Hern wants her students to be excited about school and learning

Published 3:06 pm Friday, January 31, 2020

This article is part of a series by The Vicksburg Post, in partnership with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, featuring each of the nominees for teacher of the year honors.


For Marion Margaret Hern, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teacher at Bovina Elementary, the day is often spent working projects with groups of students or developing ways to incorporate the elements of STEM into everyday learning.

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But for Hern, who also helps in literacy intervention, it was the interaction with a struggling student, and the student’s ultimate success she considered the most moving moment of her career.

“One of the students struggles academically and has emotional issues due to a major life-changing event that occurred in his family,” Hern said. “I started pulling him during lunch and reading with him while we ate lunch. This has helped the student read his library books, meet his Accelerated Reader goals, and has provided him an opportunity to gain trust in me as his teacher.

“This one-on-one attention has helped this student build trust in me while helping him heal emotionally. This trusting relationship is helping him grow academically and emotionally even though I have not experienced his type of grief.”

Hern is one of the teachers nominated for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Year awards.

The chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon on Feb. 25. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.

This year marks Hern’s 14th year teaching, and her second as a teacher at Bovina Elementary.

Hern, who received an associate’s degree in business administration from Hinds Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Southern Mississippi, received a master’s degree in teaching from Alcorn State. She also received a degree from William Carey University in educational leadership.

She also received her National Board Certification in 2008.

Hern began her teaching career as a fourth-grade teacher at Beechwood Elementary School before becoming the school’s lead teacher. She then moved to the district office, where she was the district’s assistant testing coordinator and then took over as the district’s testing coordinator two years later.

In her application to the chamber, Hern outlined a number of teaching practices and philosophies, but they all boiled down to a very simple belief.

“My belief about teaching is all students can learn,” she wrote. “I want to see all students excited about school and learning.”

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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