Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Oakview Elementary Assistant Principal Terri Wheeler-Hawkins has been named the South Carolina Elementary Assistant Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators.
Mrs. Wheeler-Hawkins established a morning tutoring program that allows fifth grade students to be leaders and to give back to their school and other students in a positive way. Tutors are matched with first and second grade students who need help with reading, spelling and math skills. As a result, students’ MAP, AimsWeb, Fountas and Pinnell, and classroom scores have improved.
Principal Phillip Reavis describes Wheeler-Hawkins as an educator who considers the impact of student achievement as the central determinant in all decision-making. “This is evident in her daily interactions with teachers, parents, and colleagues,” he said.
Through the establishment of the CLUBS (Curriculum Learning Up and Beyond the School Day) Program, Ms. Wheeler-Hawkins gives students the opportunity to learn
and explore different extracurricular activities. She is responsible for recruiting club advisors and overseeing the clubs throughout the school year. The realm of club offerings is immense, including the Garden, Earthsavers, International, Sign-Language, Sculpture, 2D art, Math Olympiads, Jump Rope, Flag Football, Drum, and Mallet Mania Clubs.
One of Wheeler-Hawkins’ most significant contributions is the establishment of a school-wide recycling program. Fifth graders can become “Environmental Engineers” as they empty paper recycling bins around the school. Other students learn the importance of environmental stewardship and making a positive impact on the environment with a massive composting program. These efforts earned Oakview the Seaworld Bush Gardens Environmental Excellence Award and the South Carolina Outstanding School Recycling Award.
To raise student achievement in science, she assisted in the development of schoolyard habitats. Today the school has a beautiful butterfly garden, apple orchard, popcorn patch, pecan cove, nature trail, cotton patch, and rain garden. Teachers use these habitats to teach authentic hands-on life and earth science lessons.