ST. GEORGE — Clay Hill Elementary School teacher Paula Huggins was named Teacher of the Year for Dorchester District 4 recently.

Huggins has been teaching for 23 years, nearly all of it in Dorchester 4.

A native of Goose Creek, she said she always wanted to be a teacher.

“I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else,” said Huggins, who lives in Ridgeville.

She said she was surprised when district Superintendent Jerry Montjoy and school Principal Morris Ravenell came to her classroom on Thursday to tell her of her selection. Since then, the entire school has showered her with congratulatory messages, she said.

April Sanders, a third-grade teacher at Williams Memorial Elementary, is the Rookie Teacher of the Year.

Other finalists for Teacher of the Year were Lisa Looper, Woodland High School; Andrea J. Beckwith, St. George Middle; Nicole Bryant, Harleyville Elementary; Selena Britt-Keitt, Harleyville-Ridgeville Middle; and Kari Miller, Williams Memorial Elementary.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or www.facebook.com/brindge.