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Mirasola named Polk Teacher of the Year

Published 6:44pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Polk County Board of Education announced its selection of Mirasola as Teacher of the Year during its October meeting. Educators were also selected as teachers of the year at their individual schools.

Miller said every school submitted top-quality candidates.

“We’re proud of all of the teachers and think we have as good a teaching staff as anyone in the state,” he said.

Teachers nominated this year include:

Polk County Middle School
Jeanne Byrgin was selected as this year’s teacher of the year for Polk County Middle School. Byrgin teaches Academic and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) classes, as well as English and language arts. She has been employed by Polk County Schools for five years and has a total of eight years teaching experience.
She graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor in English and also Western Carolina University with a master’s degree in English.
Polk Central Elementary School
Sandra Smith was named Polk Central’s teacher of the year. Smith teaches fifth grade and has been employed by the school system for five years. Smith has a total of 36 years teaching experience. She graduated from Limestone College with a bachelors of art in elementary and special education and from the University of South Carolina with a master’s of elementary education.

Saluda Elementary School
Saluda Elementary School chose third- and fifth-grade teacher Cari Maneen as its teacher of the year. Maneen teaches third and fifth grade math and language arts. She has been employed by Polk County Schools for eight years and has a total of 13 years teaching experience.
She graduated from State University College of Arts and Science at Cortland, N.Y. with a bachelors of science degree in nursery, elementary and early secondary English education. She also graduated from Western Carolina University with a master’s degree in education for supervision in curriculum and instruction.

Sunny View Elementary School
Debra Chapman was named teacher of the year for Sunny View Elementary School. Chapman has been employed with the school system for 17 years but has taught for 21 years total. Chapman currently teaches fourth and fifth-grade language arts.
She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education and also from Converse College with a master’s degree in elementary education.

Tryon Elementary School
Stephanie White, who teaches second grade, was selected as Tryon Elementary’s teacher of the year.
White graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelor of science degree in health information management and from Converse College with a master’s in arts of teaching. She has been employed with Polk County Schools for nine years.

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