While Bernetta Soles and her family love Marvel movies, she didn’t expect to be decked out in superhero garb when her principal at Homewood Elementary made the announcement she had won Teacher of the Year.
“We were having a really big celebration day – our Superhero Day. We were all dressed in kooky superhero stuff, all in the gym,” Soles said.
She didn’t want to get emotional, but said she couldn’t help it.
“Oh gosh, I cried a little bit, which I did not want to do,” she said. “Everybody was congratulating me and it became a little overwhelming, in a good way.”
She calmly organized her second graders to leave for their last class, and made it look easy.
“You came at the craziest time of the day,” she said, but like a pro, Soles gathered the children with all their belongings, and they were lined up and out the door in record time.
Soles has been at Homewood Elementary for 14 years, going back and forth between teaching first and second grades.
“Ms. Soles is truly an inspirational teacher. She is truly loved by her children and works diligently to help all her ‘babies’ to reach their goals,” said HES Principal Penny Foye.
Soles grew up in Loris and attended all the Loris area schools, graduating from Loris High School.
She went on to receive her degree in early childhood education from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg.
Her husband, she said, is a nuclear medicine technician at a hospital and it is always interesting to compare notes.
“Our jobs are so different,” Soles said.
She has a 24-year-old son that recently moved to Texas, which she said she’s still trying to get used to and digest, and she also has a 15-year-old daughter.
They enjoy going to the movies, and play a little racquetball sometimes too, she said.
“My husband is a big movie buff, he pulls me into that,” she said, noting they’ve watched all of the Marvel movies in order. “If I had to choose, it’d be a nice romance, but mostly we go to action stuff.”
Their church responsibilities at Barefoot Church in North Myrtle Beach also keep them busy, she said.
More than anything, Soles cherishes the relationships she builds with her students over the years.
“When I meet a child that I taught years ago and they remember me - they come running in their 25-year-old bodies and I can see their first and second grade faces - it’s the memories we build together.
“The math and reading is very important, but I remember all the little things that happened and things we did to really get to know each other,” Soles said.