First Posted: 8/21/2009
Though many subjects were represented Friday during the Surry County Schools Educators of the Year breakfast at Cross Creek Country Club in Mount Airy, history was the dominant one.
The event unfolded just a few days before the start of a new academic year in county schools, which will operate under the theme History Starts Now during the 2009-10 term.
To help get the year off to a good start, the breakfast brought together those recently winning Teacher of the Year honors for all 17 campuses in the Surry system and Principal of the Year Tony Hall of East Surry High School. Lyndsey Haywood, an algebra and calculus instructor named Teacher of the Year at East Surry, also was tapped as the top teacher in the county schools.
In remarks to an audience of about 60 people including administrators, Board of Education members and others along with the honored teachers Hall said Haywood and these other great teachers create history every day with the lessons they instill in students.
The East Surry principal cited the examples of historical figures such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ronald Reagan, and said their special qualities have meaning in classrooms today.
In using Haywood as an example, Hall compared her work with students to what Washington accomplished with his underdog army during the Revolutionary War. Just like Gen. Washington, Lyndsey is dedicated to inspiring her students to do what they think they cannot do, the principal said.
Hall said other history lessons are identified with Jefferson, who was dedicated to being a lifelong learner; Reagan, a president often referred to as the great communicator; Lincoln, who persevered through tough times; and Robinson, who exemplified the value of tolerance.
He also mentioned Susan B. Anthony, who fought for womens right to vote, indicating that a good teacher follows Anthonys example of not accepting the way things are when she knows they should be different.
The qualities those historical figures possessed can make a difference in the lives of modern students, according to Hall, in keeping with the county schools History Starts Now theme.
Special recognition was received Friday by Hall and Haywood in addition to the top teachers for each county school. They include Kelly Johnson of Cedar Ridge Elementary School; Phyllis Watson of Central Middle School; Cydna Anne Vaughn of Copeland Elementary; Mary Marion of Dobson Elementary; and LuAnne Llewellyn of Flat Rock Elementary.
Also, Audrey Simpson of Franklin Elementary; Kathy Mabe of Gentry Middle; Chris Love of Meadowview Middle; Tina Arrington of Mountain Park Elementary; Hope Ward of North Surry High; Carrie Taylor of Pilot Mountain Middle; Cristi Arrington of Shoals Elementary; Greg McCormick of Surry Central High; Sarah Lawrence of Surry Early College High School of Design; Billy Pell of Westfield Elementary; and Margaret Spicer, White Plains Elementary.
You are all the best, and we thank you for what you do for the school system, Chuck Graham, the countys assistant superintendent, told the group.
Grahams remarks were echoed by Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson.
This is truly a special day, Hinson said. It gives us great pride to have such special educators.
The superintendent added later that along with being knowledgeable in their respective subject areas, Surry school personnel bring an extra quality to classrooms. I believe that in Surry County, our educators really enjoy their job. It is unique in that regard.
While Fridays breakfast was a time of celebration and excitement, the superintendent added of the gathering, it also reminds everybody of what we do and why its important to do our best.
Hinsons final words to the educators before they departed coincided with this years theme for county schools: If there is nothing else, lets begin history!