Black History Deep Dive: Schoneke Summerhill

Black History Month

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Schoneke Summerhill is a 4th-grade teacher at Beech Hill Elementary School and after 25 years of teaching she’s learned many lessons.

She first gained interest in teaching because of the impact of one of her former teachers.

Now, being a teacher herself, she hopes to leave that same kind of impact for her current students.

“I try to make an impact on my students by making sure that I know them. That I know the background that they come from, that I know the struggles that they face because that all plays a part in their success.”

Schoneke Summerhill

Schoneke credits her parents for encouraging her to major in education and receive her Master’s Degree at Cambridge College in Boston, MA.

She added that becoming a parent helped her become an even better teacher because it helped her become more nurturing and understand her students even more than before.

It’s the relationships between parents and students that she believes can help a teacher succeed in the classroom.

“I think it’s all about building relationships with children. I think it’s about building relationships with parents. I think once you build that relationship, you develop a rapport with people and they begin to trust you.”

Schoneke Summerhill

These relationships can be the reason that students are constantly raising their hands and answering questions in class as Schoneke teaches them about fractions and the French and Indian War.

They can also help her connect with a student that may need more help academically.

“When you have a child that may have been struggling in the past and then they finally get it- that look of excitement is priceless.”

Schoneke Summerhill

Schoneke loves what she does and hopes to encourage the next generation of teachers to never give up even if the beginning isn’t so smooth.

“Do you always get positive results all the time? No you don’t. Sometimes it may be years from now that you realize the impact that you had on a child. When you see them years later and when they recognize [you] in the streets… and they come up to you and say hey you were my favorite teacher.”

Schoneke Summerhill

Schoneke’s had quite a few students, many years later, married and with children of their own, come up to her and tell her that what she taught them in elementary school has helped shape them into the person that they are today.

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