LHS Announces Teacher of the Year

posted May 11, 2018, 5:36 AM by KRISTAL DAWSON
Teacher of the Year Julie Hoff with her family

Lowndes High School is pleased to announce that the Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Julie Hoff.  Mrs. Hoff teaches American Government in the Ninth Grade Academy.  Here are a few of the things Mrs. Hoff's coworkers had to say about her:

Julie Hoff is a gifted mentor, an inspiring coworker, and an exemplary teacher all around.  Professionally speaking she is an incredible role model.  She has over twenty years of experience in the classroom but has not lost an ounce of her courage and excitement to try new things.  She is always happy to lend a hand or ear - as evident in her extracurricular commitments, in her never having missed a hall birthday, and in her offer once to cover my lunch duty when I happened to be obviously overwhelmed!  That, in and of itself deserves a prize I’m sure!  As my assigned mentor, Julie has helped me to learn and grow and to become a better teacher - and in her usual fashion, she has done so through providing me not with instruction and direction, but with opportunity and support.  It is this practice that she employs daily with her students that truly sets her apart.  Julie understands that good teachers guide and empower their students, allowing them to find their own paths.  I can attest to her pedagogical skills because as her mentee, I was fortunate enough to experience them first hand.  What’s more, Julie is incredibly compassionate and never judgmental.  When it feels as though we are buried in inconvenience and impossibility, Julie always manages to find the good.  I have made many mistakes as a first year teacher, but every time I have fallen short, Julie has been there to remind me, with wit and humor, that I am more than the sum of my mistakes.  Her optimism, her kindness, and her generosity are contagious and a blessing to this school.  I would love nothing more than for her to be recognized for her contributions to our community as I can honestly say; I do not know what we would do without her.
To those of us who know and love Julie Hoff... we can attest to the fact that she makes consistent contributions toward our DAILY HAPPINESS at LHS (to whatever degree any of us have it, she is in part why) and toward the quality of instruction for persons both inside and outside of her own Social Studies department. Truly, we all "share" Julie's sunshine. She is warm, caring, friendly, positive, helpful, thoughtful, flexible, supportive, generous, FUNNY... The list is ten miles long. She is this way to her students AND she is this way to ALL of her coworkers. As a coworker and awesome human being, she SPOILS US. She brings us random treats (pumpkin bread YUM), organizes hall social events, puts balloons up on our birthdays, says HELLO to every one of us without exception, and cares when we are out enough to ask. She doesn't complain, but she listens when we do! I think she is literally one of the KINDEST coworkers we have. As a teacher, she is LOVED by her students. She is the right amount of firm/no-nonsense structure, discipline, and academic RIGOR...yet FUN is wrapped all over it. Her students meet expectations, exceed expectations, and excel beyond their own imaginations. I have witnessed her effectively calming down a screaming student who was prone to violence, risking her own safety to the point where I was so worried about her, I stepped in. The girl continued on down the hall ranting despite Julie's best efforts, and I said, "Seriously, Julie, you shouldn't stand in the way of a student bent on hurting someone like that. OMG, she looked like she was about to deck you." and Julie said something along the lines of, "Well, I felt bad for her. I was trying to help her. She's been bumped around from home to home, school to school. This might be her last chance." And that was a Reg Ed kid!!!  In the classroom, she does whatever she has to do to differentiate for the success of EVERY student from Special Ed to Gifted and every one in between. (Oh, there's that "differentiation" buzzword again...but you know what? I know she does it more than most of us.)As a leader, she creates and shares materials/tests/ideas/suggestions, covers classes, opens doors for us and/or our subs, joins committees she doesn't even HAVE to join but just because she wants to help out, she speaks out with the voice of reason, we listen,...and she pulls us all together. She is an EXEMPLAR of what it means to be a teacher and of what it means to be a “beautiful person.”

Teacher of the Year Julie Hoff with Assistant Principal Tonya Brown