Hazelwood District Names 2012 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award Winners

The Hazelwood School District named Schahrazad Mahnane and Scott Kratzer as recipients of the 2012 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. For more than 22 years, the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards program has recognized outstanding examples of educational excellence, and serves to “express collective admiration and gratitude for the dedicated individuals who teach children.”

Schahrazad Mahnane

Mahnane teaches French at Hazelwood West High School.  Kratzer teaches fifth grade at Garrett Elementary School. Both teachers received surprise visits at their schools and were presented with a fruit basket from Dr. Grayling Tobias, interim superintendent and Paula Brown, federal programs coordinator.

“The nominations are narrowed down to the top 10 applicants, five from the elementary level and five from the secondary level.  Those with the top scores are invited to participate in an interview and the finalists are selected. Each school in the Emerson area is allowed to select one teacher for every 500 teachers on staff.  The HSD is entitled to select two teachers,” said Brown.

Mahnane was between classes when Principal Dennis Newell walked into her classroom, followed by Tobias, and Dr. Darrell Strong, assistant superintendent for learning.  She was quite surprised with the announcement that she had won the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award.

“I am honored to be an Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award winner,” said Mahnane. “I really love my job. I love my students and I love to teach.  I not only teach the French language but I teach about the culture of French speaking people,” she said.

Mahnane has taught in the District for four years. She previously taught at Hazelwood East High School.

Scott Kratzer

When Dr. Shanon Drennan, interim principal, Garrett Elementary School, Tobias, Brown, Crystal Reiter, interim assistant superintendent for learning and Dr. Steve Sandbothe, assistant superintendent for learning, entered the classroom, Kratzer was at the front of the class teaching a lesson. His students shared in the excitement that their teacher had won the Emerson Award.

When asked what his philosophy of teaching is, Kratzer responded, “All children are natural scientists, asking why and how the world around them works.  It is my role to support, guide, lead, and mentor each child to find answers to these questions and to help them reach full potential as an individual.  I am proud to be part of an incredible school district that puts students first in every decision that is made.”

This is Kratzer’s 14th year with HSD.

Annually, more than 100 teachers in the St. Louis metropolitan area are honored through the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards Program. Recipients will attend a ceremony and a reception at the Ritz Carlton in November.

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