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STAR EMERGES AT ROUND TOP ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TO WIN ROOKIE TEACHER OF THE BLOCK AWARD

1/11/2021

With aplomb, the latest Rookie Teacher of the Block (RTOB) award winner is navigating the greatest public health emergency of our lifetime with veteran-like skills. Hannah Cummings, a third-grade teacher at Round Top Elementary School has been selected as one of the best new teachers in Richland School District Two and is the December 2020 RTOB. The award is sponsored by H&R Block, a dedicated partner of the district.



From the outset, colleagues knew Cummings gentle manner and calm demeanor would be an asset to students. They also knew that with her keen instincts she had the potential to quickly emerge as a leader. But what recently retired principal Jeaneen Tucker, who nominated her for this award did not know, was how well Cummings would be able to use data to help her students, or how well she would work with parents and form relationships with her students. 

“She quickly disaggregated her students’ data after MAP testing. She sought to compare scores to last year’s scores knowing one piece of data is never enough to make an informed instructional decision. Pushing through the challenges of forming relationships through a computer screen, her teacher's heart burned bright and students and parents alike were immediately hooked,” said Tucker.  “As we interviewed this induction teacher it took about five minutes to know she was a star!”
 
Tucker describes Cummings as a “digital native” who easily developed her team’s eLearning pathway to help successfully administer virtual learning at Round Top. Prior to coming to Richland Two, Cummings was selected as a Clemson University Student Teacher of the Year and received many other college level accolades.
 
"I never imagined my first year of teaching starting virtual, but despite the challenges and the differences I wouldn't change a thing. I have grown so much as an educator just in these short few months. I have learned so much from my co-workers, my amazing mentor, and also my students. They inspire me every day to be the best that I can be because that is what they deserve. I am proud to be a part of this premier district and to call myself a Round Top Aviator," said Cummings.
 
RTOB winners receive a plaque to hang outside their door, a nameplate for the door, discounted tax preparation from H&R Block, a unique trophy designed by the 3D printing class at the Richland Two Institute of Innovation (R2i2), and a bag of Richland Two goodies from Human Resources. Each month a RTOB is chosen and then an overall winner, Rookie Teacher of the Year, is selected.