Erin Fox

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Our May 2017 SHEro is Erin Fox.

As she has earned the 2018 Teacher of the Year Award (and she’s an English teach), we are not going to touch the biography she sent to us, because she conveyed her ideas far more effectively than we ever could.

SHE is… simply amazing.

“I was inspired to teach English after a few attempts to find fulfillment through several other college majors and remaining unaffected. Though I enjoyed my theatre, dance, textile design/marketing, and pre-med biology majors, I didn’t feel like they spoke to my heart. I took a Women in Literature class as a course requirement, and I finally found my voice. I loved delving into the lives and conflicts of the literary characters, and I was happily challenged to analyze the various aspects of those writings. I realized that I wanted to share these experiences and the knowledge I garnered with adolescents so that they could learn to think critically, analytically, and creatively.  I have been particularly and personally inspired by the works of Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, Charles Dickens, and Shakespeare.

“I am passionate about teaching English because all students benefit from learning how to communicate effectively. Similarly, storytelling and poetry speak to the essence of our humanity and connect each of us in so many different ways. Therefore it is vital to the human experience and for our understanding of one another that we study universal works that help us relate to our fellow man and woman.

“I am also passionate about coaching.  I love working with my runners and helping them push themselves, mind, body, and spirit, to their limits.  I love being there with them to help set goals and see them become realities.  I enjoy being with them through the wins, and I suffer through the sorrows of a loss with them.  I feel like my runners and my students both push me to be my very best because I want them to see me achieving my goals as well.  I want for them to understand that even though we may fail at times, our failures can be the best teachers and our best tools for learning.

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“As the 2018 State Teacher of the Year I am now a member of several boards across the state, however, as my work with them is still in its infancy, I cannot speak to any projects or roles undertaken yet. But over the course of the year I will be taking an active role as an ambassador for education, a champion for students, and an advocate for teachers. I am the girls’ Varsity and JV cross country coach at Gaffney High School, through which I coach and train with runners throughout the summer and fall. I am also a member of our district teacher forum. I am a dance choreographer for our school’s homecoming committee and our Miss Cherokeean Pageant. I am also a member of our health and wellness committee, our school and district Teacher of the Year committees, and the morale committee for our school. Finally, I was the school representative for the Cherokee County Reading Council and through that was named the 2016-2017 Distinguished Teacher of Reading for Gaffney High School.

“I am involved with my church, Tryon First Baptist, to quite an extent. I serve as one of the children’s church teachers, a nursery worker, and a substitute Sunday school teacher for the youth. I am on the baptistry committee and the scholarship committee, and I have served on the nominating committee. I have participated in several dramatic and musical productions for Easter and Christmas services.

“I am highly involved with our school’s health and wellness initiative, known as Fit2gether. I work with planning in committee meetings, have taken students on a field trip presentation at the Panthers’ Stadium for Fuel Up to Play 60, and have led and participated in after school student/faculty workouts called Power Hour. I also run in charity road races to benefit organizations in our community.

“In my free time I love to be with my family. My husband Danny and I enjoy outdoor activities with our son Jack (9) and our daughter Scout (5). We like to go hiking, backpacking, camping, and boating as a couple and as a family. My husband and I also enjoy cross-country running and weightlifting.  We love spending fun weekends away at the lake, and our favorite travel destination is Disney World. We have been with our children and extended family many times, and each time is a perfect experience. I love taking my kids to watch my students play sports as well. My son is a football and basketball player, so he loves to go watch games and races and meeting the athletes who he looks up to as role models. Scout is a ballet student and quite the drama queen. She loves to watch my students in school plays and community ballet and theatrical productions. And personally I unwind best with a good book. I love to lose myself in a beautiful novel that is thought-provoking and evokes my emotions.”

Congratulations, Erin Fox. We are so pleased to know you, and SO grateful that you are shaping the minds and brightening the futures of our students.