Rock Hill teacher one of five finalists for S.C. Teacher of the Year

Posted March 4, 2013 1:51 pm | Filed under Local News

Out of more than 50,000 educators across South Carolina, five Palmetto State teachers were named Monday as finalists for the state Teacher of the Year Award.

And one of them is from Rock Hill.

Jeffrey Venables teaches Chemistry at Northwestern High School, representing Rock Hill School District Three

“After parents, the most important person in a child’s education is the man or woman at the front of the classroom,” said State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais.

“Lisa, Darleen, Paul, Trevor, and Jeffrey put the interests of their students first and lead classrooms where a personalized and customized approach to education produces outstanding results. On behalf of their students, parents, and colleagues, we congratulate and thank these educators for their excellence in the classroom,” Zais said.

Venables was named as the district’s teacher of the year in the fall of 2012.

The five finalists were chosen from nominees representing 81 local school districts, the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Palmetto Unified School district, and the South Carolina Public Charter School District.

The other four finalists include:

  • Lisa O. McCrea-Raiford, an elementary grades teacher at the Center of Innovative Learning at Pinecrest, Aiken County Public School District
  • Darleen S. Sutton, a first grade teacher at Pickens Elementary School, School District of Pickens County
  • Paul D. Johnson, a biology teacher at Saluda High School, Saluda County Schools
  • Trevor T. Ivey, a science teacher at Alice Drive Middle School, Sumter School District

They will travel to Columbia for personal interviews with a seven-member state selection committee.

All five were chosen by a panel of educators and private citizens with no connections to the South Carolina Department of Education. The names of the teachers and their schools were concealed from the judges during the selection process.

The announcement of the South Carolina 2013-14 Teacher of the Year will be made during the Teacher of the Year Celebration on May 1 at the Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia. During the 2013-14 school year the Teacher of the Year will participate in a one-year residency program at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement and will serve as a statewide ambassador for the profession.

South Carolina’s Teacher of the Year will also receive a $25,000 cash award and a BMW to use for a year. The four remaining finalists (known as Honor Roll teachers) will each receive $10,000, and the district teachers of the year will receive $1,000 each.