Congrats Oaklawn Teacher of the Year Mrs.Thrasher

Congrats Oaklawn Teacher of the Year Mrs. Thrasher
Posted on 05/26/2020
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Every year, the HSSD proudly honors a Teacher of the Year for each of our schools. Teachers are nominated for the honor by their peers. The leadership team at each school asks those nominated to submit information about their work as an educator, and carefully reviews all responses before selecting the annual Teacher of the Year.

All six HSSD Teachers of the Year are then considered interviewed for the HSSD District Teacher of the Year by an outside committee of community members. Join us in celebrating each of our Teachers of the Year by hearing from all six outstanding educators in interviews and videos provided here. The 2020 HSSD District Teacher of the Year will be announced on Friday, May 29.

Congratulations to Oaklawn Visual & Performing Arts Magnet School Teacher of the Year Barbara Thrasher

Mrs. Thrasher has been changing lives for three years at the Hot Springs School District, and four in all as a teacher. She teaches second grade at our Oaklawn Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School (which is soon-to-be our Main Street Visual & Performing Arts Magnet School).


Why did you become a teacher?

“I became a teacher because I wanted to devote my life to something that would impact others and truly make a difference. Teaching is both meaningful and fulfilling every single day. I am honored to be a teacher.”


What is your favorite/most inspiring story about your career in teaching?
A story from my career in teaching that I find most inspiring is about a student who challenged me to be a better teacher. This student began his school year in crisis and it took quite a long time to get him all the help he needed and to begin to see a change. There were times when it seemed he was headed towards alternative school. We spent months not getting much work done, causing daily disruption in class and throughout the school, and not communicating with me or anyone. He tested everything I thought I knew about classroom management and relationship building. This young man taught me so much about patience and persistence. He taught me that one of my biggest responsibilities is to be an advocate for the students I serve. And most importantly, he reminded me to never give up, to start fresh each day and give it my all. It may have taken longer than any other student I've taught, but the walls came down and we made a connection. Together with some of my amazing colleagues, we created a network of support for him and provided him with all the resources he needed and then we saw a change. By the end of the year, he was eager to talk to me each day. He tried his best on his classwork and learned it was ok if he didn't master it (yet!). He made some big academic and behavior achievements and got involved in sports outside of school, all that I was able to be a part of.  I know the sky is the limit for this young man. I am excited to watch as this student achieves great things in the future. I will forever be in his corner cheering him on.“


If you could give one message to your students, that you hope they remember above all other things that you've taught them, what would it be?


“When students leave my classroom, I want them to remember above all else that they are loved, that they can do hard things, and that it's ok to make mistakes - it's part of the journey.” 


VIDEO: Hear/watch more from Mrs. Thrasher about why education is so important, and what she hopes for all students to remember in a video spotlight, here. 

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