‘Time is a precious resource:’ Hernandez wants students to strive for greatness

Published 6:30 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: The LaGrange Daily News is doing a Q&A with all of the teachers of the year in the Troup County School System. Today we are writing about Stephanie Hernandez, a math teacher at Hope Academy. We asked her 20 questions, and we’ve shortened this interview to some of our favorite responses.

Hernandez teaches sixth through eighth-grade math at Hope Academy and has worked in education for 23 years. She’s been working for the Troup County School System for five years, with two of those being at Hope.

She’s been married to Tomas Hernandez for 16 years and the couple has four adult children. 

Outside of school, she’s a Red Cross volunteer and a licensed insurance professional. 

Q: What inspired you to become an educator? (Or who?)

A: “My journey towards becoming an educator wasn’t a sudden decision, but rather an evolution driven by a deep-seated passion for learning and a desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others. This passion stemmed from two significant influences: a family steeped in education and a personal connection to learning.”

Q: What are your career aspirations?

A:  “I aspire to become a curriculum specialist.”

Q: If you weren’t a teacher, what career field would you be in?

A: “If I weren’t a teacher I would be in the field of journalism as a news anchor.”

Q: “What hidden talent do you have that might surprise your  students and our readers?”

A: “Gardening, mostly house plants, is my hidden talent.”

Q: If your 

teaching style had a theme song, what would it be?

A: “If my teaching style had a theme song it would be “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor”

Q: If you could invite any  historical figure to speak to your class, who would you choose and why?

A: If I could invite a history figure to speak to my class it would be Fannie Lou Hamer. By encountering the unwavering spirit of Fannie Lou Hamer, my students would be challenged to engage with the world around them with courage, conviction, and a deep appreciation for the power of knowledge. 

Her story serves as a potent reminder that education is not merely an academic pursuit, but a vital tool for dismantling injustice and building a more equitable future for all people.

Q: What did it mean to you to be named your school’s teacher of the year?

A: “…This award is not just an individual achievement but a testament to the collective spirit that defines The HOPE Academy. It is a celebration of collaboration, steadfast commitment, and the unwavering belief in the power of education to transform lives.

This recognition is a collective honor, and I share it with each and every member of this remarkable team.”

Q: As students leave your class, what is one key takeaway 

you hope they carry forward with them?

A: “The key takeaway I hope my students carry forward from their time in my class is “Time is our most precious resource, so don’t waste it as all things can be accomplished with order and decency.’”