Teaching and Learning creates #OCPSHeroTeacher initiative 🎦
Posted on 05/08/2018
Princeton Teacher Hero

In an effort to honor teachers for all that they do every day, Dr. Maria Vazquez, Chief Academic Officer, and the Teaching and Learning leadership team created the #OCPSHeroTeacher project.

The project aimed to honor one teacher at each of the 191 traditional schools, as well as Acceleration East and West and the five Orange Technical College campuses before the end of the academic year. T&L leadership members ask principals to choose someone who embodies the spirit of the profession, like courageous, selfless, admired, driven, devoted and caring.

Recently, Princeton Elementary School surprised Layne Hooper with the Hero award and her own superhero cape.

“I’m so honored to be chosen for this award and I appreciate all that is being done to make teachers know that others really do notice how hard we work. I love my job and I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Ms. Hooper, a third grade teacher, said. “There are those who work all their lives without a purpose. My goal is to make a difference in everything I do, no matter how insignificant it may seem. I give it my all…always. This is something that my parents instilled in me many, many years ago.”

Read the Q&A to learn more about Ms. Hooper’s hero spirit:


Who is your hero?

My parents. My mom and dad taught me to have a strong work ethic.They taught me how important it is to work every day, to do a good job and to be my best. Most importantly to be proud of what I do.


What do you hope to instill in your students?

To take risks, adapt to change and always do your best, even when no one is watching.


Describe a funny teaching moment

A month ago I was having a conversation with my students about determining important points and key details in informational text. A student was excited to share what she knew. She gave one key detail, however, I wanted more so I said, “That’s good meat, now give me more.” Another student shouted out, “Give her the potatoes.”


What brings you the most joy in teaching?

When I see the students are passionate about learning.  At that point they begin to inspire each other and I know I’ve done my job.

How do you define good teaching?

Good teaching is doing what is expected. Great teaching is working with my team, sharing ideas and learning from each other. Deepening knowledge and skill. Overcoming negative behavior, and building community within the classroom by trusting and encouraging every student. Doing this keeps me excited about teaching and makes each day fulfilling.

If people were to describe you in one word, what would you hope they say?

Caring. I strive to help others, my hope is that it is evident in my actions.


If you could describe your life with one quote, what would it be?

The most important things in life aren’t things!

Watch a video of all the heros.