Posted: Monday, April 4, 2016

Greenville County Schools Names Finalists in 2016-17 Teacher of the Year Program

Ten finalists have been selected in the 2016-17 Greenville County Schools Teacher of the Year program. They are, in alphabetical order: 

  • Krissy Black, 8th Grade English/Language Arts, Northwest Middle School
  • Andi Buckless, First Grade, Stone Elementary Academy
  • Amanda Catherman, Spanish, Greenville Sr. High Academy
  • Kristen Griffin, Kindergarten, Buena Vista Elementary School
  • Cara Preston McFarlane, 9th Grade Special Education, Wade Hampton High School
  • Jennifer Murphy, Third Grade, Robert E. Cashion Elementary School
  • Lori Nelson, School Counselor, Paris Elementary School
  • Matthew Phillips, 9th Grade Biology/Life Science, Blue Ridge High School
  • Katie Saunders, 1st/2nd Primary Multiage Class, Bethel Elementary School
  • Megan Schonhar, English, Greer Middle College Charter High School

Krissy BlackAndi BucklessAmanda CathermanKristen GriffinCara Preston McFarlaneJennifer MurphyLori NelsonMatthew PhillipsKatie SaundersMegan Schonhar

The process of selecting the ten finalists began last fall when schools and centers selected their individual Teacher of the Year.  These teachers submitted applications which included a professional biography, their educational history and professional development, community involvement, philosophy of teaching, education issues and trends, the teaching profession, student achievement, and a personal message to educators and the general public. 

Applications were reviewed by a Screening Committee and a Selection Committee.  The Selection Committee will choose the next Teacher of the Year after participating in classroom observations and individual interviews with the Top Ten.  The announcement naming Greenville County’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year will be made in August.

The members of the Selection Committee are Mrs. Lillie Lewis, Southern Wesleyan University; Mrs. Kelly Nalley, former Greenville County Schools  and South Carolina Teacher of the Year; Dr. Betty McConaghy, retired school administrator; Mr. Scott Powell, The Rotary Club of Greenville; and Mr. Bill Tyler, Greer Chick-fil-A.

Krissy Black, 8th Grade English/Language Arts, Northwest Middle School

  • Total Years of Teaching Experience – 13
  • Education – Bachelor’s in Middle Education, USC Upstate

Andi Buckless, First Grade, Stone Elementary Academy

  • Total Years of Teaching Experience – 17
  • Education – Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, Michigan State University; Master’s in Education – Reading Curriculum and Instruction, North Carolina State University

Amanda Catherman, Spanish, Greenville Sr. High Academy

  • Total Years of Teaching Experience – 9                                                                                  
  • Education – Bachelor’s with Certification in English and Spanish, Michigan State University

Kristen Griffin, Kindergarten, Buena Vista Elementary School

  • Total Years of Teaching Experience – 20                                                                                
  • Education – Bachelor’s in Child Psychology and Early Childhood Education, Tulane University; Master’s in Program Specialist in Early Childhood, Liberty University

Cara Preston McFarlane, 9th Grade Special Education, Wade Hampton High School

  • Total Years of Teaching Experience – 5                                    
  • Education – Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, College of Charleston; Master’s in Special Education, Clemson University

Jennifer Murphy, Third Grade, Robert E. Cashion Elementary School * National Board Certified

  • Total Years of Teaching Experience – 8
  • Education – Bachelor’s in Education, Master’s in Education with Concentration in Special Education, Furman University

Lori Nelson, School Counselor, Paris Elementary School * National Board Certified

  • Total Years of Teaching Experience – 10
  • Education – Bachelor’s in Financial Management, Master’s in Professional School Counseling, Clemson University

Matthew Phillips, 9th Grade Biology/Life Science, Blue Ridge High School

  • Total Years of Teaching Experience - 5                                                   
  • Education – Bachelor’s in Secondary Education – Biology, USC Upstate

Katie Saunders, 1st//2nd Primary Multiage Class, Bethel Elementary School

  • Total Years of Teaching Experience – 5                                  
  • Education – Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, Master’s in Early Childhood Education, Furman University

Megan Schonhar, English, Greer Middle College Charter High School

  • Total Years of Teaching Experience – 5.5                              
  • Education – Bachelor’s in English, Furman University
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