46 years of teaching honored with awards|[01/24/08]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2008

Though the difference in their students’ ages stretches the range of public education, it is the love for learners that has helped Alisa Harvey and Lucy Young find success as educators — in a total of 46 years in the classroom.

Harvey, a kindergarten teacher at South Park Elementary, and Young, a safety and adaptive physical education teacher at Warren Central High School, were named Educators of the Year during Wednesday’s Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Luncheon. Along with the recognition, the two winners each received a check for $1,000.

“I am truly honored, but shocked,” said Harvey, a first-time nominee for the award. “Knowing many of the other great teachers up for the award, I definitely thought one of them would get it.”

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Now in her 10th year in the Vicksburg Warren School District, Harvey said it is her relationships with her students and seeing their development that has motivated her in the classroom.

“Just watching these kids progress throughout the year is so rewarding for me,” said Harvey, 32. “And at that age, there is so much growth.”

Harvey also noted, that more than anything, she stresses confidence-building with her students.

“I want these kids to know they can do what they dream,” she said.

Young, who has been teaching for 36 years, is also a first-time nominee of the chamber’s award, though she’s been named Warren Central High School’s teacher of the year four times.

“I’m quite overwhelmed by this recognition,” Young said. “Every one of these nominees are top-notch educators, and to be selected from this group is very touching.”

Teaching and coaching at Warren Central for the entirety of her career, Young is responsible for starting the school’s soccer and softball programs and has coached tennis, even noting that she coached Sen. Briggs Hopson III, who was in attendance Wednesday, some years ago.

She now teaches safety education, certifying students in first aid and CPR, and also adaptive physical education, training disabled youth for the Special Olympics.

Young, 58, said she has been asked by many lately how much longer she will remain teaching.

“I just tell them I’ve still got plenty of work to do,” she said. “I love the kids and I want to continue reaching out, trying to touch lives as long as I can.”

Since 1990, the chamber has asked faculty members at all local schools to choose a nominee, and those selected are interviewed by a volunteer committee and former educators.

Also honored at the luncheon were Lynn Foley of Wingate by Wyndham as Ambassador of the Year, and May and Company, LLP, as Business of the Year.

Foley was described as being instrumental to the growth of the Ambassador Committee and its success. She co-chaired the committee, contributing to its events, such as the New Member Orientation and Biscuits and Business, and also helped to standardize the ribbon-cutting events.

Kenneth Hicks, who was named Ambassador of the Year at last year’s banquet, and Russell Hawkins accepted the award on the behalf of May and Company LLP. In addition to providing service to its clients, the business was noted for being “extremely generous with the time they dedicate to the Chamber and its mission of improving the quality of life in Warren County.” The business had sponsored several events, as well as the Retirement Development Program.