School Superintendent Dr. Vic Wilson presents the Elementary Teacher of the Year. | Brent Maze
School Superintendent Dr. Vic Wilson presents the Elementary Teacher of the Year Award to Maureen "Reen" Matson. | Brent Maze

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Matson named Hartselle elementary teacher of the year

Published 5:05pm Thursday, January 9, 2014

Maureen Matson doesn’t need any awards to give her a sense of fulfillment.

She gets her pleasure each day in class when she sees her kindergartners at Barkley Bridge Elementary School learn something new.

“I love teaching kindergartners because they come to us pretty much knowing nothing and they’re reading and writing by the time they leave my classroom,” Matson said. “My favorite thing is when they have an ‘I get it’ moment. Sometimes, they’ll even say ‘I get it’ out loud when they finally understand something. It’s rewarding to see your students learn and grow throughout the year.”

Hartselle School Superintendent Dr. Vic Wilson rewarded Matson’s hard work and excellence in education Thursday afternoon, announcing that she was the Teacher of the Year for Hartselle City Schools during a surprise school assembly in the BBES gym.

She said she had no idea that she was going to receive the honor.

“I thought Mrs. (Susan) Hayes or the school itself was receiving some kind of an honor, but I had no idea it was going to be me,” Matson said. “I am honored to receive this recognition.”

Wilson said Matson, who goes by “Reen,” would advance to the District 6 Teacher of the Year competition. The district comprises Morgan, Marshall, Cullman and Blount counties. The winner will then compete at the state level.

He said the reason why Matson was selected is due to her involvement with the students away from school.

“She supports them at sporting events and she stays involved with their students outside of the classroom,” Wilson said. “She is very deserving of this award.”

Matson, 60, said she was fortunate to come to Hartselle City Schools 17 years ago. Her family moved from Texas to Hartselle and was looking for a teaching position here.

“I was lucky that one position came open,” Matson said. “I’ve been teaching kindergarten my whole 17 years here in Hartselle, and I love it.”

Matson said she loves to hear from the students’ parents about how they love coming to school.

“It’s great to hear that from the parents,” Matson said. “They’ll even call and tell me that their student is sick, but the children tell them that they don’t want to miss school. It’s a great reward to hear that.”

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