Teacher of the Year Darrion Cockrell

From a St. Louis gang member to Missouri’s top teacher seems like a feat that is virtually impossible, but Darrion Cockrell made it a reality. Known as Mr. DC to the staff and students at Crestwood Elementary in the Lindbergh School District, Cockrell was name 2021 Missouri Teacher of the Year. At nine years old, Cockrell was a gang member in one of St. Louis’ most notorious neighborhoods. But through the support of his Grandmother, a community of teachers and social service officials, he was able to change his life’s dismal trajectory.