Gebhard for the win

English teacher Melissa Gebhard honored as District High School Teacher of the Year.

Melissa+Gebhard+works+with+sophomores+Paige+Mancuso+and+Philip+Oakley+in+the+library+during+Histolish.
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Gebhard for the win

Melissa Gebhard works with sophomores Paige Mancuso and Philip Oakley in the library during Histolish.

Melissa Gebhard works with sophomores Paige Mancuso and Philip Oakley in the library during Histolish.

Lucas Diehl

Melissa Gebhard works with sophomores Paige Mancuso and Philip Oakley in the library during Histolish.

Lucas Diehl

Lucas Diehl

Melissa Gebhard works with sophomores Paige Mancuso and Philip Oakley in the library during Histolish.

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Have you ever heard of the song “Wetsuit” by the Vaccines? If you’ve had English teacher Melissa Gebhard, then there’s a good chance this was the first “Song of the Day” you heard in class. Stuff like this is what makes Gebhard a great teacher, and the district High School Teacher of the Year.

Melissa Gebhard started teaching 16 years ago, and has loved it ever since.

“I like South High because it is such an eclectic and diverse group of people. I get to see so many different perspectives of people, and everyone teaches me something new every day,” she said.

Besides being overjoyed and honored by the award, Gebhard felt different than you’d maybe expect.

“It was weird, being the center of attention. It didn’t feel normal,” she said.

Nonetheless, she was humbled by the nomination and gave her thanks to many other teachers, including co-Histolitch teacher, Amber Rice.

“She has adapted to the 21st century with social media and cares about her students’ well-being, which creates a positive and inspirational environment,” said Rice.

Also, Assistant Principal Darryl Diggs was a large part of the #psouthproud movement and getting the school onto social media.

“There is always something different and unique coming out of the social media movement we have created. It helps to establish our core values, and focuses on character,” Diggs said.

As of now, @PatriotPride76 has 900 followers on Twitter and Instagram. Being a part of this movement is just one of the reasons why Gebhard deserved the award.

When Diggs heard of the news, he was beyond happy.

“I was so pumped. I stood up at my desk and punched the air out of happiness. I gathered as many people together to bring her the news, because she deserves to be celebrated more than anyone,” Diggs said.

Rice learned before Gebhard, and was ecstatic.

“She works so hard behind the scenes, she has 100 percent earned this,” she said. 

It wasn’t always happy times though. To get to this point, she had to work harder than everyone, and although she felt overwhelmed many times, she pushed through.

“Being able to see students be happy always balances out with the workload. It’s gratifying to see how they improve and change,” said Gebhard.

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