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Eureka's Lauren Schoellhorn Named Finalist for State Teacher of the Year

Lauren Schoellhorn one of seven State Teacher of the Year finalistsEureka High social studies teacher Lauren Schoellhorn has been named a finalist for State Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)!

Schoellhorn, the Rockwood School District Teacher of the Year, is one of seven teachers included among the state finalists.

"This is an honor beyond my imagination. If someone had told me this time last year that this is where I would be now, I would have thought they were absolutely crazy. I'm going to do my very best to represent my school, my students, my family and my district to the best of my ability during this final stage," Schoellhorn said. "I'm looking forward to what is ahead."

The Teacher of the Year program spotlights the positive impact excellent teachers have on their students. The selection process began with the announcement of 35 Regional Teachers of the Year followed by the selection of 17 state semifinalists Aug. 18. On Sept. 2, DESE revealed the finalists for the 2022 Missouri Teacher of the Year award. DESE plans to announce the State Teacher of the Year later this fall.

“Over 70,000 public school educators across our state work hard every day to make an impact on the lives of Missouri students,” DESE Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven said in a press release. “Taking time to honor the top educators across our state through the Teacher of the Year program is important, as we are continually striving to elevate the teaching profession and emphasize the significance of the work they do.”

Schoellhorn teaches AP World History, AP Art History and Psychology at Eureka High and has taught social studies there since 2009. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and master’s degree from Webster University.

“Lauren is the absolute best,” said Eureka High Principal Dr. Corey Sink. “She is certainly most deserving, and I couldn't be more proud of her success and this accomplishment both personally and as the principal of EHS. Her work as an educator is about loving and caring about kids.”

Rockwood Social Studies Coordinator Jordan McGaughey had similar sentiments.

"Aside from being an incredibly engaging educator who prioritizes her students and community above all else, Lauren continually gives so much to the district," McGaughey said. "Whether she is writing and developing districtwide Canvas courses, helping to lead professional development across the district or presenting at state and national conferences, Lauren always represents the entirety of the Rockwood School District incredibly well. I am so proud of the work that Lauren does each and every day, and I couldn't be happier for her."

Schoellhorn is a longtime teacher, mentor and coach, and relationships and community always remain at the center of the student experience for her.

“She empowers her students to learn at high levels, to make deeper connections, to think critically and to create,” said Sink. “As tremendous as Lauren is as a teacher, she is an even better person. She inspires those around her with her warmth, personal friendship and outlook on life. We are all better because of her.”

Schoellhorn shared what it means to work in Rockwood and at Eureka High.

“To me, it means being part of this amazing community in which I get to work and raise my children,” she said. “I'm a huge believer in that it absolutely takes a village to raise a child, and I've seen firsthand the incredible administrators, parents and staff who work to help grow the amazing kids in our district.

“My own two children attend Blevins Elementary, and it makes me so happy to know that there are wonderful people helping my children become who they will be, while I'm doing the same for the children of others working with some of the best educators and administrators at EHS who inspire me daily,” Schoellhorn added. “I truly couldn't be prouder to be part of this village.”

Schoellhorn will be honored at the Missouri State Teacher of the Year awards banquet in October.