The students in April Hobson’s ninth-grade English class are reading up a storm at James Monroe High School in Lindside, WV. Hobson assigns her students 25 books per school year, more than many college classes. Hobson asks this much of her students because she knows the benefit is more than worth the effort. As someone who underestimated the importance of education in her early life, Hobson’s commitment now to her students reaffirms her own personal journey and success as an educator.
A troubled teen, Hobson was expelled from high school and did not return. After becoming a mother she decided to educate herself as well as her children, earning her GED and enrolling her children in Head Start. Eventually she became the president of the Head Start Policy Council, which inspired her to pursue a college diploma. Not only did she graduate from college with a degree in education, she did so with honors, magna cum laude. Only six years later, Hobson serves as chair of the English department at James Monroe High School.
With each new class, Hobson shares her passion and respect for learning with a new generation of students. She arranges multiple fieldtrips to historical landmarks that reinforce or relate to the books they are reading. She created an ambassador program where her students mentor youngsters in preschool and kindergarten. Hobson also established a pen pal program for her students to practice their writing skills and realize the value of communication across different perspectives and nationalities. Hobson oversees the teen leadership program as well, equipping students with the responsibility and appreciation for learning that she has come to treasure.
2010 Joe Manchin Certificate of Recognition MEA, 2010
2009 State of West Virginia Legislative Citation for MEA Exceptional Educational Talent, 2009
2008 West Virginia State Finalist Teacher of the Year, 2008
2007 Monroe County Teacher of the Year, 2007
2007 Honorary Graduation Speaker and Recipient of JMHS Diploma from Class of 2007
2003 President’s List/Dean’s List 12/12 semesters in college, 1996-2003
2002 Alpha Chi Honor Scholarship Society, 2002
2000 Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, 2000
2000 Who‘s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 2000
2003 Bluefield State College, B.S. K-9 Education/English
1999 Bluefield State College, A.S. Paralegal