For Tiffany Wynn, an eighth-grade science teacher at Thomasville Middle School, being a teacher is a multi-faceted job that takes patience, understanding, discipline and strength. She has demonstrated her talents for not only being a tough educator, but a mentor and friend to her students and colleagues.
It is because of these traits Wynn was named the Thomasville City Schools 2022 Teacher of the Year.
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“I feel like teaching is a holistic job; you have to come into it with an open heart and an open mind,” said Wynn. “You can’t be judgmental or critical. You have to be understanding of the some of the things these kids are going through and be someone they can trust,” said Wynn.
Wynn has been teaching for 12 years, the past four at Thomasville Middle School. Originally from Charleston, S.C., Wynn got her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of Charleston. She also has her master’s degree in Science Education from North Carolina State University.
She first came to North Carolina in 2012, where she taught at North Hills Elementary School in Forsyth County for two years and then for Guilford County Schools for the next five years. She has been teaching eighth-grade science at Thomasville Middle School for the past four years.
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“Honestly, I love this district the most,” said Wynn. “Yes, it’s small, but everyone knows each other. My administrators are the best, they let me be who I am without restraints, and they are always there to support me.”
Wynn said science was always her subject of interest in high school, but besides becoming a doctor, she didn’t know how to utilize it as a career. She said it was after working several years as a social worker dealing with the foster care system where her love for children and her passion for science collided into a career in education.
“I love kids and I like helping people,” said Wynn. “Times can be tough for kids this age. Those middle school years were when I had the hardest time, kids were really mean to me, so I know what they are going through and what to look for.”
And this is the philosophy Wynn brings to her classroom.
“For children to learn, you have to get them to listen. To get them to listen, you have to show that you care…Once you overcome whatever issue they might have and know who they are, you will always have their support,” said Wynn.
Wynn is also appreciative of her fellow teachers, staff and administrators for supporting her in her role as an educator and co-worker.
“One of the things I have learned is you can’t do everything yourself,” said Wynn. “We are a family and everyone is more than willing to help each other. It’s all about the end game. And our administrators are awesome.”
Kevin Leake, principal of Thomasville Middle Schools, said they are very fortunate to have Wynn as a teacher. He says what makes her worthy of being named Thomasville City Schools Teacher of the Year is the positive impact she has on her students combined with the high expectations she has for them.
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“Ms. Wynn pushes her students. Not all have liked being challenged academically in the moment, but once the results come in at the end of the year, the hard work has always paid off. She expects each student she teaches to do well and holds them accountable in the process…She inspires students to attain heights they never believed they could reach. Ms. Wynn has done that each year she has been with us at TMS and the Thomasville City Schools District Teacher of the Year honor is definitely well deserved,” said Leake.
When she is not teaching, Wynn says she likes to spend as much time as she can with her 16-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter who is leaving to attend college in a few weeks. She said they like to spend time watching movies, trying new foods at different restaurants and traveling.
Wynn said she is very appreciative of being recognized as the Thomasville City Schools Teacher of the Year. She said that even though she never expected it, it is nice to be honored.
“Even without this award, I still love what I do,” said Wynn. “I love the impact education can have on a child’s life. I am honored and privileged every year to be able to be a teacher at Thomasville City Schools.”
General news reporter Sharon Myers can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @LexDispatchSM.