Kate Collins math teacher is Waynesboro’s Teacher of the Year
By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press
WAYNESBORO — Mathew Snyder is Waynesboro Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year 2022.
“At first, it was a surprise,” he said. “I’ve taught here long enough to know there’s a lot of great teachers here in the division.”
He said it was wonderful that he was picked to be Kate Collins Middle School’s Teacher of the Year for 2022, but especially to also be chosen by the school system.
Snyder has been a teacher for eight years. He grew up in Amherst County and graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Special Education.
His first teaching position was as a Special Education teacher for Algebra in Daytona, Fla., and also gave him an opportunity to live near his grandparents.
“Even though I was very nervous, because math was my most difficult subject in school,” Snyder said. “There’s always a need for math teachers.”
This academic year is his fourth year teaching 6th-grade mathematics at Kate Collins Middle. He also coaches baseball for Waynesboro High School.
Snyder said he credits his passion for teaching to his 5th-grade history teacher, Denise Butler.
“Every lesson she taught, every unit she taught, she would dress up in period clothing,” he said.
Butler was “always passionate about teaching” and inspired Snyder’s passion to become an educator.
“She brought the class to life,” he said.
Butler made him realize that she got to do what she loved.
“I said to myself: ‘I want to do that.’”
Snyder said he loves to share knowledge and get to know others.
Snyder and his wife, Emily, will celebrate 10 years of marriage in October. The couple has three sons.
“The reason why I earned this really awesome title is less about me and more about the awesome people around me,” Snyder said.
He added that he almost dropped out of college, but his wife encouraged him to get his degree. And he works with amazing staff at Kate Collins Middle.
“The students that I’ve had this year have made my job amazing,” he said.