Editor’s Note: The following story was taken from a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools press release.
Sharon Anderson, an English teacher at Midwood High School, was named 2009 Post Educator of the Year by the Charlotte Post Foundation.
Anderson was chosen for her effectiveness in educating and connecting with students in challenging situations. Each day she tells her students they have one chance and one moment to do what they want to do.
“I reach them because I tell them my truth,” she said.
Her students know that she is battling breast cancer for a second time. She talks to them about her health problems and how she plans to deal with it.
Anderson, who set out to study theater in college has been teaching for 15 years. This is her fifth year in CMS. Anderson has taught in high-poverty schools in New York and North Carolina.
At Midwood, Anderson teaches ninth graders who are at risk of dropping out of school. The transition school works with students who failed eighth-grade End-of-Grade tests and need extra help before attending high school.
“Sharon expects the best out of each of her students,” said Midwood principal Sheila Ijames. “She does not accept excuses for failure.”
During the second week of school Anderson held an assembly and talked to students about how to deal with challenges. She asked students to write down issues that are holding them back, then walked around with a trash can and instructed them to throw away the problems.
Former student Lonna Dawson remembers how Anderson helped her through difficult times in middle school. “She was my seventh-grade teacher and we are still close today,” said Dawson, now 24.
Anderson is a native of Columbia, SC and a graduate of Hampton University. Earlier this year, she was one of seven finalists for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Teacher of the Year.
The Post Foundation also named Myers Park senior Hubert Humphrey its Top Senior Runner-up. Both Anderson and Humphrey will be honored at an awards banquet Saturday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Charlotte Center City.