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Rockwood South Student, Teacher Earn Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reading Awards

May 19, 2023

 A Rockwood student and her teacher smile while the student holds flowers and a certificateRockwood South Middle seventh-grader Diamond Lewis earned the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) Read 180 Award, celebrating students who have overcome learning challenges and experience growing success every day.

Lewis is one of only 24 students nationwide  -- and the only student from Missouri -- to earn the award.

Her language arts teacher, Helen Allinder, also earned an HMH System 44 Educator Award. She is one of only eight teachers, and the only one in the state, to earn this award.

Allinder nominated Lewis for her award.

"I nominated Diamond because of her outstanding work ethic and because she is a member of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS), earning A’s in all her classes,” Allinder said in a story on the Special School District (SSD) of St. Louis County website. "Not only is she a wonderful person, she is self-disciplined and does not allow distractions to interrupt her focus when working on assignments. I was so excited for her when I found out she won.” 

Rockwood South Principal Dr. Laurie Birkenmeier, Rockwood Coordinator of Literacy and Speech (6-12) Dr. Melissa Schwab and a representative from HMH helped celebrate Lewis and Allinder in a ceremony with fellow teachers and classmates on Thursday, May 18.

Congratulations, Diamond and Mrs. Allinder!

A Rockwood teacher smiles and holds her award A Rockwood student smiles and holds flowers and a certificate of recognition.