Educators — along with school administrators and local business officials — received some advice recently on how to deal with people in their lives.
“Make everyone feel like somebody.”
Those were the words of Phillip Riekehof, the 2017-2018 Surry County Schools Teacher of the Year as he was addressing the annual Educators of the Year Breakfast Friday morning at the Heritage Barn in Dobson recently.
Riekehof, who also addressed all Surry County teachers during the system’s convocation day last week, was making these remarks to an audience filled with principals, business partners, Board of Education members, and teachers of the year from each school.
He also added, “Remember the powerful impact you have on students each day.”
Molly Anderson, 2017-2018 Principal of the Year, gave the audience tips on how to have a great start to a new year. She asked the question, “What makes a teacher great?”
She explained the single most important way a teacher becomes great is to be warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. Great teachers are approachable, possess good listening skills and know it is essential to form a positive rapport or relationship with students so mutual trust and respect are established. Remember, she added, “Kids don’t care what you know until they know how much you care.”
Their remarks dovetailed with the day’s theme: Like a good breakfast…you give kids a great start to life.
Dr. Jeff Tunstall, assistant superintendent, and central office directors provided tips on beginning the year with a great start. Business partners Chad Tidd of Chick-fil-A; Gary York, WIFM Radio; and Ryan Flake, Horace Mann presented Anderson and Riekehof with gifts. The Board of Education gave everyone being honored a certificate, an umbrella, a monetary award, and a Surry County Schools license plate.
Anderson and Riekehof also received a plaque, and a framed photo that will be on display in the Central Office Boardroom for one year.
The other teachers of the year honored were Kristi Halstead, Westfield Elementary; Kodia Byers, Shoals Elementary; Debra Hicks, Cedar Ridge Elementary; Wilma Galyean, Meadowview Magnet Middle; Jennifer Via, Gentry Middle; Susan Mason, Central Middle; Michelle Porterfield, Rockford; Rhonda Taylor, Pilot Mountain Middle; Karen Long, Pilot Mountain Elementary; Jane Loughmiller, North Surry; Maggie McKee, Surry Early College; Stephanie Miller, Surry Central; Darrin Haywood, East Surry; Christal Freeman, Dobson Elementary; Amy Clement, Franklin Elementary; Martha Arrington, Mountain Park Elementary, Tina Howlett, Copeland Elementary
“As we get ready for students…there are things I know for sure,” said Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves. “You are leaders and examples to others. And you understand it’s about people, relationships, and creating trust and that’s why you are here today. Let’s remember our #Promise4ALL and make this year great.”