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Unsung Educator of the Week

The "Unsung Educator of the Week" is a weekly honor given to a CCSD educator. The winner is nominated by a peer because of their determination to go above and beyond for our students. The winner for the week is published each Friday in the CCSD All Staff newsletter.

CCSD employees may submit nominees via this link or by emailing a name, description, and photo to stephen_wyatt@charleston.k12.sc.us

ARCHIVES: Unsung Educator 2019-2020

January 26, 2023

Ashley Johnson, Autism Teacher
C.E. Williams Middle School (North)

Ashley C. Johnson"Ashley Johnson is an awesome teacher that goes above and beyond to make sure her students' life skills and academic needs are met.
 
At her previous school, she allowed her students to gain work experience by opening up a Bitty and Beau Coffee Shop in the school. The students really loved It. Also, she created a parent networking group.
 
Ashley and the parents along with their kids would meet occasionally outside of school and go to different events. She is awesome." -nominated by a colleague



Jasmine Robinson Kaleidoscope Coordinator
James Simons Montessori

Jasmine RobinsonJasmine has demonstrated teamwork from the time she started under Darron Teal years ago at James Simons. She was always stepping up to the plate by assisting parents like me who has a million and one questions about different programs the kids can join. Since she has taken on the Site Coordinator position, she treats each child like they are her own by showing love with a dash of sternness.

Jasmine exemplifies RESPECT no matter who you are, what age, or what position you hold. If respect is given, respect will be shown. I believe this is why her team supports her and her children EXCELS. 

 

January 12, 2023

Adrian King
Turning Point Academy

Adrian King"Mr. King is a teacher, an educator in every sense of the word. He truly puts students as the "Heart of his Work". His PBIS ticket program positively changes the behavior in so many students. He is also the founder of Project 82 which brings awareness to literacy in South Carolina. Mr. King also serves on charities from giving out turkeys to full Thanksgiving dinners for families. Mr. King is active in CCSD on the Teacher of the Year round table and the Teacher Pay Task Force.

Mr. King as President of the Charleston County Education Association, has impacted the community and students lives in many ways from sponsoring the Baptist Hill Volleyball Team (300$), Girls with Pearls (1,000$) and Workmens Cafe ($300).

This year he restarted the Septima Clark Leadership Award, which CCEA awarded to Dr. Binyard and Ms. Robinson of Clark Academy. The award originally given in 1974 for service to students will now be awarded annually.


Mr. King is a retired military officer, who is now continuing his life of service by putting students first." -nominated by a colleague

 

January 5, 2023

Nathaniel Pearson, Assistant Principal
North Charleston High School

Nathaniel Pearson
Mr. Pearson evinces the epitome of teamwork. Whenever a faculty or staff member is in need of assistance and no matter how busy his agenda is, he assists. Often he is called upon to take on extra administrative chores and has yet to make a complaint.

Often from co-workers, his advice is sought from discipline to student counseling, from curriculum to extra-curricular activities, and from college and career readiness to sporting events and transportation.

He is an assistant principals' assistant principal. In addition, he is very trustworthy. If he says he is going to accomplish a task, please consider the task accomplished as one never has to worry about his worth ethics. He is objective, judicious, sagacious, creative, and always has a sense of calmness. Mr. Pearson is well-loved by all - particularly students. He has developed relationships with students whom he very much trusts, and as a result, he does the very best for all students who are in need of him.

He never tires of the quotidian tasks that he is described as the "Energizer Bunny" - never has anyone seen him idle. He is indeed always on the go with his instructional and non-instructional responsibilities and assignments. However, no educational administrator is beyond reproach. Sadly, however, the only criticism of him is that he eats too much candy!" --nominated by a colleague

 

December 8, 2022

Julie Garrett, Middle School Science
St. James-Santee ES/MS

Julie GarrettMrs. Garrett personifies dedication and excellence in her profession. She is always willing to go the extra mile for students and help them succeed. Their well-being and success is always her priority which means she is never idle but always working hard to help every middle school student at St. James Santee.

There is no problem she doesn't try to solve and no child she doesn't help. She is a real team player, a valuable educator, and a fantastic community member. --nominated by a colleague  

December 1, 2022

Devlin Deveney
E.B. Ellington Elementary School

Devlin DelaneyMrs. Deveney is the heart and soul of our fine arts department at E. B. Ellington. She leads the arts integration initiative at our school by modeling collaboration between the arts and general education teachers. She is reflective and constantly fine-tuning her craft by seeking opportunities to learn, not just about music education, but also about general education curriculum and initiatives.
 
She takes Spanish classes in her free time to better connect with our multilingual learners.
 
At Ellington, she is also responsible for most of the large grants and collaborative partnerships with community organizations, such as Charleston Stage. --nominated by a colleague

November 17, 2022

Darlinda cox"Darlinda Cox is the most passionate, caring, selfless, creative, and dedicated educator I know. CCSD is lucky to have her join in as a Child Development Teacher this year at Drayton Hall Elementary.

Darlinda is a team player and always goes the extra mile in and out of the classroom to make learning fun! Darlinda goes above and beyond to engage her students.

She spends countless hours creating exciting lessons to engage her students.
Darlinda Cox is the type of teacher that every parent wants for their child!

We need more teachers like her in our profession." --nominated by a colleague

November 10, 2022

Chad Vail
CCSD’s Work-based Learning Partnerships Coordinator

Chad Vail"The first time I met Chad he came into my classroom and wrote on the whiteboard, "IT'S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS"!
 
I came to realize very quickly, this was not just lip service! The guy is always on the move working, day and night!
 
He works with businesses to create internships for our students, and constantly follows up with these scholars and supervisors.
 
These partnerships are so vital in preparing our students for a variety of different careers and he has made it a priority to promote STEM/STEAM activities in our schools!
 
I have never met anyone with more passion for their job and life than Chad!
 
Not to mention, he probably is the nicest person that you will ever meet! If our job is to prepare students for life after high school, give Chad and his team an A+ for the work they are doing!"
--nominated by a colleague

November 3, 2022

Mike Grant, Student Concern Specialist
CCSD Early College High School

 
Mike Grant"Mr. Grant greets all ECHS students as they enter the building each morning with a smile and words of encouragement. He also encourages them to grab some breakfast that is "delicious and nutritious!" He generally cares about the well-being of our students and takes the time to check on students when he senses there is a need.
 
Mr. Grant also helps to keep our students safe as they attend their college classes at the TTC Palmer Campus. He checks all the doors to ensure safety protocols are met and helps keep attendance records for these classes. He will tell you he has the best job in the world and we at ECHS are so lucky he's ours." --nominated by a colleague

October 27, 2022

Dr. Shavonna Coakley
Director of School Support

Dr. Shavonna CoakleyDr. Coakley is relentless in her endeavors to create safe and orderly schools across the entire district. Whether she is needed to problem-solve a difficult situation, provide clarification on a decision, intervention, or consequence, or be present through every stage of contentious and difficult scenarios, Dr.

Coakley is a reliable constant for school leaders to rely on. It is not uncommon to receive an email from Dr. Coakley late at night or early in the morning, which is evidence of the amount of time she commits and sacrifices to help building-level leaders.
 
Dr. Coakley’s work in supporting schools results in safe and conducive learning environments for all CCSD students and staff. Her efforts are felt throughout every school in CCSD, often without praise or recognition. When thinking about an “unsung educator,” I would challenge anybody to name a member of the CCSD family whose reach extends further and whose impact is felt greater behind the scenes than Dr. Coakley." -- nominated by a colleague

October 20, 2022

Jessie Mintz
West Ashley High School

Jessie Mintz"Jessie Mintz is the very definition of "Students are the Heart of Our Work". She is consistently working and striving to serve our students at West Ashley High School. She sponsors clubs to help students engage in extracurricular activities and find a community. She also volunteers at the Cat Mobile (a PBIS incentive) and supports the culinary students by visiting the Bistro!

However, Jessie' Mintz's passion for WAHS does not stop with our students. She is a strong advocate for the well-being of our teachers. She leads the Teacher Wellness Committee, where she creates monthly newsletters, sponsors wellness events, and is always there spreading positivity. 

 

October 13, 2022

 
Michael Brown, Roslyn Campbell, and Cheryl Savage 
Dunston Elementary 

Dunston educators"Dunston Elementary was used as a shelter for Hurricane Ian and our principal, Cheryl Savage, day porter, Mr. Brown, and focus facilitator, Roslyn Campbell, spent 56 hours straight at school to care for the 60 people who came to the shelter, even sleeping at school.

They worked tirelessly to care for the physical and emotional needs of those seeking refuge and then came back to school Monday morning, as usual, to care for the needs of our students."
--nominated by a colleague
 
October 6, 2022

Elissa Flavin, Kindergarten
Stono Park Elementary

Elissa Flavin"Miss Flavin goes above and beyond everyday to ensure her Kindergarteners have a supportive, meaningful, and fun first year of school.
 
She works tirelessly to plan creative and engaging lessons that help her students meet grade level standards while still giving them opportunities to build social and emotional skills.
 
She cares for each child in her classroom and always makes sure they feel safe, loved, and empowered while at school.
 
Elissa is also a natural leader and is always willing to go out of her way to help anyone who needs it.

Elissa’s kids and colleagues are lucky to have her! " --nominated by a colleague
 

September 29, 2022

Cindy KesslerCindy Kessler
CCSD Nutrition Services

Cindy has worked with CCSD in the Nutrition Services department for 27 years. Starting out as the youngest manager to come on board, Cindy successfully managed multiple school cafeterias, winning manager of the year for her work at West Ashley High School. Cindy then went onto become a project manager, working on supper, afterschool snack and our summer meals program.

Cindy has now moved into an operations manager position with Nutrition Services, where she takes her vast knowledge out to schools to train and coach new and existing managers, all the while working on the programs she has fostered and developed."
 

September 22, 2022

Liliana Montalvo-Perez (Bilingual Secretary)
Ladson Elementary School

Montalvo-Perez"Ms. Lilly works so hard helping our Hispanic families, and those who identify with the Spanish language. It is so refreshing to see how our Spanish speaking families, who come in nervous to communicate, light up when they see her in the front office. It gives them a level of comfort and confidence to advocate for their child, knowing their concerns can be clearly communicated.

Even more, Ms. Lilly often takes the time to visit classrooms of our children who are still learning to communicate in English. When she looks at them and says, "hola" the look on their face is priceless!

Fear goes away, a smile arrives, and often tears disappear with a simple hug from her. Ms. Lilly has worked with not only Ladson families, but also the families of Goodwin & Lambs Elementary over the past 10 years.
 
She has made such an impact everywhere she goes, that we have even had families who she helped years ago, come in to find her.

Often it is to just say thank you, or to show her how well the student is now doing in Middle or High School. These families also share with their neighbors how amazing Lilly is! We are so lucky to have her!" --nominated by a colleague

 

September 15, 2022

Meghan Morris
Expanded Learning Kaleidoscope

 
Meghan Morris"Meghan has worked with CCSD for over ten years. She works diligently to support the recruitment of qualified staff for 50 Kaleidoscope and 21st CCLC afterschool programs. She has worked as a site coordinator, assistant site coordinator, and counselor; she is a proud graduate of the College of Charleston.

Meghan believes that qualified staff helps to promote the vision and goal of CCSD. One of her beliefs is that ALL CCSD children, especially at the early learning and elementary school levels should have the opportunity to participate in afterschool learning (academic support, exposing students to enrichment activities, and socializing with peers) in a safe and fun environment.

If you ask her supervisor and co-workers what they admire most about Meghan, you will get a consistent theme "Meghan has been a great asset to our department, and we are so glad she is on our team!"
 

September 9, 2022

Rebecca Accolla, Assistant Principal
Pinckney Elementary School

Rebecca AccolaMrs. Accolla lives to help others. She has joined our staff here as a teacher in the past and is now our assistant principal. She spent many hours over the summer painting the walls in the hall. When something needs to get done, she is on it in a minute. I have never seen her standing still. No job is beneath her. If it needs fixing, painted, scrubbed or replaced, she is on it. She even took home the classroom trash cans and power sprayed them. She does this all for the kids. So they can have a safe, clean and inviting environment. We appreciate everything she does for us all. Pinckney is blessed to have her. 

 

September 4, 2022

Phillip Sisombath
James Simons Montessori School

James Simons"Mr. Phillip" joined the James Simons community during the 2021-2022 school year, and our students and staff have been the beneficiaries. Officially serving as a Teacher Assistant in a Lower Elementary classroom, Mr. Phillip shares his calm energy to all of the students who he encounters. He is always willing to lend a helping hand and is a true team player.
 
Mr. Phillip understands that relationships are the foundation to success and he takes the time to get to know the students. His sense of humor and caring smile let everyone know that he is someone to be trusted. Whether it is when he is greeting students in the cafeteria or taking a walk with a friend who may be having a tough day, Mr. Phillip continuously exemplifies the power of kindness. Additionally Mr. Phillip helps elevate his student’s potential by truly listening to them and learning about their lives and encouraging them to share their gifts, even if they are not yet able to see those gifts. He is a true visionary and a natural Montessorian who sees the good in everyone, even if, and especially if, they don’t see that good in themselves.
 
During the 21-22 school year as students were rehabilitating to full time school after a year and a half of virtual instruction and a myriad of other learning obstacles that the Covid19 Pandemic brought, Mr. Phillip served as a rock in our community. His stability and consistency was something that students and staff alike learned to rely on.
 
As this new school year begins, we are once again blessed to be in the presence of such an enlightened educator and positive person who reminds us what really matters in life and school. We love and appreciate you Mr. Phillip! --nominated by a colleague

August 29, 2022

Julia Carter-Wood, Interventionist 
Meeting Street at Burns Elementary

Julia Carter-WoodMrs. Carter-Wood as an Unsung Educator exudes the absolute care, compassion and concern for our students. 

Mrs. Carter-Wood exemplifies putting students at the heart of her work daily. She goes above and beyond for our kiddos by ensuring her learning environment is rigorous yet joyful. She holds high expectations while still showing a whole lot of love. She is patient, thorough, nerdy over data, teaches with such urgency like her hair is on fire, she's a fabulous listener and a constant #1 supporter for all of our kiddos and their families.

In addition to being a great help to our students and families, she supports her colleagues in the same manner.

Meeting Street @ Burns is SO LUCKY to have someone with her knowledge, expertise and passion! Everyone loves Mrs. Carter-Wood!!!!