And the winner is: Jamie Horton
Darlington County School District 2015 Teacher of the Year
By Jana E. Pye, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Attending the Darlington County School District Teacher of the Year Banquet is like attending the Academy Awards- a room full of the best of the best. Except, instead of entertaining audiences, the teachers honored at the annual event represent the best of the best of the truly highest profession, helping to build the education for a generation of children. In a room full of stellar teachers, Jamie Horton, World History/U.S. History teacher at Hartsville High School was chosen to represent Darlington County at the state level.
As each school selected a Teacher of the Year, six were chosen as Honor Roll Teachers; there are normally five, but this year this was a tie. The six Darlington County School District Honor Roll Teachers were:
Lindsey Cote, English/Language Arts, Darlington High School; Chenethia Brown, English/ Language Arts, Darlington Middle School; Jamie Horton, World History/U.S. History, Hartsville High School; Paulette Lunn, English/Language Arts & Drama, Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology Michelle Baltz, Second Grade, St. John’s Elementary School; and Tajuana James, Fifth Grade, West Hartsville Elementary School.
The program itself set the tone, as the Superintendent of DCSD, Dr. Eddie Ingram wrote,
“We live in a world full of dichotomies: joy and turmoil, danger and beauty, mysteries and discoveries. It is a world that is moving fast and adapting every day, and we are expected to change and adapt with it. Each of you does an exceptional job of teaching your area of specialty. On that basis alone, you are heroes. But you also teach conflict resolution, problem solving, and creative thinking. You teach children to believe in themselves, to work as a team, to stand as leaders, and to challenge current thinking. You shape our future and prepare our children and our world for a time none of us can imagine.”
Jamie was congratulated by two groups of proud teachers after her win- her peers at Hartsville High School, and from Darlington Middle School, where she taught before accepting the position at Hartsville High School as a teacher, and as the Head Varsity Girls Softball Coach.
“I’m still speechless, but I am very excited to be given this opportunity,” said Horton, still bearing tears in her eyes after accepting her award. “For any teacher it’s a dream come true just to make it to a Teacher of the Year, but to be the District Teacher of the Year is unimaginable. Especially with me only being my second year at Hartsville High, I guess you could say being thrust into the limelight. I will try to take it as far as I can go.”
Horton was joined at the banquet by her parents, Suzy and Leo Price of McBee, who could barely contain their pride.
“She’s our oldest,” said Leo Price. “It’s just been a pleasure raising her all these years. She’s a great daughter, and my best friend.”
Her mother, Suzy, agreed: “She is my first-born, she’s done everything first. I could not be more proud of her- she is such a role model for her two younger sisters. She’s just always worked so hard. I told her – I told all my girls as they were growing up, if you do right you can’t go wrong. She has internalized that and I couldn’t be more proud. Since she was six and started playing T-ball, she has been so competitive. She would say ‘If I am going to do something, I am going to be the best. I want to be the best at whatever I do.’ She has always strived for that.”
Jamie’s younger sisters are both in college; Taylor attends Francis Marion University, and Riley attends Clemson University.
Dr. Charlie Burry of Hartsville High School shared his pride in Horton’s award. “We are just extremely proud of her, and really grateful she is at Hartsville High School. She does a great job in the classroom and leading our student athletes…couldn’t be a better fit. I couldn’t be more appreciative that she is with us.”
Horton is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She received her undergraduate degree from Coker College in 2009, and was the 2010-2011 Darlington Middle School Outstanding First Year Teacher.
Horton receive recommendations from Wardie Sanders, NBCT at Hartsville High School, Carlita Davis, Assistant Superintendent and Dr. Charlie Burry. In an excerpt from the letter from Wardie Sanders, she describes Horton as having passion that is “contagious” and “When you walk into her classroom, students are engaged. They might be soldiers in WWI writing letters home from the trenches or acting our mini-dramas from the Great Depression. They design comic strips on the Civil War Amendments and use music to relate to the time periods. She makes history come alive! Jamie does not rely on the traditional strategies for teaching social studies. Instead, she helps students internalize learning by allowing them to experience the past. The students respect her, and know that she wants them to be successful.”