DCSD names District Teacher of Year, Support Staff Person of Year

Teacher of the Year Michelle Lloyd, Darlington County Education Superintendent Tim Newman and Support Staff Person of the Year Patrick Williamson. PHOTO COURTESY DARLINGTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT

Michelle Lloyd, a third-grade teacher at Lamar-Spaulding Elementary School, is the Darlington County School District’s 2021-22 District Teacher of the Year. Patrick Williamson, a teacher assistant at Pate Elementary School, is DCSD’s inaugural 2021-22 Support Staff Person of the Year. The announcements came during the district’s 2021 Back-to-School Convocation held recently inside the Hartsville High School Arena. Tim Newman, district superintendent, spoke highly of both winners: “Mrs. Lloyd represents the qualities that parents want to see in their child’s teacher,” he said. “The way she described handling last year’s disruptions showed her grace and care for her profession and students. She is well deserving of this honor. “Mr. Williamson is a product of the Darlington County School District as a student and now as mentor for the students that he serves. His role may be titled teacher assistant but that is simply a fraction of all he does for the students of Pate Elementary. We are proud to name him DCSD’s very first Support Staff Person of the Year.” Lloyd is entering her second year at Lamar-Spaulding Elementary but she is a 15-year veteran of the classroom. In her first year at Lamar-Spaulding Elementary, Lloyd served as a grade level chair, a mentor to beginning teachers, an after-school teacher and the director of the Summer Academic Enhancement Program. “After being in the classroom for 15 years, learning best practices, attending professional development, and learning from the some of the best mentors and educators in Darlington County, the biggest rewards I have found in teaching are not test scores or positive feedback from observations, but having opportunities to build relationships with and reach those students who seem to be the hardest to reach,” she said. “Sometimes it seems like we’re ‘pulling teeth’ trying to get students to grasp content and engage within a lesson, but once rapport is established and students understand that you care about them, the possibilities are endless and the sky’s the limit.” Williamson is entering his third year serving in education at Pate Elementary. He is a five-year-old kindergarten teacher assistant, but he has taken on many roles throughout the building and beyond. “The most satisfying part of my job is being the light for some of these students who live in darkness,” he said. “Many of our students go home to a place where they fear, where they are not listened to, and where their basic needs are not able to be met. I always strive to be the person I needed when I was younger. Yes, being that light for these students is the most satisfying and rewarding blessing I could ask for, just like the light that was given to me by so many Darlington County School District family members.” During the convocation, DCSD also celebrated the district’s five Honor Roll Teachers for 2021-22, who were the finalists for District Teacher of the Year, as well as the three finalists for Support Staff Person of the Year. The Honor Roll Teachers and Support Staff Finalists will join the Superintendent’s Teacher and Support Staff Cabinets this year, providing valuable insight and feedback for the operation of the school district. The Honor Roll Teachers are: Danielle Winburn, Mathematics, Hartsville High School Emily “Michelle” Lloyd, Third Grade, Lamar-Spaulding Elementary School Jennifer Jackson, Second Grade, Pate Elementary School April McPherson, Mathematics, Spaulding Middle School Cellina Epps, Fourth Grade, St. John’s Elementary School The Support Staff Finalists are: Richard Brockington, teacher assistant, Bay Road Elementary School Mary Helen Geries, school-community facilitator, Lamar-Spaulding Elementary Patrick Williamson, Teaching Assistant, Pate Elementary School

Author: Rachel Howell

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