Syfrett named Rookie Teacher of the Year at Gregg Middle School
by The Press and Standard | May 5, 2018 2:00 pm
Last Updated: May 4, 2018 at 11:44 am
Colleton Prep Class of 2013 graduate Hannah Syfrett was recently named Rookie Teacher of the Year at Gregg Middle School in Summerville. Syfrett graduated in May of 2017 from the College of Charleston with a degree in special education.
From an early age, Syfrett knew she wanted to be a teacher. In fact, Syfrett’s mother, Kaye, fondly recalls her coming home from elementary school each day and practicing her teaching skills with her white board and markers.
“My passion is teaching those on the Autism spectrum,” said Syfrett. “I have known since the first grade that I wanted to be a teacher because of Mrs. Kathy Houck at Colleton Prep, who made learning so much fun.
“When I met someone on the Autism spectrum for the first time … that’s when I knew that I was born to teach this fascinating population,” said Syfrett. “Communication is key for my students. Some of them verbally communicate, while others communicate using other modes. I thrive off the communication breakthroughs: students saying new words or making eye contact for longer lengths of time, and especially when parents recognize their child is talking more and feel I’ve played a small part in that success.”
With six students in her class, all boys on the autism spectrum, she readily admits each day brings a new challenge.
“Tough moments happen in our classroom; after that, we walk to the bus, give a high five, and say tomorrow’s a new and better day,” said Syfrett. “But good moments happen, too. Every day is full of good moments — no matter what.”
Syfrett currently plans to remain in the teaching field while pursuing her master’s degree. One day she would like to return to the College of Charleston and teach students how to educate those with special needs.
She will be moving to Spartanburg this summer to begin the next chapter of her life. Engaged to Michael Land, who lives in Greenville and works for Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, she is busy planning her July wedding to be held at The Citadel in Charleston and building their first home.
“I am going to miss my students here,” said Syfrett. “My first year of teaching has been phenomenal due to the staff, administration and Dorchester District II Special Services.”
Hannah is the daughter of Kaye and Jimmy Syfrett of Walterboro.
By CINDY CROSBY | firstname.lastname@example.org