Landrum teachers of year recognized

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teachers of the year for Spartanburg County Schools – District One. (photo submitted by Paula Brooks)

District One Schools recently announced its the 2012-2013 teachers of the year for each school and the District One teacher of the year.
Colonel Robert Sanders is the Landrum High School teacher of the year. Sanders holds a B.S. in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a master’s degree in counseling from Auburn University. He spent 28 years in the Army and has been an ROTC instructor for eight years.
“I think that all good teachers will say that the students are the reward,” Sanders said. “I agree.  I think that if a teacher does not love students and does not love teaching then that teacher needs to find another job. Teaching is not a profession for that teacher, but just a job. I think that it would be difficult to teach ethically unless one has a passion for students and their learning. We don’t need anyone other than dedicated professionals teaching our children.”
Landrum Middle School teacher of the year is Jackie Putman. Putman has been teaching for 28 years, six of them at Landrum Middle School. She has a master’s plus 30 degree.
About her philosophy of teaching reading, Putnam said, “I strongly believe that reading and writing does not stop in the language arts class but should be integrated across the entire curriculum. Students need to be armed with as many opportunities as possible to read and write in all classes because it is such a crucial skill in today’s global world.”
O.P. Earle Elementary teacher of the year is Anna Mathis. Mathis teaches fourth grade at O.P. Earle. She holds a B.A. in elementary education and is certified in elementary and middle level math.
Mathis said she believes “rigor, relationship and relevance are the foundation for my personal teaching style. As a 21st-century teacher, I must provide various instructional strategies and opportunities for learning for all students. The instructional content is integrated and differentiated. I integrate math and science and use literacy integration through books and writing. I differentiate content through one-on-one instruction and small group instruction.”
District One’s overall teacher of the year is English/language arts teacher Erin Gramling, who is also Chapman High School teacher of the year. Gramling is a graduate of the University of SC-Upstate, has a master’s degree in education and has been teaching for seven years, all at Chapman High School.
Other District One teachers of the year include:
• Anna Hodge, art teacher at Campobello-Gramling
• Melissa Lark, third-grade teacher at Holly Springs-Motlow Elementary School
• Mary Somers, special education teacher at Inman Elementary School
• Amber Keeran, media specialist at Inman Intermediate School
• Tammy Starosto, math teacher at Mabry Middle School
• Gayle Elrod, guidance counselor for New Prospect Elementary School
• Tracy Thornton, graphics and printing teacher at Swofford Career Center
The teachers of the year were honored by the District One Board of Trustees at a dinner on Aug. 13. Each teacher received a plaque to be placed outside the classroom. They were also recognized at the annual District One Convocation of all staff on Thursday, Aug. 16.
“We are so proud of each of these teachers who represent their school and all the teachers in District One,” said Dr. Ron Garner, Superintendent of Schools. “They represent the teaching profession at its best and we are so appreciative of the efforts they make every day for our students.”
– article submitted by Paula Brooks

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