By: Terry Harris, Staff Writer
Appeared In: August 23, 2017 edition
SURRY – As new teachers attended orientation for Surry County Schools last week and veteran county teachers prepared to return for the upcoming year, it was a perfect time for reflection on two of Surry County’s inspiring teachers from last year.
“We are extremely proud of our teachers of the year, Ms. Robertson and Ms. Scott,” said County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Thornton. “They are dedicated educators who care about the students and families they serve.”
Surry Elementary School Teacher of the Year for 2017, Melinda Robertson, moved to Surry County in 1991, and has raised four children here, all of whom graduated from Surry County Public Schools. Her sojourn in SCPS began in 2003, when she was hired as an instructional assistant. In 2008 she left temporarily to pursue a Bachelors degree in Psychology, and she currently teaches first grade.
Among her many accomplishments while part of SCPS she has coached volleyball, basketball and soccer at Surry County High School, tutored for Project STARS, and been President of the Gifted Advisory Committee. She is a 4-H volunteer leader and 4-H All-Star, and has taught summer sewing classes for several years.
Ms. Robertson is also a member of Bacon’s Castle Baptist Church where she has been a leader in the AWANA program and the Children’s Sunday School Department and serves in the nursery, children’s church ministries, and on the Missions Ministry team.
Vanessa Laverne Scott, the 2017 Surry County High School Teacher of the year as well as Surry County Public Schools’ District Teacher of the Year, has one son, VyDel Scott Travis, who graduated from Surry County High School last year. Ms. Scott also graduated from Surry County High School, and subsequently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and Hampton University. She has 24 years of experience in education, and currently, teaches Biology at Surry County High School.
Ms. Scott is an active member of the National Education Association, the Virginia Education Association, and is President of the Surry County Education Association. She is also an active member of Jerusalem Baptist Church, where she regularly attends Sunday School, Bible Study, and sings in the Inspirational Chorus.
Ms. Scott is a member of the VEA Board of Directors, a Board member for the Youth Council Services for the Carsley District, and a Charter member of the Smithfield Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Surry County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Serbrenia Sims, also expressed her admiration for both Ms. Scott and Ms. Robertson, and her delight at the inspiration the two can provide for the new teachers to the county.
“I have truly enjoyed working with the new teachers,” she added following New Teacher Orientation, “and seeing them coming in with excitement and enthusiasm to continue to help us move Surry County schools and students on our journey toward excellence.”