Five inspiring teachers we met this year

For over 90 years Scholastic has valued the importance of teachers and their positive impact on their students. To continue celebrating and supporting teachers we wanted to highlight five great educators we have had the pleasure of meeting and working with this year.

Sam Reed

An eighth grade literacy teacher at Dimner Beiber Middle School in Philadelphia, Mr. Reed relies on partnerships outside of school to enhance student engagement. He invites local business owners and nonprofits to visit his classroom so students can hear from community members and learn more about their professions.  He also created a poetry café to inspire his students to write about their interests and talents. He serves on an advisory board for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Mr. Reed also participates in the Philadelphia Writing Project, National Council of Teachers of English and that National Association for Media Literacy Education.  


Melissa Collins

A second grade teacher at John P. Freeman Optional School in Memphis, Tenn., Ms. Collins places a heavy emphasis on science in her classroom. She wants her students to be contributors to society and knows that a strong foundation in STEM subjects is crucial to careers in the fields of medicine, technology, and beyond. She even has her students wear lab jackets during their experiments—as any proper scientist would! "I tell them to save the lab jacket," Ms. Collins told Scholastic Instructor Magazine. “[I tell them,] 'When you become a scientist or doctor, you can have your first lab jacket displayed in your office.'"  Today, some of Ms. Collins’ former students are going to school to become nurses and biomedical engineers.


Sherry Guyear

With 33 years of experience teaching grades K-3, Ms. Guyear places a special focus on environmental studies and on helping her students learn to appreciate their unique, rural community.  A first grade teacher at Tracy City Elementary in Grundy County, Tenn., Ms. Guyear says, “I want my students to know the value of and appreciate the community they come from.” Currently, Ms. Guyear is the lead teacher for Discover Together, a partnership initiative between Tracy Elementary School, Sewanee: The University of the South, Scholastic and the Yale Child Study Center, designed to help students build resilience by celebrating community and strengthening relationships.


Hope Hayes 

As an art teacher for grades K-5 in Lewisville ISD in Texas, Ms. Hayes teaches in a choice-based art studio, where her students are free to explore their individual curiosities and learn through their choice of subject matter and media. This is her ninth year teaching and her third year implementing choice-based art. Ms. Hayes is a firm believer in unstructured play as a means of storytelling and encourages her students to be as creative as possible. This year, she presented on Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) at the Texas Art Educator Association's annual conference.


Danielle Mahoney

A second grade teacher and Literacy Coach at P.S. 212 in Jackson Heights, New York, Ms. Mahoney is not only dedicated to her students, but also to her charity work outside of school. She founded Seeds of Love, a non-profit organization involved with real-world projects such as the American Cancer Society’s Mini-Relay For Life event. She also sponsors Project Give, a writing-for-a-cause program where she encourages teachers nationwide to have their students create thousands of handmade cards for home-bound seniors each Thanksgiving. Through this project, Ms. Mahoney helps her students understand the power and importance of giving back to the community.


We Philadelphians are very proud of Mr. Sam Reed!

Mrs Sherry Guyear is an inspiration to us all here in Grundy County, Tennessee! Check out the Camp Discover video on TNWILDSIDE show:

Sherry has always put her students first. I was fortunate to work with her several years. So glad children and the community are benefitting from her knowledge and love.

I have known and worked with Sherry Guyear for years, and it is wonderful to have my opinion of her confirmed by others! She has always been a teacher with a huge heart!

What a great honor for Ms. Sherry! I've known her for several years. She is truly an amazing teacher and an incredible person!

I am proud to say that, as a teacher myself, I am one of the products of Mrs. Sherry Guyear. It has been an honor to learn from such an inspirational educator and individual.

Sherry Guyear has always been an amazing teacher in and out of the classroom. She taught my son as a first grader in 2002 and he volunteered to help her with Camp Discover during the summer. He will graduate in May. Mrs. Sherry helped form his foundational skills. Thank you for recognizing how valuable she is to the children of our community.

I have known Sherry my entire life. She is an excellent teacher and a fine Christian lady.My Granddaughter attends the Discover Together Program where Ms. Sherry teaches. She loves her and enjoys the class tremendously! It is a great program and Ms Sherry is a great person and teacher!

Sherry Guyear is a remarkably gifted teacher and we are so fortunate to have her working with all the families in Discover Together -- and to be able to learn from her every day. She is one of those natural teachers who just knows how to inspire children (and their families).

Dr. Melissa Collins, I am proud of you. I am especially proud of how you share the passion that you have for teaching with all. I commend you on motivating students to plan ahead, while gaining the knowledge that will bring them closer to their life goals starting with a solid foundation in education.

Dr. Collins has been an advocate for teacher collaboration. She has inspired me to work harder at perfecting my craft through furthering my education, professional developement and being a teacher leader in my building. Dr. Collins I appreciate your dedication to young people ,as well as, educators.