YEMS Teacher Honored

A Youngsville Elementary Middle School educator has received state-wide recognition for his work in the classroom.

Clay Hayes, a sixth grade mathematics teacher, was recently named the Ann Moniot Outstanding Middle Level Teacher by the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education. The state-wide award recognizes “a middle level educator that has made professional contributions that have positively influenced middle level education as well as middle level students,” according to the Association.

YEMS Principal Eric Mineweaser was effusive in his praise for Hayes. In a letter to parents announcing the award, he wrote that “we are very proud to have Mr. Hayes as an educator in our building! He is a dedicated, hard-working individual who loves his position of teaching and working with your children!”

Hayes accepted the award humbly. “There are a lot of great teachers in this district,” he told the school board on Monday night. “I’m doing my best on a day-in-day-out basis. I’m surrounded by students that are second to none.” He told the board that he is “really lucky to be a part of this district.”

Mineweaser said that part of the application process is reviewing and analyzing test scores. He said that the most recent PSSA scores showed that 89.4 percent of his students were proficient which was “the highest we’ve had in our building since the PSSA began. He’s an amazing teacher. He’s a great colleague, a team player. He has the respect of the community.”

Hayes said that he is fortunate to have the support of his family as well as the support of Mineweaser. “I’m lucky enough to have a principal that, he believes in me (and) gives me the support I need.” He also said that Delores Berry was an “inspiration earlier in my career and such a great mentor. (She) meant a lot to me and also was such a great principal.”

He described teaching as “enjoyable. When you enjoy what you do, it comes easy.”

The award received a congratulatory response from the school board as well. “Thank you for the honor you bring to the district and the contributions to the district,” Arthur Stewart, board president, said. “That’s where the rubber meets the road.”

Hayes will attend the Association’s state conference later this month to formally receive the recognition.

The award is named after a Pittsburgh educator who was one of the original board members of the PAMLE.