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Sue Weems named 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year

Sue Weems

Bythewood High School English teacher Sue Weems has been named the 2018-2019 Richland Two Teacher of the Year. The honor was announced during the recent annual Teacher of the Year Banquet held at the Richland Two Institute of Innovation (R2i2).

Weems comes from a family of educators and was determined not to become one. A frank conversation with a manager in college finally convinced her to embrace her natural gifts and pursue teaching as a career. She has been a teacher 15 years. As you might expect of a veteran teacher, she possesses an innate ability to inspire students’ success. Her own experiences including being the child of educators, mother of four and military spouse have shaped her approach and teaching philosophy. In recommending her for the award, former student Demetrius Jelks pointed to her ability to incorporate elements in her presentation for every kind of learner and connect with her students. 

"In each class she encouraged students to produce works that were out-of-the-box, creative and expressive," Jelks wrote. "Her way of setting high expectations for each student displayed just how much she cared and respected every student's ability to prosper."
Blythewood High School administrator Jennifer Cribbs offered the unique perspective of a colleague and parent of a former student. Her assessment was simply glowing. 

"She is the best of our profession. She makes teaching fun. She buoys the spirit of the school, and her classroom is a safe haven for so many," Cribbs wrote. "I have been in education for over 20 years, and I have worked in eight schools. If I were to make a list of the top 10 teachers I have ever worked with, she would be at the top of the list. Professionally and personally, I am a better person for having known and worked with her."

Weems' passion and dedication for education was evident was she accepted the mantle of 2018-2019 Richland Two Teacher of the Year. She first thanked her family, including her son in attendance. Then she spoke personally to each of the other finalists highlighting their contributions to education and the Richland Two family. Finally, Weems shared why she is passionate about education.

"Whether you are the first educator in your family or the 25th like me, we’re building a legacy of hope…." she said. "We stand on the front lines of ignorance, of poverty, of injustice. And we tell kids every day that despite those challenges, they still matter, that they can make the world better that they can use their voices to advocate for themselves and others."