Gifted Education Teacher Cathy Lane is a GEM

Ms. Cathy Lane has been a part of the Hylton community for 31 years and is loved by many students.


Tsion Sisay

Ms. Lane holding a seminar with freshmen gifted students.

To students in Hylton’s gifted program Ms. Cathy Lane is a mentor, but to students outside of the program, she is oftentimes an unknown figure.

Lane has been a part of the Hylton community for 31 years. She was even here when the school opened in 1991. She holds seminars for gifted students throughout all the grade levels and leads a class for seniors, Gifted Education Multi-Disciplinary Seminar (GEMS), alongside fellow gifted education teacher, Mrs. Susan Guidry.

Lane received a bachelor’s degree in ocean engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in social foundations of education from the University of Virginia. She didn’t intend to become a teacher, but jumped at an opportunity to teach at a technical college after having difficulty finding a job in her field of study.

When she arrived at Hylton, she began teaching earth science for a year and then oceanography and physics in subsequent years. Lane had previously taken some gifted education classes but didn’t teach in a gifted education setting until a a colleague asked Lane to take over one of her classes.

Throughout her years of teaching at Hylton, her favorite experience was the first seminar she taught before becoming a gifted education teacher. The experience sparked her interest in educating gifted students and led to a major change in how she taught. “There was a lot more freedom in (the gifted education setting in) what to teach, how to teach, and (we) gave the students a lot more freedom too.”

Lane kicked off her teaching career and was introduced to a new culture when a principal contacted her about an opportunity in the Dominican Republic. Lane decided to give it a shot. While in the Dominican Republic, she felt it was essential to learn Spanish.

“It was different learning how to navigate around the city and not being able to drive and not at first knowing the language,” said Lane.

The school that she taught at was a private school and was much smaller than Hylton. Students had an extended summer and winter break in comparison to PWCS.

Her time in the Dominican Republic did not only introduce her to a new culture but it also changed her perspective. She now feels more “empathetic with people who have trouble communicating” as she remembers how difficult it was communicating in a second language.

She’s fortunate she had the opportunity to teach abroad, but is even more grateful she found a home teaching at Hylton. Ms. Lane enjoys working with her students.

“It keeps you young because you are always learning what is current and new,” said Lane.