The competition for Teacher of the Year in Charleston County schools has been narrowed down to five finalists announced this week.
The five educators being considered for the district’s top teaching honor are: Angie Grimes of Morningside Middle; Kirk Lindgren of School of the Arts; Paul Pallagi of Ladson Elementary; Lisa Trott of Ashley River Elementary; and Melissa Yarbrough of St. Andrews School of Math and Science.
Charleston County School Superintendent Nancy McGinley said these teachers couldn’t have gotten to this point if they weren’t “dedicated, passionate, smart, data-driven and student-centered.”
She said she constantly sees teachers going above and beyond what’s required of them, and she’s been impressed with the caliber of the district’s teachers since she started working here.
“We are so fortunate to have to so many great teachers, so to be recognized as five stand-outs among such a great field is incredible,” she said.
The winner will be announced at a Charleston Riverdogs game on May 10, and the finalists’ schools will be invited to cheer for their teachers. Judging will be done by community leaders and educators, and teachers will be evaluated by classroom observation, interviews and reviews of their applications.
The finalists were picked by the superintendent’s Teachers Roundtable, a representative group of teachers from across the district. Each school in the district can nominate a Teacher of the Year.
Grimes is a reading interventionist for a North Charleston neighborhood school’s single gender sixth- through eighth-grade boys. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Lander University, and masters’ degrees from The Citadel and Charleston Southern University. She’s taught in county schools for 13 years.
Lindgren teaches physics and physical science at the countywide arts magnet school in North Charleston. He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Virginia. He’s taught in Charleston schools for seven years.
Pallagi is a fourth-grade teacher in a neighborhood school in Ladson. He earned both his bachelor and master’s degrees from Charleston Southern, and he’s taught for three years.
Trott is a fourth-grade teacher in West Ashley at an arts elementary magnet school. She has an associate’s degree from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston. She’s spent 19 years teaching in county schools.
Yarbrough is a third-grade teacher in West Ashley at a math and science partial magnet school. She has a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University, and master’s degrees from the University of Charleston and Charleston Southern. She’s taught for 13 years in county schools.
The district’s Teacher of the Year will go on to compete in the state-level competition, and he or she will receive a one-year lease on a Volvo, a gold signet ring, and other gifts from local businesses.
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