The 2020-2021 Rutherford County Schools Teacher of the Year, Jamie Hill, has wanted to teach school since she was a kindergarten student and to this day knows her career choice was the right one. She can't imagine doing anything else, she said after being named the Schools' top teacher.
Hill, an English teacher at Chase High School will represent the Rutherford County Schools in the western regional Teacher of the Year selection process.
Hill has taught English II at Chase for nine years and has 21 total years of teaching experience. She received her undergraduate and Master's Degree in middle grades education from Gardner-Webb University and she is National Board Certified.
"As a kindergartner, I'd come home and teach my younger sister and cousin what I had learned that day," she said of her early desire to be a teacher. "When they weren't cooperative, I'd teach my stuffed animals and dolls. As a high school senior, I looked at other career choices, but my heart kept being pulled back to my childhood dream of teaching. Teaching is my mission. I'm truly in the right career, and I'd be miserable in any other field," she said.
She said the best thing about teaching is to see a student's smile when the student succeeds.
"Celebrating their accomplishments makes all the blood, sweat, and tears teachers pour into the job worthwhile. It's also such a blessing to hear from former students and learn of their accomplishments. If you have a fond memory of a teacher, be sure to share it with him or her if possible. The encouragement means so much," Hill said.
She admits there are challenges in teaching as there are in all careers. Each student is a unique learner and has different learning needs, she said.
"It is challenging, yet vital to be vigilant in meeting those needs to ensure student success," Hill said.
She also said teaching is an art form and, the content must be approached in different manners to reach all students.
"It is my goal for each child to be a stronger reader, writer, thinker, and speaker. It is important to build relationships with parents, students, and the rest of the community. Balancing all of these aspects is challenging, but we must work together to help each student succeed," she said.
The coronavirus COVID-19 has presented a new set of challenges for this school year. Students have not been on school campuses since March 13.
"I feel that the transition for Rutherford County Schools was smooth thanks to our leadership's commitment to providing our teachers and students with up-to-date technology," she said.
"Each student had access to devices to help with learning and school parking lots provided much-needed Wi-fi access to assist students in downloading and submitting work.
"I am thankful for the support I've received in providing educational opportunities for my students, so they are better prepared for next year," she added.
Chase High Principal Kevin Bradley said, "It is a pleasure to have Mrs. Hill as a teacher at Chase High School. She is the face that when I have a visitor come to school, I want to take them to her class because I have the utmost confidence that she is 100 percent everyday, all day."
Dr. David Sutton, superintendent of Rutherford County Schools, said Hill does a magnificent job in her classroom every day. He also congratulated all teachers of the year selected by peers at all respective schools in the system.