The surprises just keep coming for Dr. Elisabeth Hardy.
Dr. Hardy, who teaches English at North Augusta High School and was named as Aiken County Teacher of the Year in Aiken County in May of 2016, was shocked at that time when she was presented with a brand new Jeep Liberty to use this school year.
On Wednesday, a very special guest – State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman – announced to the entire school that Dr. Hardy is now a state Teacher of the Year finalist. Ms. Spearman spoke with Dr. Hardy, who was in Charleston Tuesday with her husband for a medical appointment, by phone.
“We just talked with Dr. Elisabeth Hardy by phone and notified her that she is one of five finalists for the South Carolina State Teacher of the Year Award,” Ms. Spearman told teachers and the student body. “This is an incredible honor for her, for your school and for the Aiken County School District. It means that she is one of the top five teachers in the state of South Carolina and there are over 60,000 of them so that means she is really a fantastic teacher and a great representative of the teachers here (at North Augusta High School).”
The winner of the State Teacher of the Year Award will be announced in May.
“Oh my goodness! This is just icing on the cake and this is too wonderful!” Dr. Hardy told the State Superintendent. “To be one of the top five of such an amazing group of educators across the state, I just cannot even find the words (to say). I am just so excited to represent such an amazing school district and so many amazing teachers.”
Aiken County Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford said Dr. Hardy represents the very best of the teaching profession.
“Excellent teachers are the foundation of any high-quality educational endeavor and here in Aiken County we are thrilled to have one of the top teaching professionals in the nation in Dr. Elisabeth Hardy of North Augusta High School. Dr. Hardy’s limitless passion for her students is infectious and her dedication to her craft knows no bounds. Dr. Hardy has served as an outstanding role model as our school district’s current Teacher of the Year, and I cannot think of a better teacher or a better person to best represent the great teachers of South Carolina. We congratulate Dr. Hardy on being named as a state Teacher of the Year finalist and wish her all the best in the state Teacher of the Year selection process.”
North Augusta High School Principal Mr. John Murphy said Dr. Hardy stands out from the crowd because of her passion for family, students and education.
“All of our teachers here are very unique and exceptional in their own ways, and Dr. Hardy is very passionate. I get tickled with her because she is very emotional and she doesn’t hesitate to show that emotion and I think that is just a wonderful human quality,” stated Mr. Murphy. “I think she is a phenomenal teacher and we are very proud to have her. If selected, she will represent this state very well.”
Several students who were in the school’s media center were able to witness the phone call between Dr. Hardy and Superintendent Spearman, including one of Dr. Hardy’s students, North Augusta High sophomore Kristen Wahl.
“I feel very proud of her. She is an awesome person,” Kristen commented. “She is the nicest teacher that I have had and I have been all over the country. She is amazing. You can see that she understands you.”
“She really does put all her students before anything else,” added North Augusta High sophomore student Cat Hoey. “She will do whatever it takes to teach you and present things in a way that you know to learn (the material). She will do anything for you.”
LINK TO DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE: 2017 PR DR HARDY STATE FINALIST