Jessica Hagood Named 2019-20 Teacher of the Year


courtesy of Jessica Hagood.

Jessica Hagood (seated) with her class after being named Teacher of the Year.

Katie Buelt, Features Editor

As in many schools, it is tradition for HHS to designate one teacher each school year as Teacher of the Year in recognition of their exceptional service to their students, coworkers, and the community. This year, the recipient of this honor is Jessica Hagood, who teaches several Family and Consumer Science electives and works with the Lil’ Raiders Preschool.

Despite her evidently natural ability for teaching, Hagood wasn’t sure which career path she wanted to take until high school, where she took a class in Early Childhood Education. Although she simply wanted to explore her interests, she knew from the beginning that she had found her passion. In referring to her decision to go into teaching, she cited her teacher in this class, Mrs. Bowling, as her main inspiration. What’s more, Hagood mentioned that Bowling is retiring this year after over thirty years as an educator. “This [makes the award] even more special for me,” Hagood said. “She is going to be proud hearing this news.”

Hagood certainly doesn’t take this honor lightly, and she is proud to receive recognition for her dedication to improving the learning environment at HHS. When asked about the characteristics she believes a good teacher should have, she stated, “A good teacher is one who is caring, but sets high expectations, is organized, and makes learning fun.” Hagood also goes beyond the norm, proving her passion for teaching and the welfare of her students by acting as advisor to both the the Future Educators Association and FCCLA clubs.

Despite earning this award, Hagood says she still has room to improve and has no intentions of slowing her hard work and positive attitude toward her job. One of her main goals for the future is to continue advancing the Lil’ Raiders Preschool program, as she has seen firsthand the way in which it builds character and intelligence in young children. As for her high school students, she plans to continue to better her teaching abilities and the Family and Consumer Science department as a whole.

“This is a huge achievement for my teaching career,” Hagood said. “But I plan to continue working to be a better teacher for my students.  Professional development, continuing my education, and applying feedback all are factors that shape my teaching as I adapt and grow.”