LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Mary Huffman

Position: Fifth Grade ELA/Social Studies Teacher
School: Carolina Park Elementary School
School District: Charleston County School District
City, State: Mount Pleasant , SC

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Mary Huffman was nominated by an anonymous student.

"Mrs. Huffman has made a positive impact on my life, as well as the lives of over 1,120 students during her 19 years of teaching," said her nominator. "As a fifth grade student in 2012, walking into Mrs. Huffman’s classroom felt different than any other classroom I ever had in my first five years of school. Every wall and space was filled with artifacts and uniforms from different periods of time in United States history. It was like stepping back in time! Mrs. Huffman, herself, was beyond welcoming and made me feel like I was able to achieve anything I dreamed of in life."

"For years following my time in Mrs. Huffman’s classroom, I vividly remembered all of the information that she taught," said her nominator. "When I was asked who the best teacher I ever had was, her name was always the first from my mouth. She was outstanding at relaying the content, but at the same time, she developed such precious relationships with each and every one of her students."

"As a senior in high school, I decided to take a Teacher Cadet class preparing high schoolers for the teaching field," said her nominator. "Ever since I had Mrs. Huffman, I thought teaching would be such an awesome profession because her love for her students and job was so radiant. At the end of the semester, we chose a teacher to spend our four week field experience with. I immediately thought of her, and I could not have chosen a better person to work with. I have learned more than I could have imagined. If I end up going into the education field, I truly believe that I learned from the best of the best."

"Mrs. Huffman first made an impact on my life as a fifth grader, and she has made an even deeper impact on my life when I returned to learn and teach alongside of her in my senior year. I can honestly say she has changed my life for the better. If I end up in the education field in the future, I will strive to be even a fraction of how incredible she is."

Within her school, Mrs. Huffman’s students study Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir, so they were inspired to create Adopt-A-Campus. This is the third year they have cleaned the school campus. They recycle and encourage younger students to do so, as well.

Throughout the year, Mrs. Huffman plans numerous real life history simulators to make the content easier and more interesting to learn about. For example, when students learn about World War II, she plans a three-week unit to show them what it was like to be an “undesirable” in Europe during the Holocaust. They utilize primary sources from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, daily simulations, and analysis of primary sources to gain knowledge of the Nuremberg Laws, Warsaw Ghetto, and Auschwitz. When students learn about the US draft during World War II, they complete a draft card. Every day, Mrs. Huffman draws names to be dressed in US military uniforms and trained in a mock “boot camp.” These are only two of the many situations where Mrs. Huffman transforms her classroom to show students first-hand what various time periods were like.

Additionally, Mrs. Huffman hosts two local Holocaust survivors to create personal, cultural, and current activities relevant to Holocaust events around the world. Her students participate in Yom Hashoah with Holocaust survivors while marching through Charleston, reading off names of local Holocaust survivors’ families who were murdered during the Nazi Regime. They also treat the survivors to lunch. One of the survivors, Ms. Diny Adkins, was unable to pay for her flight and stay in DC after earning the Elie Wiesel Award, so Mrs. Huffman and her students raised $1,500 to help her receive the award.

To help support people around the world, Mrs. Huffman’s students also bake cookies each month for her non-profit, Treats 4 Troops. In 2018, they sent 180 boxes to over 28,000 US troops overseas.

Mrs. Huffman writes lesson plans, assessments, and curriculum for Charleston County School District, the state of SC, and the world. This is all taking place while she finishes her Doctorate in Education. At the state level, Mrs. Huffman contributed to the teaching profession by writing lesson plans for South Carolina Education Television (SCETV) and speaking to the House of Representatives on behalf of SCETV to acquire education funding. She co-wrote the fifth grade social studies/science field trip for Patriots Point Naval Museum, and over 10,000 students attend each year.

At the national level, Mrs. Huffman integrated social studies across the curriculum by working with Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop Teaching History Through Literacy units that have been published in a book and are accessible online for all teachers to use across the world.

At the international level, she attended a research field trip to South Korea as a Senior Teacher Fellow for the Korean War Legacy Foundation. She was embedded with over 100 Korean War veterans from the UN while exploring national cemeteries and attending the Armistice Ceremony in Seoul. Mrs. Huffman also met with the Minister of Education to discuss innovative strategies to teach future generations about the Korean War. In Athens, Greece during the summer of 2019, Mrs. Huffman was the Master of Ceremonies for the Korean War Legacy Foundation International Teacher Conference. During the conference, she worked with teachers from 12 UN countries to strengthen Korean War instruction across the world.

Because of her work, Mrs. Huffman has earned the following awards:

  • Goodwin Elementary New Teacher of the Year
  • Charles Pinckney Elementary School Distinguished Reading Teacher of the Year
  • Pinckney Elementary School Teacher of the Year
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History South Carolina History Teacher of the Year
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History National History Teacher of the Year
  • Western Illinois University College of Education and Human Services Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Western Illinois University Alumni Achievement Award
  • Charleston County School District Teacher of the Month
  • 2019-2020 Marquis Who’s Who in America, and numerous other awards that prove her impact in education.

In addition, Mrs. Huffman has shown her exceptional teaching ability through her writing in The Korean War and its Legacy: Teaching About Korea Through Inquiry in 2019, as well as contributing lesson plans to the Gilder Lehrman Institute Teaching History Through Literacy: Elementary Units. The recognition she has received makes it very apparent that she is an amazing teacher!

Mrs. Huffman is also committed to producing a nurturing atmosphere within her classroom and school. She strives to model the value of classroom diversity through hands-on activities. The immigration process is a major unit in her classroom. Students are able to study their ancestry while learning to appreciate other cultures in their class. Students create an aged diary as an immigrant coming to America to discuss the Ellis and Angel Island interrogation processes, adding information about their own ancestry. Individualized instruction takes place since the students are given two to four options of higher order thinking flipbook activities that summarize the differences between the different immigration stations.

Simultaneously, students read nonfiction and historical fiction novels about the influx of immigrants coming to America. They build personal pieces to the learning process as they analyze the setting, different type of conflicts, and rising/falling events. In the end, students design a presentation about their ancestry and bring in primary documents to support their ideas while confidently presenting the information to over 100 students, parents, and family members. To wrap up this unit, the students and their parents cook a dish from their homeland, and they all learn to appreciate recipes from around the world. This immigration unit is one of many interactive hands-on learning experiences Mrs. Huffman provides for her students to nurture the diversity within her classroom.

Mrs. Huffman works hard to present many perspectives for each era she studies with the students. She teaches hard history that needs to be taught with the integration of over 2,000 artifacts from her classroom. She celebrates the successes and failures of our nation without bias so that future generations have the knowledge and know-how to never let hatred, injustice, and discrimination occur within the U.S. again. Since her students are growing up in the South, a hotspot during the Civil Rights Movement, she created a Vietnam and Civil Rights unit so students could experience the non-violent protesting methods that helped create equality across the nation. Students research hawks/doves during the Vietnam War to strengthen knowledge for a formal debate. After caucus meetings and family interviews, her students participate in a debate in front of an audience using data found during the research process. After that, the fifth grade students create protest posters to convince younger students in the school to join their cause. During a march that includes dressing up, chants, and speeches across the school, her students demonstrate high moral standards for non-violence in America. More non-violent protesting strategies include dressing up, creating/passing out catch phrases to “end segregation” in her school, and performing sit-ins to block the front of her school. A full-circle event occurred last year, when local news programs filmed South Carolina teachers during a non-violent walkout to earn higher wages. Mrs. Huffman’s students were participating in their protesting strategies during the same week. This is one example of how she connects a variety of perspectives in history to current events in the United States.

Comments (135)

Karlie M Posted over a year ago

Mary Huffman is the best teacher anyone could have. She does the best simulations ever, almost every simulation we do she puts the best effort ever into them, we just did a super fun thing called dancing through the decades. Which was every day of one week where each day was a decade. Monday was the 1920s, Tuesdays were the 1950s, Wednesday was the 1960s, Thursday was the 1970s, and Friday was the 1980s-90s. We got to dress up and eat the food throughout those decades. It was so much fun, I am so glad that I have Mrs.Huffman as my teacher, and I really think you should nominate her, she really does deserve this award!

Mason Cortis Posted over a year ago

Mrs Huffman is a life changer she cares about others and her neighborhood and other people she cares about her community and people and picking up trash and she is amazing and she would never tell a lie or turn down on someone she is so cool if she pinkie swears she would never let you down and that is what i call a life changer

Suzi Cunningham Posted over a year ago

I have been a member of the Low Country Parrotheads with Mary for the past 4 years. She makes the club very productive by leading out group in Highway trash pick up in the Charleston area. She is so enthusiastic and fun with her bubbling personality and enthusiasm in all that she undertakes. She is a real go-getter and a joy to be around.

Palmer oblinger Posted over a year ago

Mrs.huffman is a very nice teacher I like when she tells more about things and she always loves to dress up Mrs.huffman should be nominated because she is awesome

Abigail Posted over a year ago

Pick Huffman

Abigail Posted over a year ago

There are tons of great teachers in South Caroline, but I found one that is very unique and different than any other teacher I have met. If someone is having a difficult time with something she will help them and encourage them to keep going. The reason I know this is because I was struggling in her class a litte bit and she gave me the encouragment that I can do it, I am smart enough.

Mike Bentley Posted over a year ago

My boys have often, and still say, that Mrs Huffman was the best teacher they've ever had. They were always excited about the activities they'd be participating in. They would come home with all kinds of historical facts that were fascinating to them. Keep in mind that they didn't really like talking about school when they came home lol. During the parent orientation I could tell that Mrs Huffman was passionate about teaching just by looking around her classroom. It's filled with uniforms and artifacts that draw you in and make you (and the students) want to learn more. Honestly, I was a bit jelly that I couldn't be a student haha.

Vicky Hays Posted over a year ago

When we learned that our twin girls would be in the same pod as Mrs. Huffman this year, we were all really excited because we had seen and heard about all the cool projects and hands on experiences she provides for her students. I can tell you that I have been nothing short of amazed at the passion Mary Huffman puts into teaching. Mary Huffman creates an exciting and fun environment that make learning interesting and enables her students to "re-live" history in her class by having them dress up, creating simulations and providing constant hands on projects. Mrs. Huffman is someone that truly loves what she does and continues to enrich the lives of her students every single day. She also leads a program called Treats for Troops, where every student bakes special treats once a month and those treats are then delivered to our troops overseas. I can only imagine the time it takes Mrs. Huffman to put together all of her lessons plans because they are different from year to year! Mrs. Huffman is a dedicated, kind, caring teacher and I am so thankful and appreciative for everything she does for my kids and all of her students.

Destiny Cortis Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is a life changer. She has impacted the lives of so many students and has given them a deeper knowledge of history than any other teacher that I know of. Her passion for history comes alive (literally) every day as she teaches with unsurpassed enthusiasm, joy and dedication to her students learning, respecting and changing history. I only wish that I could’ve had a history teacher such as Mrs. Huffman who truly does bring history to life, out of the books and into your own experience. She would be a wonderful winner of the life changer of the year award. I strongly encourage you all to consider all of her achievements in her daily ins and outs of how she teaches and approaches our great nation’s history as well as the history of the world.

Claire Bidgood Posted over a year ago

Mrs Huffman is so nice! She is really good at teaching history! I wish she could be my teacher next year! She dresses up as historical figures! She is THE BEST TEACHER EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Bailey Posted over a year ago

Mary Huffman is an outstanding educator and advocate for history education. Her passion for teaching and for her students is unparalleled in my experience in working with educators all across the country. Mary is a valued member of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History's team. She is a remarkable representative for us and serves as a Master Teacher Fellow who leads professional development workshops for us across the country. Mary's ability to connect with teachers and her depth of knowledge in American history makes her one of our most valued instructors. I can not emphasis enough my support for Mary in receiving this honor. Tim Bailey Director of Education The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Rachel Sturdivant Posted over a year ago

Ms. Huffman taught my daughter in the 5th grade two years ago. She was so excited to be assigned to her class, as she had DREAMED of being able to study with her. You see, Ms. Huffman has an AMAZING energy about her and obviously loves what she does. She brings so much tangible excitement to the subject of history, it is absolutely electrifying. Her entire classroom is filled with memorabilia, and her ability to engage students with critical thinking skills is extraordinary. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed her class and still has a love for history today because of her. During that year, my husband was deployed in the Naval Reserves, and she went to great efforts to allow us to have him teleported into the classroom to answer kids questions from Djibouti, Africa which was such a neat experience. I have to say that she is one of the hardest workers I know, raising her own children, teaching and going to graduate school. She is a true diamond of a teacher, and she certainly would put this award to good use for children to learn everywhere.

Jason Bidgood Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is my daughter's current fifth grade teacher. As of two years ago, we started to hear great things about an amazing fifth grade teacher who really engages her students in learning not only by talking the talk, but also walking the walk. Given our daughter's passion for history and the world, we were hopeful that we'd have the opportunity for her interests to be accelerated through Mrs. Huffman's experiential methods of bringing historical subjects to life. From the moment we stepped into her classroom, we knew this year was going to be special! We did have a worry that all of the thoughtful historical memorabilia could be a distraction to everyday learning, but we believe it's had the opposite effect. Assignments are completed on time, there are no gripes about the depth of work that is expected, and everyday is seemingly a new adventure in Mrs. Huffman's classroom. She's cultivated a very rich learning environment in which kids are encouraged to expand their horizons and submerse themselves in the topic of learning, just as Mrs. Huffman does when she literally dons full costume to teach from first character perspective. Thinking back on my education, I had some great educators but none as seemingly unique and thoughtfully prepared as Mrs. Huffman. We're very excited for the positive long-term impact that this year's 5th grade experience will have on our daughter for many years to come.

Christy Oppelt Posted over a year ago

Ms. Huffman is an amazing teacher. She had such a wonderful impact on my son. She immerses the children in learning and makes it both fun and educational. The experiences in her classroom are still spoken of today by my son. She is truly an inspiration!!

Olivia Hays Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is a phenomenal teacher, as soon as I heard I was in her class I was so happy and excited. In Mrs. Huffman's class we read and write about social studies. Once I walked into Mrs. Huffman's class my eyes lit up. Mrs. Huffman's class, is history coming to life. Friday, Jan 10, 2020 we are dressing up in white. We dressed up as immigrants, native Americans and even World War 1 soldiers. Mrs. Huffman is one of the nicest teachers I know. When ever someone is struggling Mrs. Huffman wants to help you. I wish all teachers I had were like Mrs. Huffman. We do simulations and hands on projects all the time. I truly hope Mrs. Huffman will get the award.

Bobbie Downs Posted over a year ago

Mary is awesome! I work with her through the Korean War Legacy Foundation/ World History Digital Education. In her work with this organization, she demonstrates a passion for the mission of helping teachers teach about Korea. This summer we have the pleasure of working together to coordinate a conference in Athens, Greece for international teachers- Mary's ability to connect with others was apparent! Her compassion for others and ability to make someone feel comfortable (no matter where they are in the world!) was remarkable! No one is more deserving of this!

Sierra Jung Posted over a year ago

I currently teach with Mary Huffman. When I came to teach at Carolina Park, I read that I would be working alongside the Social Studies Teacher of the Year for the entire United States. To say the least, this was slightly daunting. However, when I met Mrs. Huffman she was so incredibly kind and made me feel right at home. Mary quite honestly lives and breathes her Social Studies curriculum. She is often the first in the building and one of the last to leave. She is truly the epitome of a teacher who brings history to life and teaches her students to honor our past. Every morning when I come to school, I am not sure who is going to greet me; sometimes it is the Statue of Liberty; other days it is Rosie the Riveter, an Irish Immigrant, or one of her other hundreds of characters she brings to life. As her coworker, I know I can go to her if I ever have a question, need advice, or borrow some materials. She has openly shared her knowledge of her content area, her expertise on Document-Based Question Essays (DBQs), and allowed me to observe her in action during our peer observations. During one of those observations, I was astounded at the amount of rigor, arts integration, cross-curricular connections, and content that she covered in such a small amount of time. Her students will give her 110% because they are truly valued, heard, are invested in their learning within her classroom. I like to think of myself as an over-achiever, but there is truly no comparison to the levels and dedication that Mary goes to teach her students the truth of our history. Fourth graders are constantly telling me that they wish they have Mrs. Huffman as their 5th-grade teacher. Over the past 18 years of my teaching career, I have had the pleasure of working alongside some amazing live-giving educators, but I can truly say that no educator deserves this award more than Mrs. Huffman.

Dawn Blake Posted over a year ago

No one, I mean no one provides the type of learning experience than Mary. I was so excited the first time at met her when we started working as a fellow member of the Korean War Legacy Foundation and we were roommates the entire trip! We instantly became extremely close since I couldn’t get enough of her beautiful stories she shared about her teaching experiences and what her plans were on how she could incorporate her experiences in this program into her classroom. She collected everything she could while there in Korea and the comment was its for the kids I want them to touch, taste, and see how wonderful this country is. Throughout the years I am continually amazed at her 1000% committed efforts both as a mother, wife, student, educator, and fellow member of the Korean War Veterans Digital Program. PLEASE CHOOSE THIS LADY. SHE WILL REPRESENT THIS PROGRAM WITH HONOR AND DIGNITY!!

Misty Rinehart Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is one of a kind! I mean what teacher shows up to educate her students in costumes?!? She does! Depending on what lesson is being taught dictates her costume. For example she has dressed up as Lady Liberty, Teddy Roosevelt, Fanny the Flapper, Cowgirl, an Army Soldier, just to name a few. She makes learning so much fun! She has done numerous simulations of history in her Social Studies Class bringing history back to life. I personally love how she comes up with all these wonderful ideas. I mean let’s face it History can be quite boring for a 10- year old, but not in Mrs Huffmans Class. I have volunteered in her class during some of these simulations and let me tell you, the children really grasp what truly happened, they all walk away having an understanding and appreciation. Some of her simulations have been where she turned the school into Ellis Island or her classroom into the following...Westward Expansion, Trench Warfare, Native American Day- the kids made dream catchers and other items, Women’s Suffrage Act, Great Depression, and my sons favorite was Heritage Day where every student made food to share and tell about their family history. Mrs. Huffman not only has all of these wonderful ways of teaching but she is so passionate! Her love for history is infectious, she has an ability to draw the students in with her positive energy. If you were to walk into her classroom it looks like a museum. Mrs. Huffman is so deserving of being Life Changer of the Year! My son has learned so much from her. She will be a teacher that he will surely never forget, she’s the best!

Heather Darby Posted over a year ago

Our family moved to Carolina Park about two months ago. When we came to tour the school we went into Mrs.Huffmans classroom. He had a huge smile as we left the room. I said “that was a pretty amazing classroom wasn’t it?!” He said “I really hope I get her.” A few weeks later he started his first day and was thrilled to tell me he got her for history!! Mrs. Huffman has made a tough transition so easy. My son who didn’t want to move, is always telling his friends back in TX how amazing his history teacher is. It has been so amazing, not only to see his excitement but also to see the love he has for history. We are so thankful for Mrs. Huffman!!

Michael Coppola Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is a dynamic and passionate teacher. Two of my children were fortunate to have her as their teacher; however she is more than just a teacher. She is a friend to everyone she meets and her unsurpassed energy transforms every room she enters. Her passion and energy is what makes her unique. Mrs. Huffman is passionate about everything she does. Whether it’s teaching students at Carolina Park, constantly furthering her own education, running an organization that sends care packages to deployed troops, or being a world-class mom, Mrs. Huffman finds time for it. Her teaching style includes “time travel” (where she dresses up in clothing from the historical era that she is teaching and encourages her students to do the same), a “hands-on” approach that helps students develop life-long note taking and comprehensions skills, a classroom that screams patriotism, classroom projects that blend academia and life-skills, and her altruistic volunteer efforts. Her passion is exhaustion to watch. She truly loves what she does. She motivates students and makes learning fun. She is tough, but fair. She cares for each student as both a teacher and as an adult mentor. She deserves to be the 2020 Lifechanger of the Year.

Brittany Petrus Posted over a year ago

Mary is the kind of teacher that I wish I had growing up. Her excitement and love for teaching is beyond anything I have ever seen. She genuinely cares about everyone who comes through her classroom door and beyond. She even goes as far as traveling to teach other teachers better ways of teaching and getting the kids involved in the lessons. She beyond deserves to be recognized for all that she does day in and day out along with all the people she has influenced in such positive ways in all the years she has been teaching. She is making a difference in this world every day.

Jongwoo Han Posted over a year ago

I am President of the Korean War Legacy Foundation and Mary has been working with me for last 5 years in analyzing the contents of the Korean War veterans interview that my foundation has accumulated for the last 8 years. She is now a senior fellow in this capacity leading other new teachers for the same jog categories. She has also participated in a series of teachers conferences that my foundation hosts at least 5 times every year as a master of ceremony, organizers, and planners. I want to express my the utmost confidence in her leadership, dedications, and social skills making new teachers passionately involving on foundations causes and goals. She is very positive, passionately active, and considerate. Based on my experiences and working relationships I have built with her over the last 5 years, I want you to know that she will be the best candidate you have ever had for this category of the award. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any question about her or my recommendation. Best wishes Jongwoo Han

Madelyn Huffman Posted over a year ago

I am so proud of my mom. She has done so many great things in her teaching career. In her class she makes learning easy because of the hands-on simulations that she does. I know this because I am not only her daughter, but also her former student. Before I was in her class, I was a good student, but I did not know what it was like to have fun while learning in class. In the years before she was my teacher, I knew the cool things she did, but I did not realize the impact it had in her class. In her class, content is easy to understand, and if you don't get it, you feel safe to ask. Her classroom is one of a kind because it has pictures, artifacts, uniforms, and even flags from history. I have never seen anything even close to what she has. She even covers her ceiling with camo-netting giving during her WWII unit. It is always fun to learn in her class, but what most people don't understand is that it looks great, but it takes lots of time, effort, and money from her pocket to make it. She tries her very best to make her classroom look like a museum, and she it still adding on! Her ways of teaching are also like no one else because we get into the "shoes" of other people in history to "feel" what it was like back then. She constantly keeps students involved with what is happening in the past and present using simulations, and these methods help carve out the events in our heads. I was so happy in her class every day and I was surprised with a new activity every day. These are the reasons my mom, Mary Huffman, deserves the award of 2020 Lifechanger of the Year.

Diny Adkins, a Holocaust Survivor and Friend Posted over a year ago

I am an 81 year old woman and a Holocaust survivor. I speak to schools and churches around the nation. I have been doing this since the early 1980s. Over that past 5 years, I have been speaking to Ms. Huffman’s students in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Most recently, she’s at Carolina Park Elementary school. She is not just a history teacher, she is the best history teacher that I ever met. I go to thousands of schools. I even was asked to speak 4 times in California and also 5 different states up north. This is my daily job. I work voluntarily. Yesterday, I got a call from Ms. Huffman and she told me that she was nominated for an award. I was so happy for her because she deserves this award. She puts her heart and 1,000 percent effort into teaching the holocaust. As I told you before, I never met a teacher who teaches such a big awful event with such passion and her teaching positively influences hundreds of children at her school each year. The materials that she uses comes out of her pocket, thousands of dollars just to make sure that each student truly understands what, not just I went through, but also over 17 million other souls who did not make it. She teaches her students something so important, something that needs to be told. She teaches WWII in an amazing way. This lady should be honored for the long hours that she puts into teaching the Holocaust. Me, as a survivor, believes that she should get every award that should be given for teaching the Holocaust. She is a gem. I even got letters from the students to thank me for speaking to the class since I taught them first-hand accounts of the Holocaust. You definitely should consider giving this award to Mary Huffman. She deserves it!

Samantha Harvey Posted over a year ago

I have taught with Mary for five years, and I am constantly amazed by her dedication and commitment to her students. She makes learning come to life (literally) for her students on a daily basis. Students are actively involved in their learning and learn an incredible amount beyond the standards as well. Mary makes history fun, engaging, relevant and prepares her students for what is to come as they enter their next chapter as middle schoolers. Mary constantly has students coming back to visit her! I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this nomination. Our students and our school are so very blessed to have her!

Ashley Davies Posted over a year ago

Way to go, Mary! You are most deserving of this nomination and we are so blessed to have you as a part of our school community! Keep Changing Lives!

Nicole Martin Posted over a year ago

I’ve had the pleasure to work with Mary Huffman for the past 7 years. She is truly inspirational in her work and holds herself to such high standards and is so determined to be the best every day with every child. The connections she makes with students and the respect that she receives from them is deeply rooted in the fact that she believes in each and every child and their success. She makes learning fun with lessons that are engaging, complex, intentional, thought-provoking and authentic. She brings history alive and makes it interesting to learn in her class. One of my favorite lessons she created is the “Inventions through Time” museum. The children research the significance and change features of inventions throughout history. This lesson really challenges the students and requires them to think at very high levels. This also ties in seamlessly with my gifted coursework. Mary makes is so easy to collaborate because she is so creative and enjoys sharing her vision. She includes the entire grade level to participate in her “Heritage Celebration” where students and parents are invited to participate in a genealogical study relating to historical migration patterns in the United States. “Dancing Through the Decades” is another favorite where students dress up wearing era-specific clothing and rotate through stations learning many aspects about the culture of that time in history. Mary is a devoted educator, spending hours culling over students’ writing responses and conferencing with them, making their work even more meaningful and getting her expert guidance as they navigate their tasks. Mary Huffman is a “Lifechanger” to so many students and those she works with.

Tracey Porcher Posted over a year ago

I never really knew Mary personally until she came to teach fifth grade at our school. Of course, in the local newspapers, I had read about the teacher who 'brings history to life' and had heard about her classroom, full of historical artifacts from various periods in history. When she came to our school, I ventured upstairs to see her room. It is awesome! There are so many objects to look at and touch and Mary will give you the period in history and the story behind every single item. I'm from England and I love history too, so we have had quite the banter going and forth each with our own historical perspectives! She is a great person to know and devotes herself to her students. Our school has been the site of many historical reenactments, from the arrival of immigrants at Ellis Island to the anti war protests of the 1960's to name but a few. You may see Mary in the hallways dressed as the Statue of Liberty or as a 1920's flapper. As evidenced in the parents' and students' comments, it is clear to see the impact she is having on learning. I do hope you will consider this hard working, dedicated and authentic teacher for the award. she truly deserves it.

Piper S Posted over a year ago

Mrs.huffman was my teacher last year and she was the best teacher I have ever had Mrs.huffman has artifact all over her room she has collected over time. She dresses up on days that we were starting a new unit. We would get to do fun experiences like see what it was like in war or what it was like during the Holocaust. Mrs. Huffman new how to make social studies fun. Before I had Mrs.Huffman I did not like social studies and I thought it was boring but after I had her social studies was and still is my favorite subject. She is also super funny and goofy. On sail days she would take us outside to pick up trash to keep the school clean. This is why Mrs. Huffman should win this award

Virginia Keisler Posted over a year ago

I teach fourth grade down the hall from Mary Huffman. I am constantly amazed by the activities in which she involves her students and the level of engagement. She truly immerses her students in her world!

Mark Flannery Posted over a year ago

It doesn't take very long to recognize that Mrs. Huffman is an educator who is extremely dedicated to her craft. Though we have been colleagues for two years, as an itinerant teacher I don't have much opportunity to get to know the teachers. This year, to my great fortune, I have a student of Mrs. Huffman's and have had an opportunity to work with her and a student of hers for whom English is her third language. In addition, I am finishing a Master's Degree this year and had a class last semester where I needed to find some exceptional teachers to showcase as part of an internship that I was doing for the School of Education at USC-Aiken. I went to the Carolina Park AP, Kyle Smalls, and asked him who might be one or two teachers who would show me exceptional classroom practices and he didn't hesitate when he said Mrs. Huffman. I approached her about my project and asked her if she'd be willing to help and she was more than willing. She sat down with me on her own time and we went over the South Carolina Teaching Standards rubric together (it is not short) and she gave me some great ideas that I was able to use for my project. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with a teacher who is so dedicated to her profession while at the same time being so willing to work with and share with colleagues.

Sean Glassberg Posted over a year ago

I cannot think of a more deserving teacher to win the LIfeChanger award. My middle daughter was lucky enough to have her as a 5th grade teacher a couple of years ago, and my son has her this year. I had heard of her reputation as an incredibly creative and inspiring teacher before my daughter was in her class, and then I was able to experience her as my child's teacher for the first time in AY 2017-18. Ella was truly immersed in American History - instead of relying on textbooks and PowerPoints, kids in Mrs. Huffman's class use their imaginations, intellect, creativity and problem-solving skills every day. They are challenged to dig deeper into the material and to feel emotionally, spiritually, and even physically what certain periods in American life were like. Not only does she encourage the kids to learn tactilely, kinesthetically and verbally, she teaches them the value of organization, the ability to work in teams, verification of sources and good notetaking skills. She is not a teacher who relies on showmanship and entertainment - she is a teacher who teaches her kids to be scholars!

Sabrina Frontz Posted over a year ago

My daughter was a student in Mrs. Huffman’s 5th grade class. As a mother of 5 children, 4 of whom are now adults, there have been several stand out teachers over the years. Mrs. Huffman was exceptional. Her classroom was energetic and active. She was a passionate teacher who made history come to life. She built relationships with her students and came alongside each of them to help them grow individually. . She ignited a flame in her students. As a parent, I found Mrs. Huffman to be welcoming of parent feedback and involvement. Her communication was strong and consistent. She was a true partner in educating our children. Thank you, Mrs. Huffman!

Julie Allan Posted over a year ago

I teach first grade and witness Mary's dedication to bringing history alive for students. This past fall, she had stations set up all around the building for her kids to rotate through as if they were immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, making that experience more tangible and understandable for her fifth graders. Her passion for history is transferred to her students, We are so blessed to have her at our school!

Larry Kinard Posted over a year ago

I am a veteran of the Korean War and also past National President of the Association of Korean veterans. A big portion of my mission these days is helping to preserve the LEGACY of those who gave their lives during the Korean War. We saved a country and the people who live there from the ravages of Communism. Mary is doing her best to assist in this mission. I met her at a teacher's conference in Charleston and was tremendously impressed with her personality and energy in telling the story about this UN war. She is innovative, very knowledgeable and capable of making the stories of the Korean interesting for her students. In all my years of working with teachers and doing training I have never seen anyone as dedicated and caring as she is. I only wish I had a teacher like Mary during my school years. She is one of those who makes the students want to go school and learn. In my books she is an outstanding teacher in whatever she does and is certainly worthy of this recognition.

KristenCercopely Posted over a year ago

I have had the honor of teaching with Mary at Pinckney Elementary and now Carolina Park Elementary. Mrs. Huffman is an amazing educator and has an extraordinary gift for bringing history to life for her students. She engages them in ways that leave life long impressions in their hearts and minds. She Provides real life opportunities for the children to experience on a daily basis. The hallways of our school have been created to depict immigration stations, various military branches and the holocaust, just to name a few. She dresses like historical characters weekly, and even the four and five year old children I teach enjoy passing her in the cafeteria when we eat lunch to see and talk to her about who she is pretending to be that day. Three cheers for Mrs. Huffman...hip, hip, HOORAY!

Aubrey S. Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is an amazing teacher , everyday I walk in to her awesome classroom wondering what spectacular things the day will bring . When we learned about Native Americans Mrs,Huffman had us bring in a oversize T shirt to create a Native American shirt and had a whole day of making Native American house , making a Native American doll , and making a book about different artifacts that we chose to write about . Also when we learned about immigration Mrs. Huffman set up the whole entire school to look like Elise Island and each student had their own name of someone who really did live , and immigrated to america during this time . During the month of December Mrs. Huffman had every student bring in a food or dessert from their heritage. Mrs.Huffman works over the top to make sure that every student feels comfortable about what their are learning and make sure that they can go on field trips if they are not able, so no kid in is left out . Mrs. Huffman has a special bound with every on of her students and students parents . Mrs .Huffman woks all day every day to let her students have a awesome 5th grade school year . Mrs Huffman deserves to earn this award .

Victoria Morton Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is an phenomenal teacher and I really love how she is so creative with her students. She always dresses up in something cool based on what her students are learning about and her classroom environment is so fascinating. Her students are always excited when given the opportunity to dress up which is so amazing to me. It makes me want to be a kid again so I can be in her class. She’s truly amazing and I really love the “uniqueness” she brings to our school at Carolina Park Elementary School.

Madison Ginger Posted over a year ago

Even though I've only been in this school for a week, Mrs.Huffman has been a awesome teacher. The other day we dressed up in white and did a project on Woman's Suffrage. Mrs. Huffman is super into history and war. She loves to talk about history and people she has met or people she knows that relate to our lesson. Mrs. Huffman teaches my class Social Studies, Reading, Writing and a couple other subjects but the projects we do, books we read, and thing we write are all relevant to History. Mrs.Huffman is awesome and totally deserves to win the "Lifechanger of the Year" award.

Heather Bell Posted over a year ago

When my son was waiting to see who his teacher would be for 5th grade he kept repeating I hope it’s Mrs. Huffman! Mateo couldn’t be happier having Mrs. Huffman as a teacher. Mrs. Huffman encourages her students to research, use multiple sources and engages them in each lesson plan. We have scoured our house for costumes for immigrants boarding the titanic, solider, Native American and much more. Everyday my son comes home with information he has learned from Mrs. Huffmans classroom. His first social studies test he received a spike from a railroad to represent their lesson . He was so excited ! We were so fortunate to get Mrs. Huffman as a teacher!

Danielle Lupton Posted over a year ago

We found that we were very lucky when my daughter was placed in Mrs.Huffman classroom in 5th grade. She had the best year and so many positive experiences. Mrs Huffman challenges her students and was very innovative with her teaching skills to keep the students engaged. She is still one of my daughters favorite teachers. Five years later, I requested for my son to be placed in her 5th grade class as well. It was important to me that my son have the same learning experience. He has always loved history and I knew he would thrive in her learning environment. Mrs Huffman loves all of her students and creates hands experiences for the students that they will remember forever.

Rebecca Phelps Posted over a year ago

Mrs Huffman was my son’s fifth grade teacher and that was my first exposure to her teaching. I was immediately blown away. She brings history to LIFE. Her room is chock full of historical artifacts. She plans real life simulations and she exposes her students to both the good and bad of history. I especially love her respect for our troops and her “treats for troops” program. The other memorable experience was when she brought in a WWII holocaust survivor. We spent time with and Diny both in and out of school (arranges by Ms Huffman) and my kids both speak of it often. To be clear... Ms Huffman expects a lot from her students. And parents! But kids and parents alike invariably rise to that expectation. And it’s easy to do that when you see someone who is so passionate about teaching your kids and sharing history with them. We thought so highly of Ms Huffman that we requested her for our daughter as well, and she is a current student of Ms Huffman. I have had the same experience the second time around. She has such magic to her teaching and her passion!! I think Ms Huffman is greatly deserving of this life changer award. She has changed all of ours!!

Anne Welsh Posted over a year ago

Mary is one of a kind! For years I heard about this teacher that makes history come alive and dresses the part, among many other things to teach the kids about our history. I remember when my now 8th grader was at Pinckney and I hoped and prayed we would get Mrs. Huffman. School zones changed and teachers moved around. Low and behold Mary Huffman came to Carolina Park. I was excited when I found out my daughter would have her for 5th grade. I still didn't know the depth of her teaching style and how amazing she really was until I started helping in the classroom and with the simulations and such that she was doing with the kids. I am in awe everytime I walk into her classroom. She does an amazing job at making the kids understand our history. She makes them figure things out and research what they are learning. Mary expects her kids to work hard and do their best and you know what, they do just that. Seeing the light bulbs go off when she is explaining history to them, it's priceless. They are eager to learn and are always wanting more. They participate and blow me away with their knowledge. For instance, my daughter who has Mary this year, has NEVER cared for history, not even in the least. She now comes home telling me all about what she learned on a daily basis now. My daughter loves dressing up and really loves when Mary transforms into a different character by dressing the part and making it all come alive. Hands on learning, research, hard work, all of it comes together beautifully. I love how Mary pushes the kids to do what she knows they are capable of. My daughter's confidence has been boosted do Mary believing in her. Mary is one of the most patient people I have ever been around. She is genuine and truly loves these kids. She is selfless and passionate about teaching. I have no doubt that my daughter will be ready for middle school. The changes I have seen in my child, in just half a year have been remarkable. I am forever grateful that my daughter has the opportunity to learn from the best!!! She more than deserves this award!

Nicholas Turco Posted over a year ago

The universe is full of marvelous teachers that shape the world in many ways. One of those great teachers is Mary Huffman. Mary Huffman is a incredible teacher that does things out of the box. For example, Mary Huffman makes her class room a whole other world as you walk in. From the sight of the door you definitely know that this is going to be a different experience. The door is full of pictures and three stuffed bears that went on a C17. The pictures consist of air planes, and there is a dream catcher that is a first hand artifact. On the subject of artifacts Mary Huffman has over two thousand artifacts to make history come to life literally come to life. At the top of the hidden walls (due to the amount of artifacts) there are around thirty five primary military uniforms! Mary Huffman does this by collecting this many artifacts is because she wants to make her students fully interact, and she also does so to teach her students in first hand. Mary Huffman does not just teach in the classroom with all of the artifacts she makes history she teaches come to present day reality. At the beginning of the year when Mary Huffman exclaimed "every day in my classroom is a party." Mary Huffman stuck to this by doing incredible simulations and yonder of things. One of the simulations Mary Huffman did was during the time when her students were learning about immigration. One day Mary Huffman said for her students to wear clothes from the country they were assigned. Then next day when all of her students came in all dressed up she gave them a packet that said who they are with their identity in it. After the students did and looked it over she set up a line out side of school like the students were coming into Ellis Island. When the students were done checking in at the front of Ellis Island (the front waiting area) they were sent upstairs to get examined and to get their American Dollars. After that the students went down the stairs to go to the citizenship room. When they came out they went all across Ellis Island (the school) to get their ferry tickets. Then the students went to the dock to go wherever they were going. Mary Huffman working all night, and her putting so much effort into doing this simulation school wide made one of the best learning times for her students. Since Mary Huffman did this school wide she used most of the rooms to accomplish this which is truly incredible for her students making them be true immigrants coming into America all because of her. Mary Huffman also does so much more than do simulations. Random days when there is not something like the Ellis Island simulation she would dress up to be the person her students are learning about to make it come to life. In conclusion, all of these extraordinary events form Mary Huffman's room to the simulations and more make Mary Huffman a truly special teacher.

Kim Dixon Posted over a year ago

“Life Changer” surely defines the outstanding, well accomplished, award winning, Fifth-Grade Social Studies Teacher, Mary Huffman. She ignites interest, eagerness to learn, and enthusiasm not only in her beloved students, but in their families too! Mrs. Huffman’s assignments, special projects, and interactive learning strategies motivate us as grandparents to further research our ancestry, share the stories with our student and her family and continue the intriguing discussions Mrs. Huffman initiates in the classroom. Her unique methods of sharing historical information with students certainly raises the bar for student achievement and the extensive effort she has put forth in creating a classroom filled with numerous historical artifacts ensures that learning is continuously occurring among her students. In the years to come, the lessons she’s teaching her students about the impact of the actions of those who preceded them will forever be embedded in their memory. “Life Changer” Mary Huffman inspires three generations to actively continue the learning process, support our military in numerous ways, and embrace every opportunity to explore history together as a family. Her passion for teaching and dedication to her students speaks for itself. Mrs. Huffman is very deserving of the “Life Changer” award!

Libby Wachter Posted over a year ago

When we first toured Carolina Park Elementary School, the principal brought us to Mary. Huffman's classroom. All 3 of my children said, "We NEED to be in her class when we are in 5th grade!" Her classroom looks like a museum. She has so many amazing artifacts all around her room. Her students were doing a Holocaust simulation that day and were wearing stars and given rations in the cafeteria. I was impressed to say the least! Fast forward to this year and my oldest was over the moon when she found out she was in Mrs. Huffman's class. She has never been very interested in history until this year. With all of the dressing up, hands-on learning, and amazing simulations, like their Ellis Island simulation they did this year, my daughter now loves history! She says Social Studies is her favorite subject. Mrs. Huffman is clearly so passionate about what she does. Not only does she share her love of learning with all of her students, but she has them bake regularly to send baked goods overseas for the Treats for Troops program. She is kind, caring, passionate, and smart! I only hope that my younger children are lucky enough to have her for their 5th grade teacher, as well. She is a teacher that they will definitely remember for the rest of their lives.

Jackie Brooks Posted over a year ago

To meet Mary is to be immediately impressed by her enthusiasm for history, teaching and helping others, I met Mary through her leadership of the Low Country Parrothead Club’s Adopt A Highway and Beach Sweep programs. Her energy and passion cannot be ignored. If I had had a teacher like her when I was young, I certainly would not have hidden my library book inside my history book.

Sanjana Gnagaraju Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Huffman is a wonderful teacher. She has always looked up to me when I was stuck on something. Mrs.Huffman has always done simulations and other fun social studies activities. She would plan all these fun dress up days, and we would have the chance to act like those certain types of people. What I really like about Mrs.Huffman is that she would always explain stuff so well. Especially. in social studies. Mrs.Huffman is always working so hard on planning our projects and daily plans. Our pod gets to send cookies and write letters to soldiers in war areas. We also get to meet someone from the Holocaust. Mrs.Huffman has a lot of reasons to be nominated and lots of support.

Kennedy Mackes Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Huffman is a very intelligent and kind teacher, she spends hours trying to help us learn in a fun way. For example, in the beginning of the year we where learning about Native Americans so she let us wear Native american costumes and do a project about Native Americans, it was so fun! Another thing is when Mrs.Huffman asked the principle if we could use the building for the immigration station and it was the best day ever!

Guy Posted over a year ago

My 5th grade teacher and she is the absolute best ever!!!!!!!!!!

Kathleen B Farwell Posted over a year ago

Thank you for considering Mary Huffman for the Lifechanger of the Year Award. You see, there are those who love teaching and then there’s Mary Huffman. She ‘eats, sleeps, and breathes’ experiential learning opportunities for her fifth grade students at Carolina Park Elementary. It’s why her students have consistently performed in the highest ranges on state assessments and the reason she’s been recognized as one of the most influential teachers in the Charleston County School District. Further evidence is seen when you step inside her classroom that is full of engaging experiential learning on a daily basis. I predict that when her students reflect upon their fifth grade experience, they will view it as one of their favorite years in their education. What better hallmark can a teacher provide for her students? She understands her students’ needs and works diligently to support their successes through her exemplary teaching style and engaging learning activities. The children do not “sit and get”, but rather create products and analysis the lessons’ content that involves higher thinking skills and develops the ability to solve problems based upon their in depth understanding of the curriculum. In closing, while you contemplate the various candidates, it is my hope that through recognizing Mary Huffman for her exceptional approach to teaching, you will “pass the torch” (please see her profile picture provided above) and help elevate the expectations for all educators to emulate this type of higher learning experiences that will affect the students for generations to come. Kathleen Farwell Interim Assistant Principal, Carolina Park Elementary Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466

Linda Brotherton Posted over a year ago

I have known Mrs Huffman for over 20 years and the one thing that has always stood out is her love of children. She truly loves what she does and it shows. She gives 110% ALWAYS. Kids are drawn to her for her positive, inspiring and enthusiastic personality. Her passion to teach spreads among the children and encourages excellence and learning. This is shown through their laughter and eagerness in wanting to know, “I wonder what Mrs Huffman is going to dress up like in our next lesson?” This helps children remember what they learned. If they are having a hard time remembering but can recall Mrs Huffman dressing up and the items she brought in then they are able to pull that from their memory and retain that information. What an innovative way to teach!! Mrs Huffman’s techniques cultivate exemplary and positive influence.

Antoan Atanasov Posted over a year ago

Everyday Mrs.Huffman brings history back to life! We do projects that makes the history that we learn feel real! I love how she makes learning 10 times funner. Mrs.Huffman is the best social studies I could ask for. She explains our homework while making so fun( this is probably my favorite part of the day. When a came to America from Bulgaria (when I was five) I knew almost nothing about American history until I joined Mrs.Huffman's class. Mrs.Huffman even lets me learn about Bulgarian history. She lives 1 hour away from the school and still comes 6 o'clock! She even dresses up about what we learn that day. She even makes text to world or text to self to help us understand stuff. She puts on a song whenever about what we are learning while we switch classes.We also sometimes analyze those song witch is super fun. So far I've counted 53 artifacts in the room just not even half yet! When we have reading groups if we listen or work well she gives us candy to keep on doing good. She even tells us some personal stories that involve history. Mrs.Huffman tells us the things that we have to learn. One time, Mrs. Deanie (a Holocaust survivor) was in our class room witch was really cool. My friends told me that they think that Mrs.Huffman is the best social studies teacher they could ask for . In conclusion Mrs.Huffman should win the 10,000 dollars.

Brody Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Huffman is an amazing ELA, writing, reading, and social studies teacher. When she is teaching she makes learning come to life especially in social studies. I have remembered a couple of 100 years of history in one day. This school year I have learned more history than the past 11 years of my life. I never really liked social studies I always thought it was the most boring subject in school. Because of this year and me having Mrs. Huffman as a teacher, she made social studies my favorite subject to learn I have a great time learning about the history in the past.

Amy Jardin Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman’s commitment and passion towards teaching is like nothing I have ever seen before. By using hands-on learning, simulation, and role playing she creates and exciting environment for learning. Recently the kids were given the opportunity to share stories, family heirlooms, and a food or drink item that was reflective of their heritage. This experience gave the children (and families) an opportunity to hear some fascinating stories and taste food from around the world. This is just one example of her wonderful and multifaceted teaching style.

Mason.C Posted over a year ago

Mrs Huffman is a amazing teacher she puts lots of effort into us. She spends most of her time on us she could be at home doing something else. She spends most of her time at Carolina Park Elementary school. Mrs Huffman if we be good she gives us sweet treats if we act really good. She mostly talks about social studies and she does not go off topi...ever. She explains everything very carefully. She also lets us do actives that relate to social studies like building no-man's-land out of clay. Mrs Huffman also helps me when i am stuck on something. Mrs Huffman also likes to dress up and she allows us to dress up too. we have dressed up to like Native Americans and you get to make your own costume. I also get to learn Native American culture by building dream catchers and corn husk dolls. When i first walked into the classroom, i felt welcomed by her because she greeted me and i felt like i was safe. she even lets us choose our own seats. Most teachers don't do that. If she sees something wrong with my work, she will help me correct it. she also compliments us. she is really nice to new students and other teachers. she always does something the principal says to do and it is always turned in right on time.Mrs Huffman also spends lots of money on school supplies for us. she also has artifacts that could be in a museum, but she keeps them here so that we can touch and use them, unlike in a "real" museum. Mrs Huffman made me love school because last year i did not like it.She also lets us barrow supplies if we lost anything. In the end, Ms. Huffman is amazing and totally deserves this award!!!!!

Lacy Bryant Posted over a year ago

Mary is one of the most fabulous Social Studies & ELA teachers I have ever met. The first time I visited her classroom, I was so excited to just be a part of the room. Over the years, she and her students have collected (and displayed) relevant primary sources from various time periods and she encourages her students to explore each of the artifacts she has. Mary's students are engaged in high-quality rigorous projects that combine critical thinking, literacy, document analysis, and historical thinking skills. She makes learning relevant to her student's lives and helps students find their place and impact in world history. In addition to being a fabulous teacher, Mary is also a distinguished presenter for local, regional, and national conferences. She generously shares her tools, lessons, ideas, strategies with anyone who asks her for them. She is a professional and part of her role in education is to help strengthen other teacher's content knowledge and toolkits. Mary changes the lives of the students that she teaches, the adults that she leads, and all of the people that have an opportunity to learn from her. Mary is a rockstar.

Claire B Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Huffman is the best teacher in the 'history' of the universe! I love her kindness and care for her students. Mrs. Huffman has a great sense of humor too! But the most wonderful trait of Mrs. Huffman is her original style of teaching. Unlike other teachers, she doesn't just make her students do workbook pages in social studies. Our class does really cool simulations depending on what we were learning. My favorite was an Ellis Island simulation where we went all over the school, which was covered in various inspection stations. This simulation made me learn the scary process of being an immigrant at Ellis Island. Mrs Huffman also leaves the class for the day and a character from history replaces her as the teacher. The character comes from a 'time machine' and tells the class about his or herself. Another interesting thing about Mrs. Huffman is her museum-like classroom. Her classrom walls are covered in military uniforms, propaganda, and other things. She also encourages us in reading with candy and reads along with some reading groups. i am also excited for the big Yorktown trip because it is the perfect way to celebrate 5th grade graduation.Mrs. Huffman was also the 2015 National History Teacher of I really want my sister to have Mrs.Huffman for fifth grade! Therefore, Mrs. Huffman deserves the Lifechanger Award!

Madeline Welsh Posted over a year ago

Hi, I just wanted to say Mrs Huffman is one of the best teachers ever and she deserves a award.Mrs Huffman loves to have funny moments with us and tech us at the same time. Mrs Huffman sets up fun stuff for up so much, like this Friday she has something fun but she keeps it secretive until that day. How I know that she has something because she told us to wear white on Friday.I think Mrs Huffman is so kind,and so sweet, and she just works so hard and she never gets time off.She works all day and almost all night, on break she work hard still NEVER STOPS!!!. Mrs Huffman loves all of us but sometime we get on her nerves. She even told us that she hasn't watch a movies in 3 YEARS!!! this is why I am telling you she need a break.Mrs Huffman knows so much Social Studies and techs us so much too. One of the activities she set up for us is the Ellis Island Simulation.Mrs Huffman gives us extra time on our work.She plans for us to dress up for extra credit and sometimes she lets us take our work home to get a higher grade. Mrs Huffman does not give us much homework only Social Studies and words to study.Mrs Huffman gets us READY for middle school so we do not freak out when we go to middle school.I am ready alright. She helps us if we are stuck.she dress up and says that she went though the time machine. Her classroom is filled with social studies supplies and real artifacts.So cool. She gives us candy if we work hard and be good. Mrs Huffman is a great teacher.She deserves an award.

Elly H. Posted over a year ago

The moment I walked past Mrs. Huffman's classroom in third grade I thought "I want to be in her class! She is just like me! She is a history girl!!" When summer was done after fourth grade and we had the "meet the teacher day" I was crossing my fingers, eyes, toes, and legs all the way to the school. Later I saw the board that had everyone's name and their homeroom teacher's name. Then I saw my last name "Harding, Elizabeth," then I followed the line to my homeroom and I read "homeroom: Huffman". Later I met her and saw she had a banner the said "Western Illinois University," and I said "you lived in Illinois! I did too," and Mrs. Huffman said, "yes I lived there." Then after a few weeks we started learning about Westward Expansion. Then on that Friday, we were supposed to dress up as someone from Westward Expansion, so I was a railroad worker. Then before Christmas break we had to dress up a WWI soldier so, the next day I came as a soldier. Then later my friend, Sophia, wanted me to do her makeup to look like she was hurt. Mrs. Huffman is very kind and funny.

Brooke Riddle Posted over a year ago

Hi! I am one of Mrs. Huffman's students this year!! I love her class so much. She puts so much time and effort into her activities. My favorite activity so far that she had given us was an immigrant simulation. She gives me a smile on my face everyday. I am always so excited to come to school every day because I am so excited to get a smile on my face. I am also SO happy because we could be working in workbooks but instead we see Mrs. Huffman dressing up as a "guest speaker." It is such a surprise to see her dressed up as a "guest speaker." Last year I hated school, now i love school. Right after school my family talks about school or how our day went at the diner table. I told my family about how my day goes with Mrs. Huffman. My sister and brother both say "no far" or " I want her for 5th grade." I also LOVE the stories she tells the class. Most grades in the past, I have always hated homework. This year I have been super impressed by how much fun Mrs. Huffman makes our homework. I love how she designed her room. She has flags hanging, suits that have been worn in the wars, helmets that have been worn during the war, she has pictures that she teaches with, and most of all she has really cool artifacts that she passes around during class. Mrs. Huffman also does something very sweet called treats for troops (T4T). I hope an I know I will continue this year great!

Imogen Irwin Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is the best teacher ever! She has teaches me a lot. I am so happy I am in here class. I am grateful to be learning what she is teaching me. Mrs. Huffman is more then you think. As soon as I walk in Mrs. Huffman room I was amazed. As soon as I walked in Mrs. Huffman room I knew this was going to be the best year ever! I love everything we do in this class. Mrs. Huffman dresses up for our teaching this helps everyone remember this moment. Please support Mrs. Huffman in anyway. There is no better person then Mrs. Huffman to get 10,000 dollars.

Stephanie Ethridge Posted over a year ago

Mary Is a wonderful coworker who is always seeking ways to bring her teaching to life. Rarely a week goes by without Mary Huffman being dressed up as a historical figure. She is rigorous and engaging. Her students gain deep knowledge and appreciation for history as she throws every ounce of her passion at them. I adore having her as part of the 5th grade team and appreciate all she brings to the table.

Madison Edwards Posted over a year ago

Mary Huffman is a great teacher! We do so much fun stuff like one time we pretended to be immigrants from around the world and went around the school to different stations! We have painted, wrote essays, and eaten food from around the world! At the end of the year, we are going on the Yorktown and sleeping on it too! Me and my friends have had so much fun this year, and we aren't even halfway through the year yet! We dress up as the thing we are learning about once a month. Like we dressed up as WWI soldiers, Native Americans, and much more! This year might just be the best year in my life!

Carter Caldwell Posted over a year ago

Hello my name is Carter Caldwell and my homeroom teacher is Mrs Huffman.Mrs Huffman is a fun teacher that does fun activities every day. For example are brief case project we got to make are own products. We made documents about them and got fake money.That could buy sodas,coupons for school.Pencils,erasers,sweet treats,dressed up as buissnes people. P.S she throws really good and activities

Oliver D Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman has so many cool artifacts that she lets us play with. also, we get to do cool history simulations and have tons of fun while learning

Jillian G. Posted over a year ago

In Ms Huffman´s class, we do many different activates, that includes the hard cover book, and many other projects! She makes many things extra fun! The extra work doesn't really bother or concern me because its exiting and fun. Whenever we are being good at something like listening, she loves to give us candy! She also likes to dress up as characters that we are learning about. For example she dressed up as the Statue of Liberty when we were learning about Ellis Island and immigration. It makes me really wanna learn about Social Studies, I have a great grade in social studies because of how fun she makes it. I love learning about Social Studies with Ms Huffman. :3

Reiley Ibach Posted over a year ago

The moment I heard that my sister Leila said she had a great time in Mrs. Huffman's class I knew that I would have a great time. For example, Mrs. Huffman loves to teach us using simulations. The Ellis Island simulation really dug into history teaching us about how long and how tough it was to get through Ellis Island. Mrs. Huffman has many artifacts that helps me learn what was used in a specific time period. Mrs Huffman also likes to collect uniforms which can help me see the evolution of uniforms. Mrs Huffman always makes sure that you are welcome inside of her classroom. She also loves to dress up and teach us about that specific person of time period. In some of Mrs. Huffman's simulations she has us build the time period that we have been learning with play dough. Mrs. Huffman is not only a great teacher, but she is a very nice person. At the end of the year Mrs. Huffman is going to take the class to the USS Yorktown for a 5th grade graduation. We will learn all of the things that has happened on the USS Yorktown. Mrs. Huffman has won 17 awards in the past. I would not choose anyone better for this award. Overall, Mrs Huffman is a great teacher and a nice person.

Madeline Smythe Posted over a year ago

I am one of Mrs.Huffman's students this year.This year has been amazing so far. For the first time ever the school year is blasting by and I enjoy walking in the building every morning.I really only have one thing to say and that is Mrs.Huffman deserves this award more than ever.Every single day she puts her best toward everything she does and I don't know about you but I cant recall anybody as driven as that.I really don't know how to describe how much she has changed my life and many others. She not only cares about how much we learn she care if we are interested. Mrs.Huffman is an amazing person and teacher.

Michaela Coppola Posted over a year ago

Hi! I just wanted to say that Mrs.Huffman is the best teacher ever! She dresses up to be what we are learning about every month. For example, She dressed up to be like the Statue of Liberty and she always said that Mrs.Huffman is at a faraway beach! Mrs.Huffman likes to help out with the soldiers that are deployed and she makes treats for them. She wants the class to do it too because she wants to spread her kindness to you then to everybody. She likes to make learning fun than other teachers ( sorry if that was rude). Mrs. Huffman loves kids and takes her time grading than spreading time with her family. She makes us laugh a lot with her teaching! Mrs. Huffman makes lots of fun activities for us! When you get stuck on a question on a test or anything she helps you out. After all, Mrs. Huffman is the best, nice, and AMAZING teacher!

William Balderose Posted over a year ago

There are so many things that Mrs. Huffman does that normal history teachers would never dream of. Instead of just text books we do real, interactive, fun things to educate us about history. when we were studying about immigration, we did a school wide Ellis Island immigration activity! Another time when we were studying westward expansion, we did made a boom town setting with play dough and crafts (it was so cool). Later this year, we will sleep on the USS Yorktown and learn all about it (it's battleship for goodness sake)! She also dresses up... I mean, she takes people from her "time machine" to come teach us about our current unit. One time, the Statue of Liberty came to teach us about immigration. These are only a couple reasons I think that Mrs. Huffman is the best teacher ever.

Barrett Svagerko Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Huffman is a fun and helpful teacher. She does fun things while also teaching us. We have done many activities that has taught everyone very well. One day we helped the community by going out to the playground and the extra space and picked up all of the trash which made it such a clean playground. We dressed up as Indians WWI soldiers nurses and more! She is goofy and always makes us laugh. She has a whole bunch artifacts that she allows us to play with. She goes and "bring" people/things through it. One time she brought the Statue of Liberty and she talked about "herself" in history. She also always helps me through my assignments. She feels the struggle and knows what it feels like. Overall she is an amazing teacher.

graham hooks Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Huffman is so awesome i learned so much this year and experienced so much stuff to.I really enjoy her so much i cant even SAY!She is the best teacher ever in my life i ever experienced.Who knows what is so awesome about her but i do know there is something that is awesome about her.It could be that she is funny and awesome and she is always awesome.I do not know how much i enjoy her sometimes but i do.If you had to choose a teacher it would be Mrs.Huffman in my opinion.

Lauren Randolph Posted over a year ago

Ms.Huffman is a great teacher because she gives us a lot of work so we can become smarter.I am excited to go to 6th grade because it is going to be easy because of Ms.Huffman. We get to do things that most classes don't let us do. Their are so many things that we can touch that are really from some of the wars,battles, and cool history stuff. She dresses up almost every week, as what we are learning that week.She is just a really good teacher. I feel like if i had a different teacher i wouldn't be ready for 6th grade, but i know that with Ms.Huffman i am ready for 6th grade. When i need help she will help me, we also get to do a lot of simulators. I love Ms.Huffman.

Sasha Tomaich Posted over a year ago

When I first met Mrs.Huffman she welcomed me with a warm smile. stepping into that room was a hole new story to me. The uniforms ,her collections ,her books were a dream I would want every night. I love how she teaches us not like any other teacher i had. I mean other teachers would just talk about the topic and this plus this equals this, But No Mrs Huffman explains and shows us what it means and acts it out and instead of old boring class work we do hands on assignments. We dress up and build it and we even used immigration as a quiz or assignment.

Jake glassberg Posted over a year ago

The second I walked in her room It was like I walked into a whole new world with posters everywhere. Mrs Huffman is a very gifted teacher. She doesn't make us sit behind computers and do boring work. Even my sister Ella says she has been the best teacher ever. Mrs Huffman does many many projects the best one is probably the USS Yorktown and she even pays for not the school. She has 17 awards, she even won an award key to the city. Mrs Huffman has a group of real life ammunition and a bunch of war stuff, she even lets us touch the grenades. Mrs Huffman should really be the teacher/person to win the whole $10,000. she said she would give half of it to our school. This is why Mrs Huffman should be the one to win.

Lily Evans Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is such a good teacher, she has even put together a school field trip where you sleepover at the USS Yorktown. She has such a great imagination to teach us in every possible fun way. Also when we get done with something early she lets us touch/play with her artifacts. Mrs. Huffman brings people from the past to the present like Lady Liberty. At the end of a subject we normally get to build what we learned out of our own playdough.

kyrie atwood Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman i would definitely say she is the best social studies teacher IN THE WORLD! she is so much fun! we do so many fun things together like dressing up, trying different foods and doing treats for troops. we do treats for troops to support soldiers. we bake cookies or brownies to give to the troops. we get to build troops and boom towns out of clay and play dough and earth material. Mrs.Huffman ROCKS!

Mateo B Posted over a year ago

Ms. Huffman is the best teacher, she always helps us when we are stuck. Ms. Huffman also stays after school to plan really fun activities for us. She also dresses up as certain people we are learning about. We also do fun art projects like making world war one trenches. Also, we made farms from the 1700s. In conclusion, Ms. Huffman is a really good teacher and should win the award.

Oliver D Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is an amazing teacher. When I was in 4th grade I did not like history. But when I got Mrs. Huffman she taught the whole class about history I became very interested in the subject. she is the #1 history teacher of all time that I ever had. before 5th grade, I barely even knew about WWI but now I know TONs about it and other things in social studies. In conclusion, I think Mrs. Huffman should win the lifesavers award. :)

Kaitlyn Smith Posted over a year ago

I believe that Mrs. Huffman is one of my favorite teachers at my school. Whenever she teaches Social Studies, she makes it seem like my class is really back in time. She actually makes me want to go to school! Mrs. Huffman does fun projects and activities such as Westward Expansion, the Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes, WWI, and so much more awesome things that I have never done throughout my whole elementary school life. I believe that Mrs. Huffman is one of my best teachers throughout all of Carolina Park Elementary.

William J Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman puts SOOO much money towards teaching, she buys all these awesome old artifacts and they are so fun to touch and play with. Mrs. Huffman is DEFINITELY the best Social Studies teacher in South Carolina.

William J Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is an amazing teacher who teaches us in the greatest ways possible, instead of sitting quietly and doing workbook pages, Mrs. Huffman dresses up as an important person from the time period we are learning about. We also simulate what it would be like to live in that time period, Mrs. Huffman is definitely one of THE BEST teachers I have ever had. Mrs. Huffman`s room is also AMAZING, every nook and cranny of her room is covered with artifacts, pictures, replicas, and real antiques!! Mrs. Huffman`s room makes you feel different then pretty much every other social studies room, which usually has a few motivational posters and pictures. Mrs. Huffman even has some shelves with artifacts and replicas labled from their time periods!! There are very cool artifacts like grenades that have the bottom drilled out (they cannot explode by the way) and even BULLET PROOF VESTS!!

Kelly Winters Posted over a year ago

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” This quote by Albert Einstein is the hope we have for all our children that as they go to school they will find at least one or hopefully many teachers that awaken the joy of learning. Fortunately, for us here in Mount Pleasant, SC, we have one such teacher, Mrs. Mary Huffman. It is more than knowledge imparted or rote learning in her classroom. Kids learn curiosity, problem solving, reflection, empathy, and a yearning for more learning. My child has continued to hum rhymes that he learned last year about FDR, WWII, The New Deal, and more. The experiences inside and out of the classroom create a cohesive lasting learning environment that will help shape minds and give our children knowledge for the future endeavors. There is not enough time to give true justice to depth of how many lives and how fantastic of a teacher Mrs. Huffman truly is. However, anyone who has ever learned from her will forever be a better student and citizen and will never forget the moment they traveled back into history by stepping into the famous classroom of Mrs. Huffman!

Lauren Basinger Posted over a year ago

Up until 5th grade, my daughter wanted to be homeschooled. That is, until she had Mrs. Huffman! She loved Mrs. Huffman’s teaching approach (exciting, fun, had hands-on learning experiences, fully engaged with students and made each topic easy to understand/retain the information). She takes her time to understand her student’s educational needs. She changed how my daughter felt about going to school each day! We were so blessed by Mrs. Huffman and her love for education. If anyone deserves this award, it’s Mrs. Huffman!

Eileen Hyde Posted over a year ago

I have the pleasure of serving on the Board with Mary for a non profit S.C. 501c3 known as Treats4Troops. Our volunteers bake, seal, pack and ship homemade treats to our troops overseas in harm’s way. For several years, Mary’s students have helped us keep our soldiers happy with treats. The students and Moms bake and this allows us to send more packages each month. In addition to Mary’s efforts with her students, she is a lovely person who is always always ready to help anyone with anything. It would be wonderful if Mary were recognized for all of her efforts. Thank you.

Katie O’Flaherty Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is and amazing teacher who truly deserves this honor. Mary brings history to life in her classroom and makes learning so interesting and so much fun for her students that they can’t wait to learn more. My daughter Grace adores her, she came home and talked to me about what she learned in Mrs Huffman’s class almost every day during 5th grade. Congratulations and good luck Mary!!!!

Amy Ingram Posted over a year ago

My son has been wanting her as his teacher for two years now and was beyond excited to finally get her in fifth grade. She brings history and social studies to life by interactive exercises, by dressing up, by engaging kids through hands-on projects and going way beyond what you would expect from a teacher. She challenges the kids to think critically and pushes them to bring out the best. We are very thankful for all her time, heart and energy she puts into the class!

Kimberly Mann Posted over a year ago

We love Mary ?? My daughter has her for 5th grade this year . Mary is very interactive, Fun and always willing to help ,always has a smile on her face . We actually requested her this year . So many other children Love Mary and I know that when they get older Mary will definitely be the teacher they remember . Mary’s standard’s will make a difference in there academic and personal future . Much Love , Kimberly Mann

Holly Carter Posted over a year ago

My daughter has Mrs. Huffman for 5th grade. She has a passion for teaching! We feel our daughter will be ahead of many students next year having been taught incredible academics as well as life skills by Mrs Huffman. She has taught her how to be a creative thinker and writer. She has given her study, organizational, and test taking skills. She does all this while maintaining a fun learning environment. She often dresses the part of history she is teaching to further engage the students! She is certainly the teacher that goes over and beyond for her students!

Richard King Posted over a year ago

I've known Mary Huffman for several years now. First as the parent of one of her students but also as a board member of a non-profit supporting deployed troops overseas. Going above and beyond is simply what Mary does. Her resume speaks for itself in regards to her teaching credibility. (Teacher of the year 5 times is nothing short of exemplary!) But I can also tell you the atmosphere that she is able to create within the classroom promotes deeper education than I've ever seen at the elementary level. It's not just book material. It's the exploration and exercise into whatever they're studying that sets her apart. Everyday my child walked into the classroom with smile on her face waiting to find out what's next. Despite the time requirements of the classroom and children, Mary is also involved in the Treats for Troops program. Often coming straight from school just to be a part of the program, her involvement was instrumental in allowing our non-profit to donate some 180 boxes of baked goods to troops deployed overseas. Through her dedication, selfless service, and commitment to her students and community, Mary is the one everyone loves to be associated with!

Janie Clarkin Posted over a year ago

Mary Huffman is an outstanding life changer in our community! A former military spouse, current spouse of a police officer, and mom.of 3 kids Mary gives of herself in many areas. Not only has Mary been an amazing middle school teacher for 19 years, she has also been an outstanding volunteer. Mary coordinates Adopt-a-highway and Beach-sweep programs for the Lowcountry Parrotthead Club for many years. Mary has also coordinated large monthly mailings of sweet treats to our service men and women overseas for many years. Mary is a tireless, giving individual - most deserving of this award.

Kelly Wintesr Posted over a year ago

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowlege.” This quote by Albert Einstein is the hope we have for all our children that as they go to school they will find at least one or hopefully many teachers that awaken the joy of learning. Fortunately, for us here in Mount Pleasant, SC, we have one such teacher, Mrs. Mary Huffman. It is more than knowledge imparted or rote learning in her classroom. Our children learn curiosity, problem solving, reflection, empathy, and a yearning for more learning. My child has continued to hum rhymes that he learned last year about FDR, WWII, The New Deal, and more. The experiences inside and out of the classroom create a cohesive lasting learning environment that will help shape minds and give our children knowledge for the future endeavors. There is not enough time to give true justice to depth of how many lives and how fantastic of a teacher Mrs. Huffman truly is. However, anyone who has ever learned from her will forever be a better student and citizen and will never forget the moment they traveled back into history by stepping into the famous classroom of Mrs. Huffman!

Danyse Peterson Posted over a year ago

Mary has always worked so hard to enhance the lives of the children she teaches. Her enthusiasm for teaching shows in the effort she puts into her lessons to make them fun and memorable for all her students. So many teachers get stuck in a rut, but Mary finds new and inventive ways to reach her kids.

Mary Ellen Badger Posted over a year ago

As the founder of Treats 4 Troops, an all-volunteer non-profit 501(c)3 foundation located in Mt. Pleasant, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Mary Huffman since 2013. She was the first teacher to adopt our program for her students, organizing them to bake homemade treats, which our volunteers collect, freeze, vacuum seal and send to our troops in harms way. With their involvement, these students have come to understand the importance of supporting our troops, reaching out into the community, and giving back. On the first day that I met her, she was dressed in a peasant costume, as she was teaching about immigration to the U.S. Her room is filled with memorabilia, uniforms from all the U.S. wars, as well as camo cloth over bookcases, parachutes, planes and many other items of historical note. She is one of the most creative women I have ever met, and her students love her! She makes information exciting and real to them- they learn so much. If only history could be taught as she does, the world would be a much better place.

Stephanie Gatton Posted over a year ago

Mary taught both for my children when they were in 5th grade. They are now 23 and 21, but still talk about her class and how it prepared them for middle school and beyond. My daughter learned so many organizational skills for research and writing while in her class. It was a tremendous advantage when she entered high school and college. She will graduate and go to med school in 2021 and she still uses those skills to study and organize her work for exams. My son truly learns to appreciate history in Mary’s classroom. He has continued that love and reads constantly about history and current world and political issues from the deep seeded connections he formed with the topic while in 5th grade. He was a finance major in college and follows world connections and social relations to help him at his current job. I can’t say enough about how Mrs. Huffman has influenced the lives of my two children.....even 11 years after they left her classroom.

Christie Crosby Posted over a year ago

I have worked with Mary Huffman a number of times on our community cleanup projects. She organizes the adopt a highway cleanup and the beach sweep for the Low Country Parrot Heads. She Is so energetic and her enthusiasm is contagious, as is her laughter. She always includes her own children in these community volunteer projects and uses every opportunity to teach them good stewardship lessons. I have seen her wade out into the marsh to collect a piece of trash by the highway and climb through brambles and even ant beds to get to litter near the beach. She shares her love of history and teaching with everyone that she meets.

Imogen Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman is the best teacher ever. I love learning with her! Mrs. Huffman makes history come to life! Mrs. Huffman make me want to go to school! Mrs. Huffman RULES! Please vote for Mrs. Huffman. Thank you!!

Palmer oblinger Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Huffman is a really nice teacher to me. She helps me when i'm stuck with something that i don't know. She always loves to bring history to life. She makes lots of fun activities for us to play and do. Whenever we're behaving she loves to give out treats. When she teaches social studies, she always loves to talk more about it with us. Mrs.Huffman always loves to dress up and tell us about "herself" in history. Since i walked in this classroom on the first day of school, i have always felt welcome. Overall, Mrs.Huffman is a really nice teacher.

Denver Brunsman Posted over a year ago

Mary Huffman is a gifted educator. I have had the great pleasure to work with her the past two years on a special summer seminar designed for K-8 teachers offered by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. I have served as the university-level instructor (I teach history at George Washington University), while Mary has served as the master teacher. Just as she leads incredibly imaginative lessons for her own 5th grade students, Mary has led innovative pedagogical sessions for her fellow teachers. The goal of Mary's teaching is always for her students, whether 5th graders or fellow educators, to fully immerse themselves in the past as much as possible. This gives students insights into both the past and tools for better understanding themselves and their own times. Mary accomplishes this immersion experience through traditional approaches, such as reading primary sources, and not-so-traditional methods, such as dressing as historical figures and creating elaborate, thoughtful historical role-playing sessions. Most important, Mary's deep humanity shines through in all settings. She simply loves people and it shows. I think of her as the human multiplier effect because all of her actions in the classroom have profound consequences for her students -- I have seen it and felt it myself firsthand. I cannot imagine a more deserving person for this honor.

Tamara Bryant Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of knowing Mary Huffman through the Lowcountry Parrothead Club for several years. She organizes and participates in our beach and highway cleanups. She also takes a prominent role in our annual fundraiser that generates over 10,000.00 dollars that is locally donated here in Charleston. She always has her Husband and children along demonstrating how important it is to be a role model and teaching by example the importance of giving back.

jack Posted over a year ago

Ms. Huffman is my teacher this year she is an incredible teacher. She dresses up for every subject we do and puts alot of blood sweat and tears for us learning real history. She has helped me improve and is always there for everybody. she is a very nice Pearson and will let us do alot more fun stuff the other fifth graders. she always puts her money for helping us and remembers history. she can always make us happy and make us laff. She handles us very good and can somehow make us tired easily.

Sailor Wachter Posted over a year ago

The second I walked in Mrs. Huffman's classroom, I knew this was going to be my best year in school. Mrs. Huffman is so fun! She lets us dress up as people from our unit that we are studying, to remember the important parts of our unit. She makes Social Studies so much more interesting. Mrs. Huffman once let us dress up as immigrants from all around the world, immigrating to America. She turned the whole school in Ellis Island! She works so hard for us just to have a great experience with Social Studies. She gave us fake money to pay for our trips to our destination. I hope everyone gets the chance to experience time with Mrs. Huffman. :)

Jen Bluemner Posted over a year ago

We feel so lucky and blessed to have our oldest daughter part of Mary Huffman's class. Coming into CPE we hoped that our girls would be able to have her as a teacher and we feel so lucky it came true. Mary's passion for not only teaching, but truly loving and caring about each child, their lives and their success is apparent in EVERYTHING she does. She has given my daughter an appreciation for not just history, but learning as a whole. She has helped Sophia build an amazing foundation to be able to think critically, apply techniques to new problems, and really just love learning. Thank you Mary for everything you do!!

Sarah Kravchuk Posted over a year ago

New to South Carolina, we met Mrs. Huffman when my oldest son was in her class at Charles Pinckney Elementary school. Two years later, my other son had the honor of being h=in her class at Carolina Park Elementary. When I stepped into her classroom, it was like I stepped into moments in history. Her classroom is decorated with actual relics from various wars, including uniforms, flags, and weapons. It was obvious to see her passion to educate her students, by bringing them into the time period. Day after day my son would come home telling me about the experience he had in her class. She did not only teach them what was in the books, she found ways for them to experience what they were reading about. She was always in a costume, from the time period they were studying, and encouraged her students to do so as well. This encourages and reinforces the historic events they are studying. As a volunteer in her classroom, I witnessed her enthusiasm for teaching, and her ability to capture every student. All the students were involved and participating in the various projects. She's a hands on teacher, not afraid to get her hand dirty building models out of clay, dance in circles teaching the students different dances for the time periods, or dressing up in hot uniforms to portray a WWI soldier. I loved hearing my sons, plan out the costume they wanted me to make to portray a military commander, a native American, a Chinese immigrant and a "newsie" from the 1920's. Bath boys loved her class. As a result of taking her class, my boys have retained the information they learned in her class, and imply it today, often helping them with projects, test, and even Jeopardy questions. Mary Huffman is by far the most involved, most passionate, most dedicated teacher I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She is simply the best!

Jamie Marcus Posted over a year ago

Mary Huffman is one of the most dedicated and passionate teachers I have ever worked with. As an education program coordinator at Gilder Lehrman, I've worked with Mary on various projects since she was named the 2015 National History Teacher of the Year and I'm always blown away by her professionalism and expertise in the field of history education. She is always at the top of my list of history teachers to consult and use on projects. Mary is truly a role model for her students and other educators in the field.

Cindy Waterlander Posted over a year ago

I had the pleasure of meeting Mary several years ago through the Lowcountry Parrott head club she is such an outgoing person and volunteers so much time to help the organization through several aspects. The one thing I noticed in talking with Mary is her enthusiasm and passion as she tells us about her kids at school and how she loves to teach. I was very impressed when she talks about dressing up in character for her history lessons which helps to reinforce learning. Mary I wish you the best of luck you I know that you have changed the lives of many students over the course of your teaching career!

Kathleen B Edwards Posted over a year ago

Ms. Huffman is a great teacher and my daughter has thrived in her class this year. She has a very interactive teaching style, which I believe is extremely impactful for the students. It allows the students to experience history and not just memorize it. History comes alive in her class and you can feel her passion in the way she talks about her students and the learning opportunities ahead.

Megan Swatt Posted over a year ago

Mary Huffman is the kind of educator that you dream your child will have at some point in their life. My daughter, who had Mary as homeroom teacher, ELA and History had never really found her potential in school before. Mary gave her a love for History that she never had felt previously. From the start of the school year, I saw excitement and anticipation on my daughters face as she would ask me to help her create “costumes” from items we had at home. She’d gush about what Mary was teaching them and how she needed to dress for a “part” or would need to bring an old T-shirt to school to redesign. Just a few highlights of the year were -cutting old T-shirt’s and transforming them into Native American clothing by drawing unique symbols they had learned on the shirt and adding beads. -she created signs and marched for “Better Work Conditions” while learning about early factories. -She spoke passionately to me (and honestly shamed me??) when she found out I had not made it to the local Town Elections to vote last year, because “Mom!!!! Women fought for your right to Vote!” And believe me I went to the Town Council Elections to vote this year!!!! We watched a movie recommended by Mary(to be watched with a Parent) about women’s struggles for equality and I saw the fire and anger in my daughters eyes as she watched how women had been treated just a century ago. -Most impactfully was the Holocaust. Mary had many methods for giving our kids a tiny glimpse of what it would feel like to be discriminated against, and had many ideas to help them understand the horror of what Jewish people had endured. She had them wear these smelly old smocks for a part of the day and then roped off a small section of the room and had the kids squeeze in to the tiny space. They got to feel the discomfort for a few mins and then learned how the Jews were transported to many of the Camps. Piper has to where The Starnof David for a week, and lost certain rights. She came home and was so appalled as she told me,”Mom! I had to use the furthest Bathroom from our classroom, all the way by the library, because I was Jewish today! I couldn’t drink from certain water fountains, I had to wait til last for the lunch line, I had to eat in a certain place, and I was last for every activity, just because I was Jewish” I felt so amazed at how Mary had given Piper something she may never have felt, a true compassion and Empathy for All who are persecuted or discriminated against, for no reason or fault except how they were born. She also arranged for a speaker to come, a survivor of the Holocaust, and we even went Downtown for The Holocaust Remembrance (outside of school, on our own, but organized by Mary for families that wanted to participate. Mary not only taught Piper, I felt impacted through my daughter and learned many new things because she would gush about her lesson from that day. Mary also helped us discover my daughters struggle with ADD, and no one else had seen that Piper was not engaged in some lessons. She is a good kid, and doesn’t cause distraction or disrupt others, but Piper would daydream and get lost in thought during many subjects that she lost interest in. She is an A/B student, but struggled with standardized testing. At our first parent/teacher conference Mary brought it to me, and I remember thinking”How did she make til 5th grade before anyone caught on to this?!” Through getting Piper some help with coping skills and study techniques, she became a straight A student and her test scores have gone up 11-17 points on Map Scores! She is now completely self sufficient as a 6th grader and has straight A’s and I still marveling at the fact that I don’t have to get on her to do homework or stay on top of things. I really credit Mary for this because everything changed for Piper after having Mary as a teacher last year, she truly impacted her life! I helped Mary once a week for half the year and I saw a behind the scene look at all the extra work she put in to all her lesson planning. This award is LITERALLY made for an Educator like Mary. She is Amazing and I can’t say enough about the positive impact she has had on my daughters life.

Jack Smythe Posted over a year ago

There are two words that begin to describe Mary Huffman. Caring and driven. She’s caring in the truest sense of the word. Her caring comes from the passion and gift she has for sharing her knowledge and presenting it to her students in a thought provoking way that energizes the students to begin thinking beyond there immediate circumstance. She teaches them compassion and that’s quite an accomplishment in itself. She brings history and social awareness to life. She’s driven to not only be the most energetic and sharing educator I’ve met but also to continue growing and excelling as a teaching professional in the pursuit of her doctorate. This is another example to her students that you can never stop learning or more importantly stop your personal pursuit and thirst for learning and self improvement, once again in order to continue her cycle of sharing her knowledge with her students.

Kevin Posted over a year ago

Mary fits the definition of life-changer in so many ways. Her work in the classroom goes so far beyond the basic, and the students not only "learn" the content, but "feel" the content. This ensures that Mary's students will not only remember what they have been taught years after leaving her classroom, but they will also gain the understanding that connects that content to the positive change that each student can bring to their community. What an impact! As a colleague, Mary is among the most sincere and caring with which I have ever worked. Her enthusiasm for the field and for her students inspires me, and I am so proud to call her colleague and friend.

Dori Hooks Posted over a year ago

Mary is an amazing teacher! She is passionate about what she does and makes learning fun! My son’s SC testing went from average to exceeds! She is the best Social Studies and Reading teacher in SC for sure! We love her!!!

James (Demetrios) Siotas Posted over a year ago

Mary Huffman impressed me with her out-going warmth and questions she was asking us Korean frontline (iron triange 1952) fighters, esspecially having us to share with her visiting other tables at the conference to brief them of our experiences and her writing her notes on the book she was carrying. She was extremely well received coordinating the conference. I strongly recommend her work be recognized the best way possible. I thank you.

Valerie Baalerud Posted over a year ago

Mary is an AMAZING teacher who bringing learning to life for her students. Her energy is a catalyst for student learning, and her creativity an inspiration to her peers. Mary not only cares about her students, but teaches them to care about others, and the world around them. She truly gives her all when it comes to teaching and the world is a better place because of her efforts.

Heather Henderson Grier Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Huffman taught my daughter last year, her fifth grade year. Prior to this, my daughter was not a lover of history. Mrs. Huffman changed all that. One rainy Sunday, my daughter asked me to drive her downtown (Charleston) where she would march with Mrs. Huffman in support of survivors of the Holocaust. She even stood in front of a room and read out names of those who were lost ion the tragedy. Who was this child, I thought? She was a child who was blessed with an inspiring, once-in-a-lifetime, fireball of a teacher, that’s who! Mrs. Huffman is tireless and her smile never ends even after a 26-hour field trip that involved sleeping on a “rack” on an aircraft carrier. Mrs. Huffman is passionate about history, writing and citizenship. Mostly she’s passionate about making our community a better place through touching the lives of families. Although she technically taught my daughter, I can assure you I learned a great deal about tolerance and the power of positivity in my interactions with her. This world would be a much better place if there were more teachers like Mrs. Huffman. I’m grateful to God that “we” had her last year and I keep asking her to run for President of the USA.

Hall Posted over a year ago

Mary, When I look at you, I see someone with sparkling talent: Clever. Creative. Charismatic. Compassionate. You could have used those gifts to pursue any career you wanted. You chose teaching, the noblest profession of all. You chose to get up early and stay up late, to be underpaid and rarely thanked, to help raise other people's kids, and to tolerate "the system" because you believe in the children. You find ways to put your own innovative spin on education when you could have easily just “checked the box” and teach the same old boring history lessons that so many of us endured. This is what sets you apart. Your kids don’t just learn about the history of our Military but they actually experience how our soldiers live, eat, and sleep! That’s awesome and it’s things such as this that kids remember forever! The world is different, the world is better, because of what you have achieved in your classroom. No one is more deserving than you Mary Huffman, because your extra effort is noticed, appreciated, and you definitely are a life changer! Much love and respect for you my friend!

Mason Yost Posted over a year ago

If one person could be the physical embodiment of the word “passion”, Mrs. Huffman would be it. She encourages her students to live out their dreams with just as much dedication and enthusiasm. Her passion for her job inspires her students to learn and work hard. If you were to walk into her classroom, you would be surrounded by decorations and historical artifacts covering every inch of the walls and hanging from the ceiling. She does not just teach students—she brings her curriculum to life and had such an obvious love for her job that you can not help but be excited with her. In her classroom, you don’t learn history—you experience it. In seventh grade, I was given the privilege of flying to New York City to give a speech at the National History Teacher of the Year ceremony, where I got to tell a room full of people about how Mrs. Huffman changed my life. There, I witnessed her receive the recognition she truly deserved and it was in this moment that I realized how important it was to be passionate about everything I do. Since then, I have carried her attitude with me and applied it to every area of my life that I can. Mary Huffman’s teachings reach beyond the classroom. I’m not sure if she realizes how big of an impact she has had on my life. I learned so much more than history in her class and I will carry those lessons with me for the rest of my life.

Silvia Miranda Posted over a year ago

I had the honor of meeting Mary in Fort Scott, Kansas while participating in the Lowell Milken Unsung Hero Fellowship. She was an inspiring, passionate, and dedicated professional that provided a wealth of knowledge and ideas to our group. I am a veteran teacher who often struggles with teaching social studies in an engaging way, and Mary was not hesitant to share her wonderful ideas with me. She showed me videos of her teaching, she has shared her lesson plans that quite literally make history come alive for her students, and she is a constant support for me while I try to make social studies as relevant and interesting as she does! While we live across the country from each other, Mary has still had a tremendous positive impact not only on my own teaching, but my student's learning! I cannot think of a more deserving educator for this award!

Melaney Sanchez Posted over a year ago

Mary was our teacher leader for the Gilder Lerhman seminar at GW. Her passion for learning was evident and was extremely contagious. At the end of the week she had equipped us with resources we could immediately use in the classroom so that we could impact our communities. She puts her heart and soul into education and makes me wish she was on my team. She does not only teach her students history, she helps them to embrace it, to live it, and to be passionate about the true meaning of learning from the past. Every child deserves to have a Mrs. Huffman in their lives. Her impact is immeasurable.

Nicole Scheuerman Posted over a year ago

In all of the teachers I know, the amount of effort and enthusiasm that Mary puts into her classroom cannot be matched. She is truly an inspiration to students and fellow teachers alike. She truly deserves every piece of recognition and support from us all.

Michele Posted over a year ago

Mary is a master teacher. She is a wonderful role model for other teachers. Students love and adore her. She understands how students learn and strives to always do better. No one deserves this award more than Mary!

Sandra Fitzgerald Posted over a year ago

I have taught alongside Mrs. Huffman for years and have witnessed first hand the hard work and dedication that she puts into planning engaging, creative, and meaningful lessons for her students. She exudes a love of history and brings it to life every single day. Her students are eager to step foot in her classroom because they never know which historical figure might be teaching them that day. She is one-of-a-kind!

jeanette E Gronda Posted over a year ago

as already Posted on facebook: Mary is the teacher every parent would want for their child. She goes above and beyond each day and each student is special. Mary goes after outside funding for special activities in her classroom. Mary makes fundamental education FUN & Mental. Known to dress in period costume of an era being studied. Who wouldn't want to be in her class. Keep up the good work.

Nicole kroner Posted over a year ago

Mary’s passion for learning, teaching, and for her students is unmatched! Her drive and commitment to her profession and her students is the reason she never stops trying to be better, trying to inspire and trying to instill a love of history and learning into her students. She works harder then any teacher I have ever encountered to make learning a fully immersive experience while still Challenging her students beyond what is simply required. I hope she never loses her love and passion for inspiring our next generation !

Cory Broadwater Posted over a year ago

Hello, First off, I am extremely proud of you because I know how much effort you have always put into your work and making sure that your students get the best there is. NOW?? I am so happy for you Mary Huffman because you are absolutely one of the sweetest human beings on Gods green earth period! Meeting you and Lucas Richard??17 years ago and becoming best friends has been nothing but a blessing. You my friend are simply amazing and so deserving of all that God has planned for you. Continue to walk in your PURPOSE????????

Derek Frieling Posted over a year ago

Mary Huffman is an excellent leader even outside her classroom. My experiences with Mary have been at voluntary PD during the summer. She has led groups even when it has not been her designated role, always with a charming smile.

Cee Cee Young Posted over a year ago

Wow, i cant think Of a More deserving teacher! There is always that one teacher in ones life You Always remember for greatness,, who Changed your Life and perpective For Learning... that is Mary Huffman. Being a classroom parent/volunteer I witnessed so much passion, and Dedication. Every lesson even had “me”engaged and my daughter thrived in her teaching style. My daughter Morgan now Is Graduating From high school This year and i can say without a doubt its thanks to Mrs. Huffman that Morgan had such a passion For History , Language Arts.

Beth Alexander Posted over a year ago

I had the pleasure to get to know Mary Huffman as one of the 2019 Milken Fellows. She inspired me with her boundless energy and passion for improving her practice: she was always on the lookout for ideas, stories, and objects to bring back to her classroom. Mary treats each moment as a chance to learn, and each encounter with a new person as a chance to make a new friend. She radiates love, warmth, and joy, and is undoubtedly a shining light for her lucky students, who surely feel at home in her vibrant classroom. She is most deserving of this honour.

Faye Damanti Posted over a year ago

I cannot think of anyone more deserving than You for this award! I’ve never seen anyone love teaching as much as the joy that it brings to you and your students. Your commitment and dedication to ensure your students retain knowledge is awesome! I’m so very proud of you! Good luck and congratulations on this nomination!

Anonymous Posted over a year ago

Selfless. That is the best word to describe Mary Huffman. I wish I had a teacher like her when I was in school. She is passionate about her role as a teacher because she is passionate about making a positive impact on children. She wakes up early and stays up late to make every extra effort to make her classroom experience memorable. She is innovative and thoughtful. She is a role model.

Hazel Posted over a year ago

I believe Mary deserves this award. Not only is she a caring teacher for the students she teaches but others as well.

Patti Paladino Posted over a year ago

Appreciate the lasting support and encouragement Mary offers her students, History is such an important part of our lives that is being neglected In our world today.. The study of history is important to allow one to make more sense of the current world and enables us to understand different cultures, it allows one to exercise their critical thinking skills. Mary teaches this with a long lasting effect on her students.

Susan Dragovic Posted over a year ago

Wishing you the best of luck on your nomination. No one deserves it more than you.

Kathy petrus Posted over a year ago

Mary Petrus Huffman has always been a conscientious person in all her endeavors. I was lucky enough to be in her classroom as she worked with her students during a Holocaust unit. Learning history through the eyes of her students was so inspiring because through her simulations and integration of artifacts, the students demonstrated their understanding of these sad events in history.I feel she truly deserves this award and would use the prize to further ensure the authentic educational learning opportunities for students in across her school.