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.