District One announces 2016-2017 Teachers of the Year

Published 9:15 pm Thursday, September 1, 2016

District One Schools is pleased to announce that Mrs. Lana O’Shields is the 2016-2017 District One Teacher of the Year. O’Shields serves as the instructional/reading coach at Inman Elementary School.

She is a product of District One, having attended Landrum schools and graduating from Landrum High School. She received her education degree from Mars Hill College with additional study at Converse College.

O’Shields began her teaching career at O.P. Earle Elementary and has also worked at Campobello Gramling School. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Bagwell of Landrum. O’Shields is married to Mickey O’Shields and they have three daughters.

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O’Shields was honored at the District One Back-to-School celebration with all staff on Aug. 11. In her message to staff, she challenged them to revisit “why” they do what they do.

She said, “Oftentimes, we go through the motions of doing things in our daily lives. As we do this, it becomes a habit and suddenly, before we know it, a mundane routine. We lose our zest, our excitement and our passion for our original purpose we had at the beginning. It is imperative, at that time when it is easy for negativity to creep in, to bring back your WHY.

“Why do you do what you do? Go to your beginning. Search your own story. Locate your WHY. As you prepare for this new year, I encourage you to find your why. As you attend meetings where you may think you have heard the information before – whatever the topic – ask yourself, ‘How can this help me be a better teacher, administrator, coach? How can I use this information to help my students become better learners?’

“Remember, you only have one chance with that student. Time is precious. Make the most of every minute. While you work in your classrooms, decorate bulletin boards, and prepare your lesson plans- change your WHAT to your WHY. Work hard to keep your switch flipped from negative to positive.

“I promise you, it will not only make your days better, it will make all those around you – your school community – a better, thriving, loving, successful place you will not hesitate to call your “home.” And last, but certainly not least, always remember to put people first.”

O’Shields will participate in several state-level workshops for all TOY from across the state during the year and enter the S.C. TOY competition this spring. We congratulate O’Shields on this outstanding honor and thank her for her service to students.

Each District One School is represented by a TOY for the 2016-2017 year.

Mrs. Colleen Stutts is the Campobello-Gramling TOY. She is a special education teacher.

Mrs. Anna Hightower is the Inman Intermediate TOY. She is also a special education teacher.

Mrs. McKensie Revels, is an art teacher at New Prospect Elementary School.

Mrs. Deana Rollins, is a Reading Recovery teacher and is the O.P. Earle TOY.

Mr. John Branyon is the TOY for Landrum Middle School. He teaches math.

Mrs. Ashley Paddock, media specialist at Mabry Middle School, is the TOY.

Chapman High School’s TOY is math teacher Rachael Fowler.

The Landrum High School TOY is Mrs. Denise Riske, also a special education teacher.

Mrs. Erica McKelvey is a cosmetology instructor at Swofford Career Center and will serve as the TOY this year.

The TOY and their guests were honored by the District One Board of Trustees and the administration at a dinner in their honor on August 8. They received several nice gifts and an engraved nameplate for their school room designating them as a TOY.

Dr. Ron Garner, superintendent, had this to say about these outstanding educators: “We thank the Teachers of the Year for their dedication, leadership, and love for their students. So many areas of teaching are represented in this year’s group: special education, the arts, library media, specialty coaches and reading teachers, as well as classroom teachers. They are representative of the outstanding educators we are blessed to have teaching our children in District One.”

We congratulate each of these outstanding educators and thank them for their service to students and the community.

– article submitted by Sandra Williams