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Erin Hemme Advances as Semi-finalist in MO TOY Competition

August 30, 2022 - Erin Hemme, SSD’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, is aErin Hemme teachers students in class. semi-finalist for the 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year Award. She is one of 17 regional teachers selected by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The process began with 34 outstanding teachers across the state of Missouri.

“I am honored to be recognized as a teacher who is dedicated to improving student success as well as being passionate about teaching young students with hearing loss,” said Hemme. “In fact, I consider myself to represent many teachers in the field of education who are passionate about teaching students of all ages.”

Hemme works at Ladue Early Childhood Center as a teacher for students who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). Her passion for education began at the tender age of nine. She grew up going to school with her mother, who was a teacher of the deaf and principal for 40 years at Central Institute for the Deaf (CID). She became friends with many students who attended the school, volunteered at CID as a teenager, and eventually became a teacher’s aid. 

“Being in the classroom and working with the students brought me such joy,” said Hemme. “I was driven to learn how to teach students with hearing loss to be able to communicate using listening and spoken language. I wanted to bring success and passion to all students no matter what they needed to learn.”

Hemme’s passion for teaching, hard work, and positive impact on students continued into her adult years. She has over 17 years of experience in education and has worked for SSD for the past six years.  However, she credits her students for her accomplishments inside the classroom. 

“While we all went to school to be educators, I have found it is the students who teach you even more. It is the students who make teaching fun, exciting, and worth doing. It’s the students that teach you when things don’t go as planned, get back up and try again using a different strategy.” 

Hemme’s advice to the future generation of teachers is to come to school every morning with a passion.

“A passion for teaching students, a passion for working with families, and motivation to work with and learn from your colleagues. We all have something to offer and when we work together and support one another, it creates success for all.”

Finalists for the 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year award will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 1. Seven teachers will be selected to travel to Jefferson City to participate in interviews and speak on how their work is making a difference in children’s education.