Rebecca Rundlett, a Camden High School (CHS) English teacher is the Kershaw County School District’s (KCSD) 2014 Teacher of the Year. KCSD officials made the announcement during its annual awards gala in the CHS Performing Arts Auditorium on Monday, picking Rundlett from among 20 educators named as teachers of the year from their respective schools.
Rundlett received degrees from the University of Tennessee and the University of Arkansas and has previous teaching experience in those two states.
“I’d like to thank my husband for putting up with me grading papers in bed almost every night. Secondly, my colleagues that I work with are wonderful,” Rundlett said. “I’m proud to teach with them every day. Lastly, administrators, thank you so much for your support. Finally, even though he’s not here, my grandfather would be so proud of this.”
The printed program for the event included comments from all honorees, including Rundlett.
“No child begins the school year with the goal of failing. Every child can learn and every child wants to learn. It is our job to find ways to make our curriculum fit into their world,” Rundlett wrote. “We must do this by constantly changing our approaches and our teaching methods. We must find a way to make our material relevant to their lives.”
For being named 2014 Teacher of the Year, Rundlett is receiving a one-year membership to Fitness Zone, a specially designed ring from Jostens and $50 cash from Thompson Logging. The state of South Carolina will also award her with $1,000 cash a year from now when she attends the 2015 State Teacher of the Year banquet.
Before announcing Rundlett’s honor, KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said he was pleased the finalists were from schools in all areas of the county.
“It shows that good teaching is happening across our county in all types of classrooms,” he said. “I’m proud of all of you and the more than 800 Kershaw County teachers you represent.”
First Alternate to Teacher of the Year is Linda Horton, a fourth grade teacher at Pine Tree Hill Elementary School. Morgan said Horton would fulfill the duties of the KCSD Teacher of the Year if Rundlett is unable to do so.
The other Teachers of the Year from each school are:
• Angie Floyd -- Baron DeKalb Elementary
• Julie Pigg -- Bethune Elementary
• Adele Dixon -- Blaney Elementary
• Valerie West -- Camden Elementary
• Barbara Culler -- Camden Middle
• Kathryn A. Ham -- Continuous Learning Center
• Amanda R. Cook -- Doby’s Mill Elementary
• Chandra Reed-Carr -- Jackson School
• Mary Jane Donovan -- Lugoff Elementary
• Von Duncan -- Lugoff-Elgin High
• Tracy Elmore -- Lugoff-Elgin Middle
• Katherine Elizabeth Todd -- Midway Elementary
• Martha Mason -- Mt. Pisgah Elementary
• Brooke Bradshaw -- North Central High
• Lesli W. Pate -- North Central Middle
• Jennifer Matthews -- Stover Middle School
• Lindsey Hanley Miles -- Wateree Elementary
The KCSD Principal of the Year is Karen Bullard of Lugoff-Elgin Middle School (LEMS). She received her education at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Winthrop University and the University of South Carolina. Her previous experience includes teaching in Whiteville, N.C, and at Camden High. She also served as assistant principal at CHS before taking her current position at L-EMS.
The First Year Teacher of the Year honor went to science teacher Keisha Clay of North Central Middle School. Wateree Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Christen Pruett was named first alternate.
The $1,500 Mary Ann Blaskowitz Education Scholarship went to CHS student Madison Grant, daughter of Kerry and Brenda Grant. The Blaskowitz scholarship is awarded annually to a Kershaw County student who intends to pursue a career in education.
“This has been a truly emotional night of celebrating a profession that makes a difference in every way, in every place, in every corner of this world every day,” Morgan said at the end of the evening. “I want to offer my congratulations to all the honorees tonight. Thank all of you for sharing this important night in the life of our district.”