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Monday, February 28, 2011

Northwestern's Patti Tate, Finalist For SC Teacher of The Year

For the third straight year, the Rock Hill Schools have a finalist for the South Carolina Teacher of the year. Below is the press release issued today:

Five outstanding teachers named finalists for South Carolina Teacher of the Year 
COLUMBIA – Five outstanding classroom teachers were named today as finalists in South Carolina's State Teacher of the Year Program.   
State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais said the five teachers were chosen from nominees representing 82 local school districts, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Palmetto Unified School District, the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind and the South Carolina Public Charter School District.  They will travel to Columbia next month for personal interviews with a seven-member state Selection Committee. All are vying to represent more than 50,000 South Carolina teachers in theNational Teacher of the Year Program.  
The finalists, listed alphabetically by school district, are: 

The finalists were chosen by a panel of educators and private citizens with no connection to the agency. The names of the teachers and the schools they represent were concealed from the judges during the selection process.  
“I congratulate these teachers,” said State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais.  “The work that they do in the classroom, their leadership among their peers and their efforts in the community honor their profession and reflect a commitment to improving the lives of our young people.”   
The announcement of South Carolina’s 2011-12 Teacher of the Year will be made at the corporate-sponsored Teacher of the Year celebration April 27 in Columbia.  During the next school year, that teacher will participate in a one-year residency program at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement and serve as a statewide ambassador for the profession.  
South Carolina’s new Teacher of the Year also receives a $25,000.  The four remaining finalists, or Honor Roll teachers, will receive $10,000 each, and all district teachers of the year will receive $1,000 each.  
This year marks the 46th year of the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Program, which has grown tremendously in participation and prestige.  The awards program is a nationally recognized event that honors the State Teacher of the Year, Honor Roll teachers and district teachers of the year.   
Zais said his agency would assist the new Teacher of the Year in preparing his or her application for the National Teacher of the Year program next fall.  Started in 1952, that program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers and is sponsored by the ING Foundation.  
The 2011-12 State Teacher of the Year will succeed Kelly H. Nalley, a Spanish teacher at Fork Shoals School in Greenville. 
The new Teacher of the Year will work with CERRA and the South Carolina Teacher Forum, whose members are district teachers of the year. The residency will include numerous speaking engagements around the state before civic and professional groups interested in education. The teacher also will conduct workshops for other classroom professionals, discuss public education issues with members of the General Assembly and State Board of Education, and work closely with the Teacher Cadet Program that encourages academically able students with exemplary interpersonal and leadership skills to consider teaching as a career. 
Here are details about the finalists:
Beth R. Hinson, biology teacher, Dillon High School, Dillon School District 2
Hinson refers to her last 24 years in the classroom as a “journey of discovery.”  Talented at putting young people at ease, Hinson appreciates and values the uniqueness and diversity her students bring to the classroom.  Teachers, she says, cannot work independently to refine only their skills. Instead, they must work together – developing new techniques and sharing knowledge, skills and practices. National Board recertified, Hinson earned a bachelor’s degree from Wofford College and a master’s degree from Francis Marion College.  
D. Craig Andrysczyk, fifth-grade mathematics and science teacher, Oak Pointe Elementary School, Lexington/Richland School District 5
This 20-year veteran teaches from the back of the room so that he can see who is struggling and who is ready to move forward.  A teacher cadet in high school, Andrysczyk understands that academic success is important but also knows the value of fitting into the community.  A mentor, Andrysczyk says that being a great teacher involves more than teaching great lessons.  He frequently goes out for recess with his students, but never stands and watches them play.  He gets in the game and makes sure everyone who wants to participate has a chance.  Andrysczyk obtained his undergraduate degree from Columbia International University and his master’s degree from the American College of Education. 
Annitra Jean Allman, eighth-grade mathematics teacher, Johnakin Middle School, Marion School District 1
Allman brings a “down-home” style to her teaching, using “folksy” language and different voices and accents as attention-grabbers.  This 34-year veteran knows that it’s not enough to teach a concept well. She also must teach students how to store information so that it’s easily retrieved.  She tries to make difficult content relevant while inspiring students to see uses for what they learn. That sometimes means making her students laugh at a silly rhyme designed to help them remember a process.  Allman earned a bachelor’s degree from Francis Marion University and a master’s degree from Cambridge College. 
Jeffrey C. Eargle, U.S. history teacher, Mid-Carolina High School, Newberry County
Students in Eargle’s classes are involved in the learning process and draw their own conclusions as he facilitates lessons. They create multilayered analytic time lines, engage in discussion via on-line message boards, role-play politicians in historical stimulations and produce original documentaries. They feel comfortable taking risks with their thoughts because they know their opinions and beliefs will not be disparaged or discounted.  Eargle’s life experiences include stints in the Peace Corps and at the South Carolina Department of Social Services.  National Board certified, he earned both a bachelor and master’s degree from the University of South Carolina. He has taught for eight years. 
Patti J. Tate, English teacher, Northwestern High School, Rock Hill School District 3
Always carrying a “big stick,” Tate says, turns young people away from learning.  Her students know that she is a person, too.  She shares interests and information with them, and they trust her. As a result of this reciprocal relationship, they want to learn.  Tate gives them an extra chance to succeed and gets to know them as individuals, showing them that she cares about their success.  Each day, she works to help her students think critically and make real-world connections to what they are studying.  Tate earned a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and a master’s degree from Converse College.  She is National Board certified and has 24 years of teaching experience.

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