Susan Snyder, a science teacher at Northwestern High School entering her 16th year in the classroom, was named Rock Hill school district’s Teacher of the Year during Friday’s back to school rally at South Pointe High School.
As the district teacher of the year, Snyder receives a 2017 Honda CR-V LX for use during the upcoming school year, courtesy of Honda Cars of Rock Hill. She also receives $1,000 from the district and a $500 classroom grant from the Rock Hill Schools Education Foundation. Snyder was chosen by a panel of community judges.
“When kids feel appreciated or when kids are noticed they feel like they can do something, like they are somebody, so validating them is so important,” Snyder said.
Snyder, who began her career at Northwestern 15 years ago, said she enjoys being active outside the classroom. “I have created a positive rapport with parents, fellow teachers, and students by serving as teacher, mentor, supervisor, coach, parent, church volunteer, and environmental liaison,” she said.
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Snyder will serve as co-chair of the Rock Hill schools teacher forum and is now in the running to be selected as the South Carolina Teacher of the Year.
Others recognized at the rally include honor roll teachers Susan Dixon, who teahes English as a second language at Richmond Drive Elementary, and Melisa Smith, a media specialist at Mount Gallant Elementary. They each received $500 from the district.
The rally featured other recognitions and presentations.
▪ Each year, the district recognizes a teacher of the year at the elementary and secondary levels who finished their first year in the teaching profession in the previous school year. Sally Berger, a guidance counselor at Finley Road Elementary, was the elementary winner, and the secondary winner is Michelle Perez, an English teacher at Rock Hill High School.
▪ The Rock Hill Schools Education Foundation, represented by president Alice Davis, announced 25 grant awards totaling $20,400. The foundation promotes an alliance between the community and Rock Hill schools to provide funding and other resources to support educational initiatives.
All school-level teachers of the year were presented with a plaque.