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2008 News Releases

Longwood alum is Staunton’s Teacher of the Year

May 21, 2008

[From left] Dr. R. Steven Nichols, superintendent of Staunton schools; Bobbie Lawson; and Larry Barber, supervisor of instruction for Staunton schools. [From left] Dr. R. Steven Nichols, superintendent of Staunton schools; Bobbie Lawson; and Larry Barber, supervisor of instruction for Staunton schools.

Bobbie Lawson, a 1973 Longwood University graduate, is the Staunton City Schools’ Teacher of the Year.

Lawson is a fifth grade teacher at Bessie Weller Elementary School, where she has taught for 35 years. She has taught mostly fifth grade, as well as fourth and sixth grades. She learned of the award May 1 when the school division’s superintendent, Dr. R. Steven Nichols, and supervisor of instruction, Larry Barber, surprised her in her classroom.

“I worked with Mrs. Lawson as a co-teacher for 11 years and her principal now for six years, and she is the best I have ever seen at building community within the classroom and allowing children to develop confidence in themselves,” said Randall Simmons, principal of Bessie Weller.
 
Lawson and her former principal, Jim Kivlighan, worked together for 33 years. “I tried to get her to be a principal for probably 32 of those 33 years,” he said in a May 3 article in the Staunton News Leader. Why did she turn him down? “I really love the classroom,” she said.

Lawson, a native of Swoope in Augusta County, was Bobbie Engle when she attended Longwood. She and her husband, Jeff, who teaches at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, have a farm of more than 1,000 acres in Churchville, where they keep cattle and sheep. They have two children and a grandson.