Twice as Beautiful: Uncertainly in 2020, Sumter School District Honors Current New Teacher of the Year in Celebration of Excellence

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It has been a year unlike any other in education and one that will certainly go down in the history books.

As Superintendent Penelope Martin-Knox described Wednesday at the District’s annual celebration of excellence, the past year has involved many new learning vocabularies – such as “asynchronous,” “synchronous” and “virtual. “- but everyone was” face to face “for the” in person “event and happy for it.

Without an official teacher recognition ceremony in May 2020 with the initial spread of the coronavirus, the Sumter School District celebrated its 2021 Celebration of Excellence on Wednesday evening by honoring and installing both its current Teachers of the Year and the 2021-22 campus teachers of the year.

The evening’s speakers, which included Martin-Knox and Sarah Gams, 2021 South Carolina Teacher of the Year, among others, sang the praises of the District Laureates.

“Inspirational”, “essential”, “leaders”, “adaptable”, “passionate” and “gracious” were repeated throughout the evening.



This school year has also seen teachers “imagining the future of education” with new technologies, Gams added.

As is the case with every celebration of excellence, the district has expressed gratitude to its 2019-2020 Senior Teachers of the Year who are now leaving the District Sumter Teacher Forum and welcomed new teachers to the district. year, which will represent their school campuses. Next year. The forum is a two-year leadership and professional development program for recipients.

Additionally, as with every celebration of excellence, the district nominated its finalists for the District Teacher of the Year award.

They are Meghan Walters, trainer and STEAM lab instructor at Wilder Elementary School, Thomas Slater, choir teacher at Chestnut Oaks Middle School, and Deana Rennick, art teacher at Sumter High School.

Like the others, Walters said she appreciates the district’s support, especially in a difficult year with COVID-19.

“Often, as educators, we don’t feel supported by the big world,” she said. “But having a district like ours is special. Having your district say, ‘Wow, we see you, we’re here for you, and trying to get the best of you’ is very nice.”

The district administration will announce the district teacher of the year in August at its annual opening meeting.

Teachers Forum scholarship winners



The Sumter Teacher Forum has named Zoe McDonald, senior of Crestwood High School, the recipient of the annual Hailey Bordeaux Memorial Scholarship for Future Educators. McDonald’s will receive $ 3,000.

Other scholarships for seniors pursuing careers in education were awarded to Bobbi Ann Elmore of Sumter High ($ 1,500), Victoria Vance of Crestwood ($ 1,000), Tyler Riley of Crestwood ($ 1,000) , Lauren Smallwood of Crestwood ($ 500) and Molasia Singleton of Crestwood ($ 500).

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