Independence Teacher Rachael Wilcox Selected as Regional Teacher of the Year

Posted on 07/02/2019

Rachael Wilcox, a first-grade teacher at Independence Elementary School, has been named a Regional Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). She was selected as one of ten recipients in the St. Louis Region and one of 34 from across the state who are now eligible for consideration as the Missouri Teacher of the Year. Wilcox was honored as the 2019 Francis Howell School District Teacher of the Year.

Wilcox is proud to have been selected for this honor.
I am overjoyed that I am able to be a voice that shares the importance of educating the whole child and shaping the hearts of the next generation with educators across the state of Missouri,” said Wilcox. “That is why I am incredibly honored to represent the amazing Francis Howell School District community with this recognition.”  

Wilcox has worked for the District since 2004 and has taught at Independence for the past 11 years. She is a product of FHSD and was inspired to be a teacher by her mother, who is a kindergarten teacher at Independence. Her mother taught her that teaching is not just a profession but a passion as well. “
There are thousands of little moments that have shaped me into the educator I am today,” said Wilcox. “My mother, my previous teachers in the Francis Howell School District, and the amazing educators I work with from Independence Elementary School and across that District have influenced me to become a better person. I am forever grateful for the people that have shaped me along the journey.”

Wilcox strives to inspire students both personally and academically and believes her most important contribution is building relationships with her students. Independence Principal Emily
Pavia knows the effect that Wilcox has on her students, as well as the culture and climate of the entire school. “Rachael is one of the most selfless, caring people I have ever met. She truly embraces the whole child and ignites others with her passion. Her positive impact is felt by students, staff, and parents. She works tirelessly to build relationships with everyone!” 

This is the fourth year of DESE’s Regional Teacher of the Year recognition program, which is designed to focus public attention on excellence in teaching and to honor classroom teachers across Missouri. Candidates are judged on how they are respected by students, parents, colleagues, and the community; and whether or not they play an active role in the school community and provide quality leadership among their peers. Recipients must be able to demonstrate a strong ability to foster excellence in education through improved student learning.

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