08/27/10 — Hardy named county's Teacher of the Year

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Hardy named county's Teacher of the Year

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 27, 2010 1:46 PM

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Scott Hardy, left, receives the Teacher of the Year award from Wayne Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor at the district's annual banquet and Kemp/Twiford Awards presentation Thursday at Walnut Creek.

Former school resource officer Scott Hardy traded in his badge for a chalkboard and Thursday night was named Wayne County Public Schools' Teacher of the Year.

The national board-certified teacher of U.S. and world history, civics and world view global studies has been at Spring Creek High School for 12 years. His career in education, however, began in 1995 as a school resource officer for Greene County Schools.

It was while teaching a history/character education course for "at-risk" students that Hardy realized his true calling to become an educator.

Dr. Steven Taylor, superintendent, who announced the district award, described Hardy as "a dedicated, knowledgeable, caring and inspiring teacher."

Approaching the microphone, Hardy -- who is also a lay pastor at Jason and Snow Hill Presbyterian churches -- quipped, "I hope you all know it's a bad idea to give a pastor a microphone but don't worry, I'm a Presbyterian, so it will be under 15 minutes."

Hardy, of LaGrange, said he felt like he had been chosen as the most valuable player for an all-star team, congratulating fellow recipients at their respective schools.

"Everybody here is as worthy as I am," he said.

He also paid tribute to those who had been instrumental in his life, both personally and professionally.

He was accompanied by wife, Skyler, a sixth-grade teacher at Spring Creek and the mother of his two daughters, ages 2 and 4, and his mother, Faye Hardy.

Hardy said Skyler, "who's always been my rock," had been named the district's beginning teacher of the year several years ago and he expects one day she will be accepting the Teacher of the Year recognition.

He called Spring Creek Principal Steve Clingan "one of the most supportive men I have ever met" and said he still remembered the interview questions posed by Charlie Ivey, principal of Spring Creek Elementary School, when Ivey brought Hardy to Wayne County in 1998.

But it is the students who should ultimately motivate teachers to do their best each day, the educator said.

"Every one of these children are a child of God -- we can't control their home life ... but we can control those moments there (at school) and we can make all the difference," he said.

Hardy holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Mount Olive College and teaching certifications in middle and high school social studies from East Carolina University. In 2004, he earned National Board certification in adolescent/young adult social studies, and a master's degree in history from ECU in 2005.

"Mr. Hardy is a very dedicated and committed educator who puts forth his best effort every day," Clingan said. "Under his guidance as an educator, students have consistently scored well above the state average in EOC (end-of-course) tests, which reflects the wonderful job that he does in conveying knowledge, engaging students and making learning relevant."

Taylor said the county is fortunate to have someone of Hardy's caliber representing the school district for the coming year.

"Mr. Hardy is committed to helping students become engaged and excited about learning," he said. "His classroom experience, passion for history and drive to help students succeed academically and in life makes him an asset to the district and a role model for teachers across the district and state."

Hardy will next advance to the regional competition. As WCPS Teacher of the Year, he will receive a $1,500 check and a $5,000 Kemp/Twiford Worldview travel study award to be used to travel outside the U.S.

The district's two other finalists, Melissa Edgerton, a fifth-grade teacher at Northwest Elementary School, and Jennifer Harper, a math and science teacher at Mount Olive Middle School, will each receive a $4,000 travel/study stipend.