Darrion Cockrell, a Physical Education teacher at Lindbergh Schools’ Crestwood Elementary, is a true inspiration to students across the nation, especially to African American youth. Above and beyond his role as a Physical Education teacher, he is passionate about providing tools and resources to students across a wide variety of topics, including physical education, nutrition, abstaining from drug use, stress management, and more. He emphasizes the importance of exercise and its impact on productivity, poverty reduction, interpersonal connection and communication skills, and developing a sense of discipline – just to name a few. He believes that all teachers and students should have access to the resources they need for their own achievement and success – a belief and knowledge honed from his own lived experience.
Born and brought up in a community with high levels of drug use and incarceration, he describes how he has lived life on what he calls “both spectrums”. He was born to a mother who struggled with drug addiction and a father who was murdered before he turned 4 years old. Growing up, he thought he was born to simply fail as he didn't have access to basic necessities. He is candid about joining a gang during his youth and how he “started life at the bottom.” Without access to basic necessities, education was not a priority. Several years later, his life took a turn for the better when he was adopted by a football coach – a defining moment which set him on the path to becoming the inspirational educator we are proud to have as the Missouri Teacher of the Year!
To learn more about his inspirational life and approach to education and mentoring youth, please watch his 2021 Missouri Teacher of the Year Recognition Speech
Read more about his work at Lindbergh Schools' Crestwood Elementary in St. Louis here
Watch his feature on Good Morning America
We are excited to kick-off a new series on our blog, specifically geared towards school nurses.
Welcome to the first “Tech Tuesday” post! These posts are going to be specifically for school nurses. Many of us now are in a role where we are servicing staff and students in-person, virtual, in isolation, and in quarantine all at the same time. My goal is to provide readers with evidence-based information and simple instructions so they will be able to start using different pieces of technology right now to connect with their school community or to be more efficient with their day to day practices.
I’m going to dive right into one of the biggest areas for spreading information: Social Media. Back in 2017, Beth Mattey wrote an article, which is HERE regarding why school nurses need to start using social media to get their message across to families, but still today many school nurses feel hesitant about trying it out.
Below is a chart from Pew Research that looks at the % of US adults who use at least 1 social media site over the years. It shows that as of February 2019, 72% of US adults are using at least 1 social media site. Below is another chart from Pew Research that shows that of those adults who use social media, they check it multiple times a day. These facts make social media a tool that a school nurse should use to put out information, especially in times like these where misinformation is being spread that can cause harm to a community.
On November 16, the Central District of SHAPE America - CO, IA, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, SD, and WY - announced the 2021 recipients of the Kathleen Kinderfather Award for Public Service was the MOSHAPE Social Media Team. Guy Danhoff (also the host of #MOHealthMedia), Mary Driemeyer, and Chris Stehle were recognized for their transformative work in bringing the MOSHAPE message and actions to a wide audience. Through their efforts, almost daily messages have been placed on MOSHAPE Facebook, MOSHAPE Twitter, and MOSHAPE Instagram. These messages have been informative and timely, reaching an audience of MOSHAPE members, members throughout the Central District, and reaching SHAPE America members in virtually every state and a number of foreign countries.
Missy Hanner is the cafeteria manager at Lee Summit North (LSN) and Missouri's Manager of the Year. The staff together distributed over 400,000 meals since COVID closed down their district. She sees her role as “getting to know people around me, my team and the administration, trying to see what I can do to make things easier or better for them and to create a work environment that is pleasurable”. Each day, Hanner served about 75 students at an apartment complex and hundreds at the Lee’s Summit North parking lot, handing the pre-packed bags out at the bus and through car windows. “That was just my bus. My bus alone (did) about 1,000 meals (each day) when you think of breakfast and lunch,” Hanner said. As of June 3, Hanner’s bus had given out 44,828 breakfasts and lunches. Overall, the district gave out 233,858 meals in that time period.
Secretary Sonny Perdue is extending the waiver to allow LSN to feed all student breakfast and lunch free until Dec 31 or until funding allows.