When Sheila Mosby opened her front door Thursday, she expected to find her principal waiting, paperwork in hand. Instead, she was greeted by cheers, balloons, signs, cards and flowers.
Taken aback for a moment, Mosby, a third-grade teacher at Cool Spring Elementary, quickly realized she had won the Petersburg City Public Schools Teacher of the Year award.
“It’s a humbling experience. … It makes you feel good and that your work is not in vain,” Mosby said in an interview Friday.
In March, Mosby was named Teacher of the Year at Cool Spring, her second time being honored. In 2010, she won the schoolwide award, when the school was named A.P. Hill Elementary.
Normally an in-school honor, Mosby’s celebration took place at her home due to schools being closed for COVID-19. While she enjoyed the surprise, something was missing.
“I wish my kids were here to see this,” Mosby said. “It’s important for them to see hard work does pay off.”
Mosby plans to celebrate all over again with her students through a video call.
She is capping off the school year with another milestone, marking 20 years as an educator with Petersburg schools. A 1985 graduate of Petersburg High, Mosby enjoys giving back to the community she grew up in.
“I didn’t want to leave. I felt there was a need and I love it,” Mosby said.
Petersburg schools Superintendent Maria Pitre-Martin said Friday, “Mosby stands out for a number of reasons.”
Mosby develops a level of trust with her students, fostering strong relationships with them, Pitre-Martin said. Being a veteran educator, Mosby knows her content well and her students continue to progress academically, Pitre-Martin added.
As the lead teacher for the third-grade level, Mosby serves as a mentor for the school’s other third-grade teachers, helping them throughout the school year. Mosby is the type of educator to pull new teachers to the side to see if they need extra support with lesson planning or delivery, Pitre-Martin said.
“She has a lot to offer as a 20-year career teacher,” Pitre-Martin said.
When schools first closed in March, Mosby put together containers of supplies for her students, including books, crayons, a binder of worksheets, hand sanitizer and some candy. She hand-delivered the goodies to each of her students’ homes.
Mosby is looking forward to eventually returning to school and to her classroom, which she said has a family atmosphere rather than a teacher-student one. She checks in on her kids daily now, but it’s not same, she said.