Thursday, April 18, 2013
Each year there are three finalists for Berkeley County School District Teacher of the Year known as the “honor roll” teachers of the year.
Stephanie Wallace of Berkeley Elementary School was named this year’s BCSD Teacher of the Year, but this year’s honor roll teachers educate students at Goose Creek and Hanahan schools.
The following descriptions are from their teacher of the year applications.
• Heather Bradshaw, Hanahan Elementary
Bradshaw has been a teacher for five years and is currently teaching Kindergarten. She volunteers at the Lowcountry Food Bank and is a Junior League member. At Hanahan Elementary she is the student council advisor, leader of the yearbook tea and school representative for the spelling bee.
From the time she could walk and talk all she wanted to do is teach Kindergarten. She loves having the responsibility of building and educational foundation for each student that walks through her classroom doors. She strives to instill a love of learning and true mastery of basic reading, writing and math skills. These skills and qualities will continue to benefit her students throughout the rest of their academic careers and into life beyond the classroom.
Bradshaw said she her greatest accomplishment is hearing she continues to be a child’s favorite teacher even as they are preparing to enter middle school. She loves receiving thank you notes from parents for making their child not only smarter, but a kinder and more confident student.
When the observation committee visited Bradshaw’s classroom they encountered a structured environment where all children were engaged and quietly hard at work at a variety of learning centers. While organized heterogeneously in colored “fish families,” student groups worked diligently at computers, solved critical thinking puzzles and used a variety of ways to learn.
Bradshaw rotated groups to hear learning center in order to facilitate the learning and development of descriptive sentence structures and compound words. She even successfully incorporated a non-fiction, information text into the learning, clearly demonstrating that she has the ability to understand and teach lessons associated with the district’s shift to common core.
• Meg Ward, Stratford High School
Ward has been teaching for 19 years and currently teachers ninth through 12th grade math. She is National Board Certified, serves as a SAFE-T Evaluator and is a member of the S.C. Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
She is responsible for brining the Jostens Renaissance academic and spirit program to SHS. She is a product of BCSD and teaches at the same high school she graduated from. She feels teachers don’t teach math, science, reading and writing, they teach students. Her goal as an educator is to produce students that can become competitive in a highly competitive world.
She feels the world is changing so quickly it is critical that students are prepared to enter the work force with silks that make them employable.
When the observation committee visited Ward’s classroom it quickly became evident she had a strong rapport with the class as she high-fived students for getting the right answer, knew exactly when a student was getting his arm out of a sling and asked how another student’s birthday celebration went.
At the onset of class students immediately engaged themselves in the initial activity while organized in learning groups. They worked hard to solve and HSAP-related question. As they did it was clear students were able to not only be themselves but to better themselves in the positive classroom environment Ward established.
Her ability to use technology and cross-curriculum examples to relate quadratic equations to the class made the lesson the come alive.