ROCK HILL, S.C. — For three years now, Rock Hill Schools has been honoring its teachers with fun surprises and announcements.
On Wednesday, school leaders traveled around the district honoring support staff, beginning teachers, mentors and capping it off with a surprise to announce the district teacher of the year.
It was the perfect time for Oakdale Elementary teacher Standrick Rhodes to be honored as district teacher of the year.
“I don’t even feel like I’ve earned it or deserved it and I come to work everyday and I have fun all day. I’m shocked, I legitimately am shocked. I can’t even move right now,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes is a 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teacher who’s been at Oakdale Elementary for three years.
“Teaching is the only place that allows the weird Stan to come out without judgment, so I am a strange guy and I admit it and I know it but this is the only place that that’s accepted with love and my kids love me,” Rhodes said. “They have no idea how insane i am.”
He was presented $1,000 from the district, $500 from the Education Foundation and a new Honda Civic from Honda Cars of Rock Hill.
“In the last month or so, my family has undergone a great deal of trauma, we lost my brother and um, the beginning of September, my mother was recently diagnosed with cancer and she is currently in the hospital and we literally just had a meeting this morning with the physicians team and they pretty much are preparing for the end, but it’s moment like this that give me that extra little umph to say we aren’t giving up, we are going to keep fighting with her and for her,” Rhodes said.
“It’s exciting and to know he represents all the good that is happening in education and so many wonderful teachers who are doing this day in and day out and who do this for the love of kids. It’s really a blessing for all of us,” RHSD Superintendent Bill Cook said.
And with COVID-19, all teachers are working more than ever to meet the needs of their students.
“They are being stretched to do things that might not have been part of their training when they are going to school or in their preparation, but they are meeting that challenge head on, they are doing the very best that we all know how to do, and making still a great difference in the lives of our children,” Cook said.
Congrats, Mr. Rhodes, an educator that’s growing and going!