Darlington County School District names Teacher of the Year
By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Darlington County School District held its annual Teacher of the Year banquet on September 14 at Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology’s new conference center, and the evening’s highlight came when Pate Elementary First Grade teacher LaQuetta Johnson was announced as the county’s top instructor.
Johnson was selected after an intensive judging period that included an application, video of her classroom instruction and a face-to-face panel interview. Brought to tears by her selection, Johnson offered thanks to her family and Pate principal Emily Lunn for their encouragement and support. She also had some words of advice for her fellow teachers.
“Remember that the students in your classrooms today are the future leaders of our world,” said Johnson. “If you always remember that, you will always excel at what you do.”
Johnson has been a teacher for four years, and currently teaches a multi-age classroom of first and second graders. She graduated from Coker College with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education, and earned her Master of Education in Reading and Mathematics degree from Walden University.
DCSD interim superintendent Dr. Bill Boyd noted that this is the second year in a row that Pate has garnered Teacher of the Year honors, with Hanna Hanlin having won the title last year. He read a quote from Pate Elementary principal Emily Lunn that spotlights why Johnson is such a special teacher.
“Her positive attitude and engaging lessons are very apparent at Pate. She looks for the best in her students and is always willing to try new things in reaching her children. LaQuetta has become a leader in our school and she regularly shares creative ideas and technical knowledge with our students and teachers,” said Lunn.
Judges for DCSD’s Teacher of the Year include past winners, members of DCSD administration, and community leaders. This panel chose Johnson from a group of five finalists, including Jessica Mary Baker of Darlington Middle School, Jenifer Goff of Hartsville High School, Margaret “Meg” Lane of Spaulding Elementary School, and Heath Shirey of Hartsville Middle School.
This group will serve as the district’s 2017-18 Honor Roll Teachers of the Year.