York, Lancaster County schools honor teachers for positive impact on students

Jessica Calloway, who teaches art at Fort Mill High School, was named Fort Mill’s 2017-18 District Teacher of the Year.
Jessica Calloway, who teaches art at Fort Mill High School, was named Fort Mill’s 2017-18 District Teacher of the Year. Fort Mill school district

Each month, The Herald will highlight teachers, school staff or students who have made a positive impact in York, Lancaster and Chester County schools. The honorees are chosen by the school districts.

School: Fort Mill High School

Name: Jessica Calloway

Background: Calloway is a Rock Hill native and graduated from Winthrop University. She joined Fort Mill High in 2011 after working at Northwestern High School. Calloway teaches art.

Reason for honor: Calloway serves as the 2017-18 District Teacher of the Year for Fort Mill. “Ms. Calloway is simply amazing,” said Fort Mill High principal Gales Scroggs. “While her official title says that she is an art teacher, she does so much more than that. She is a major leader in our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) initiative, a master collaborator with her peers, and an all-around cheerleader of our students and school. Beyond that, she is a truly positive person, whose enthusiasm is contagious.”

Quote: “Teaching has always captured my heart,” Calloway said. “I had many teachers that invested so much time and energy in me and I wanted to do that for others. I empower students to respond and interact with the world around them. Even though many of my students will not become professional artists, this curiosity, creativity and confidence will always be a benefit to them.”

School: Melissa Tucker

Name: Rock Hill High School

Background: Tucker has been with the Rock Hill school district for 17 years and has taught English at Rock Hill High School for 16 years.

Reason for honor: Tucker was named the Rock Hill school district’s 2018-19 District Teacher of the Year. Carol Weaver, English department chair at Rock Hill High, describes Tucker as “among the most innovative and caring teachers I’ve ever known.” Rock Hill High School Principal Ozzie Ahl also notes Tucker’s innovation and drive to have students succeed.

Quote: “Ms. Tucker’s class completely changed my perspective on English and literature. She made my least favorite subject into a wonderful experience in which I vastly improved my skills as a writer and a reader,” said student Lucas Moyon. “Every day in class, she challenges her students to expand the boundaries of their opinions, while being mindful of other students’ opinions. Outside of her contributions to my academic skills, she is an involved mentor who has encouraged me to be myself.”

School: York Middle School

Name: Zach Lemhouse

Background: Lemhouse teaches eighth grade social studies and is entering his fifth year. He has also served as the social studies department chair, yearbook adviser, archery club coach and football announcer. Lemhouse is also active in historical reenacting. He has served as a volunteer with the York County Historical Society, Historic Brattonsville, Kings Mountain National Military Park and Kings Mountain State Park.

Reason for honor: Lemhouse was named the York school district’s 2018-19 District Teacher of the Year. He also was chosen as York Middle School’s Teacher of the Year last year.

Quote: “Mr. Lemhouse is a tremendous teacher that brings history alive for his students,” said Richard Ball, principal at York Middle School. “His greatest strength is how he engages students in social studies. From his dynamic lessons and activities to dressing in character for Revolutionary War and Civil War lessons, Mr. Lemhouse has his students living history on a daily basis in his classroom.”

School: Clover High School

Name: Patti Myers

Background: Myers graduated from Winthrop University and teaches special education at Clover High. Myers is starting her 34th year in education.

Reason for honor: Myers is the 2018-19 District Teacher of the Year for Clover. Clover High School Principal Rod Ruth said the school values Myers’ work ethic and expertise.

Quote: “She can bring her A-game to work every day,” Ruth said. “I am always amazed that though she has accomplished so much and reached so many, she continues to challenge herself to discover new ways, connect more students, touch more lives and make more impact. She is the teacher of the year because she is the teacher of the day, every day.”

School: Indian Land High School

Name: Lisa Knox

Background: Knox teaches chorus and piano for grades 9-12. Knox joined Indian Land High School in 2012 after graduating from Winthrop University, said the school’s principal David Shamble. Knox has grown the chorus program to include honors chorus and has inspired more male students to join, Shamble said.

Reason for honor: Knox is the Lancaster County School District’s high school and district-wide Celebrate Great Teaching awards recipient. She was chosen from more than 150 teachers who were nominated for the award by administrators, fellow teachers students or parents. A committee of former winners and district instructional staff observe the nominated teachers and choose finalists to teach a sample lesson and be interviewed.

Quote: “Her enthusiasm and dedication are evident through her teaching and particularly through her directing,” Shamble said. “When you watch the ILHS choir, your eyes are drawn to Mrs. Knox as each student is intently focused on her direction. She teaches them an appreciation of all types of music from Bach to Bruno Mars, Classical to Gospel.”

Information provided by the school districts. No information was provided from Chester County by press time.

Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082