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Teacher Appreciation Week; Meet Scott Symons

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:19 PM EDT
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WINDSOR (WBNG) -- All week long, WBNG is celebrating and honoring educators across the Southern Tier who are making an impact on our next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators.

At Windsor Central School District, one teacher has dedicated nearly two decades to both students and athletes.

“Just working with kids; that’s what’s really kept me young,” said Windsor Central High School U.S. History Teacher Scott Symons.

For the past 19 years, he’s dedicated his life to educating the future and he said it’s been a family affair.

“My dad was an educator,” Symons said. “My dad was incredibly involved in school. I always remember my dad being at school and he instilled that in me; If you’re going to be working in the district: be a part of the district.”

Which is why his influence goes beyond the classroom.

In addition to teaching and being the advisor to the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, Symons coaches varsity volleyball, JV girl’s basketball and assistant coach to the JV girl’s softball team.

“I thought I wanted to be a physical education teacher at first like my dad and he suggested I be a classroom teacher. He said that’s because you get to know the kids as a student and as an athlete and he was right,” said Symons. “Oftentimes, kids are two different people in the classroom and on the court.”

It’s something he said gives him the ability to make deep connections with so many students, like KJ Hagley.

“Every time I have a game, he’s always telling me good luck and all that,” Hagley said. “He’s always praising me and praising us in general, and when we win our games it makes us feel good about ourselves.”

Hagley could not tell 12 News what his favorite thing about Symons was, as there were a few for him to pick.

“There’s not a lot of teachers that can match Mr. Symons or could replace him,” he said.

Meanwhile, while the job has been rewarding, the past few years have been challenging.

“During the pandemic, getting the kids to connect with us while they were home, for many, many kids it was almost impossible. We couldn’t have any of those conversations,” Symons said. “It was just so hard.”

However, he said it’s the impact you make almost 20 years later that keeps you going.

“These connections have stayed for years, and for me, that’s really powerful,” said Symons.

WBNG selected five teachers to be featured for Teacher Appreciation Week. From May 9 to 13, one teacher will be showcased on 12 News at 5:30 p.m. To see all of the featured teachers, go here. For a full list of nominated teachers, go here.

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