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Special School District of St. Louis County

SSD Honors 2017 Teacher of the Year

​Congratulations to Adam Holt, a welding teacher at SSD's South Technical High School, on being named SSD's 2017 Teacher of the Year. Leaders from SSD surprised him with the announcement on Feb. 8.​

Holt has been a teacher with SSD for 12 years. He currently teaches 30 full-time students in the welding program at South Tech.

Some of Holt’s accomplishments include attending welding competitions with his students and helping them to win prizes including partial and full scholarships. To date, with Holt’s teaching and guidance, his students have won 61 district competitions, 41 state competitions and three national competitions.

Additionally, his students have earned more than $340,000 in scholarships to post-secondary welding institutions. That includes 10 full-ride scholarships.

Holt believes in treating the classroom as a job site and having high expectations of his students.

“Believing in students is the most important thing we can do as educators,” Holt said in his interview for Teacher of the Year. “The students come to my class ready to work, but I also facilitate a fun learning environment. I want to guide and prepare them for getting a job when they graduate.”

South Tech principal Jacob Lohse said Holt’s devotion to his students goes above and beyond his job description.

“Adam embodies three characteristics that make him a high achieving and successful instructor. His capacity to build positive and professional relationships with his students provides him with the foundation of a strong and competitive course,” said Lohse.

He added, “His ambition and determination to build successful students drives his program and creates opportunities for our students. And finally, Adam is results-oriented. When traveling to welding competitions, his students regularly finish first, second and third, at the same event, often sending the best welders to post-secondary institutions for free.”

Holt was selected as one of SSD’s 10 Key to the Classroom Award winners earlier this month. The Key to the Classroom Award honors SSD’s top teachers for their creative approaches to student learning, innovative programming and commitment to student success.

Holt will represent SSD next year in the statewide competition for Regional Teacher of the Year, a program sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Regional winners go on to compete for Missouri State Teacher of the Year.


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12110 Clayton Rd, Town & Country, MO 63131  /  314.989.8100  /  314.989.8552 – 711 (Missouri Relay)

Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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