HALLSVILLE — A Hallsville ISD teacher will be driving onto campus for the start of school behind a new set of wheels Wednesday, thanks to her recent being named the Region 7 Education Service Center Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Tina Wyman, a fourth grade teacher at Hallsville Intermediate School, was named the Region 7 ESC 2020 Elementary Teacher of the Year, while Carthage ISD teacher Tammie Evans was named the region’s Secondary Teacher of the Year.

The two will now serve as semifinalists in the 2020 Texas Teacher of the Year representing Region 7 ESC and advance next month to compete against the 38 other regional teachers of the year.

The group will be judged by a panel of TASA (Texas Association of School Administrators) members and then six finalists will be chosen for personal interviews in Austin.

State winners will be chosen and announced in late October at the Texas Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony in Austin.

“I was blessed and honored to be chosen as the Region 7 Elementary School Teacher of the Year,” Wyman said Friday. “My teaching career started in Canada, where I was born and raised.

“I have been teaching a total of 20 years, 14 of those years have been in Texas and eight of them have been in Hallsville ISD teaching fourth grade writing.”

Wyman said becoming a teacher was her plan from childhood.

“I knew at a very young age that I wanted to focus in a career that allowed me to inspire others to be the best possible version of themselves,” she said. “Teaching allows me to do that.

“I see kids overcome challenges everyday and come to school focused to do their best. I see kids make mistakes, pick themselves up, reflect on what happened, and try again. I see kids work harder when presented with challenges rather than giving up,” she continued. “They take ownership of their learning and use the resources available to help them grow. I see students who never stop challenging themselves to learn more, show empathy to others and who support and encourage one another.”

Wyman said her years spent teaching allow her to keep learning and growing too.

“I consider myself blessed and honored to be a part of that each and every day,” she said. “I walk in the door each morning ready and hoping to be an inspiration to those I teach and teach alongside, but I leave feeling inspired that they allowed me to be such a special part of their learning journey.”

While teaching is truly a passion for Wyman, she was shocked to learn she was named teacher of the year.

“I was surrounded by so many amazing educators yesterday. Each of us plays such an important role in the lives of children,” she said. “It could have been any of us up on stage.

“I was blessed to be chosen and honored to represent Hallsville ISD.”

Part of Evans’ and Wyman’s winnings for being named teachers of the year was a choice between a new car from Jack of Diamonds Honda, or a $5,000 check.

After a drawing, Wyman drove away with the new wheels and Evans took home the cash.

“The car was a surprising bonus,” she said. “I had absolutely no idea that was part of winning. Jack O’Diamond Honda were so excited to be part of honoring the teachers who were present at the ceremony.

“I can’t even tell you how exciting it was to not only be named teacher of the year, but to also receive a brand new 2019 Honda Accord as a special surprise.”

Despite the winnings and recognition, Wyman said the most rewarding thing for her is stepping in to her classroom and seeing what her students are capable of.

“Each day of teaching is new and different. In one day, you see and experience innocence, adventure, creativity, love, potential, eagerness, and inspiration,” she said. “My students never cease to amaze me. I challenge them each day to take ownership of their journey through education.

“We walk this journey side-by-side, step-by-step, and I guide them as they overcome their struggles,” she added. “These ‘aha’ moments are what I live for. Seeing the joy and pride on a student’s face when they truly start believing in themselves is priceless.

“Children inspire and encourage me with their perseverance and determination to be successful, and my hope is that I inspire and encourage them just as much. Making a difference brings joy to my heart, and there is nothing else I would rather be doing.”

Wyman and Evans were nominated by their local school districts.

“We are very excited and extremely honored about the recognition of Mrs. Wyman as the Region 7 Elementary Teacher of the Year,” Hallsville ISD Superintendent Jeff Collum said. “Mrs. Wyman is an excellent example of the premier quality of teachers that we have here in Hallsville ISD.

“Our students, staff, parents and community couldn’t be more proud of her and this great accomplishment.”

Secondary Teacher of the Year, Evans, is the self-contained special education teacher for at Carthage High School for grades ninth through twelfth.

“I’m just in shock. I cannot believe it,” said Evans. “It feels like a dream.”