By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

COUNTY — Although the district’s overall winner won’t be named for several months, the School District of Pickens County has announced the 26 teacher of the year winners from each individual school who will vie for the ultimate prize. [cointent_lockedcontent]

The teachers of the year are selected by a vote of the staff members at their schools. Once selected, they will serve on the district’s Teacher Forum.

“These teachers have proven themselves to be leaders among their peers, and the Teacher Forum is an important voice in informing our direction as a district,” superintendent Danny Merck said. “I’m very proud of these teachers and can’t wait to interact with them more next year.”

The individual teachers of the year and the schools they represent are as follows: Sydney Cox, Ambler Elementary; Lisa Cheek, Central Elementary; Steve Gilstrap, Chastain Road Elementary; Michelle Conley, Clemson Elementary; Rachel Kaskin, Crosswell Elementary; Beth Atkins, Dacusville Elementary; Chantel Wooten, Dacusville Middle; Dana Howard, Daniel High; Rick Langdale, Easley High; Kim Dockins, East End Elementary; Mary Bridges, Edwards Middle; Tracy Brandt, Forest Acres Elementary; Michelle Hydrick, Gettys Middle; Amy Hardin, Hagood Elementary; Ann Bowen, Holly Springs Elementary; Sheila Martin, A.R. Lewis Elementary; Jenifer Griffis, Liberty Elementary; Tim Johnson, Liberty High; Lou Ann Ellenburg, Liberty Middle; Christine Rybolt, McKissick Elementary; Janie Collins, Pickens County Career and Technology Center; Alicia Tennis-Shock, Pickens Elementary; Tom Faithful, Pickens High; Justin Bramblett, Pickens Middle; Melissa Nolan, Six Mile Elementary; and Mario Stanitzek, West End Elementary.

District spokesman John Eby said school-level teachers are eligible for the district-wide teacher of the year award, which will be announced at the district’s annual back-to-school celebration Sept. 6 at Easley High School. The event will take place a month later than usual.

“The date of Sept. 6 was set because of the uncertainty around the start date for next year,” Eby said. “We scheduled the back-to-school celebration/E3 conference a couple of weeks into the school year because we needed to go ahead and book speakers and presenters while the school board was still deliberating on the calendar.”