JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Kirkwood High School chemistry teacher has won the top teaching honor in the state.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced Wednesday that Robert Becker has been picked as the Missouri Teacher of the Year.
Becker was one of six finalists for the honor. He said in his application that chemistry is "inherently fascinating" and that his job is to stay out of the way "so students can appreciate an unobstructed view of the wonder of it all."
Becker now becomes the state's nominee for the National Teacher of the Year program.
The State Board of Education will formally honor Becker and the other finalists at a banquet Nov. 15 in Jefferson City. Each teacher will receive cash awards and other prizes.
The other finalists were Rebecca Gooding of the Raymore-Peculiar School District, Doug Logan of the Carl Junction School District, Abby Lowe of the Springfield School District, Lori Mathys of the Rockwood School District and Lori Merrigan of the Lee's Summit School District.
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