Congratulations to teachers Lyn Biesendorfer, 7th Grade/Language Arts at Messiah Lutheran School  in Weldon Spring, and Ann Roth, Math teacher and Math Department Chair at Lutheran High School North, for receiving Emerson 2020 Excellence in Teaching Awards!

Mrs. Biesendorfer and Mrs. Roth were among 100 educators in the St. Louis metropolitan region selected to receive the prestigious award this year. The annual program recognizes St. Louis area instructors, selected by their schools’ administrators, for their accomplishments and dedication to their students and the teaching profession. 

Mrs. Biesendorfer, who is in her 40th year of teaching at Messiah, was nominated by her principal, Joanie Smith, for her lifelong dedication to Lutheran education.

“Lyn is passionate for students and educators all over our state and country. Recently, she mentored a first year teacher in a different school, giving freely of her lesson plans and tips on teaching novel units to middle schoolers. She even gave this new teacher several copies of a book to share with her students. She cares for the education system as a whole, not just what is going on in her own classroom. Lyn also teaches those who are interested in becoming teachers. Last fall she sat on a panel for students enrolled in Concordia’s education program.”

Mrs. Roth, who was nominated by administrators at Lutheran North, has taught Math for 27 years and serves as the school’s Math Department chair. In congratulating Mrs. Roth, Lutheran North’s students, parents, colleagues and alumni praised her for being “a very special teacher and person” who shows God’s “love and forgiveness to all you teach!” Mrs. Roth said she feels “humbled” by the recognition.   

“I have loved the opportunity to watch all my amazing students grow and learn. I am humbled by the award and thankful for the ministry of Lutheran North.”

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program began in St. Louis in 1989 and is sponsored annually by Emerson, the St. Louis-headquartered global technology and engineering company. The Excellence in Teaching Award recipients who teach grades kindergarten through high school also have the opportunity to apply for a Gold Star Grant from Emerson. These competitive grants fund educational projects that reflect the key pillars of Emerson’s identity – technology, innovation and leadership. Since 2006, Emerson has awarded $689,000 to area teachers and schools through its Gold Star Grant program. Promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is a key tenet of Emerson. 

This year, LESA was pleased to receive two nominations in the elementary school category from our 34-member schools. Lissa Williams, kindergarten teacher at Child of God Lutheran in St. Peters, was nominated by her principal, Dr. Melissa Sandfort, and her assistant principal, Brandi Hallemeier, who praised her for nurturing her students’ God-given gifts. 

“Lissa … balances unending love, kindness and patience for her students while still challenging them academically. It is obvious by watching the interactions between her and her students how much they feel loved, cared for, and confident in their academic abilities. Lissa consistently delivers instruction that is student-centered by relating to their interests and meeting their individual needs. It is evident that teaching and nurturing the development of children is her passion.”

“More than ever, in this environment affected by COVID-19, Emerson is proud to champion the critical role of teachers in guiding and shaping the lives of young people in our community,” said David J. Rabe, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Emerson. “With the Excellence in Teaching Awards, we celebrate the achievements and commitment of teachers across the St. Louis region who truly demonstrate excellence in education as they support students with their time and talents.” 

Nationwide, Emerson donated $8.3 million in 2019 to support the development and training of future generations through schools, universities and related education programs. 

About Emerson 

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Commercial & Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information visit