UMSL alumnae Wanicha Disharoon (left) and Deborah Patterson pose together during the Academy of Science in St. Louis awards dinner. Disharoon received the 2011 Monsanto Science Teacher of the Year award which was presented by Patterson, president of the Monsanto Fund.

First grade teacher Wanicha Disharoon works hard to make science a fun learning experience for her students. That dedication has earned the University of Missouri–St. Louis alumna the 2011 Monsanto Science Teacher of the Year award.

Disharoon, (MEd special education 2004 and MEd elementary education 2006) teaches at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy in St. Louis, which is part of the St. Louis Public Schools. The award was presented April 16 during the Academy of Science in St. Louis annual dinner at the Chase Park Plaza.

“I have been an educator for almost 35 years and have loved every moment,” Disharoon said. “I really enjoy teaching science, it has always been my favorite class to teach. I love seeing the smiles on the faces of my students as we explore and learn more about science. Hopefully, one day I can see my students’ names in the spotlight for being accomplished scientists and having a chance to make a difference in this world.”

The award, given by the Monsanto Fund, includes $2,000 for professional development and $500 for classroom supplies. The award is given to K-12 teachers who explore with and inspire their students through science.

“I am so thankful. I would like to thank the Academy of Science in St. Louis and the Monsanto Fund for this very flattering award,” she said. “It is a huge honor.”

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, is committed to strengthening communities and providing needed resources.

The Academy of Science in St. Louis was founded in 1856 and is a leader in the advancement and integration of science and technology into contemporary society. The academy’s mission is to expand scientific outreach, education and resource sharing and to recognize scientific accomplishments.

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton