Adam Holt, Beaufort, has been named a 2012-2013 Peabody Energy Leader in Education.
Holt was surprised with a presentation of the award at South Technical High School in St. Louis, where he has been a welding instructor for eight years.
“I was shocked,” he said. “It was a complete surprise.”
Along with the award, Holt was presented a check for $1,000 from Peabody Energy.
Holt, a 2002 Washington High School graduate and alumnus of East Central College, began teaching adult education at night at age 20.
“When the daytime position opened, they asked if I would be interested in teaching full time,” he said. “I accepted the offer and could not imagine life without it.”
Holt was nominated for the award by his principal, Dr. David Baker, who has been in education 24 years and said Holt is “as good as any teacher he has ever seen.”
“He is a master welder, CWI certified, and understands the trade,” Baker said. “He does an amazing job transferring that knowledge to his students. What they accomplish in a two-year period is phenomenal.”
Baker said Holt’s students have nearly 100 percent placement in higher education after they graduate, with 11 of this year’s class of 12 going on to study welding at the postsecondary level. The 12th student, Baker said, is considering the military.
“No matter how good the student is, Adam wants them to go on to higher learning so his theories (in welding) are tested,” he said.
In addition to his instructional abilities, Baker said Holt has a strong relationship with his students in the classroom and is very respected.
“There is no question who is in charge down there, but he has a great rapport with his students,” Baker said. “They are extremely loyal to him, and it’s almost like a brotherhood/sisterhood in the classroom.”
Holt said his vision for his students goes far beyond the reach of his classroom.
“My goal for them is that they make more than a living for themselves,” he said, “but rather a life with the skills I have taught them.”
The Leaders program was developed in Missouri in 2009, and reflects Peabody’s commitment to make a positive impact in the communities where the company’s employees live and work by honoring those who inspire students.