Photo Gallery | 2013 KCSD Teacher of the Year announced
North Central Middle School social studies teacher Brian Leininger was named 2013 Kershaw County School District Teacher of the Year at a gala Monday while Camden Elementary teacher Alana Powers was named first alternate.
Also honored during the evening’s celebration was Wateree Elementary third grade teacher Chrystal Barker who received the Outstanding First Year Teacher award and Baron DeKalb Elementary Principal Betty Turner was recognized as the district’s Principal of the Year.
All 20 Kershaw County schools and the SEAGUL program selected teachers of the year earlier this school year. Leininger and Powers were two of five honor roll teachers selected as finalists for the district award. Other honor roll teachers were: Meredith Kirkland, Camden High; Shannon Team, Lugoff-Elgin High; and Phyllis Cleveland, Wateree Elementary.
Leininger started his career as a social studies teacher with North Central Middle five years ago. He has a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Education from Columbia College.
“My primary goal as an educator is to impact every student that walks into my classroom,” said Leininger. “This means nurturing interests that may not fall in my area of study, in the hope that every student will follow a path from my classroom that will eventually lead to a high school stage in their senior year with a diploma in their hand.”
North Central Middle Principal Burch Richardson said Leininger “is a caring and enthusiastic teacher who inspires his students to achieve at the highest levels. His creative spirit along with his commitment to his students enable him to have the respect of his students, their parents and his colleagues.”
Powers says that she is a teacher because she has a deep love for young children and loves to watch them learn and grow. She has a Bachelor of Science from Winthrop University, a Master of Arts degree from Lesley University and is nationally board certified.
Serving as Baron DeKalb Elementary’s top administrator since July of 2008, Turner was elected as Principal of the Year by her peers. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education degree from the University of South Carolina as well as a Master of Education from the University of North Carolina/Charlotte. Under Turner’s leadership, Baron DeKalb Elementary’s state-level honors include receiving the SC School Improvement Council’s Dick and Tunky Riley Award, earning an Exemplary Writing Award and being named a Red Carpet school. Turner was also selected as the Kershaw County Reading Administrator of the Year this year.
Barker is only the fifth KCSD educator to receive the district’s newest award to honor first year teachers. A third grade teacher at Wateree Elementary, Barker had students in her class at the beginning of the year who were under the 50th percentile in math, language and reading on MAP testing. Now after working diligently with different instructional strategies, all of her students are at or above 50 percent in those same tested areas. Barker has a Bachelor of Science from Lander University.
Other first year teachers who were named as honor roll teachers for the Outstanding First Year Teacher recognition include Ashley Gardner from Lugoff Elementary and Lauren Thompson from Lugoff-Elgin High.
All of the 2013 local school teachers of the year were honored at the gala. They are:
Education Campus (ATEC)
Baron DeKalb Elementary
Continuous Learning Center (CLC)
Doby’s Mill Elementary
Leslie M. Stover
Mt. Pisgah Elementary
North Central High
North Central Middle
Pine Tree Hill Elementary