From Gang Member to Missouri’s Top Teacher
Grades: 6 - 12

Video Description: 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.

Type of Video: Story*
Unique Video ID: DEducation-12**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • View the video as part of your study of character education any time during the school year. Have students discuss their reaction to the video and the characteristics of positive character they see in Mr. Cockrell. How might his story influence their lives?</>


*Story videos employ a narrative form to highlight a topic, location, or practitioner in the area of study.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.