We are proud to announce our new Teacher and Support Employee of the Year for the 2016-2017 school year! Tim Johnson, a Business Education and Agriculture teacher at Liberty High School is the new Teacher of the Year, and Kela Hamilton, a food service operator at Six Mile Elementary is the new Support Employee of the Year.
Johnson was drawn to teaching after a career in horticulture, and he implemented the first Turf Management program at Liberty High. His dedication to his students has made an impact on his co-workers and parents.
“Mr. Johnson is exactly what public education is crying out for: a strong male role model who has introduced my sons and others to an attainable career within the confines of the traditional schedule without ever having to leave campus,” said Amber King, a Liberty High parent and assistant principal at Gettys Middle School. “Teaching is more than a career—it’s a calling. Tim Johnson exemplifies this in every sense,” said LHS Instructional coach Sandy Kirby.
Hamilton was praised by her co-workers for going the extra mile to make sure every child who comes to the Six Mile Elementary cafeteria feels loved. “She loves her job, and it shows,” said 4thgrade teacher Betsy Masters. “She dresses her face with a bright smile that is a capable of warming a bitter-cold day. You could search the county over and not find a more giving, polite, kind, compassionate and caring human being.”
3rd grade teacher Joy Gaines remarked, “The children love her and can’t wait to tell her about something that is important to them because they know she will truly listen.”
Johnson and Hamilton as well as each school’s teacher and support employee of the year were recognized at the SDPC Back-to-School Celebration at Easley High School. The SDPC Support Employee of the Year award comes with a $250 bonus, and the SDPC Teacher of the Year Award comes with a $500 bonus. The SDPC teacher of the year is also eligible to apply for South Carolina Teacher of the Year.