The following testimonial was shared by Switzerland of Ohio Local Schools in selecting Becky Hall as a 2016 Celebrate Teaching Distinguished Educator. 

Excellence begins in Becky Hall’s classroom on the very first day. She clearly informs students that she has never had one student leave her room without being able to write and think critically and be prepared for college. She understands what it takes. She has moonlighted as an adjunct instructor of English for over a decade and teaches the College Credit Plus-level English Language Arts courses on-campus. To join her class, students must buckle down and blow away excuses, nonsense, and immaturity that they used to get away with (literally, she opens a window, and students physically blow them out). Mrs. Hall then hastily describes the rigor of her course right up to the second the bell rings (a habit which she informs students will occur every day). By the week’s end, her students are acclimated to her procedures, and their preparation for college begins. 

In Mrs. Hall’s room, there is no busy work—every assignment has a purpose and is aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards. Her students quickly find that she reads everything they produce and critiques it, usually within 24 hours after it is turned in. Over the course of one year, students will master four novels, write five to six essays, and analyze a litany of poems, short stories, and classic works of American literature. The dizzying array of assignments pushes students to their limits and, in the process, creates a tremendous amount of growth and confidence in their ability to succeed. 

Mrs. Hall’s craft has been perfected over a career spanning three decades. Many members of the faculty of both River High and River Elementary had her for English when they went to school. They all unanimously point to her as the person who single-handedly prepared them for their secondary education. Mrs. Hall is a beacon of hope for the Appalachian students she has diligently served and ensured are ready for college. She is the epitome of teaching, who illustrates that an excellent rapport with students, coupled with high expectations, leads students to unexplored heights.