Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Taunja Pool Selected Finalist for SC Teacher of the Year

Taunja Pool, Summit Drive Elementary teacher, was selected as a finalist for South Carolina Teacher of the Year - Click to enlarge.
Taunja Pool, Summit Drive Elementary teacher, was selected as a finalist for South Carolina Teacher of the Year

Summit Drive Elementary’s Taunja Pool has been named one of five finalists in South Carolina's State Teacher of the Year Program.

The announcement of South Carolina’s 2012-13 Teacher of the Year will be made at the corporate-sponsored Teacher of the Year celebration on Tuesday, May 1 in Columbia. During the next school year, that teacher will participate in a one-year residency program at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA) and serve as a statewide ambassador for the profession.

South Carolina's new Teacher of the Year also receives a $25,000 cash award and a BMW to use for a year. The four remaining finalists, or Honor Roll teachers, will receive $10,000 each, and the district teachers of the year will receive $1,000 each.

The five finalists were chosen from nominees representing 82 local school districts, the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Palmetto Unified School District, and the South Carolina Public Charter School District. They will travel to Columbia for personal interviews with a seven-member state Selection Committee. They are vying to represent more than 50,000 South Carolina teachers in the National Teacher of the Year Program.

The other four finalists, listed alphabetically by school district, are:

  • Amy McAllister, English teacher at Johnsonville High School, Florence County School District Five;
  • Helen Walker, music teacher at Doby’s Mill Elementary, Kershaw County School District;
  • Philip Rabon II, middle level social studies teacher at Pair Education Center, Lexington School District Two; and
  • Patricia Swinton, 11th and 12th-grade biology teacher at A.C. Flora High School, Richland School District One.

This year marks the 47th year of the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Program, which has grown tremendously in participation and prestige. The awards program is a nationally recognized event that honors the State Teacher of the Year, Honor Roll teachers and district teachers of the year.


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