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HCS celebrates staff during Celebration of Excellence: Back-to-School Kickoff Event

Hampton City Schools brought nearly 3,000 staff together on August 18, 2023, at the Boo Williams Sportsplex to launch the 2023-2024 school year with a Celebration of Excellence: Back-to-School Kickoff Event.

Emcees Dr. Kim Richardson, director of induction & development and cultural competency lead, and Heather Peterson, climate and culture director, welcomed everyone and introduced School Board Chair Dr. Richard Mason. Dr. Mason shared his excitement in being able to join this outstanding event. Next, Superintendent Dr. Raymond Haynes addressed the crowd and shared his experiences in Hampton City Schools, not only as a student and graduate, but throughout his 28-year career with the division. He also shared a short clip promoting his new podcast entitled HCS Talks. In closing, Dr. Haynes stated that we will move forward together as One Community, One Transformation, with a focus on excellence with intentionality. 

Starting this year and moving forward each year, the division will be providing staff with years of service pins at every five year increment. As a part of the recognition, division employees were asked to stand according to their years of service – five to nine years; 10 to 14 years; 15 to 19 years; 20 to 24 years; 25 to 29 years, 30 to 34 years, and 35 to 39 years. Six staff members were honored who have at least 40 years of dedicated service to HCS. Their names were called and they were invited to join the superintendent and School Board chair on stage where they were recognized and presented with flowers. Those employees are: Vanessa Mabry of the information technology department with 40 years (she was not in attendance); Sandra Leonard of transportation with 41 years of service; Herma Key of transportation with 44 years of service; Joan Locey of transportation with 46 years of service; Carolyn Bowers of pr & marketing with 46 years of service; and Linda Mason-Brooke of transportation with 54 years of service. 

Throughout the event, the emcees shared accomplishments of both individual staff members and schools and departments. Schools and departments also participated in some lively competitive fun with each other with a mascot race, Hungry Hungry Hippo (the human version), egg races, and more.

All of the individual school teachers of the year and support employees of the year were given a shout out and the 2023-2024 elementary, middle, high and overall teachers of the year were announced and presented with a plaque and banner that will hang in their school.

The teachers of the Year are as follows:

Nicole Lewis of Forrest Elementary School – Elementary Teacher of the Year

JoAnna Wilson-Jones of Syms Middle School – Middle School Teacher of the Year

Tirzah Sarro-Jaynes of Phoebus High School – High School Teacher of the Year

JoAnna Wilson-Jones was named the overall Teacher of the Year 2023-2024