Pleasant Hill Elementary School has named Jennifer N. Hudson as its 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year.
Hudson has taught at the Hemingway community school for two years and is now in her third year of teaching at Pleasant Hill.
To be selected as the school’s Teacher of the Year, the teacher must have taught for a minimum of three years at the school. As in Hudson's case, the honoree can be in the third year of teaching to qualify. The teacher is nominated and selected by certified staff members.
Hudson said receiving Teacher of the Year has been a rewarding experience.
Throughout her five years of teaching, she said she reminisces daily on a quote from the late Richard W. Riley: “Teaching is the profession that makes all other professions possible.”
Hudson said she knows, as an educational leader, she and other teachers have "a huge responsibility."
"We must do our best each day to fulfill the needs of every student," she said.
Hudson said she encourages her students by letting them know they are “the best of the best.” She reminds them that they can excel in anything they put their minds to. She said she sets high expectations for her students with meaningful and enriching lessons.
Hudson said she strives to be a dedicated and committed advocate for children and an ambassador for teachers.
She said she is particularly proud and honored to be in Georgetown County, among some of the same teachers who inspired her to teach.
"I believe that building meaningful relationships with students, parents and community stakeholders is essential to having a true home-school connection in shaping a child’s future," she said.
Hudson is a native of Andrews and the daughter of Wilbert and Janice Hudson. She has two siblings: Willette Hudson and Raymond Hudson.
She is a 2006 graduate of Andrews High School. During her time at Andrews High School, she was involved in extra-curricular activities, her favorite being Service Over Self, where she recently volunteered as the program director.
Hudson continued her education at Winthrop University, where she majored in elementary education. At the university, she became a peer mentor and was initiated into the Mu Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. in 2008. She transferred to Coastal Carolina University in 2009, where she was a member of the Coastal Inspirational Ambassadors Gospel Choir, New Voices, New Visions, and the NAACP. She was also a S.N.A.P. mentor and a peer leader during her tenure at CCU.
In 2012, Hudson graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She immediately returned home to teach in the Georgetown County School District. She furthered her education and has recently graduated with a 4.0 from her alma mater a second time with a master's degree in educational leadership.
She has recently served as the “Acting School Principal” for the Summer S.A.I.L. Reading Enrichment Program at Pleasant Hill Elementary.
Throughout her experiences, Hudson said she "has always been reminded that God is intentional" and thanks Him daily for her journey.
"Educating children and touching the lives of others through community service has been a humbling experience," she said.