Tawanda Outlaw walked into Shannon Jones’ classroom at Union Elementary School and caught a glimpse of the fun her students have learning each day.
Jones, along with Patricia Lewis from Sunset Avenue School and Pam Matthews from Mintz Christian Academy, were honored through the Teacher School Supply Drive sponsored by the Center for Health and Wellness.
“I was completely shocked and very honored to have been chosen by the community,” Jones said. “I appreciate every one who helped me receive this awesome basket of school supplies.”
Outlaw, along with employees of the hospital and wellness center, and with the help of the community, have been collecting supplies for the last five weeks. The community was asked to bring in the supplies and while there, nominate their favorite teacher or teacher’s assistant from either Clinton City Schools, Sampson County Schools or a local private school. The teacher from each district who received the most nominations was rewarded with supplies collected through donations, as well as a one-year membership to the wellness center.
Jones, who has been teaching for 17 years, was selected for Sampson County Schools. She is currently teaching kindergarten, but says she has taught first grade in the past.
“I love teaching elementary students,” Jones explained. “It is wonderful to see the students light up when they learn something new. Teaching kindergarten gives me the opportunity to experience the students as they take a giant leap into the world of education and develop their love for learning.”
Lewis, who was chosen for Clinton City Schools, has been teaching in Clinton for the past 11 years. She is a fifth grade science and social studies teacher at Sunset Avenue School.
“I am super excited about being chosen as your winner for the teacher giveaway,” Lewis said. “My students were just as excited as me. I love being able to motivate and reach students using hands-on science. I like being a teacher that students feel comfortable talking to. I really enjoy going to work every day and seeing the smiling faces of my students.”
Matthews, who teaches third grade at Mintz Christian Academy, says she is humbled by the honor.
“Words cannot truly express my surprise by receiving this honor,” the 36-year veteran said.
The teachers’ baskets included items such as pencils, erasers, glue sticks, dry erase markers, copy paper, construction paper, scissors, tissues, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, sticky notes, note cards, crayons, colored pencils, spiral notebooks, notebook paper, highlighters, pens and active items such as balls, jump ropes and Frisbees.
“I think back to the days I was in school, and how teachers had to supply items for their students,” Outlaw said. “I wish we could give every teacher supplies, but I’m glad we will be able to help some.”
All three teachers say they are thankful for the community and the nominations they received.
“I would like to thank the community and people who nominated me for this awesome honor,” Lewis added.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.