Christine Ries was once concerned about her science skills. She decided to make science a priority in her career, and it’s paid off for the fifth grade teacher at Combs Elementary School in the Ferguson-Florissant (Mo.) School District.

Fifth grade teacher Christine Ries received the 2013 Outstanding Elementary Science Teacher of Missouri Award from Science Teacher of Missouri. Ries is a doctoral student at UMSL. (Ferguson-Florissant School District photo)

Ries, who is currently working on her doctoral degree in education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, received the 2013 Outstanding Elementary Science Teacher of Missouri Award from Science Teacher of Missouri. STOM annually recognizes teachers who display science excellence in classroom teaching.

“As a young student, I was told – and believed – that I was not very good at science,” she said. “I made a vow to myself to change this as an educator. I did not want my students to feel the way I thought about science growing up. So, I took as many science classes as I could to educate myself on the best practices in teaching science. While taking these classes, I found a love for science that I try to instill in each of the students I teach. I hope each one realizes they have the potential to go into a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-related career.”

In addition to earning the STOM award, Ries was named the 2014 Teacher of the Year last month by the Ferguson-Florissant School District.

After a church trip in high school, Ries realized education was her future.

“At that point, I knew that working with children was the career path I was to follow.” she said. “My goal was and still is to help children grow to their full potential and provide them with educational experiences that they otherwise may not receive.”

The UMSL Experience

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton