- Charleston County School District
2019-2020 Teachers' of the Year Tributes
Teachers of the Year Tributes
CCSD starts Thanksgiving week with our 3rd Annual Teachers' of the Year Tributes.
In the next month, we will be profiling all educators across the district that have been named their school's, Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Zahler is a Teacher Librarian at Chicora. She earned her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Ashland University.
This is her 8th year teaching at CCSD. She previously taught kindergarten and first grade, all at title 1 schools.
Ms. Zahler is loved by her students and peers. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and produces a fabulous daily Morning News show with the student news crew!
Stono Park Elementary
Ms. Coleman teaches first-grade and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2011 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She worked as a math tutor and an Academic Support in Augusta, Ga for a year after graduation. Coleman then moved to Charleston the following year and started working at Stono Park Elementary School. This is her eighth year teaching at Stono Park and her eighth year in CCSD.
"I try to build really strong relationships with all the kids I've taught and I have been able to have over 80% of my students meet their Math MAP/ Fastbridge goal and at least 70% meet their Reading goal at the end of the year every year for the past 5 years," said Coleman. "This year I won the Excellence in Mathematics Teaching for CCSD Elementary Teachers."
Chelsea teaches 4th and 5th-grade special education.
She graduated from Liberty University in Virginia with a dual certification in Elementary Ed and Special Education. This is her 3rd year teaching in CCSD
Pepperhill Elementary School!
Ms. Scherr's went to Georgian Court University in NJ. She has a BA in English and Elementary Education and a Middle School English/Reading Certification in Grades 5-8.
Scherr also has 20+ credits in a Master Program for Special Education, also from Georgian Court University: Official .
She has been teaching for two years in CCSD, and previously for 13 years in New Jersey.
She teaches 5th grade at Pepperhill Elementary School.
James Island Elementary
Ms. Misenheimer is a second-grade teacher in her eleventh year of teaching.
Her colleagues describe what makes her so special:
"Amy Misenheimer livens up our school on a daily basis. She coordinates staff activities and always does so with humor and a smile on her face. JIES has become a better place since she joined our staff three years ago. Mrs. Misenheimer takes every situation and tries to see the best in it and in everyone. She greets every child with a smile in the morning and sends them with waves and hugs in the afternoon.
She makes learning exciting for her students, and they know they are cared for when they walk into her room. She displays her love for education each and every day she walks into our building. "
Stiles Point Elementary
Ms. Cleavenger is a fourth-grade instructor in her tenth year of teaching.
She attended West Virginia University and received a degree in Elementary Education. She received her Masters in Early Childhood from West Virginia University and obtained her Gifted and Talented certification from The College of Charleston.
From the Stiles Point staff:
"Mrs. Clevenger is a phenomenal educator. Her students are excellent writers and creative thinkers. Rebecca's love and passion for teaching is evident in everything she does. She cares about her students and works tirelessly to make sure all their needs are being met. She works long hours to plan and prepare creative lessons and makes sure her students have everything they need to be successful. She also puts extra effort and time into meeting with parents and making sure her families feel connected to the Stiles Point community.
She is the type of colleague who, even on a bad day, will share a smile and a laugh, and will always offer help or advice when asked. Rebecca is also not afraid to take a look at her own practices and adjust things that aren't working until she finds the right strategy/technique/behavior management tool that is the right fit for her students.
This practice of self-reflection makes her an inspirational educator and the perfect ambassador to represent Stiles Point. "
Simmons-Pinckney Middle School
Ms. Bryson is a 7th Grade Resource Teacher. She became a member of the Simmons-Pinckney faculty in 2018 and this is her fifth year as a teacher.
She holds a master's degree in Instructional Accommodations from Francis Marion University and received her undergraduate degree from the UMass Amherst.
Ms. Bryson's favorite quote is from Kid President: "Be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody".
Laurel Hill Primary
Ms. LaMaster is a first-grade teacher at LHPS. She is in her eighth year of teaching.
She earned her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood from College of Charleston and master's degree from Coastal Carolina University in Language, Literacy, and Culture
She was named the Rookie Teacher of the Year for CCSD in 2013-2014. Prior to teaching, she served as a Peace Corps Honduras Youth Development volunteer.
In addition to teaching, LeMaster is the Green Team Liaison for LHPS, new teacher mentor and serves as a Young Carolinian board member for The South Carolina Historical Society.
Northwoods Middle School
Ms. Porter graduated from College of Charleston Magna Cum Laude and is in her 10th year of teaching, all with CCSD.
She has been a Lego robotics team coach at NWMS for 5 years and teaches Creative Writing. She is the ELA department chair.
She's is a Cancer Awareness advocate and speaks every year in January at CofC on HPV/Cervical cancer awareness (17 year survivor).
Laing Middle School
Ms. Selby teaches 6-8 grade Orchestra and earned her Master of Music from University of South Carolina.
She is in her 8th year at CCSD, and previously taught at Dutch Fork Middle School in Columbia.
When she first began teaching here at Laing, the orchestra position was part-time with a total of 42 students. Within five years, the orchestra program grew to over 200 students, the largest in Charleston County and one of the largest in South Carolina.
Margaret has been invited to conduct orchestras around the region and present at two national conferences this year.
Cario Middle School
After teaching Spanish for 16 years, she is completing her master's in Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina, this month.
Ms. Gomez has been teaching in CCSD for nine years (all at Cario). She was named the school's TOY honor in 2013 as a Spanish teacher; this is her second year serving as the school's librarian.
R.B. Stall High School
Mr. Huber-MacNealy is a US History and Constitution (CP and Honors) teacher and Stall.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston College and M.A.T. in Secondary Education from
Relay Graduate School of Education.
This current school year is his 11th year in the classroom and his 3rd year at R.B. Stall HS.
Harbor View Elementary School
Ms. Pritcher is in her 6th year of teaching. She went to the College of Charleston to get her bachelor's in Early Childhood Education. Pritcher got her Master's at The Citadel in Literacy Education and is currently working on her Masters +30 in Education and Psychology through University of La Verne
Assistant principal, Stacey Dickinson said "Her positivity, creativity, and dedication that she shows each and every day. Also, she is always willing to share new ideas and participate in activities that support our school."
North Charleston Elementary School
"Mrs. Weeks has been a dedicated Physical Education teacher for over 35 yrs!!
She's simply amazing within her craft and comes up with the best/unique ideas to gather students, families, and community members.
Mrs. Weeks attended the College of Charleston where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education.
She's excited to serve as TOY for the 4th time around!!!
Mrs. Weeks is a gem and to be nominated and selected 4 times to speak volumes of her character as a wife, mom, PE teacher, and employee/coworker.
Sarah Buechele has been teaching 3rd grade in CCSD for eight years.
She is a 2012 graduate of Clemson University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Teaching.
Sarah loved her 4th-grade teacher at Mount Pleasant Academy so much that she wanted to become a teacher just like her.
Sarah loves teaching and feels like she has such a great opportunity to make a big impression on the next generation.
Sarah is truly gifted in her work with children and her fellow teachers at Pinckney have recognized this since day one.
St. Andrews School Of Math And Science
Ms. Hethington teaches second grade at St. Andrews.
She is a graduate of the College of Charleston and has been teaching for 28 years. Amy is dedicated to her students and works hard each and every day to make sure they are successful!
Dr. Amy Bramble
Ashley River Creative Arts
Dr. Bramble teaches 5th Grade Math and Science. This is her 8th year at Ashley River. She earned her BS in Elementary Education from Central Connecticut State University, MS in Special Education from Central Connecticut State University, and Ed.D in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.
Mrs. Conner, Principal of ARCAE, states that “Dr. Amy Bramble is a true go-getter. She works tirelessly to help her students succeed and works hard to make positive changes every day.”
Minnie Hughes Elementary School.
Ms. Johnson-Rambert, a CD/Pre-K teacher is in her 6th year teaching with CCSD.
She holds a B.A. Early Childhood Education from South Carolina State University and an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from Strayer University.
Haut Gap Middle School
Ms. Pettigrew is in her 16th year with CCSD. She holds a BS in Elementary Education from College of Charleston (class of '04).
She is National Board Certified and holds certification in Gifted and Talented.
Ms. Carabus has 16 years of teaching including 9 years with the district.
She is a National Board Certified Teacher and Special Education Resource teacher that is an exceptional needs specialist.
She majored in Special Education and minored in Psychology at the University of Bucharest.
St. John's High School
St. John's is excited to announce our teacher of the year for 2019-2020. Lakevia Mills has been teaching at St. John's for three years in the science department where she teaches Biology 1, Principles of Biomedical Science, and Human Body Systems. Her students say that she has a wonderful sense of humor and makes science fun and meaningful. They love doing projects in her class. Ms. Mills graduated from Virginia State University with both a BS and MS in Biology.
She says, "I care about the future of my students. I teach because I want to challenge students to push themselves to a higher level. I want to create the best opportunities for each student to be successful, whether it is college or career readiness. I want to give students something that I never had, which is the discovery that they can do anything and they can grow from any challenges they face. I want to challenge them to turn their dreams into a reality."
In addition to teaching, Ms. Mills loves to have a good laugh, enjoys cooking and Chick-Fil-A, reading, and shopping.
Baptist Hill Middle/High
Mr. Fields has been at Baptist Hill for 4 years and teaches World History and US Government, and Economics.
He also serves at the Assistant Athletic Director and
Social Studies Department Chair
He is a Citadel graduate, and currently pursuing a Masters of Education Administration at Charleston Southern University.
Burke High School
Ms. Mazyck teaches Culinary Students grades 9-12 through Burke's CCSD Career & Technology Education.
She earned an associate degree from Johnson & Wales University and has been teaching for 11 years.
The native South Carolinian believes in equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and discipline needed to attain success within the hospitality industry. to this end, we utilize facilities, curricula, strong community connections, and skilled professional instruction to expose the student to relevant industry experiences in safe and meaningful ways."
Jane Edwards Elementary
Smith is the Teacher Librarian at Jane Edwards. After graduating from the University of South Carolina--Aiken with a degree in Secondary English Education, Mrs. Smith taught high school English for four years. She became a Teacher Librarian in elementary schools after obtaining her Master in Library and Information Science degree from the University of South Carolina. She has been a Teacher Librarian in various elementary schools ever since, taking time off for a few years to be a stay-at-home mom. She has worked in Charleston County schools for 3 1/2 years.
Mrs. Smith loves to make learning fun and to make the library a magical place. Students not only use her library to check out books. Any given day, they might enter the library to do STEAM challenges, create in the library's makerspace, or participate in a BreakoutEDU (escape room) game.
Mr. Chadwell is a physical education teacher. He graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a Physical Education degree and a double minor in health and lifetime fitness.
Since moving to Charleston County, he has taught PE part-time at multiple schools ranging from downtown on the peninsula to James Island, Johns Island, and even Edisto Island.
He's taught at Murray-LaSaine for over 10 years. Currently, he teaches at Mt. Zion Elementary, located on Johns Island, every Monday, MLE Tuesday-Friday where he also serves on the School Improvement Council.
James Simons Elementary
Ms. Adrienne Jones is an Upper Elementary Montessori teacher (grades 4th - 6th; all subject areas).
She received her Montessori certification from Seacoast Montessori and is certified to teach 1st - 6th grades in Montessori.
This is Ms. Jones' 6th year with CCSD and James Simons. She spent her first 3 years as a Montessori teacher assistant and has since taught Upper Elementary.
Belle Hall Elementary
Ms. Sherry is a Resource Teacher for grades Kindergarten and 2nd grade (she taught other grades last year).
She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching at College of Charleston in Special Education K-12.
Deer Park Middle School
Ms. Parker teaches sixth-grade math and has been teaching in middle and elementary schools for 24 years. She is Gifted and Talented Endorsed and serves at the Math Department Head.
She earned a Master of Science in Education and is the President-Elect of the Alpha Delta Kappa -Upsilon Chapter.
ESOL Teacher - Angel Oak
Ms. Craft does amazing work with our students and the community each day. She has been instrumental in helping us connect and build relationships with our spanish-speaking families by organizing information nights, leading Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month efforts and creating a soccer club for our students.
North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary
Ms. Bryant is a third-grade teacher at NCCAE.
“Champions are great every day, not just once a week!”
CE Williams Middle School
Ms. Ganacoplos is a resource teacher in her second year at CEW and came by way of Chicago, IL.!
She earned a Master's in Education and Early Childhood Certificate from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an undergraduate degree from James Madison University.
Ms. Havel graduated from College of Charleston in May 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education.
She started teaching at Oakland in March 2014 and started out in 3rd grade prior to transitioning to 5th grade.
She loves teaching 5th graders because of their independence and creativity!
Camp Road Middle School
“Kristen Johnson is a special education teacher at Camp Road Middle School and chairman of our department. Here is what one faculty member wrote as part of the nomination process:
Kristen Johnson begins each day with a smile on her face. Kristen takes her job seriously and holds her students to very high expectations. She is always going the extra mile, planning creative lessons and interactive projects to really promote learning and excitement in her students. She is wonderful liaison for Capturing Kids Hearts, reminding teachers of our true reason for teaching-the students. Additionally, she is an exceptional team leader for the Special Education Department. Kristen has such a positive energy that is contagious! “
Wando High School
Ms. Quigley has been teaching Math at Wando since January of 2008 after graduating from Clemson University with a BS in Mathematics Teaching.
In May of 2012, she graduated from the College of Charleston with a Masters of Education for Math and Science teachers.
In May of 2018, she graduated with a second masters in Administration and Leadership from the University of South Carolina.
In addition, she is the Math Department Head at Wando.
Mount Pleasant Academy
"Special educator, Kate Wenger is an example of how building relationships and high expectations lead to a community of learners. Kate’s third – fifth-grade students are eager to get to see her each day. Kate works with students as a resource teacher at Mt. Pleasant Academy. Her seven years of experience do not begin to tell the story of her work and advocacy for students.
Mrs. Wenger believes all students should benefit from the important opportunities and lessons within the related arts classrooms. She recognizes that related arts is an opportunity for students to shine who may not be able to shine academically. She is currently working with a school leader to brainstorm ways that students served in middle school resource classes can have access to all related arts experiences.
Kate’s students are not only her scholars but also part of her extended family. She takes her “kids” on outings with her own four boys. She builds relationships with family members and is often the first call when there is a weekend incident, a homework meltdown or a quick question. Kate’s work with parents is one example of her collaborative spirit. She also works in partnership with teachers to adjust lessons, determine procedures and set goals so that her students learn the most from classroom experiences.
Mount Pleasant Academy is lucky to have Kate H. Wenger putting students first as part of our special education team. " --Principal Jackson
"Mr. Conyers is a 6th-grade math and science teacher. He sets high expectations for students in an active and engaging environment. His students continue to make tremendous academic gains each year.
Mr. Conyers continuously looks for ways to expand his knowledge, provide opportunities for students, and grow professionally. He is a team player and has earned the respect of parents, students, and colleagues. We are fortunate to have Mr. Conyers as a part of our Buist Academy family!"
Principal Jamie McCarthy describes Ms. Way:
"Lynne Way has been a teacher at Lambs Elementary school for 30 years! She strives to make a positive impact on the success and achievement of all her students. She believes in establishing a strong rapport with her community of learners.
Mrs. Way is a positive change agent, impacting the accomplishments and goals of her students. She implements new teaching techniques that benefit all of her students.
Mrs. Way is making a difference!! "
Ms. Livingston has taught in Charleston County for 17 years and this is her 4th year at Whitesides Elementary School.
She received her Bachelor's in Journalism and Masters of Library Science from the University of South Carolina.
Ms. Livingston says she has the best job in the school, helping students become readers, lifelong learners, and creators.
According to WES Principal Cindy Perez,
"Ms. Livingston has created an environment in which students and teachers love to read!
Staff members had a blast with our first library goose chase while learning about library resources this year, and one staff member recently shared that she has been reading more books because of Kim’s influence! She is innovative with activities that “hook” students to explore, learn and read.
Students love the It’s Lit Book Cart that travels around the school to promote more book check-outs in the upper grades. Ms. Livingston is creative in including hands-on opportunities in the media center for our students, and we have even had students voluntarily skip recess to participate in one of her book clubs!
West Ashley Middle School
Ms. Heyward is in her eighteenth year of service in the district.
Angel Oak Elementary
"Creative, dependable, professional, committed...all perfect words to describe our AOE Teacher of the year, Kelley Wildman!
Ms. Wildman is a true teacher leader at Angel Oak Elementary School. She has embraced our arts-integrated learning model and designs innovative, rigorous and engaging lessons that challenge students to think "outside of the box"!
Her strong work ethic and devotion to our school is admired by her peers and our school community. She serves on our PTA executive board, regularly attends school events and always offers a helping hand when needed. She strives to be a life-long learner and is dedicated to constantly evolving in her craft.
We are blessed to have such an amazing teacher at Angel Oak Elementary School!"
-Judith Condon, Principal
James Island Charter High School
Ms. Barbee is in her third year of teaching. She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in English in 2012 and from The Citadel Graduate College with her MAT in 2017.
Students are the most impacted by the sustaining relationships she builds with them and her sincere commitment to personal growth as a culturally responsive educator.
She gets to know all of her students and she genuinely cares about their personal lives and futures; thus, she is able to hold them to an appropriate expectation while still nurturing them.
Carolina Park Elementary
Ms. Accolla is a 4th-grade teacher and member of the school's Faculty Senate
She has 16 years of teaching experience and is in her 6th year with the district.
In her previous district, she was named Teacher of the year at Oakbrook Elementary in Summerville, SC, and was a top 10 finalist for the district honor during the 2012-2013 school year.
Ms. Reardon is a CD (child development) teacher at Mitchell Math and Science Elementary and has been teaching for 23 years. She has a BA from Maryville University, an MEd from the University of Charleston and an EdS from the University of South Carolina. She has co-written several chapters in professional books for educators and is a presenter for both state and national educational conferences.
Moultrie Middle School
From Principal Huggins:
"A Baltimore Ravens fan, lacrosse coach, and worship leader on the weekends, Molly Squires is an amazing Moultrie Middle School social studies teacher on the weekdays.
CCSD Early College High School
Principal Vanessa Denney describes Ms. Broadway:
"Ms. Broadway is a native of Lexington, SC and a graduate of the College of Charleston. She has served the students in CCSD for the past seven years teaching at WAHS and ECHS.
We are thrilled that Ms. Broadway is the Early College High School teacher of the year for many reasons. Her love of teaching and extreme talent are on display daily.
She is an innovator and an advocate for all students, especially members and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community.
She challenges students and demands excellence while supporting and loving each of them. Data plays an intricate role in her classroom and is used to drive continued growth and serves as a vehicle that drives student motivation.
She is a member of the ECHS MTSS and AVID Site teams and epitomizes servant-leadership daily though her support of colleagues and constant willingness to lend a helping hand. She is a champion of public education in our community and state and a curriculum implementation leader in our district." --congrats Gini!