WINNSBORO — Fairfield Middle School S.T.E.M. coach Lynne Thomas was recently recognized as one of the top teachers in the Midlands when she was presented with WLTX’s Golden Apple Award.
The media center erupted as Thomas came through the doorway and the WLTX camera clicked on to catch the inspired students as they cheered on their favorite S.T.E.M. coach.
“It is such an honor to receive this award,” Thomas said as tears of joy flowed down her cheeks. “We have such wonderful kids here doing wonderful things and I expect great things out of all of them.”
She said she has been teaching in the classroom for 12 years, but can’t remember a time when she wasn’t teaching.
Thomas said she has always been a teacher even before entering the profession.
“My mom taught us everything and teaching has been ingrained into me,” she noted. “I think teaching really comes out of being a good parent. It is just natural. If I can parent you then I can teach you. I’m trying to pull things in from their real world so that it makes sense on paper.”
Thomas believes that keeping the classroom curriculum fresh is a key ingredient to a student’s success and she says those changes need to come every quarter.
“We (teachers) have to change gears every nine weeks,” she stated. “I need something extra to keep them (students) motivated. I’m always thinking what can I do to change things. I’m always thinking what can I do and I think that’s my role as a teacher. It really is all about them. I get the biggest blessing out of seeing them become successful and happy. That’s what teaching is all about.”
Thomas said that her students are always on her mind no matter what time of day it is.
“As soon as I wake up in the morning they’re on my mind,” she stated. “I’m always thinking what can I do to capture their attention because it is really all about them. Watching them learn has just been amazing. They soak everything up like a sponge.”
Robert Davis — who nominated Thomas for the Golden Apple Award — is a seventh-grader at Fairfield Middle School and is one of those students who is always on her mind.
Davis said he enjoys the extra projects in Thomas’ class.
“I love Mrs. Thomas because she is like my second mom,” he confessed. “They may look different but they act the same. When I start to day dream she gets on me. But at the end of the day it is pretty cool because it shows that she loves me and cares about me.”
He noted that he likes a lot of different subjects, but in the future would like a job that combines science and technology.
Thomas stated that teaching S.T.E.M. curriculum has been a blessing for her.
“We’re building citizens in this world and we want them to be independent,” she noted. “Our school is changing. Our district is changing and it is so refreshing to see the change that is coming.”
Thomas is Fairfield County School District’s second Golden Apple winner in three months. Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science art teacher Kimberlea Daly won in February.