Award-winning Springfield teacher: Interaction with students ‘humbling’

Emily Herring teaches her 11th grade English class at Springfield High School Wednesday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Emily Herring teaches her 11th grade English class at Springfield High School Wednesday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Emily Herring grew up admiring educators as many people in her family are teachers.

Herring has been teaching for 16 years. She teaches 11th-grade English and IB English at Springfield High School, the district she has been at for 11 years.

Herring and three other teachers will receive the Excellence in Teaching award on March 21. The 33rd awards program is sponsored by the Springfield Rotary Club, Ohio Edison, The Springfield Foundation and the Greater Springfield Partnership.

Each recipient will be introduced and will give a short presentation on what teaching has meant to them and the importance of being a teacher. Recipients will also receive a $1,000 check, a recognition plaque, an etched paperweight, and proclamations from the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate.

Herring became a teacher because she wanted to be in a position to affect meaningful change, and enjoys the optimism and potential in students.

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“Every day brings surprises and an opportunity to grow and discover together with my students. Learning about students as individuals and helping them explore their capabilities is incredibly fulfilling,” she said.

Teaching is important to Herring because of the direct impact it has on her students’ lives and futures.

“Each year, I watch students grow into themselves, discovering the larger world and their own potential in it, sometimes to their own astonishment,” she said.

Herring chose to teach English because she not only loves reading and writing, but teaching the subject also gives her the opportunity to share that passion. She said she also enjoys juniors because they are at a critical point to decide the next steps for their lives.

Getting to laugh and learn each day is Herring’s favorite part about being a teacher, and she could not imagine doing anything else.

“I am constantly humbled by interacting with young people who have so much heart, care about the world and the people in it, and represent the potential for a bright future,” she said.

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Herring has also taught English at the 9-12 grade levels, as well as electives such as public speaking and creative writing.

Teaching during COVID-19 has been a unique challenge, Herring said.

“It has been at times heartbreaking to witness the mental toll that the pandemic has taken, but at other times it has been inspirational to watch teachers, administrators, and students come together to overcome obstacles and continue to support each other,” she said. "

“I have become much more adept at incorporating technology into my classroom. I have also renewed my focus on checking in with my students to make sure they are doing okay and seeing what additional supports I can offer them,” she added.

Receiving this award is a “tremendous honor,” Herring said.

“It means so much to me to feel like I have been able to impact those around me, and I am very grateful and humbled by the recognition,” she said.

Herring earned her undergraduate degree from Wilmington College and master’s from Tiffin University.


2022 Excellence in Teaching Award

This is the final story in a four-part series by the Springfield News-Sun on the teachers in Clark County receiving the 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award.

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