Andrew Russell Named Emerson Award Winner

Science Teacher recognized for his Excellence 


by Hamda Hamed, Staff Writer

The Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes teachers who display overall excellence in all areas of their jobs. Nominated by administrators, more than 100 teachers in the St. Louis area won the award.

Science teacher and Coding Club sponsor, Andrew Russell found out he was nominated for the award by Principal Jeff Walker at the beginning of the semester. 

“He called me down to ask a few questions for the application, it was a nice feeling,” Russell said.

Russell is the second teacher in the building to have won the award. Art teacher, Abigail Birhanu won the Emerson Award back in the 2009-2010 school year.

“I have heard about this award before I was nominated, I remember Mrs. Birhanu winning it a while ago,” Russell said.

When asked how she felt about winning the award, Birhanu said she didn’t feel like she deserved it.

“It was a good year, I felt like I don’t know what I did to get this,” Birhanu said. “I was just teaching, doing my job and I’m not just saying that to be humble.”

The winners are honored at an award ceremony at the St. Louis Powell Symphony Hall. Each teacher is gifted with an engraved Tiffany Crystal apple.

I was pretty surprised that I won, there are 100 teachers who win in St. Louis and I was one of them, pretty crazy.

— Andrew Russell

Due to COVID-19, this year’s winners will be honored through Zoom and will have the crystal apple delivered to their home.

“It’s a nice feeling when your colleagues recognize your effort,” Birhanu said. 

She congratulated Russell on his win and says it’s well-deserved. 

“I’m not big on accolades in general, but it’s nice to be nominated by the people you work with and it’s nice to know they appreciate the work that you do.”