‘The legacy will continue’: Mother, daughters teaching at Dorchester Dist. 2 schools

Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 3:50 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2023 at 7:44 PM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - With many school districts across the country facing teacher shortages, there’s one family in Dorchester District 2 that’s responsible for keeping a handful of spots filled.

Mom Haley Foster has been teaching for 28 years -- 26 years being in Dorchester District 2. For the first time this year, two of her daughters will have classrooms of their own.

“I want them to do what they wanted to do,” Haley Foster said. “So, that was ultimately their decision. I didn’t try to influence. It is what they saw happening and they decided on their own.”

Based on data from the first day of school, Dorchester District 2 has 67 teacher spots open out of a little over 1400 total spots. Out of those employed, the Foster family says they’re just happy to be in this district helping others.

“She’s literally the reason why I’m a teacher because I would go with her to work and just see how she is with the kids, how they love her, how she’s engaging and just being their own personal cheerleader,” Makayla Foster said. “I was like, ‘I want to do that.’”

Both sisters say they loved the teachers in the district they had growing up, and wanted to come back and return the favor.

“Well, I wanted to stay within DD2 because this is the school district that I grew up in,” Dionne Foster said. “So, it’s like a family to me. So, it only makes sense to go back to where I started.”

With Makayla at Eagle Nest Elementary, Dionne and Haley have even more mother-daughter time teaching at the same school at Beech Hill Elementary.

“So, whenever I do get to actually see her and she sees me I’m like, ‘Hey!’” Dionne Foster said.

Haley says her and Dionne see each other at the beginning and end of every day, but it’s always funny running into each other during the day.

“She makes it known that I am the mommy,” Haley Foster said. “She’s always, you know, ‘Hello mommy!’ or ‘Hello Mrs. Foster.’ But yeah, it’s great having her there.”

Haley describes what it’s like to be a mom and now a mentor.

“Lots of times they have questions and of course, I’ve experienced a lot in my many years of teaching,” Haley Foster said. “So, I’m able to address a lot of the concerns that they have as well as supply them with some supplies that they might need.”

They say the benefit of their shared experience is invaluable.

“The fact that we’re all going through the same thing and like I’m not alone,” Makayla Foster said. “I’m like, okay I’m not crazy, you’re experiencing that too.”

Dionne was asked if she likes sharing the building with her mom.

“If I could’ve worked with all of my family in the school building I would,” Dionne Foster said.

Haley says she’s excited to watch them grow.

“It’s a great feeling,” Haley Foster said. “I’m really proud of them. Of course, it’s very rewarding. I’m glad that they’re there to help others and the legacy will continue.”