Each year, Mississippi Delta Community College honors educators who go above and beyond. The TROJAN Teachers Award celebrates two on-campus teachers, and one off-campus teacher, who are nominated by division chairs and chosen by a committee selected by the president.
The award’s acronym describes what the prize is all about — Teachers Recognized for Optimism, Job Well Done, Academic Excellence, Nurturing Students. The MDCC Foundation funds the award.
MDCC Vice President of Instruction Teresa Webster noted the winners will “receive a plaque and their own parking space for the school year.” Webster was one of the first recipients of the award in 2015, which was created by former MDCC President Larry Nabors.
“It’s a goodwill gesture and helps build teacher morale,” she said.
This year’s winners are Greenwood residents Claire Green and Philip Lawes for on-campus. There were no off-campus nominees for the award this past school year.
“Claire has done a wonderful job the last four years as dual-enrollment coordinator,” Webster said. “She really revamped dual-enrollment.”
Green, a Leflore County native, was “shocked” and “excited to win.”
“I absolutely love my job,” she said. “It means a lot to me.”
With a decade of teaching at MDCC, the Ole Miss and Pillow Academy alum always knew that Moorhead was home.
“I attended dance camp here when I was little. I started out teaching at the MDCC Greenwood Center, and I still see so many students that are from my community,” Green said. “I teach in the college prep department, and my main classes are for life skills. I teach enhancement of study and employment readiness.”
Green has “a lot of fun getting to help people and show them how to do things differently to make their lives better. It’s a great thing to show students how to live differently so they can be successful.”
Her elective class pulls in students from across the board and every major.
Webster said Lawes has been a mainstay in MDCC’s math department.
“Dedicated and devoted to his students, he’s dedicated to learning as well,” Webster said. “It’s nothing for Philip to just enroll in an online class in psychology. He’s a lifelong learner.”
Lawes, a native of Houston, Texas, found his way to MDCC after attending Delta State University. He attended DSU on a faculty scholarship because his grandmother was a teacher at the university. Lawes has taught various levels of math classes, from algebra to calculus, as well as having taught physics.
“I’m excited. It was a complete surprise, and I am proud and honored to be a recipient,” Lawes said. “I join a long list of distinguished faculty members. I hope I can follow in their footsteps. I teach as much as they will let me. I love to work.”
History, math and any no-cost online classes he can find capture his attention, but he also enjoys playing bridge across the Delta and has achieved the rank of Life Master.
Webster said the MDCC TROJAN Teachers Award honors the best and brightest in classroom instruction.