You might see Evans Middle School teacher Lorraine Hall wearing a blue Wal-Mart vest.
But she is not changing jobs.
Quite the contrary: The vest - and $500 - were among the rewards she received as Wal-Mart's Teacher of the Year.
"I was real surprised; I was just tickled," said Hall, a seventh-grade social studies teacher.
Hall, who has taught pupils from kindergarten to high school over the past 20 years, moved to Columbia County from Charleston, W.Va., in the 2000-01 school year.
She received her undergraduate degree from Goucher College in Baltimore, and has two master's degrees and a doctorate in education administration from West Virginia University.
"I think each of us has different needs we meet in children," said Hall, who taught math at the middle school last year. "Everybody has different gifts that they share."
Wal-Mart's Teacher of the Year program recognizes outstanding teachers throughout the United States and in areas where Wal-Mart stores or Sam's Clubs are in operation.
Carla Turner, the community involvement coordinator for the Bobby Jones Expressway Wal-Mart, said Hall was nominated by a parent.
"The letter said that she strives for excellence and is there for the students when they need them. Whether it is educational or for things as small as a ride home, she will be there for them," said Turner, who presented the check to Hall on Jan. 23.
Since the program began in 1996, Wal-Mart has saluted nearly 11,000 teachers and contributed $5.1 million to local schools.
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