By Derik Vanderford
March 16, 2014
UNION COUNTY — Renée Rogers has been named Union County School District 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year.
Rogers teaches English at Union County High School. According to one of her colleagues, she “works hard to help students on a daily basis and always maintains high expectations for her students, regardless of whether or not they are AP, Honors, or College Prep.”
Another colleague described her as being “extremely helpful to me, being a new teacher; excellent teacher (to the students and to me — I learned so much from her while student teaching and now); a great role model for students and teachers; always kind and has a heart for the students; exhibits professionalism in everything that she does; positive attitude.”
UCHS Principal Floyd Lyles stated that he “has a lot of respect for Mrs. Rogers. She is a very dedicated teacher who truly cares about her students. She spends countless afternoons, making sure that she is thoroughly prepared for the next day and that she has utilized the best practices for her students.” He said, “She is a loyal member of our staff who has a great rapport with her students.” Mrs. Rogers exudes confidence, skill, character, and integrity — all of the essential characteristics deemed necessary for the title, “Teacher of the Year!”
Mrs. Rogers attended Winthrop University, where she earned a Bachelor of the Arts degree in English. She is also two courses away from earning a Master of the Arts degree from Converse College. Mrs. Rogers is certified in the areas of AP Language and Literature. She also serves as a Teacher Consultant for the Upstate Writing Project and has an endorsement for the Gifted and Talented.
When asked about her educational philosophy, Mrs. Rogers stated that education makes life worth living.
She also said, “As a perpetual student, I believe the limitless potential of life opens only to those who are educated, and I strive to daily make each moment in my classroom one that purposefully leads students toward a life of meaning.”
In addition, she said that she “thinks education should be relevant, meaningful, and (even) enjoyable to students, and that as teachers we should hold our students to very high standards through our expectations for behavior and performance.”
Mrs. Rogers said that she strives to make her classroom a “student-centered environment where students take ownership of their own educations.”
According to her, the most memorable teaching experience involves listening to her students share their poetry, short stories, and other writings. It is no wonder that her greatest reward is therefore watching her students “grow to become better readers, writers, and mostly people.”
In her free time, Mrs. Rogers said that she likes “saving inordinate amounts of money through couponing, singing, writing, reading, child-rearing, and grading.”
She serves as a sponsor for the National Honor Society at UCHS and is a participant in both church and Bible studies.
Indeed, Mrs. Rogers is a phenomenal educator who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure her students’ success. Perhaps her following statement best sums up her everyday approach to teaching: “I try to do my best each day (and of course, some days are more successful than others) with the mindset that I am working to please God and not man. Therefore, as honored as I am to be the Teacher of the Year — as humbled as I am to be nominated by my peers for my dedication — I tend to be more in my element working ‘behind the scenes’ in my classroom.”
Mrs. Renée Rogers is married to Jason Rogers. They recently became the proud parents of a sweet little baby boy (5 months old). The Rogers’ family currently resides in Union, South Carolina.