Beaufort County school district names 2012-13 teachers of the year

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comMay 4, 2012 

Seventh-grade English teacher Holly Lambert listens as Board of Education Chairman Fred Washington Jr. reads a proclamation declaring Lambert Beaufort Middle School's teacher of the year.


  • Greg Brown, Battery Creek High
    Kim Fields, Beaufort Elementary
    Holly Lambert, Beaufort Middle
    Teresa Baker, Beaufort High
    Valerie Seldes, Bluffton Elementary
    Erin Reichert, Bluffton High
    Leslie Natoli, Bluffton Middle
    Mindy Farris, Broad River Elementary
    Abigail Mitchell, Coosa Elementary
    Sebastian Rete, H.E. Mc Cracken Middle
    Beth Sexson, Hilton Head Early Childhood
    Marcia Dillon, Hilton Head Island Elementary
    Sandy Courtney, Hilton Head Elementary School for Creative Arts
    Melissa Ledbetter, Hilton Head Middle
    Jennifer Weitekamper, Hilton Head High
    Melissale Rivera, Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary
    Kristen Brady, Lady's Island Elementary
    Lynn Jester, Lady's Island Middle
    Donna Lorenz, Michael C. Riley Elementary
    Amy Edwards, Mossy Oaks Elementary
    Christine Jackson, Okatie Elementary
    Amy Fallon, Port Royal Elementary
    Alvenice Swain Mohead, Pritchardville Elementary
    Mary Beth McKinney, Red Cedar Elementary
    Carol Jackson, Robert Smalls Middle
    Samantha Ford, Shell Point Elementary
    Sheryl W. Mack, St. Helena Elementary
    Whitney Harris, Whale Branch Elementary
    Angela Stewart, Whale Branch Middle
    Robert Carlin, Whale Branch Early College High School
    Latesia Brinson, Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence

They work on projects side-by-side with their students.

When they learn a new technology or teaching technique, they bring it to their classrooms.

They find ways to encourage students to do their best -- one even dyed her hair pink to motivate her class.

On Friday, 31 Beaufort County School District teachers were surprised with the news that they were their school's teacher of the year.

The announcements, delivered by a district official or school board member and the principal at each school, were met with students' cheers, and in some cases, teachers' tears of joy.

Amy Fallon, a fifth-grade teacher at Port Royal Elementary, said the award meant her fellow teachers recognized her hard work.

"Other people see I'm effective with students, that I care and I want them to learn," she said.

Teachers of the year are selected by their peers through criteria established by the schools, the district's teacher forum and the S.C. Department of Education.

Several teachers selected said they've known they wanted to be teachers all their lives. Fallon said that as a child, she'd teach to her stuffed animals.

Holly Lambert, a seventh-grade English teacher at Beaufort Middle School, said she "never even questioned" her career choice.

For many, their love of teaching stems from that "lightbulb moment" when their students grasp the lesson.

"I love seeing the kids grow," Lambert said. "That's my favorite part."

Principals say these teachers stand out because they motivate and connect with students.

"She's just extremely positive and encouraging," Hilton Head Elementary principal Jill McAden said of fourth-grade teacher Marcia Dillon.

Dillon is so dedicated to motivating her class, she dyed her hair pink, McAden said.

She had made a pact with her all-girl class to dye her hair if it met its goals on English and math standardized tests. It did.

"It was just amazing how the kids gave 110 percent," Dillon said.

The teachers will go on to complete for the district teacher of the year title, which will be announced this fall. The winner of that competition advances to the statewide contest.

Related content

  1. Teacher of the year works magic at Hilton Head High; Sept. 16, 2011
  2. Finalists for district's top teacher named; Aug. 12, 2011
  3. 2011-12 teachers of the year list announced; May 4, 2011

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