GP2W: Hagood Elementary School

"GP2W" stands for Great Place To Work.  The four characters serve as a reminder in communication among our staff of the culture of our district. Each week through the school year, our website will feature an article on one of our schools, departments, or people explaining how they make SDPC a Great Place To Work!

PaulaAlexander.jpgby Paula Alexander, principal

At Hagood Elementary our motto is Together We Make a Difference. We believe that is takes teamwork to create a culture that showcases us as ambassadors of education and advocates for children. At the hub of that culture is our relationships with each other, children, families and our community. Hagood faculty and staff instill a love of learning through school-wide activities and by making learning relevant and fun. This has been integral in creating and strengthening positive school to home relationships.

At the cornerstone of building strong relationships and relevant learning in the Hagood community is Mrs. Janice J. Garrison.JPGGarrison, our 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year. This is her 35th year teaching and all of those years have been at Hagood! She is actually the last teacher currently at Hagood that was from the original Ben Hagood Elementary, so she is now teaching children of the children she taught many years ago. Mrs. Garrison provides our 5th grade students with engaging, learning opportunities that students love and look forward to every week. Mrs. Garrison believes as a teacher helping students make the connections between what they learn in the classroom and the real world around them is crucial for their success. She incorporates weekly science labs with all content that support students with hands-on learning that will last a lifetime. Just last school year, Mrs. Garrison spearheaded the first ever STEM parent night. She coordinated for various professionals to present to students and parents about their professions and the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Not only does Mrs. Garrison create meaningful, relevant science lessons each day, she exposes students to various literature studies in her reading classroom. Students are taken beyond the four walls of her classroom and carried to real world applications that keep them connected and inspired to read. The centerpiece of her reading classroom is to instill a dedication to reading and believing in its importance. As a veteran educator, Mrs. Garrison believes that one of the most important things she does is use her classroom to guide students to the "Wow!" moment when they realize how cool learning is. As a Hagood icon, she is truly a teacher leader and her knowledge and relationships are at the cultural hub of our school.

P. Welborn.JPGThe relationships and teamwork continue to be evident when you enter the doors of our computer lab. Mrs. Paula Welborn, our 2014-2015 Support Employee of the Year, is a "jack of all trades" as our technology assistant. In one day's time you may see her reimaging laptops, coordinating MAP testing, teaching keyboarding or PowerPoint to several classes, working on a PolyVision Board, and conducting a volunteer training. Most importantly, she does it all with a smile on her face and a wonderful attitude. Among of all of these things she does so well, Mrs. Welborn has a wonderful relationship with all Hagood students and the faculty and staff. She uses her warm, caring personality to connect with the students and encourage them to rise to expectations and challenges. Mrs. Welborn will check on students throughout the day and offer words of encouragement that make a difference in their day. Her actions and attitude have been contagious and instrumental in creating a foundational culture of relationships that creates such a warm and inviting atmosphere at Hagood.

Recently we had a faculty member state, while walking down the halls, she can feel the warmth of the faculty and their amazing relationships. At Hagood Elementary we believe that a child's educational success is the result of a cooperative effort between the student, teacher, parents and families, and the community. The catalyst for that is trusting relationships, relevant learning, and believing Together We Can Make a Difference each and every day in the lives of children!