science teacher Dr. Cathy Farrar was named a Regional Teacher of the Year by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
Farrar, the Rockwood School District Teacher of the Year
, is one of 34 Regional Teachers of the Year
and 10 to come from the St. Louis area.
"It's unreal, unexpected," Farrar said. "When you're surrounded by good educators, you don't really see how what you're doing is different or worthy of that kind of recognition. It's a wonderful surprise. I'm very excited."
As a Regional Teacher of the Year, Farrar is still in the running for Missouri State Teacher of the Year, which will be announced in August or September.
"Dr. Farrar's selection as a Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year is a testament to her innovative approach to teaching and learning, her meaningful engagement with students and her enthusiasm for scientific inquiry and research," said Rockwood Superintendent Dr. Mark Miles. "She allows each student to explore their passion and interests while supporting them in the development of new knowledge and skills."
Farrar has taught science at Marquette since 2012 and became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2018. She earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
She teaches biology – honors and sometimes AP – at Marquette as well as Authentic Science Research, a course that engages students in science and engineering practices so they learn to think and perform tasks as research scientists.
"We're very proud to have her as a teacher, very excited for her and the district," said Marquette Principal Dr. Steve Hankins. "Her ability to teach research and get kids excited about science is amazing. She is very dedicated, loves kids and is also a brilliant scientist. She's an amazing person, an amazing teacher, and we're proud that she is representing Marquette."
Farrar and the other St. Louis region honorees will be recognized at a reception later this month. All Regional Teachers of the Year will also be honored at the Missouri State Teacher of the Year awards banquet in October.
"I'm very lucky to work at Rockwood and Marquette," Farrar said. "It's a great group of people who are really supportive, and I couldn't do what I do in the research classes without my fellow teachers."