Updated: Sep 22
What surprised LaShonda Hurst most about winning the 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year for Lakeview Academy was that she doesn’t see herself as someone with a one-size-fits-all method for teaching, but instead prides herself on her flexibility and the way that she’s able to flow with the current of her students’ moods and learning abilities.
“When you walk in, in the morning, you’re never going to know who’s feeling the best,” she said, “or who’s not feeling the best, but it’s still a matter of giving a smile, saying good morning, and moving on with the day.” Hurst begins the year by establishing a sense of mutual trust, love, and support with her students that allows for patience and flexibility.
This year will only be Hurst’s fourth year teaching with Baldwin County, but prior to that, she worked in the same building as a teacher and case manager for GNETS (Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support), where she helped students with social and emotional disabilities adjust and learn in a productive way.
Prior to that, she worked at Macon Bibb EOC (Economic Opportunity Council) where she got her start in teaching younger children.
At Baldwin County, Hurst found the kind of flexibility that met her at her own level, “I can sense the amount of flexibility, the amount of love we have for each other. I’ve been able to learn different aspects from other teachers, consultants, and other things that Baldwin has to offer,” she said, “and Dr. (Noris) Price (BCSD Superintendent) and the school administration are making sure that those barriers of education are broken down for us. That’s been a very important part for me.”