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Special School District of St. Louis County

SSD Honors 2018 Teacher of the Year

​Congratulations to Leigha Brede, an SSD teacher at Hazelwood Northwest Middle School in the Hazelwood School District, on being named SSD's 2018 Teacher of the Year. Leaders from SSD and Hazelwood surprised her with the announcement on Feb. 1.​

2018 SSD Teacher of the Year Announcement from Special School District on Vimeo.

Brede has been a teacher with SSD for six years. Prior to working in the middle school, Brede was a resource teacher for third- through fifth-grade students. She currently co-teaches math in the middle school and mentors other teachers in order to strengthen the teaching profession.

Brede believes student success can be attributed to relationships with students, instilling student confidence, and collaboration with staff.

“As a teacher, you have to be willing to take risks,” said Brede. “I set expectations high with students and plan with intentionality. When you build relationships with students, they will grow and be successful. They take accountability for themselves.”

In addition to success in the classroom, Brede has participated in the SSD Teacher Leadership Academy and is a member of Hazelwood Northwest Middle School's Building Leadership Team and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports committee.

Brede was selected as one of SSD’s nine Key to the Classroom Award winners last 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.

Brede will represent SSD next year in the statewide competition for Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year, a program sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Published February 2018


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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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