Teacher Appreciation in Wayne and Union Counties

Teacher Appreciation in Wayne and Union Counties

May is dedicated to appreciating teachers in Wayne and Union Counties. More specifically, May 2-6 is teacher appreciation week.

Especially during the last two years, teachers have been teaching through an unprecedented event that required them to change at a moment’s notice. Because of these added challenges, we couldn’t think of a better time to show support for our local teachers. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of teachers in Wayne and Union Counties. 

The Importance of Teachers 

We cannot stress enough the importance of teachers. Educators dedicate their lives to helping youth learn and grow into adults. Many children spend the majority of their young lives interacting with teachers, which is why they are such essential role models. Teachers are the people whom children often emulate and look up to.   

Most people can remember their favorite teacher that had a significant impact on their lives and made them feel special. Education is only a part of the impact that teachers have on youth. They can open their eyes to new perspectives of how they can live their lives. The effect of a teacher goes far beyond the classroom.  

Especially during a time when teaching has become much more difficult because of COVID-19, with the addition of safety precautions, teaching has presented a challenge. Many teachers and students alike have struggled with online learning and the uncertainty of the last two years, so we want to highlight teachers in our community who are going above and beyond to support their students.   

Teachers Are Doing Great Things in Wayne and Union Counties 

In honor of teacher appreciation in Wayne and Union Counties, we asked a few principals to highlight teachers doing an exceptional job.  

Mallory Cameron, Principal of Starr Elementary School, chose to highlight Randy Hollingsworth, a first-grade teacher at Starr Elementary School.   

“Randy Hollingsworth, better known as Mr. H, is a first-grade teacher at Starr Elementary School. Mr. H is literally a celebrity at Starr! Students past and present check in daily for a high five or a hug. Mr. H is always willing to step in to help students in a calm, supportive manner. Starr is fortunate to have Mr. H on our team!”  

We also spoke to Sam Pritchard, Principal of Rose Hamilton Elementary School, who chose to highlight Valarie Hood, Speech and Language Pathologist at Rose Hamilton Elementary School.  

“Mrs. Hood was named the “Teacher of the Year” for Centerville-Abington Community Schools in 2021.  She works tirelessly; even communicating with parents on weekends and conducting meetings and student screenings beyond her contract hours.  Valerie has a positive relationship with all of her students, and selflessly offers her expertise to staff whenever the need arises. “ 

Jamie Harshman, Principal of Northeastern Elementary School, chose to highlight Leslie Hicks, an art teacher at Northeastern Elementary School. 

She has dedicated her time as an art teacher for 16 years! She has fought personal battles and continues to keep a smile on her face!” 

More Than Words Teacher Appreciation 

Teachers alone cannot support their students. That’s why we are passionate about additional programs that give youth the guidance they need. Our program, More Than Words, is precisely the kind of program that helps schools and teachers support their students. More Than Words seeks to connect schools, businesses, and community organizations in order to give kids and families a vision for how we live and work together in Wayne and Union Counties. We use a series of monthly words and work together toward a better way to be. Check out student-made videos created for previous value words and learn more about More Than Words.   

Teacher Appreciation in Wayne and Union Counties

Program Partners Making a Difference in Schools 

Our program, More Than Words, is not the only program supporting youth success in Wayne and Union Counties. We have multiple organizations supporting youth success, including Communities In Schools, Future Achievers, Boys and Girls Clubs of Wayne County, Junior Achievement, The Reading Academy, Girls Inc. Of Wayne County and Amigos. Learn more about each of these great organizations.   

Amigos Latino Center – empowers the Latinx community so they can engage actively in Richmond and Wayne County to promote learning, cooperation and respect across cultures. 

Boys and Girls Clubs of Wayne Counties – inspires and enables all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. 

Communities In Schools of Wayne County – surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. 

Future Achievers – enhances the future educational, vocational, and civic engagement of high school students by increasing their financial literacy skills, developing their knowledge of higher education and enhancing their self-esteem.  

Girls Inc. Wayne County – inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. 

Junior Achievement of Wayne Counties – inspires and prepares young people to succeed. The inspiration piece comes from community volunteers who not only deliver lessons, but share their experiences. 

Richmond Family YMCA – strengthens communities in the areas of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. 

The Reading Academy – ensures that every Third Grader in Richmond knows how to read at grade level by the end of third grade. 

Learn More About United Way Whitewater Valley 

We hope that you learned something about teacher appreciation in Wayne and Union counties and can join us in our fight for the health, education and financial stability of everyone in Wayne and Union counties. There is a lot of work to be done which means we need your help to make positive change in our community.   

Get to know more about our program partners working in our four focus areas: childhood success, youth success, economic mobility, and access to health. Read more about their stories here, or sign up for our newsletter to learn more about what we do at United Way of Whitewater Valley.