Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2017

Ten Finalists Named in GCS Teacher of the Year Program

Ten finalists have been selected in the 2017-18 Greenville County Schools Teacher of the Year program. They are, in alphabetical order

  • Suzanne Billings, 4th Grade, Plain Elementary School
  • Jeremy Bowen, Mathematics, J.L. Mann High Academy
  • Scott Buhr, Physics/Earth Science, Hillcrest High School
  • David Dejesa, Social Studies/Speech and Debate, Riverside High School
  • Anjosia Ellerbe, Business Education, Wade Hampton High School
  • Chancey Greco, English Language Arts, Greenville Middle Academy
  • Ashley Jenkins, World History, Woodmont High School
  • Lauren Long, English, Hillcrest Middle School
  • Thomas McAuliff, 3rd Grade, Taylors Elementary School
  • Erin Rigot, Communications, League Middle Academy

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, educational history and professional development, community involvement, philosophy of teaching, education issues and trends, the teaching profession, 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 2017-18 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.

Profiles of Top Ten Finalists

Suzanne Billings, 4th Grade, Plain Elementary SchoolSuzanne Billings, 4th Grade, Plain Elementary School

Total Years of Teaching Experience – 18

Education – Bachelor’s in Special Education, Furman University; Master’s in Elementary School Guidance Counseling, Clemson University


Jeremy Bowen, Mathematics, J.L. Mann High AcademyJeremy Bowen, Mathematics, J.L. Mann High Academy

Total Years of Teaching Experience – 5

Education – Bachelor’s in Mathematics Education, Bob Jones University; Master’s in Education, Anderson University


Scott Buhr, Physics/Earth Science, Hillcrest High SchoolScott Buhr, Physics/Earth Science, Hillcrest High School

Total Years of Teaching Experience – 4

Education – Bachelor’s in Composite Science Education, Bob Jones University; Master’s in Educational Leadership, Bob Jones University


David Dejesa, Social Studies/Speech and Debate, Riverside High SchoolDavid Dejesa, Social Studies/Speech and Debate, Riverside High School

Total Years of Teaching Experience – 13

Education – Bachelor’s in Composite Social Studies Education, Bob Jones University; Master’s in History Secondary Education, Converse College


Anjosia Ellerbe, Business Education, Wade Hampton High SchoolAnjosia Ellerbe, Business Education, Wade Hampton High School

Total Years of Teaching Experience – 10

Education – Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Columbia College; Master’s of Education, Southern Wesleyan University; Master’s of Business Administration, Southern Wesleyan University


Chancey Greco, English Language Arts, Greenville Middle AcademyChancey Greco, English Language Arts, Greenville Middle Academy

Total Years of Teaching Experience – 6

Education – Bachelor’s in English, Coastal Carolina University; Master’s in Teaching Middle Level English, Clemson University


Ashley Jenkins, World History, Woodmont High SchoolAshley Jenkins, World History, Woodmont High School

Total Years of Teaching Experience – 23

Education – Bachelor’s in Secondary Education with specialization in Social Studies, Presbyterian College; Master’s in Secondary Education with specialization in Social Studies, Furman University


Lauren Long, English, Hillcrest Middle SchoolLauren Long, English, Hillcrest Middle School

Total Years of Teaching Experience - 7

Education – Bachelor’s in Secondary English Education, Anderson University; Master’s in Education, Anderson University; Master’s in Educational Leadership, University of South Carolina


Thomas McAuliff, 3rd Grade, Taylors Elementary SchoolThomas McAuliff, 3rd Grade, Taylors Elementary School

Total Years of Teaching Experience – 5

Education – Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, North Greenville University; Master’s in Learning and Technology, Western Governor’s University


Erin Rigot, Communications, League Middle AcademyErin Rigot, Communications, League Middle Academy

Total Years of Teaching Experience – 7

Education – Bachelor’s in Middle School Education, English Language Arts and Social Studies, Presbyterian College; Master’s in Teaching and Learning, Clemson University

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