Inspiring Teacher Awards

Now in its sixth year, the Inspiring Teacher Awards honors the seven astronauts tragically lost in the Challenger space shuttle accident by recognizing seven teachers who are inspiring the future generation of STEM professionals. This year’s program will take place on Thursday, January 27, 2022.

Keynote Speaker






James Young
2022 Missouri Teacher of the Year

Watch the event LIVE on January 27 at 5:30pm CT:

2022 Award Recipients

Dan Easterday, Nokomis High School (retired)
Nominated by Philip Chrostoski, Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Appointee, Sandia National Labs

Tanjanika Foster, 7th-grade math teacher, Collinsville Middle School,
Nominated by Kayla Stevenson, Foresenic Science major, Kaplan University

Tiffanie Fowlkes-Comninellis, Ph.D. Biology teacher, Hazelwood Central High School
Nominated by Wesley Agee, Graduate student in Molecular Cell Biology, Washington University

Paul Wallis, Physics teacher, Desoto Senior High
Nominated by Kassy Rowden, Desoto Senior High student

Christopher Sellers, Physics and Computer Science teacher, Jennings Senior High
Nominated by Jamila Latimore, University of Missouri S&T

Martha Warren, Jennings Senior High
Nominated by Javahn Watkins, Jennings Senior High

Cherron White, Jennings Senior High
Nominated by Kan’ya Cooper, Jennings Senior High

with generous support from




Sponsor Opportunities

Companies, organizations, and individuals – show your support for educators in the St. Louis region by becoming a sponsor of the 2022 Inspiring Teacher Awards. Information about the event and teacher nomination opportunities will be shared with public and private schools and universities throughout the region.

Last year, our event featured astronaut Bob Behnken as our keynote speaker and over 200 individuals who tuned into the virtual event.

The Inspiring Teacher Awards pays tribute to the Challenger crew and recognize teachers who seek to continue the mission of inspiring the future generation of explorers and innovators. Each year, the Awards honor seven teachers, each nominated by a current or former student whom they inspired to pursue a career path in STEM.

Major Contributors


Employee Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis

Monsanto Fund

Emerson Charitable Trust

Clark-Fox Family Foundation

Express Scripts Foundation

Albrecht Family Foundation

The Saigh Foundation

Missouri Space Grant Consortium