The Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis recognized seven area educators – including CHS Engineering Teacher Cynthia Bednara – with the 2018 Inspiring Teachers award at an evening reception on January 25, 2018 at the Challenger Learning Center in Ferguson, MO.
The award is in honor of the seven Challenger astronauts, including Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher to go into space. Bednara was the only Metro East teacher honored.
The recipients were nominated by current or former students who were inspired by their teachers to pursue a career or degree in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) field. Bednara was nominated by Courtney Kutey ( CHS Class of 2016) who is currently attending Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville majoring in mechanical engineering.
In her nomination, Kutey wrote:
“Ms. Bednara is always there for not only me, but all her students, current or former, STEM-bound or not. She cares for everyone’s successes, big or little, and that’s something you don’t find in many teachers. She continues to push me towards my goals on a daily basis. I hope that someday I can make the same impact on one person that she has made on me.”
The 2018 Inspiring Teacher award recipients are: Cynthia Bednara, Collinsville High School; Kyle Brophy, Hazelwood Northwest Middle School; Cathy Farrar, Marquette High School (Rockwood School District); Kathleen Naudi, Hazelwood Northwest Middle School, Gina Pereda, STEAM Academy (Ferguson-Florissant School District), Jeremiah Simmons, Pattonville High School, and Bea Wilmering, Duchesne Elementary School (Ferguson-Florissant School District).
The Keynote speaker for the evening was Christopher Miller, F-15 Flight Simulation – Labs Manager at Boeing. Miller, who has a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Science Engineering from Tuskegee University, has written two STEM-focused children’s books and volunteers his time taking a mobile flight simulator, which he built, to elementary schools and community events. The event was supported by Emerson, Boeing, and North County Incorporated.
About the Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis
The award-winning Challenger Learning Center, located at 205 Brotherton Lane in Ferguson, Missouri, provides simulated space missions and other science education programs for schools, scouts and corporate groups as well as for the general public. It features a replica Mission Control center and an orbiting space station.
The Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis is a partnership of the Ferguson-Florissant School District, the Saint Louis Science Center and EducationPlus and is part of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, an international not-for-profit education organization founded in April 1986 by the families of the astronauts tragically lost during the Challenger space shuttle mission. For more information, visit www.challengerSTL.org.