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Lindbergh High School Teacher is Finalist for Loeb Prize for Excellence in Science

May 18, 2023

Lindbergh High School science teacher Nora LaFata is one of five finalists for the 2023 Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Prize for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics, an award given in partnership with the Saint Louis Science Center. LaFata and her students were honored during a ceremony at the Saint Louis Science Center’s James S. McDonnell Planetarium, on May 18. All five finalists received cash awards.

In all, six Lindbergh teachers were nominated for this prestigious award, including:

  • Jennifer Baugus, Truman Middle School
  • Judith Fuchs, Sperreng Middle School
  • Jody Jenkerson, Truman Middle School
  • Courtney O’Connor, Lindbergh High School
  • Courtney Sprague, Sperreng Middle School

LaFata teaches biology and biomedical science at Lindbergh High School, in addition to serving as sponsor of the school’s HOSA Future Health Professionals student organization. She has been a teacher in Lindbergh for four years, and has 15 years of teaching experience overall, including honors biology, AP biology, human body systems, human anatomy, physics and chemistry.

“Nora LaFata is an outstanding science teacher,” said LHS Principal Dr. Eric Cochran. “She is a master of her content, and she is even better at building positive relationships with her students. She truly gets students excited to do things outside of the classroom. She inspired a student to win a NASA Perseverance award and she has helped to make our Biomedical Program one of the strongest in the building. Outside of the classroom, she helps develop character lessons for our Advisory program and she even leads our debate team. She is one of the most active and beloved teachers at LHS!”

LaFata was nominated for her work to go above and beyond to enhance her students’ academic experience every day, using innovative techniques and creative curriculum to get kids excited about science and STEM careers. In addition, parents share that she empowers students to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and actively builds trusting relationships with her students.

The Loeb Prize, established in 1995 at the Saint Louis Science Center and endowed in 2002 by a generous gift from Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb, rewards teachers who significantly enhance their students’ performances in the areas of science and mathematics.

“Great teachers generate a love for learning that enables their students to accomplish amazing things,” said Carol Loeb, who has been teaching high school math for more than 60 years. “Through their actions inside and outside the classroom, our award winners display the personal commitment it takes to ensure the well-being of their students. I am honored to recognize innovative teaching styles each year and highlight special educators who are preparing their students to become leaders.”