November 2020 – Twin Echo Elementary Teacher Michelle Theis was honored by the 2020 Excellence in Teaching Awards Program. The Excellence in Teaching Awards program, sponsored by St. Louis based Emerson, annually recognizes approximately 100 educators in the St. Louis metropolitan area – from kindergarten teachers to college professors – who are examples of excellence in their field.
The Emerson Excellence in Teaching Announcement Said:
“Recipients are selected by the chief administrators of their school districts or educational institutions. The employing educational institution must be located in the St. Louis metropolitan area, which is defined to include: (in Missouri) Franklin County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, St. Louis City, St. Louis County; and (in Illinois) Jersey County, Madison County, Monroe County, and St. Clair County.”
Due to the pandemic and related uncertainties, an in-person Excellence in Teaching Awards ceremony will not be held this year. Instead, during the week of November 16 we will have the Excellence in Teaching Awards from Emerson delivered to each honoree. This delivery will include the customary engraved crystal apple from Tiffany & Co., along with some additional token items since we cannot be together in-person to celebrate. This year’s honorees in a commemorative advertisement that will appear in the Sunday edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on November 22, 2020.”
Mrs. Theis was nominated by Twin Echo Principal Dr. Julie Haake. Who wrote:
“Mrs. Theis is an educational leader in our district, an outstanding educator, and a “school mom” who loves and cares about each and every one of her students. Mrs. Theis is patient and kind, and her genuine concern for her students is evident in daily interactions with students.
Going ‘above and beyond’ for her students is a daily task for Mrs. Theis. She doesn’t hesitate to give up her extra-time during the day or after school to assist students or families. Mrs. Theis goes to great lengths to individualize her classroom – she learns about each student’s interests and preferences and then individualizes her classroom to meet those needs. She utilizes small group and individual instruction throughout the day in order to maximize each student’s learning potential.
Mrs. Theis is respected by her colleagues, both in the building and district-wide. She represents her grade level on the district curriculum council, and also is the chair person for several building-wide committees and events. Mrs. Theis is instrumental in bringing new ideas to the staff, and she is always an advocate for any changes that will positively affect our students.
In addition, Mrs. Theis understands the importance of partnering with parents. She works closely with the school’s PTA, has held multiple positions on the Executive Board, and chaired several events. Her time and effort spent partnering with parents has resulted in her being on of the most requested teachers in our building!
Mrs. Theis’ accomplishments reach well beyond the walls of her classroom. The projects under her leadership continue to produce school- wide, and district-wide, positive effects on student achievement. She is a true asset to the students and faculty at Twin Echo School. She has definitely earned the honor of being awarded the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award.”
Michelle Theis commented:
“To receive the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award is an honor and a privilege. Teaching is in my heart and sharing my love of learning with my students is something that I do not take lightly. Teaching is very rewarding and exciting, but the best part is knowing I am making a difference. Caring about the whole child goes well beyond the classroom walls. It goes where I go…my students’ achievements and well-being never leave my mind. I hope that when they are with me I inspire them to do better and be better. However, most days I feel like I am the lucky one because I get to learn so much from them.”
Recipients of the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award are eligible to apply for a number of Emerson Gold Star cash grants to help them further their teaching goals.