course, it’s not about the money. It’s about recognizing those who go over and above.

It was a lovely evening, featuring musical entertainment by Allegro from COCA, as well as a fun and delicious dessert presentation by Casey Shiller, coordinator of the Baking and Pastry program at St. Louis Community College, and his students. (You may know Shiller as the two-time winner of “Cupcake Wars” for Jilly’s Cupcakes).

It was late on a school night, but well worth it! (And I got to take home some cupcakes).


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