School officials surprised the top teachers at each Beaufort County public school this week with balloons, flowers and chocolate.
The 2011-12 teachers of the year were selected by their peers using criteria established by the schools, the school district's Teacher Forum and the S.C. Department of Education, according to a district news release.
The school-level winners will compete for the district title in the fall. The district honor typically comes with a new BMW, courtesy of Hilton Head BMW, that the winner gets to drive for a year for free.
"This is a terrific opportunity to celebrate the unique gifts of our best of the best teacher leaders," superintendent Valerie Truesdale said in the release. "In these difficult economic times, we want to be sure our teachers know how much we appreciate their willingness to do more with less resources."
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Northern Beaufort County winners are:
Steve Shamblen, Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence
Kim Day, Battery Creek High
Joan Linyard, Beaufort Elementary
Debi Kidd, Beaufort High
Stephanie Luzny, Beaufort Middle
Jamie Allen, Broad River Elementary
Katherine Williams, Coosa Elementary
Jessica Goethie-Bacon, Lady's Island Elementary
Cadra Rooney, Lady's Island Middle
Cole Lubkin, Mossy Oaks Elementary
Kimberly Waters, Port Royal Elementary
Steve McPherson, Robert Smalls Middle
Julie Rast, Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary
Jacqueline Simmons, Shell Point Elementary
Karen Watts, St. Helena Elementary
LaToya Gilbert, Whale Branch Elementary
Karen Jones, Whale Branch Early College High
CaTia Gilbert, Whale Branch Middle
Southern Beaufort County winners are:
Amelia Middleton, Bluffton Elementary
Jessica Phillips, Bluffton High
Lois Lewis, Bluffton Middle
Sonia Merrick, H.E. McCracken Middle
Donna Fonseca, Hilton Head Island Early Childhood Center
Treva Kent, Hilton Head Island IB Elementary
Chris Gray, Hilton Head Island High
Maxine Chisolm, Hilton Head Island Middle
Jackie Wheeler, Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts
Kathleen Archer, Michael C. Riley Elementary
Marlayna Tracy, Okatie Elementary
Heather Tamminen, Pritchardville Elementary
Venita Barnette, Red Cedar Elementary