Nicola Wynn chosen as DCSD Outstanding First Year Teacher
Nicola Wynn, a middle school science teacher at Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School was named Darlington County School District’s “2015 Outstanding First Year Teacher” during Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.
The Outstanding First Year Teacher Award recognizes teachers who show exceptional promise in their first year of teaching. Eleven teachers were nominated for the award. The judges narrowed the field down to three finalists, which they then met in panel interviews. In addition to Wynn, the other two finalists were Julie Weigand, a world history & US history teacher from Darlington High School and Kelly Long, a biology, anatomy & physiology teacher from Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology.
“It is exciting to see such high-caliber first year teaching professionals joining our district,” said Dr. Eddie Ingram, Darlington County Superintendent of Education. “I commend Ms. Wynn on her well-deserved award and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for her and her students.”
“Any observation of Ms. Wynn’s class left me with the sense that she was born to teach and she knew it. Upon entering the classroom, anyone who didn’t know that she was first year, would be certain Ms. Wynn had been teaching for years,” said Kim Mason, principal of Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School. “Ms. Wynn has ignited a new excitement for science not seen in a few years at our school. The students talk about her labs for motions and force with tiny Nascar cars, and the assembly and launch of the Rube Goldberg apparatus. Additionally, she has already applied for and received two Donors Choose Grants and been accepted to the prestigious Dover Science Plus Institute for this summer. She has brought science to life for the students at Rosenwald. She has embedded herself in their lives and strives each day to offer stellar instruction and be a positive role model. She is definitely among the best.”
In her application, Wynn explained her philosophy of education: “I believe that teachers should challenge students to see their own potential, and ultimately, serve as the student’s biggest cheerleader. If I accomplish nothing else in education, I want every student that passes through my classroom to leave knowing that someone thinks they have what it takes to achieve their dreams. I want every student to know that someone believes they are smart. This confidence and motivation is what changes trajectories, and I am so proud to increase confidence and self-worth in my students.”
As the DCSD Outstanding First Year Teacher, Wynn will be a member of the Darlington County Leadership Council and the Darlington County Teacher Forum. She will have multiple networking and teacher leadership opportunities throughout the upcoming year.
In all, eleven first-year teachers were nominated by their principals for the distinguished award:
• Amber Jordan, Brunson-Dargan Elementary
• Kellie Flowers, Darlington County Institute of Technology
• Julie Weigand, Darlington High
• Melissa Cobb, Darlington Middle
• Kelly Long, Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology
• Nicola Wynn, Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School
• Christopher Cummings, Spaulding Middle School
• Amanda Craig, St. John’s Elementary
• Brittany Vasseur, Thornwell School for the Arts
• Denise Pinkerman, Washington St. Elementary
• Shaneka Godfrey, Brockington Elementary Magnet School