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Westridge's Molly Clince Named a Regional Teacher of the Year

Westridge's Molly Clince Named a Regional Teacher of the Year

Westridge Elementary fifth-grade teacher Molly Clince has been named one of 34 regional honorees from around the state in the Missouri Teacher of the Year program.

EducationPlus and the St. Louis Regional Professional Development Center selected Clince as one of 10 awardees from the St. Louis region, chosen by a committee of nine education professionals as teachers of excellence. She is now eligible to participate at the state level in the Missouri Teacher of the Year program, which is conducted annually by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

DESE will select a Missouri Teacher of the Year in October, who will then become a candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

"Being named a St. Louis Regional Teacher of the Year is a humbling honor," Clince said. "Our area is filled with so many exceptional educators, and I feel fortunate to be able to represent St. Louis educators in this process. I am exceptionally blessed to represent the tremendous love, respect, and dedication Rockwood educators bring to their students daily. 

"I love what I do each and every day. My recognition as a Regional Teacher of the Year simply means I am the face of all the other educators around us who also love what they do and for whom they do it. I represent a collective, and I take that honor seriously." 

Clince is a Rockwood graduate – attending Ellisville Elementary, Crestview Middle and Lafayette High – who began her career in education as a technology teaching assistant at Westridge in 2006. She has been a classroom teacher at Westridge since 2009 and has been nominated for school Teacher of the Year seven times.

Clince was named Rockwood School District Teacher of the Year at the ROSE Award Ceremony on May 5.

"Her dedication, passion and impact on her students and the Westridge school community are truly exceptional," said Westridge Principal Dr. Dan Gieseler. "Her classroom is not just a space for learning; it is a nurturing environment where every child feels valued, encouraged and motivated to succeed. Mrs. Clince goes above and beyond to tailor her teaching methods to accommodate diverse learning styles, ensuring that each student reaches their full potential."

Clince and the other St. Louis Regional Teachers of the Year will be honored at an Aug. 12 banquet attended by their peers, school administrators and family members. Dr. Chris Kilbride, Ritenour School District superintendent, will deliver remarks.

The DESE Teacher of the Year program recognizes and honors the contributions of the classroom teacher, as no one has a greater impact on the education of a child than a teacher who creates a learning environment where children flourish and grow. The mission of the Missouri Teacher of the Year program is to honor, promote and celebrate excellence in the teaching profession for the more than 70,000 dedicated teachers in the state.

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