Andy Streets Named 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year

Lauren Insinger, Co-Writing Editor

With being the only automotive tech teacher in the district, it’s clear that the 2017-2018 winner of ‘Teacher of the Year’ award Andy Streets is special in his own way.

“It’s a pretty cool honor,” Streets said, “mainly because it helps me feel some of the hard work and what we do out here is being recognized and being seen.”

‘Teacher of the Year’ is a recognition from fellow teachers within the school that has done an outstanding job of teaching. The award-nominated 21 teachers and had 3 finalists. The finalists came down to AP Government and Politics teacher Angie Byrd, Civil Engineering and Architecture and Introduction to Engineering Design teacher Katie Johnston, and Automotive Tech teacher Andy Streets.

“I certainly did not expect to get it (the award), just mainly because being in the automotive tech world over here, I’m kind of isolated,” Streets said, “But again, it was shocking and I’m glad that I got it and super thankful for all that did vote, it’s amazing really,” Streets said.

Although the love of cars has always been with Streets, teaching was found under other circumstances. Streets has been teaching for 12 years and five years of high school application.

“(Going into teaching) was a circumstantial thing; I was asked to do it and thought it would be kind of interesting. I certainly came from an industry background so I never tried to study for teaching. I thought it was interesting and enjoyed the relationships I built with students… it’s been a great opportunity and I’ve enjoyed doing it,” he said.

Even with teaching, Streets has his own business that he runs with a close friend.

“I own a business and I was doing my business and my shop… At night, I worked at Trident and during the day I worked in my shop.

While working with Streets, automotive technology is not only for the students’ own good or just simulated in class assignments, but Streets also involves students in many competitions.

“We obviously apply knowledge in the shop; we have a classroom component and a shop component. We also compete annually in the Trident Tech called the ‘Quest’ competition and every year we’ve done it, we’ve won it,” he said, “There’s a competition that was looking into that’s a statewide competition and we’re hoping to get into that next year,” he said.

The automotive class allows for students to grow both inside the class and out.

“But the most important thing where they apply their knowledge is in the actual career world. I have students that have jobs working in (the automotive industry) right now, putting whatever they’re learning here into their jobs. It helps them advance and build a resume, that’s the reason for all of this,” he said.

With being the only automotive technology teacher in the district, Streets has expressed how lucky he is to be at Wando.

“(Wando) is a great place… as far as Wando goes, it’s a great facility with excellent tooling, the staff and the administration supports what we do out here remarkably well,” Streets said, “The students are phenomenal, we have a lot of great young minds here, my parents are very supportive and the students’ parents are very supportive and love what their kids are getting out of this, it’s a really great community.”

When the day of the awards ceremony came, Streets was shocked to have won the award.

“Yeah, I didn’t think I would get (the award) at all… I certainly didn’t expect to get it because being (outside of the main building) I’m sort of isolated; I’m not as entrenched as some of the other teachers are,” he said, “Anyways, it was shocking. Glad that I got (the award), thankful for all that did vote, and it’s amazing, really, but I was shocked in the moment.”

Streets will go on to compete against other school-wide winners in a district-wide competition. Beyond the competition, Streets is really thankful for all the opportunities to be a teacher.

“And the high school seemed to be an interesting place to be and I love it because get to meet a lot of young people who have great futures that are ahead of them and I get to have some influence on that, and that’s a pretty cool opportunity to have,” Streets said.