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Local teachers awarded for excellence

Francis Howell School District teachers Lorri Richardson and Tonya Longmore were recently selected to receive the 2020 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. The award recognizes teachers for their passion for education, impact on student learning, and their knowledge and creativity in the classroom. 

Richardson and Longmore
Lorri Richardson and Tonya Longmore (Source: Francis Howell School District)

Longmore has worked in the Francis Howell School District for 10 years and currently teaches at Castlio Elementary. During the district’s temporary COVID-related closure this past spring, she took on the role of being a virtual teacher and adapted lessons using a variety of technology and methods. As students returned for the 2020-21 school year, Longmore volunteered to take on a virtual fourth grade class. 

“Tonya works tirelessly for each of her students, advocating for their needs and adapting to meet all students where they are at,” Castlio Principal Tim Scholle said.

As the building’s information technology specialist, Longmore initiated Professional Development prior to the new academic year to prepare the entire staff in case of a full switch to virtual learning.

“She is an amazing teacher and an amazing leader in our building,” Scholle said. “She is so deserving of this recognition.”

Richardson has been part of the Bryan Middle community for 22 years and the district for 26 years. She currently teaches eighth grade U.S. History and throughout her time at Bryan, has served as the professional development trainer for McRel’s instructional strategies and has led Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports work in the building. She currently serves as the leader of Bryan’s Character Crew.

Richardson has led learning around educational equity and has sought out changes in practices to ensure Bryan Middle moves towards cultural proficiency.

“Through her teaching, she provides students with not only the content of U.S. History, but also the courage to speak up against the majority, the confidence to be a part of a much-needed movement, and the skills needed to articulate and defend their stance,” Principal Suzanne Leake said. “Mrs. Richardson is very deserving of this recognition as she models what it means to be a true difference maker.”

The Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards program, sponsored by Emerson, recognizes more than 100 educators each year in the St. Louis metropolitan area – from kindergarten teachers to college professors – who are examples of excellence in their field.

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