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Teacher's choices earn A+
For first-year school teacher Edith Yonts, coming home to Stafford provided her with a dream job

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LEE WOOLF
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Date published: 6/9/2004

By LEE WOOLF

EDITH YONTS is proud of being a Stafford girl. The county has been good to her, and she plans to return the favor by helping to prepare Stafford school children for their future.

Born, raised and educated here as Edith Carol Taylor of Hartwood, there was never any question about her choice of a career or a place to live.

"I've wanted to be a teacher about as far back as I can remember, and Stafford always was my No. 1 choice," she said last week with the end of her first year as an educator only days away.

"I like it here. I liked the school system and I kept in touch with some of my former teachers and coaches by e-mail and during breaks from college.

"I applied for teaching jobs in neighboring counties. But this is where I wanted to be."

The 23-year-old Yonts has had a busy first year.

She substituted for eight weeks in the physical education department at Stafford High School in the fall and then was hired as a full-time teacher in December.

She smiled when recalling that her youthful appearance prompted more than one high school teacher to demand to see her hall pass.

Yonts' duties were daunting since she was needed for various days and class periods at four different schools. This also meant that she had to help prepare lesson plans for high school students at Brooke Point and elementary school students at Moncure, Park Ridge and Widewater.

In addition, she was one of three varsity coaches for the boys and girls track teams at Stafford High.

"People hear about my work schedule and say, 'You must be exhausted,'" she said.

"But actually, teaching at four different schools was a good experience. I've enjoyed it. It's good to work with different teachers and share ideas from one school to another."

Yonts joins a group of more than 30 current teachers and school administrators in Stafford who also spent much of their childhood in county classrooms. Traditional local names like Sullivan, Jett and Trant have long had an impact on education in Stafford.

As a county student, Yonts attended Hartwood Elementary School, Gayle Middle School and Stafford High School, where she graduated in 1998.

Is a Stafford education any different now than what she remembers?


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