As a teacher, Olivia Hall enjoys motivating students at Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School, the same school she attended years ago.
“The role of a teacher is to inspire,” Hall said. “The teacher is not there just to give content but to inspire students to find their own answers and to problem solve and make their world a better place.”
Like many of her peers, Hall said she liked to draw on chalkboards and produce books filled with lessons as a child. As she became older, she wanted to give back to the community that helped raise her.
“It’s meant to be,” she said. “It’s something that I really love.”
Her love for education is the reason she recently earned the top educational honor in the county. Hall was named the 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year for Sampson County School (SCS). The announcement was made during the annual banquet for SCS, which honored education professionals throughout the district.
“I was very shocked and it took me a moment to recover,” Hall said about earning the honor to represent Sampson County.
When the sixth-grade language arts teacher is not in her classroom, she can be found co-coaching the Battle of the Books team and serving on other committees and tutoring students after school. She enjoys being a member of RSMS and helping students overcome challenges in their lives.
“Whenever they come into the classroom, I just see so much potential in them,” Hall said while mentioning the love she has for her students. “It’s just awesome to see them rise to their full potential, start to think for themselves and make connections to the real world.”
Near the end of the school, Hall conducts a reflection activity with her students. When asked to mention one thing they’ll take away from her class, they often say “never give up and to keep trying.”
“To have that influence is an amazing thing,” Hall said on inspiring students.
Some of her best inspirational professors were in college, who helped her become successful. It stuck with her and Hall tries to do the same for her students. Hall was also inspired by her parents Danny and Paula Wolf, who stressed the importance of hard work.
“I probably could have chosen a different career path which made more money, but my dad always told me to do what I love and everything else will follow.”
Her mother, Paula Wolf, saw it was in her future too. As a data manger for the school, Wolf is also her daughter’s colleague.
“I always knew she was going to be a teacher,” Wolf said. “When she was little, she used to play like she was in school all the time. Her heart is in it and she does it for all of the right reasons — the students. I’m very proud of her.”
Principal Sheila Peterson and others at the school said it was a well-deserved honor.
“I feel that it’s well deserved,” Peterson said. “She is an awesome teacher in the classroom and she truly cares for her students. She finds every resource to help every child in her classroom.”
A Sampson County native, Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education from East Carolina University. She’s currently pursuing a master’s of education in curriculum instruction and supervision from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Hall currently lives in Autryville with her husband, Garrett. Being in a rural area, Hall said SCS faces a lot of challenges, but she’s always amazed what’s accomplished as a whole. Hall said she feels blessed to be a member of the school system.
“Everybody is always trying to do what’s best for the kids,” she said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.