Kevin Rudzinski was selected to receive Lutheran Education Association’s 2024 Distinguished Lutheran Middle School Teacher Award.
A 27-year veteran in Lutheran education, Kevin is the middle school science, math, and STEM teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Des Peres, Mo. Kevin earned a B.A. in secondary education (Biology, Mathematics) from Concordia University, River Forest (now Chicago) and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction in Natural Science from University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Regarding Kevin’s greatest joy, he said, “When working with students, my greatest joys are found in the connections I make with students. Students come in all kinds. Some are gifted, some are average, and others come with an array of learning challenges. Sometimes students are very interested in science and other times they are not. My joy comes when I can connect with a student on a personal level with their personality, attitude, and level of learning, and make a breakthrough.”
Of his greatest challenge, Kevin comments, “I think teaching in a public-school setting would be more of a challenge. In our Lutheran school, I get to share the love of Jesus and provide biblical help, hope and encouragement. My greatest challenge is finding the balance between the preparation, grading, creativity, working with students who need encouragement, and extracurriculars with my call as a husband and parent.”
Supporting Kevin’s nomination, his administrator said, “Kevin is an outstanding middle school teacher of science and math. He is blessed with much knowledge in these content areas. When I have witnessed him teach, I am amazed that he is able to take his vast knowledge and teach it in a way that is understandable to middle school students. He brings the content to life for his students and makes it meaningful for them. I believe he does a tremendous job teaching the material and challenging the students in his classroom. The evidence for this is that several high school students have mentioned to me that they are very prepared for high school, more than any of their classmates. I cannot think of a better compliment for his teaching!”
One parent commented, “As an educator, specifically in the subject of science, Mr. Rudzinski has tied in the learning of God’s creation well with the physical world around us. Teaching the beauty and detail of God’s creation. He is able to contrast the worldly view, bringing to question things that contradict our understanding of the Bible and creation. He cares for the students in his class, offering extra assistance and clarification as needed. He goes above and beyond in getting each student involved and excited about learning with fun projects.
Mr. Rudzinski also leads groups of 7th and 8th graders to Florida on Marine Biology trips. Through hands on experiences, he leads the children through advanced biology, instilling joy and zeal in the students at every step of the way.
It is very evident in his role as a Robotics coach, that sharing God’s word with the community is important to him. It has been a goal each year to share Jesus and his love with those around them. The team shirts and team buttons that are given away have included a Bible verse. Other teams have commented on the Bible verses and how nice it is to see this public confession of faith. When the Gilded SPOTICS team competed at the World Competition in Houston, Texas, Mr. Rudzinski led devotions for the team each evening and prayers to close the morning meetings. It set a wonderful expectation for the team of their role as representatives of the school, and more importantly of Christ, to those around them from all over the world.”
Kevin’s personal mission statement is “My personal mission is to inspire and support others by using the gifts and abilities given to me by God.”