Rising to the Challenge: A Conversation with Darrion Cockrell, Missouri Teacher of the Year 2021
Grades: K - 12

This is episode #55 of “Classroom Matters” by Educate.Today.  We are a program dedicated to speaking with some of the most outstanding educators in the nation, covering different topics in the world of teaching and learning.

Darrion Cockrell joined a gang by age 10, navigated the challenges of the foster care system, struggled to find love and security during his adolescence, but with the help of his teachers became a teacher himself — one of the best in Missouri, in fact.  Cockrell, or “Mr. DC” as his students affectionately call him, was named Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Department of Education earlier this year.    

During this conversation we will discuss his journey into education and how being named Teacher of the Year has changed his outlook on teaching and life in general. We will also discuss the impact that his prior challenges and the title of Teacher of the Year has had on being a husband and father.


Classroom Matters Host – Kristy Houle

Podcast Producers – Jessica Pierce and Kristy Houle

Podcast Audio Editing – Jessica Pierce

Educate.Today Executive Director – Tim Gore