Betsy Hyde’s Heart for Special Education


Betsy Hyde and Heather Finley with the Philip Wright Award.

Congratulations to Betsy Hyde of the Fannin County School System Central Office for winning the Pioneer Regional Educational Service Agency’s Philip Wright Award which recognizes individuals who have a strong commitment to improving educational outcomes for students with disabilities.

Before taking up her current position as Fannin County Associate Superintendent for Personnel, Ms. Hyde taught Special Education at Fannin County High School from 1988 to 2015.  During her time, she saw special education students move from mostly segregated classrooms to integrating fully into high school classrooms.  Ms. Hyde got to know her students at a deeper level than most teachers since as a special education teacher, she supervised students reaching towards their potentials for their four years in high school.  Ms. Hyde continues her commitment to students who have needs beyond what a typical classroom meets.  She serves as the Principal at Mountain Education Charter High School two nights a week.  There she finds creative solutions to serving students whose needs are outside of what traditional high school structure meets.

Heather Finley, Director of Special Programs and Teacher Quality at Fannin County School System sees Ms. Hyde as a mentor.  She and Ms. Hyde are constantly bouncing ideas off each other to reach outcomes that make learning work for individual students with unique needs.

In fact, Ms. Finley nominated Ms. Hyde for the Philip Wright Award.  In her nomination letter, Ms. Finley wrote, “It is her tireless commitment to improving lives of students with disabilities without the expectation of getting anything in return that makes her a remarkable person.  When faced with difficult decisions, Betsy always falls back to her mantra:  “You can’t go wrong if you are doing right by the kid.””

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