PE Honors Teacher Of The Year

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2015

PRINCE EDWARD — Asking elementary school principal Amy McCurdy and assistant principal Jeanine Garrett to talk about Teacher of the Year Susan Moore creates its own challenge. It’s simply hard to reign in the superlatives.

“We could not be more thrilled with the selection of Susan Moore,” McCurdy begins. “We would be equally with the selection of (fellow elementary school nominee) Katherine Copeland, but Susan is an exemplary teacher. She cares for each and every student that walks in her door. She has high expectations of every one of her students.”

“She goes above and beyond,” interjects Garrett. “There is nothing we ask her to do that she is not willing to do. She stays after school and works with tutoring for the older children.”

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“She is truly a team player,” McCurdy picks up. “She is just amazing.”

“And her kids that have had her in the past, they remember her,” Garrett said. “They remember her. They come back to see her. She’s one of the teachers, when you ask what was one of your favorite teachers. They love Miss Moore.”

We could go on from here—and the two principals did—but it’s easy to get the idea that the bubbly, energetic, pre-school teacher is appreciated.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Moore and her husband relocated to Buckingham when her parents retired here (her parents were originally from Buckingham). She is a graduate of Longwood, holding a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

“…I didn’t want to be a teacher at first,” Moore said. “I wanted to be a nurse. Then decided, once I got into nursing, that it’s not for me.”

Her mother, Moore recounts, had always wanted to go into teaching, had always dreamed about it. And Moore also has aunts and cousins in the profession. She assesses that it’s “just in the blood. I think it was in that family gene.”

Her favorite teacher was her kindergarten teacher Kay Whitfield (who resides in Farmville).

“I think she was just energetic…She always had a smile on her face,” Moore recounts.

She remembers the classroom, how it was always bright and cheerful and that “you wanted to come to school, and I think it was just that yearning to just be there with her. She was soft-spoken…She’s just wonderful.”

Moore has stayed in pre-K as the children have grown up into the educational system. And it’s clear working with such young children not only suits her, but she enjoys it as well.

“They love you…It’s unconditional love. Their minds are little sponges,” she said. “You can tell them anything, they’re going to remember. They want to please you and because they want to please you, you want to please them. And by being at school every day, making it fun, making it exciting, doing something different every day—and when you see them smile and they’re happy, that’s why I do what I do.”

Moore has been teaching for 27 years, including 10 in Prince Edward. Having taught in larger school divisions in Virginia Beach, she participated in a regional summer school at Prince Edward and found that she loved the teachers.

“…Just the feel of the school I said I needed to come here. This is where I knew I needed to be,” Moore said.

She would also note, “I have a great team of administrators and I don’t think I could do what I do without having Mrs. McCurdy, Mrs. Garrett and Mrs. Jones by my side. They’re very supportive. It’s a great group.”

Two teachers from each of the schools were honored in a special after school program last week. Other nominees included second grade teacher Kathryn Copeland, sixth grade history teacher Alexis Glascock and seventh grade English teacher Megan Martin from the middle school, and biology and anatomy teacher Sarah Fulcher, and special education teacher Amesia Stokes from the high school.

Nominees, selected by their peers, were tasked to write an essay incorporating specific topics. Prince Edward Public School Endowment (PEPSE) selects the teacher of the year. An anonymous donor has provided funds to support the program. Each nominee receives a $500 award, with the overall teacher of the year receiving an additional $500.

School division teachers of the year will vie for regional honors and regional winners for state teacher of the year.