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Cockrell Receives Emerson Excellence Award

Nov. 18, 2020

Crestwood Elementary School physical education teacher Darrion Cockrell is one of nearly 100 St. Louis area educators to receive the 2020 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. The annual program recognizes St. Louis area instructors, selected by their schools’ administrators, for their accomplishments and dedication to their students and the teaching profession.

“More than ever, in this environment affected by COVID-19, Emerson is proud to champion the critical role of teachers in guiding and shaping the lives of young people in our community,” said David J. Rabe, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Emerson. “With the Excellence in Teaching Awards, we celebrate the achievements and commitment of teachers across the St. Louis region who truly demonstrate excellence in education as they support students with their time and talents.”

Like many educators, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Cockrell took his talents to the virtual realm by creating fun, instructional, high-energy videos from his basement to help students stay motivated and active during remote learning. In addition to providing 5- to 30-minute exercise sessions for his students, he shared inspiring messages, incorporated his family into his live sessions and provided opportunities for families to work out together. Cockrell was recently named the 2021 Missouri Teacher of the Year.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program began in St. Louis in 1989 and is sponsored annually by Emerson, the St. Louis-headquartered global technology and engineering company. The Excellence in Teaching Award recipients who teach grades kindergarten through high school also have the opportunity to apply for a Gold Star Grant from Emerson. These competitive grants fund educational projects that reflect the key pillars of Emerson’s identity – technology, innovation and leadership. Since 2006, Emerson has awarded $689,000 to area teachers and schools through its Gold Star Grant program. Promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is a key tenet of Emerson. Nationwide, Emerson donated $8.3 million in 2019 to support the development and training of future generations through schools, universities and related education programs.