Three Southeast Alumnae Receive Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards

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Jennifer Elliott, right, receives the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award from David Rabe, Emerson vice president of corporate social responsibility.

Three Southeast Missouri State University alumnae recently were recognized with Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards for being excellent St. Louis-area teachers.

Jennifer Elliott of Festus, Missouri, Laura Leyes-Woods of Lemay, Missouri, and Melissa Wilkerson of Belleville, Illinois, were among 109 area educators recognized for their dedication and passion in the classroom.

The ceremony and reception, where each recipient received an engraved Tiffany & Co. crystal apple, were held at the Ritz Carlton Nov. 11. Each recipient was selected by their school’s administration to honor their accomplishments and steadfast dedication to the teaching profession.

Laura Leyes-Woods, right, receives the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award from David Rabe, Emerson vice president of corporate social responsibility.

Elliott graduated from Southeast in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Education, elementary education. She teaches fourth grade special education in the Festus School District where she has served for 12 years.

Leyes-Woods graduated from Southeast in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Education, elementary education. She teaches art at Hancock Place High School, where she has served since 2001.

Wilkerson graduated from Southeast in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Education, secondary education, with a major in English education. She is an English teacher at O’Fallon Township High School.

Melissa Wilkerson, right, receives the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award from David Rabe, Emerson vice president of corporate social responsibility.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program began in 1989 and is sponsored annually by Emerson, a global technology and engineering leader headquartered in St. Louis. Emerson and its Charitable Trust fund the Excellence in Teaching and Gold Star Grant programs. Under its Charitable Trust, the company donated $8 million to many education programs, individual schools and scholarship recipients.