South Stokes High School’s Rebecca Patterson has been named Stokes County Teacher of the Year.
Brad Rice, Stokes County Superintendent, and school administrators surprised Patterson Wednesday morning with the honor.
“Thank you for all that you do for our students each and every day,” Rice said. “One of the things that students have said about you is that they hated math before they were in your class and now you make it come to life. This is a very deserving award presentation.”
Patterson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has spent the past 16 years teaching at South Stokes. She’s always taught math, but said it was a subject that didn’t always come easy.
“I love math because there’s a problem with rules and strategies to help you find the solution. I usually had to study hard to be good in my math courses and maybe that’s what helps me teach it effectively.”
Patterson said she lives for those “light bulb moments” she sees in her students.
“Watching their faces when I’m explaining a concept; you can literally watch them get it. I also love when students come back to visit me. Students come back who are still at South or students who have graduated and moved on with their lives. When they take the time to stop by my classroom and let me know how they’re doing or what they’re up to is the ultimate compliment,” she said.
The respected educator works to teach her students math, but said her goals reach much further.
“Most students walk into a math class with a sense of dread. They hate math. It’s their worst subject. My goal is to show each student they can be successful if they’re willing to work for it. I also want them to know that success looks different for everybody.”
Patterson explained some students may strive for high A’s, while success for another student is to make above a 75.
“I want them all to reach their full potential and to see they are capable of more than they thought. In education, we talk about raising the bar for our students. My goal is to teach my students to raise their own bar and set their own high goals.”
Patterson was in the middle of teaching on Wednesday morning when she was presented with the prestigious accolade.
“I was blown away. Representing South Stokes High School is such an honor. I am surrounded by amazing teachers who put their hearts into what they do every day. We support each other, challenge each other, pick each other up, and cheer for each other. I know I’m biased, but it’s the greatest school on the planet.”
Patterson said being selected Teacher of the Year for Stokes County is an honor.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to advocate and brag on our small, but mighty county. We may not have the money or the resources that bigger counties have, but we have the irreplaceable intangibles that can’t be bought or line-itemed on a budget.”
2017-2018 Stokes County Teacher of the Year nominees: (Chestnut Grove Middle) Tracy Horton, (Germanton Elementary) Stacey McCraw, (King Elementary) Kelly Voss, (Lawsonville Elementary) Cody Beasley, (London Elementary) Angie Price, (Meadowbrook Middle) Mary Lou Creal, (Mount Olive Elementary) Pam Hall, (Nancy Reynolds Elementary) Delores Deal (not competing), (North Stokes High) Janet Duggins, (Pine Hall Elementary) Mallory Moore, (Piney Grove Middle) Mark Love, (Pinnacle Elementary) Shannon Warren, (Poplar Springs Elementary) Tavi Petree, (Sandy Ridge Elementary) Heather Hill, (Southeastern Middle) Nichole Smith, (South Stokes) Becky Patterson, (Walnut Cove Elementary) Andrew Young, (West Stokes High) Forrest Munden, (Stokes Early College) Elizabeth Guiles
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.