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franklin county times
PHOTO BY LAUREN WESTER Justin Branch nominated PCHS English teacher Susan Holt for the Tools for Teachers award through WHNT Channel 19 News, and the station surprised her Oct. 25 with recognition and money for her classroom.

PCHS teacher receives award

Teachers are hard-working individuals who often don’t receive the recognition they deserve. One Phil Campbell High School student, Justin Branch, decided that it was time one of his teachers was recognized for her hard work and dedication to her students and the school.

As a part of his efforts, English teacher Susan Holt received the Tools for Teachers award from WHNT Channel 19 News.

The Tools for Teachers award is given out weekly by the news station and, according to their website, is based on the teacher’s ability to make learning interesting and thought-provoking; face challenges with ingenuity and enthusiasm; and demonstrate a willingness to take action and get results for his or her students.

“Mrs. Holt is one of the hardest working teachers at this school, and I wanted people to know that, so I nominated her,” Branch said.

Branch is a junior at PCHS. He has taken Holt’s ninth- and 10th-grade English classes and is currently in her creative writing and drama classes.

“The community should know that they can trust Mrs. Holt to teach their kids literature and help them in a number of ways,” Branch said.

Holt has been an English teacher at PCHS since 2004 but has been in the system since 1998. She also worked at the Franklin County Career Technical Center, where she taught English for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

“I like working with teenagers and getting to teach them. I look back on my own experiences in high school and try to apply that to how I work with them,” Holt said.

The way she works with teens is one reason Branch chose to nominate her for this award.

“She does a lot of group work and hands-on activities, and the kids really enjoy working with her,” Branch said.

Holt said she she tries to make learning fun and relatable to the students so they will enjoy it more.

“Recently we were working with Native American myths, and it was kind of hard for the kids to relate to, so I had them make dream catchers. It really got them more involved with it,” Holt said.

She is also one of the prom sponsors for the school and helps with the senior versus teacher basketball game.

WHNT surprised her at the school Oct. 25 to announce she had received the award and gave her $319 to use in her classroom. Holt said that she is going to take what the students want into consideration and ask them how they think the money would be best spent toward their learning.

“I think she should use it for the drama department. We need new microphones, specifically lapel mics,” Branch said.

In the past Holt has also been chosen as the Franklin County Educator of the Year and received the Outstanding Teacher Award at PCHS.

 

“I feel honored. For him to take the time out of his busy schedule to nominate me is really special,” Holt said.

 

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