Beaufort County school board members surprised 30 teachers in their classrooms Friday with gift baskets of flowers, balloons and treats as they announced each school's 2013- 2014 Teacher of the Year.
The teachers were selected by their peers according to criteria established by the schools, the South Carolina Department of Education and the district's Teacher Forum and based on attributes outlined by student advisory councils.
The teachers honored will be eligible this fall for District Teacher of the Year honors.
"We have so many strong teachers," Board of Education chairman Bill Evans said in a news release, "and this is a day when we recognize a small group of them to represent all of our outstanding professionals. The fact that they were selected through a process that involved their peers makes their recognitions even more significant."
Acting Superintendent Jackie Rosswurm, added: "To honor these very deserving teachers is something that the Board members and I look forward to each and every year.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the unique gifts of our classroom teachers because they are impetus of student achievement in our district," Rosswurm said.
The 2013-2014 Beaufort County Teachers of the Year are:
- Tonya Simmons, Battery Creek High School
- Katherine "Shelly" Brutcher, Beaufort Elementary School
- Estee Williams, Beaufort High School
- Alexis Hines, Beaufort Middle School
- Gretchen Fritz, Bluffton Elementary and Early Childhood Center
- Joshua Fox, Bluffton High School
- John Houpt, Bluffton Middle School
- Monique Loin, Broad River Elementary School
- Melissa Pender, Coosa Elementary School
- Alicia Weaver, H.E. McCracken Middle School
- Patti Moscowitz, Hilton Head Island Early Childhood Center
- Jill Torre, Hilton Head Island Elementary School
- Kristen Karszes, Hilton Head Island High School
- Lakesha Loving, Hilton Head Island Middle School
- Michelle Brockway, Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts
- Cathy Cobbs, Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary School
- Amy Trask, Lady's Island Elementary School
- Carolyn Dennis, Lady's Island Middle School
- Brooke Mendenhal, M.C. Riley Elementary School
- Angela Allen, Mossy Oaks Elementary School
- Julie Fletcher, Okatie Elementary
- Carmen Bell, Port Royal Elementary School
- Jennifer Deal, Pritchardville Elementary School
- Emalee Baker, Red Cedar Elementary School
- Evelyn (Lisa) Harding, Robert Smalls Middle School
- Eve Weaver, St. Helena Elementary School
- Tammy Vaught, Whale Branch Early College High School
- Laura Boozer, Whale Branch Elementary School
- Vicki Cathcart, Whale Branch Middle School
- Marwin McKnight, Beaufort Jasper Academy for Career Excellence