York County region teachers honored for making a difference

Lynn Hayes, ESOL teacher at Ebenezer Avenue Elementary School, is a Rock Hill District Honor Roll Teacher.
Lynn Hayes, ESOL teacher at Ebenezer Avenue Elementary School, is a Rock Hill District Honor Roll Teacher. Rock Hill school district

Each month, The Herald highlights 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.

Name: Lynn Hayes

School: Ebenezer Avenue Elementary School

Background: Hayes is an ESOL teacher serving grades K-5.

Reason for Honor: Hayes was recognized this year as a District Honor Roll Teacher after being named Ebenezer’s Teacher of the Year in Spring 2018. She is also known for volunteering at Rock Hill community events such as Earth Day, Christmasville and the Come-See-Me festival.

Quote: “I am proud to be called a teacher. More than anything, I enjoy helping others realize their potential,” Hayes said in a prepared statement. “I love to learn, to nurture and guide children to experience the world and life. I believe this is my greatest contribution in education.”

Name: Debra Miller

School: Nation Ford High School

Background: Miller is the assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Nation Ford. She was a newspaper executive before becoming a Language Arts teacher. She is a National Board Certified Teacher. She also serves as the Winthrop NetSCOPE Liaison, on the Winthrop Educational Advisory Board, as a coach for the SCDOE Priority Schools Team and as an evaluator for the SC Schools to Watch program.

Reason for Honor: Miller was recently named Assistant Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators.

Quote: “Debra Miller is so effective at motivating our teachers and creating a culture of unity. She supports our teachers as they sharpen their craft and is a constant source of encouragement,” said Nation Ford Principal Jason Johns. “Debra Miller is a complete team player, who is always looking to help and support those around her. Every day she lives out Nation Ford’s mission of supporting all student learning through faculty collaboration and a sense of family.”

Name: Sherer Hopkins

School: Clover High School

Background: Hopkins is the Varsity girls basketball coach for Clover High.

Reason for Honor: Coach Hopkins earned her 300th career victory in a 58-43 win over Virginia High School on Dec. 20.

Name: Melissia Jordan

School: Chester High School

Background: Jordan is a math teacher at Chester High School. She has been teaching for 14 years, 13 of which have been in Chester County.

Reason for Honor: Jordan is the Chester County School District Rock Star Teacher of the Month.

Quote: “She is a really good math teacher. If we need help she is always there,” Chester student Bree Hatchell wrote in her nomination of Jordan. “When we go into her class it is already time to leave. She makes math fun . While we do our work we have lots of laughs and fun times. I believe she deserves this because we all feel like a family when we go into her class, so that’s why I believe she deserves Rock Star Teacher of the Month.”

Name: Lauren Watts

School: Harrisburg Elementary

Background: Watts is the physical education teacher at Harrisburg Elementary. She has been teaching for two years and holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Winthrop University.

Reason for Honor: Watts is the Lancaster County School District’s beginning teacher of the year.

Quote: “She’s always smiling, energetic and makes learning fun,” Harrisburg Elementary Principal Teryn Dalton said in a prepared statement. “She tries every possible way to help every student complete P.E. tasks, including students with special needs. Children and staff love her.”

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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