5 teachers received Outstanding Host and Cooperating Teacher Awards

Anna Xu

Every semester RBHS teachers mentor student teachers to come shadow and train in classes. Four RBHS teachers received the Outstanding Host Teacher Award from the University of Missouri: Ben Schirmer, Will Rosen, Kyle Reznecheck and Ben Niewoehner Sept. 26. Additionally, David Graham received an Outstanding Cooperating Teacher Award and was admitted into the Cooperating Teacher’s Hall of Fame. 

University of Missouri Director of the Office of Field Experience Kimberley Nuetzmann said RBHS collected the most recommendation letters from student teachers for the award. Of the hundreds of letters written, she said there was a committee at the university to decide upon the winners.

“Every semester we have students from Mizzou at Rock Bridge. So they are either sophomores, juniors or seniors,” Nuetzmann said. “At the end of the semester, they write recommendations for their teacher to win an award if they thought they were an amazing mentor.” 

During Graham’s fourth hour Contemporary Issues class, RBHS principal Jacob Sirna, Nuetzmann and other administrative members of RBHS came to distinguish the teacher amidst a poster activity on the Immune System and Infectious Diseases. For 10 minutes, Graham was honored with a short speech and an Instagram post from Sirna. 

After the presentation, Graham spoke to how thankful he was toward his students and the RBHS education environment. 

“Anytime I get an award like that, I don’t feel like I’m worthy of it,” Graham said. “I’m honored and flattered and humbled. Honestly, I just look at all these incredible teachers out there, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God; they’re so awesome.’”

Students in Graham’s class patted his back in celebration. Junior Courtney Bach, who had Graham during Advanced Placement World History along with Contemporary Issues, believes he deserves the award because of his empathetic nature. 

“He really cares about his students,” Bach said. “He checks up on you outside and inside the classroom, and he loves everybody.”

Upon hearing his students gratitude for him, Graham expressed thanks toward his students as well. Indeed, at the beginning of the semester of Contemporary Issues, Graham opened the class by praising how talented and passionate all his students are and how he admires and learns from them every day. 

“Mizzou students are great, but I feel like the reason the Mizzou students do so well is because my students are so great,” Graham said. “Hopefully [I am] giving you guys the same experience I had when I was out here.”

Watch a short clip of Graham receiving his award by clicking here. 

What do you think of Graham? Let us know in the comments below.