• Media Release

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             Contact: Meredith Pierce

    February 11, 2014                                                                                                                                  (314) 345-2367


    SLPS Names Science Teacher of the Year
    group   Winner


    ST. LOUIS, MO., February 11, 2014 – St. Louis Public Schools has presented the Middle/High School Science Teacher of the Year Award to a talented, generous educator who is passionate about physics and finds creative ways to make science come alive for her students. 


    To earn the Middle/High School Science Teacher of the Year award, nominees must explain their teaching philosophy and approach to teaching; provide examples of classroom lesson plans; and be recommended by an administrator and a professional colleague. 


    Ms. Merita Haxhia, the chair of the Science Department at Gateway STEM High School, has been recognized as the St. Louis Public School District’s Middle/High School Science Teacher of the Year for using her expansive knowledge to help students develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.


    “With her students she is passionate, demanding and caring,” said Gateway STEM High School Principal Elizabeth Bender. “She creates student-centered lessons and actively works to take learning to a higher cognitive level. Students speak of her tough classes with respect and knowledge that this type of instruction will prepare them best for college. … Merita has my full support for this award. She clearly embodies all that is right, good and honorable about education, science instruction and serving our students.”


    Ms. Haxhia is a former recipient of the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award and the Gateway STEM Teacher of the Year award. She taught science in Albania from 1984 to 2001 and joined the staff at Gateway STEM in 2005.


    The 2013 Science Teacher of the Year was honored with an awards reception, a $1,000 award from the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, a trophy, a plaque, and a $500 award for related education materials through the Parsons Blewett Memorial Fund.