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James Young Named Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year

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Johnson-Wabash 6th-Grade Center musical theatre teacher and FFSD's 2021 Teacher of the Year James Young has been named Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year. Young is one of 10 selected from the St. Louis region and 34 statewide to advance in the state Teacher of the Year process through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

Young has been teaching in FFSD for nearly 14 years. After three years in the United States Army, Young took the opportunity afforded to him by the G.I. Bill to go back to school and study music education. His grandmother, Elizabeth Hutcherson-Rucks, a retired music educator, instilled the idea of going into education at a young age. “Being the oldest of eight siblings, my parents taught me the importance of responsibility and being an example for others to follow,” says Young. 

Throughout his career, building collaborative partnerships have been an integral part of his teaching experience. In addition, he is also committed to creating an environment of learning that is culturally relevant. “In the first few years of teaching, I began to see my calling more clearly. I had the opportunity to reach students who were like me culturally. I felt called to help students learn the enjoyment and appreciation of music in a relevant way,” said Young. “In addition to creating an environment of learning that is culturally relevant, I have also strived to create a strong community of learners.”

Young earned a bachelor's in music education from the University of Missouri — St. Louis. This honor qualifies Young to apply for the 2022 Missouri State Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced in August.