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Texarkana News interviews Elmorris Hopkins - Ashdown's Teacher of the Year and TAMUT graduate

Apr 12, 2022

High school English teacher Elmorris Hopkins is "Teacher of the Year" for Ashdown Schools.

Texarkana News was lucky enough to catch up with Mr. Hopkins following his victory.

With a little convincing, the humble educator agreed to share some of his secrets to educational success.

Hopkins was surprised that he won

"I was a little shocked myself because the teachers nominated were great candidates and wonderful teachers," Hopkins said.

Hopkins said he teaches AP English, concurrent credit composition, and English.

"I try to be creative and entertaining in class while ensuring complete learning," he said.

The right books are key

The Teacher of the Year said he tailors reading to the class, so reading material changes every year.

"Basically, as far as Ashdown curriculum is concerned, we discuss which books work best," he said. "I change them based on the class because every book doesn't fit every group."

Relevancy to the students is vital, Hopkins said.

"I try to make everything we read and write relevant to student lives, so I have to keep up with what the teenage world is like and stay updated and on top of current events," he added.

Hopkins studied at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia for his first degree, and he attended Texas A&M-Texarkana for his Master's degree.

Support comes from fellow teachers 

"Other teachers in the district give me so much support," Hopkins said. "Teachers discuss how to align our curriculum better. We sit down as often as we can."

He said teachers in other grades also communicate.

"I have such great support from previous English teachers, so students are prepared when they reach me," Hopkins added.

A good family makes a great teacher

"Once the initial shock wore off, I immediately texted my family in a group chat," Mr. Hopkins said of the award. "Their response was terrific, and they were sending me wonderful posts."

Hopkins gushed: "My family is my greatest support."

Other important teachers honored

Ashdown Schools also honored Lonni Dollarhide as Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Dee Ward was named Junior High Teacher of the Year.

Elmorris Hopkins was named High School Teacher of the Year and District Teacher of the Year.

Editor's note: We salute Elmorris Hopkins, Dee Ward, and Lonni Dollarhide for their success in shaping the minds of students.

Dee Ward receives the award for Junior High Teacher of the Year from Ashdown Superintendent Casey Nichols

Lonni Dollarhide receives the award for Elementary Teacher of the Year from Ashdown Superintendent Casey Nichols

Elmorris Hopkins receives the award for High School Teacher of the Year and District Teacher of the Year from Ashdown Superintendent Casey Nichols

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