Pickens County Teacher Chosen As State Teacher Of The Year - WSPA.com

Pickens County Teacher Chosen As State Teacher Of The Year

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A teacher from Pickens County was chosen as the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Wednesday night. Photo: Darleen Sutton A teacher from Pickens County was chosen as the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Wednesday night. Photo: Darleen Sutton

A teacher from Pickens County was chosen as the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Wednesday night.

Darleen S. Sutton, a first grade teacher at Pickens Elementary School, was selected over four other candidates at a banquet in Columbia.

"After parents, the most important person in a child's education is the man or woman at the front of the classroom," South Carolina Superintendent of Education Mick Zais said. "Teachers change lives by putting the interests of their students first and lead classrooms where a personalized and customized education produces high levels of student learning. On behalf of her students, parents, and colleagues at Pickens Elementary School, we congratulate and thank Darlene for her excellence in the classroom."

The five finalist were chosen from nominees representing 81 school district across South Carolina, 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. They were chosen by a panel of educators and private citizens who were not affiliated with the Department of Education.

As a result of the honor, Sutton receives a $25,000 cash reward and use of a BMW for the year. She will also participate in a one-year residency program at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement and will serve as a statewide ambassador.

The other finalists were Lisa O. McCrea-Raiford, an elementary grades teacher at the Center of Innovative Learning at Pinecrest, Aiken County Public School District; Paul D. Johnson, a biology teacher at Saluda High School; Trevor T. Ivey, a science teacher at Alice Drive Middle School in Sumter; Jeffrey M. Venables, a chemistry teacher at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill.

Also, Zais presented Robert Bollier, an agriculture teacher at Cheraw High School in Chesterfield County, with the Charles S. Dickerson Community Service Award,

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