Two Surry County Schools employees — one a principal, the other a teacher — recently were on the receiving end of big surprises when their work was recognized by the school system.
North Surry High School Principal Paige Badgett and Westfield Elementary School’s Hannah Holder were each honored as the school system’s Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year, respectively.
For Badgett, her day began with a schoolwide assembly at 8:30 a.m. one recent day. As she entered the school’s gym — already packed with students, teachers, central office administrators, and school board members — she was greeted by music from the North Surry drum line and cheers from the audience as superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves made the announcement that Badgett had been named the 2018-2019 Surry County School System Principal of the Year.
As part of the surprise, Badgett’s family was there to celebrate with her.
“She is an outstanding principal,” said Reeves. “I would describe her as tenacious. She never gives up. She is determined and persistent, and she has perseverance. That is why she is the SCS 2018-2019 Principal of the Year.”
“I’ve known Mrs. Badgett since she was a student at North Surry,” said Dr. Terri Mosley, Board of Education chairman. “I’m proud of the leader she has become in the community and the school.”
Amanda Adams and Michael Bodnar, assistant principals, along with School Resource officer Delinda Kyles held a key role in the scheme to surprise Badgett, pretending there was a slight emergency off campus that needed her assistance.
Badgett said the ruse worked, because she was surprised upon walking into the gym, and she called the recognition a “huge, huge honor.”
As things were wrapping up at North Surry, a similar plot had been launched at Westfield Elementary School, where Holder, an exceptional children’s teacher, would soon learn she had been named the district’s teacher of the year.
There, students, staff, and Holder’s family waited for her. As she entered the gym, a resounding “surprise” could be heard throughout the school building.
According to Reeves, “Mrs. Holder has a can-do attitude and spreads positivity wherever she goes. She is a true advocate for children.”
“Mrs. Holder is a natural teacher and leader who desires the best for all students. She sets high expectations for her students and then helps them move past those goals,” Principal Holly Whitaker said.
Whitaker and Holder’s teaching assistants were instrumental in setting up the surprise for Holder.
A committee consisting of educators, school board members, and retired educators selected both Badgett and Holder from a pool of their colleagues. Each educator of the year received gifts from school board members. They will compete for regional titles in the fall.