Sharon Blackwood named Berkeley Teacher of the Year

Berkeley County Teacher of the Year Sharon Blackwood is congratulated by Superintendent Brenda Blackburn.

Berkeley County’s new Teacher of the Year won the honor in part because she manages to get a “complete buy-in” from her students in the classroom, district officials said.

Sharon Blackwood, a third-grade teacher at Sedgefield Intermediate School “oozed patience” when the Teacher of the Year observation group visited her classroom, said 2015 Teacher of the Year Amanda Cromer.

“There was a complete buy-in from her little third-graders,” Cromer said. “Part of this, I’m sure, was because of how structured Ms. Blackwood had organized her little class family.”

Blackwood and 41 other school-level teachers of the year were honored Friday at a breakfast held by the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce.

Her teaching experience began before college: As a child, she played school with dolls and her younger brothers. Growing up, she said she was “captivated by energetic, enthusiastic, and compassionate teachers.”

Even after she became a teacher, she was still inspired by them.

“I was captivated by the teachers who, despite years in the profession, had unflagging enthusiasm, dauntless patience, encouraging demeanors for their students and fellow teachers, and shared a positive outlook regardless of inevitable change,” she said.

Now in her 21st year of teaching, each year is still “a first year with the students that walk into my classroom ... and that is exciting.”

Blackwood has spent most of her career in Berkeley County, and she gave kudos to her fellow teachers, saying, “No one can accept an award like this alone because we do not teach as individuals.”

Other finalists were Gina Sawicki of Cane Bay Elementary and Geoffrey Sklar of Goose Creek High.