Matthews returns to give

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tammy Wallace Matthews said as a child that she was no stranger to mischief when she attended schools in Lunenburg County. “I always enjoyed having fun, playing around and talking to people in my classes,” Matthews said. “Teaching has made me value and appreciate my teachers 100 (times) over. Even though I enjoyed mischief from time to time, I did recognize the value in education and always knew that I wanted to work with children when I got older.” Matthews’ pursuit of helping educate kids the way she was educated has driven her to complete undergraduate and graduate education programs at Christopher Newport, Radford and Longwood universities. She is currently working on a second endorsement through the Educational Leadership Program at Longwood, set to finish in August. “The Educational Leadership Program has been an eye-opening experience for me,” Matthews said. “This program allows me to have a different perspective on things that, before, I felt like I saw very clear-cut details in education. There is so much gray area. For me, the conversations that I have with other peers that teach in different counties but are going through similar situations are always beneficial too. There have been awesome contacts made through this program and the academic side has been rigorous but fulfilling.” She said the program includes online coursework, meeting with a cohort in South Boston, and participating in two classes and one internship that require a minimum of 107 hours each semester. Much of this work Matthews does at Lunenburg County Public Schools. “It was a goal of mine to come back home and make a difference for the children in this community because I feel gratitude for those adults in my life that always supported and encouraged me along the way,” Matthews said. “I cannot express the appreciation I have for Mr. Charles Berkley, Mrs. Lucy Hall, Mrs. Dawn Bacon and all of the building administrators for being so on board with assisting and helping us experience different areas needed for our internship.” Matthews said she takes pride in her kids being third-generation Charger graduates. She said her parents graduated in 1969, her daughter Kaitlyn in 2013 and daughter Sam in 2017. “It’s a family tradition,” Matthews said. In addition to dedication toward her students, Matthews also shows dedication, and awe of her parents Doris Inge Wallace and Roger Wallace, whom she considers her heroes. “They instilled so many of the qualities that are important in life to my sister, my brother, and me,” Matthews said. “They taught me to enjoy life and to surround myself with people that would push me to be a better person. They taught us to love others, to treat others the way we would want to be treated and most importantly, to love God and to keep him in the forefront of our lives.” She said they taught her and her siblings through actions more than words, and to be happy and giving to others. “My daddy’s laugh reminds me daily to be happy, to make the most out of everything presented to me and to share happiness with others,” Matthews said. “My mama’s compassion for others reminds me to be kind and loving every day, and to remember that everyone has a story. I am so blessed to have such great examples as my heroes and am even more thankful that God has blessed my children to know and be a part of these examples as well.”