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BA teacher Hedgepeth picked for VFW Teacher of Year honor

Each year, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2618, Danny D. Entrican Post, Brookhaven, choose three teachers to serve as Teacher of the Year from elementary, middle and high school levels. This year, one of the post’s selections was Brenda Hedgepeth, a first grade teacher for Brookhaven Academy, who has more than 30 years of teaching under her belt.

“It is an honor to be chosen for this award,” Hedgepeth said. “I feel humbled and grateful to my principal, Page Nelson, for nominating me.”

Post Commander Greg Marlow said Hedgepeth, along with middle school teacher Dienna Moak and high school teacher Krista Russell, have not only been chosen as teachers of the year for Post 2618, but the whole of District 3.

“That covers Brookhaven, Monticello, Woodville, McComb and Natchez,” Marlow said. “We get the applicants and we get the recommendations that are written up by whoever nominated them, and we go through each one.”

In addition to teaching first grade, Hedgepeth said she also taught kindergarten for 19 years, and she enjoys teaching young children.

“They love their teacher and have such an enthusiasm for learning,” Hedgepeth said.

Hedgepeth spent many years teaching in public schools in Forrest and Lawrence counties, and she’s grateful for her time there, but she began working at Brookhaven Academy so that she could express her love of God and teach the Bible to her students.

She didn’t go so far as to say creative writing was her favorite subject — she said it was too difficult to choose — but it’s something she loves teaching to her students.

“Journal time is one of my favorite times of the day,” she said. “I also love teaching science, especially at BA where we look at science as a study of God’s wonderful creation.”

Marlow said that this is the first year that VFW Post 2618 has had the applications needed to send nominations to the district, and he hopes to continue the trend.

“I want to thank everybody that submitted their applications,” Marlow said. “I’m hoping next year, we’ll have more to judge with and we’ll maybe even have a state winner.”