Tess Curry, Clarendon School District Two’s Teacher of the Year
Tess is a 9th-12th grade physics/physical science teacher at Manning High School. Tess inspires positive attitudes and an urge to learn, here is a bit of her story in her words:
“My teaching career was sparked between my junior and senior year in college–I taught middle-school science through Breakthrough Collaborative, an organization that places college students in the classroom to teach high-achieving, low-income students. During that summer through my experience working with one initially recalcitrant student, I discovered my passion for teaching. This specific student had the worst attitude, the messiest binder, and zero desire to be at school in the summer. One day during lunch, I sat down with her and helped organize her binder. She did not stop talking during the entire lunch period! From that day forward, I witnessed an incredible change in this student (completing class work, no more attitude, organized binder!), and eventually she won the ‘Spirit Stick’–the highest award earned at the summer school. This student is the reason why I became a teacher–every student deserves a chance and needs an advocate on their side. I think of this student when I am having difficult days in the classroom, and now I can think of all the other students that have impacted me throughout the past years!
The most satisfying part of my day is seeing the ‘a-ha!’ moments when students are engaged with the material and excited when they understand fully! Teaching is the most rewarding, yet challenging profession. Every day in the classroom is unknown. As a teacher, you get to define the unknown. Your attitude in the front of the classroom will reflect on every student in the classroom. Our nation needs dedicated teachers who are willing to accept the challenge of entering the unknown with a positive, motivated attitude!”

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