Teacher of the year was Jeffrey Eargle of Mid-Carolina High. Eargle teaches history and was deeply humbled by this great honor. He is nationally board certified and in addition to being chosen as Teacher of the Year, he was also selected as South Carolina’s choice for the Preserve America History Teacher of the Year award this year. Eargle strives to bring a creative and fun way of learning.
After Dr. Lynn Cary, principal of Mid-Carolina High, introduced Eargle, he immediately won over the crowd with stories of his eight month old baby girl who has begun to crawl. The crowd let out an ‘aw’ exclamation. He also congratulated his fellow teachers and was extremely proud of what everyone is doing for the education process.
Jane Pollard of Gallman Elementary School was the Support Staff employee of the year. Ms. Jane, as she is affectionately known by everyone she meets, has served the school district for many years. Ms. Jane also has a twin sister, Ms. Joan, who accompanied her to the reception. Ms. Griffith introduced Ms. Jane and acknowledged her dedication and love she delivers at her job. Ms. Griffith explained the story of her interaction with Ms. Jane and explained her discovery of her twin sister whose name sounds so similar. Ms. Jane delivered her speech and was ever so grateful for this tribute.
In addition to the acknowledgements of Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Employee of the Year, Mr. Bennett also credited the runners up and other employees of the year who should not go without tribute. Teacher of the Year runner up was Susan Dawkins from Prosperity-Rikard Elementary school. Support Staff employee of the year runner up was Tracy Werts from Newberry Middle.
Other teachers who were privileged to receive praise included: Lynn Ullman (Boundary Street), Kelly Senn (Gallman), Melanie Zobel (Little Mountain), Zeb Reid (Mid-Carolina Middle), Josh Mills (Newberry Career Center), Latrisha Tucker (Newberry Elementary), Michael Hughes (Newberry High), Christopher Dukes (Newberry Middle), Sonya Robinson (Pomaria-Garmany), Christie Dyal (Reuben), Joye Hall (Whitmire Community) and Dan McGlohorn (Whitmire Community).
Support staff employees to receive recognition include: JoeAnn Gray (Boundary Street), Kelly Ringer (District), Sally Dominick (Little Mountain), Jeannette Poag (Mid-Carolina High), Pam Cook (Mid-Carolina Middle), Kim Ackerman (Career Center), Clover Collins (Newberry Elementary), Steve Senn (Newberry High), Maria Hanson (Pomaria-Garmany), Annie Rutherford (Prosperity-Rikard), Sarah Griffin (Reuben) and Judy McCutcheon (Whitmire Community).
After the plaques were handed out, Mr. Bennett thanked the contributors who continue to help Newberry’s business area. Trey Taylor from the Taylor Foundation thanked all the teachers and gave an unrestricted grant to the school district. According to Taylor, the foundation enhances education and encourages the history of the county. Also at the reception was Bill Armfield of Armfield’s Office Supply and he awarded gift certificates to Eargle and Dawkins. Both were very pleased with this gift that they can use in their classrooms.
The ceremony ended on a positive and encouraging note for all the teachers and staff reflecting on all they have accomplished and looking forward to an optimistic future filled with enriching students’ lives.
All teachers and administrative staff members were chosen and decided upon from the school first and gradually from there, unbiased workers narrowed down decisions preparing for the final verdict.
Everything about this process might be tedious, but it’s also extremely fair.