SBC-Fenton Instructor Receives William Rehnquist Award
August 7, 2013
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Judge Edwards is the first Missouri judge to receive the Rehnquist Award. Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts will present the award to Judge Edwards during a ceremony at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on November 21. Judge Edwards serves as the Chief Juvenile Court judge for St. Louis City. In 2009, Judge Edwards founded the Innovative Concept Academy, a school of last resort for St. Louis juvenile delinquents who have been expelled from the public school system or are under the supervision of the city’s juvenile court. The academy, which has earned national acclaim as a model of innovative thinking, offers troubled kids their best and last hope for getting a quality education and for learning the skills they will need to make a productive life for themselves as adults. The academy has received national recognition from the Wall Street Journal, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, and the CBS Early Show. People Magazine named Judge Edwards one of its 2011 Heroes of the Year. At that time, Judge Edwards told People, that his students do not have dreams they have nightmares because of their environment and home life. “Children cannot dream until they are taught what to dream about,” he said.
“Judge Edwards has dedicated his career to keeping students in school and out of the courtroom. His compassion, commitment, and determination are making an overwhelmingly positive impact on the justice system -- and in the lives of hundreds of families,” NCSC President Mary McQueen said. “Judge Edwards is accomplishing this by giving at-risk children dreams and helping them to achieve their dreams. NCSC is honored to have a judge of Judge Edwards’ character and accomplishments selected as this year’s Rehnquist Award.”
When Judge Edwards learned he is this year’s recipient of NCSC’s Rehnquist Award, he said: “Today I think I’m the most excited and humbled guy in the country.”