Lauren Schoellhorn wins 2021 District Teacher of the Year Award

Social studies teacher Lauren Schoellhorn was selected as the Rockwood School District Teacher of the Year. She was shocked when she was named at the ROSE Awards ceremony, May 2.

“I didn’t really expect to get it, especially after this year and the challenges it brought me both personally and professionally,” Schoellhorn said. “But after it started to sink in, I just felt very honored and proud to be chosen, especially after seeing all the amazing things educators have done this year.”

Schoellhorn has been teaching AP World, AP Art History, AP Psychology, Psychology and World History at Eureka High School since 2009. She credits being a mom to help make her being a great teacher.

“ I try to see everyone of my students as someone’s child,” Schoellhorn said. “I try to think about how I would want my child to be treated and above all I would want a teacher that ‘gets’ my son or daughter and sees them for they are. I hope that my students know that I see them as humans who have struggles and challenges and a life outside of my classroom. I feel that if they know I care about them, their mental health, their lives and interests then even if they don’t like what I’m teaching, they will still push themselves for a teacher who truly does love them.”

Schoellhorn was named EHS teacher of the year as well as high school teacher of the year before being sent to the district level competition.

“I value growth over grades in my students and I’ve been just as proud of a C+ as I have of an A- when I knew how hard the kid worked to get that C. Most of all I value the opportunity to see and work with these amazing kids everyday and I count myself so fortunate each time I come into the classroom.”

She notes how teaching has changed her life for the better.

“Teaching was the driving force in my life until I had my kids,” Schoellhorn said. “Getting to achieve this goal gave me the courage to leave a small town, work for scholarships, and earn my degree here in St. Louis. It has given me unbelievable opportunities to travel and share my passion with others and given me a wonderful purpose for getting up and coming to work every day.”

By winning the district Teacher of the Year, Schoellhorn is now eligible to participate at the regional and state level in the Missouri Teacher of the Year program, which is conducted annually by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.