"the Cardinal Raymond L. Burke Teacher Recognition Award"

It seems a shame that science fails to recognize the phrase “umpteenth” because Nancy Fischer will soon collect her umpteenth laurel in that area.

Fischer, who teaches science and math at Valle High School, just earned the Cardinal Raymond L. Burke Teacher Recognition Award from the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

At a May 9 reception at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury, Fischer will receive a certificate and a check for $500 to use as she chooses.

In a lab at Valle—with one wall lined with cabinets neatly shelving beakers and flasks and other glassware, another displaying the periodic table of chemical elements and a three-quarter-scale human skeleton dangling beside a row of windows—she recently reflected on the award, on her career at the school and on science itself.

In so doing, Fischer bubbled like a reagent on a Bunsen burner, leading one to suspect she could enliven even the deadliest material.

Something tells me St. Louis is about the only place where you'd find a "Cardinal Burke Award."

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