East Surry garners double honors

First Posted: 5/1/2009

PILOT MOUNTAIN For the first time in memorable history, the Surry County Schools Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year for 2009 hail from the same school.
The central office surprise patrol pulled out of the parking lot bright and early Friday morning with only one destination in mind East Surry High School.
Principal Tony Hall and Lyndsey Haywood, math teacher, had received the top honors awarded by the school system, 2009 Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year, respectively.
The first stop for the patrol was Hall, who was in his office just inside the front door of the school. He was showered with cheers, balloons, a laptop, a flash drive and a picture frame by members of the administrative team and the board of education.
Im very excited, he said of the honor. Ive been through it three or four times and you just never know. Ive always felt good about my school.
After celebrating Halls achievement, the surprise patrol, with Hall in the lead, headed down the hall to seek out the 2009 Teacher of the Year, Lyndsey Haywood, in her classroom. As her students and the numerous East Surry faculty and staff who had joined the parade cheered, Haywood received flowers, a laptop, a plate signed by members of the surprise patrol, a flash drive and a picture frame.
Im kind of shaking. It was quite nerve-wracking with all of the people coming in, she said. Im very honored. It shows that were doing great things at East Surry.
She was encouraged throughout the process by students and fellow faculty members who told her she had it in the bag.
All of my students and colleagues told me I would definitely get it, she said.
Both Hall and Haywood agree that the honors they received are a direct reflection of the school as a whole.
It speaks well about our school. Were very successful and weve been very fortunate, said Hall.
All of the teachers I think have put more effort into tutoring and working to ensure every student succeeds, Haywood said of the efforts of the faculty as a result of Halls emphasis on the importance of helping students outside the classroom.
Hall has been the principal at East Surry High School for six years. During that time, he has led the school to a number of achievements and new initiatives. For the 2007-08 school year, East Surry High School was named a North Carolina School of Distinction, a U.S. News Bronze Medal School and a North Carolina Lighthouse School. East Surry also ranked second in the state among all 1A high schools in combined end-of-course test composite and Wachovia Cup standings.
Under Halls leadership, the school has initiated, among other things, a student advisory program, an after-school tutoring program four days per week and the addition of technology including SmartBoards, Sympodiums, graphing calculators and mobile laptop labs for all departments along with teacher training. Hall also has instituted a freshman mentor program which pairs an upperclassman with a freshman for mentoring purposes.
Before coming to East Surry, Hall served as the assistant principal at Alleghany High School in Sparta and Bellamy Elementary School in Wilmington. Prior to entering an administrative role, he graduated from Radford University and taught social studies at Galax Middle School in Galax, Va., as well as teaching at Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington. Hall worked as a professional teaching parent in a group home for troubled boys in Durham for about two years. He also coached football and baseball while in Galax.
I think true leadership is more about decision-making based on the people involved and the situation at hand. There can never be enough policies to address every situation. Besides, ours should be the business of people, not of policies, Hall wrote in his application to be Principal of the Year.
Haywood has been teaching math in the Surry County School System since 2001. During that time, she has taught algebra 1, algebra 1b, geometry, honors algebra 2, algebra 2 and calculus.
She also serves as an Upward Bound tutor for Surry Community College and a math tutor for the College Tech Prep students. She serves as the department chair at the high school. Haywood received her National Board certification in 2006.
Haywood serves on the School Improvement Team, the Upward Bound advisory council, acts as a mathletes sponsor for the East Surry Math Club and as a volunteer at Westfield Elementary School.
Haywood received her bachelor of science degree in mathematics education from Elon University. She received her masters degree in mathematics from Wake Forest University.
To be able to see their eyes light up when they finally understand something is great. Hopefully they will come away with problem-solving skills that they can use in the future. Also, I have college students who will come back to say how well-prepared they are for their college calculus class, she said of her desire to continue teaching.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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