NEWBERRY — Huger Caughman of Newberry High School was honored as the School District of Newberry County’s Teacher of the Year at a reception held last week.
The district annually honors its top teacher as well as support staff employee which this year went to Jan Redden of District Administration.
The runners-up for Teacher and Support Staff Employee of the Year were Gregory Nye of Newberry County Career Center and Estelle Goodson of Newberry High School, respectively.
Every teacher and employee was recognized individually and presented certificates by Superintendent Bennie Bennett, Board Chairman Jody Hamm and Rep. Walt McLeod.
Being an educator runs in the Caughman family. Caughman’s mother taught at Prosperity-Rikard Elementary School for 38 years while his sister currently teaches at Mid-Carolina Middle School.
Caughman, who is in his 10th year teaching mathematics at Newberry High School, is himself a product of Newberry County schools. He stayed close to home receiving his undergraduate degree from Newberry College. Caughman went on to earn his Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University in Arizona.
Pamela Harrington, director of Human Resources, said Caughman’s teaching philosophy could be summed up in a quote from Robert M. Hutchins: “It must be remembered that the purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with facts, it is to teach them to think.”
Caughman emphasized that being a teacher is more than just a career but a mentality and lifestyle.
“Teaching is not a job that you do from eight to three. It’s something that you do during that time, but also you do it in your actions,” Caughman said. “Anytime those children are with you, anytime you see them, your life is teaching them something.”
When not instructing Caughman can be found playing organ at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer or serving on the District Safety Team and Newberry High School Improvement Council.
Redden was also offered the opportunity to share her thoughts on her recognition.
“To say it is an honor to be standing in front of you tonight is certainly an understatement,” she said.
Redden, who has lived in Newberry since 1993, is married to Major Jim Redden with whom she has four children and eight grandchildren, with another on the way. She is a graduate of Columbus State University where she majored in music. She currently plays viola with the Newberry Chamber Orchestra.
“Jan knows exactly when to bring humor to the day and keeps everyone smiling when things get stressful,” Arrington said. “She genuinely cares about students, faculty and staff in our district as well as the greater community.”
Redden said that she felt very honored to receive this distinction. She attributes her ability to multi-task in an office setting to raising four children.
“It takes all of us to accomplish the ultimate goal of providing a good education for the future leaders of our world and I’m honored to be a part of this district as it strives daily to make sure our goal is accomplished,” she said.
Reach Carson Lambert at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.