Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Teacher of the Year Helen Walker is one of five teachers named as finalists in the South Carolina Teacher of the Year program.
A music teacher at Doby’s Mill Elementary School, Walker will now be interviewed by the state selection committee. The South Carolina Teacher of the Year will be named at a gala at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center May 1.
“This is a celebration of the outstanding teacher that Helen Walker is, and the truly talented teachers that we have in Kershaw County,” said KCSD Superintendent Frank Morgan. “Helen is a very caring individual who goes above and beyond to make every student enjoy their musical experiences in her classroom.”
Walker has been a music teacher with the school district since 2000, also serving at Baron DeKalb, Pine Tree Hill and Jackson elementary schools during her career. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wolverhampton University and a Master of Education degree from Francis Marion University. She is national board certified in elementary music as well as Orff and Music Learning Theory certified.
“My primary goal as an educator is to bestow upon my students knowledge and a love for music,” said Walker. “I would like to share with them a lifelong gift of playing, creating and enjoying music recreationally and/or professionally.”
Doby’s Mill Elementary Principal Ginger Catoe praised Walker’s creativity and talent of motivating her students and others around her.
“Helen’s passion has allowed her to create an award-winning music program which is intermingled with technology, academics, discipline and musicality,” Catoe said. “Helen’s classroom, chorus and choral performances are on the cutting edge of creativity which is why she is an inspiration to her students, parents, peers, profession and school.”
Walker is the third KCSD teacher in six years to be named an honor roll teacher in the South Carolina Teacher of the Year program. Lugoff Elementary School teacher Melody Johnson also received the honor in 2010 and former Pine Tree Hill Elementary School teacher Ann Marie Taylor in 2007. Taylor went on to be named 2008 South Carolina Teacher of the Year, following in the footsteps of two former KCSD Teachers of the Year who also were named South Carolina Teacher of the Year, Mary Lostetter in 2000 and Mary Ann Blaskowitz in 1982.