PICKENS COUNTY — The School District of Pickens County announced its new Teacher of the Year and Support Employee of the year at the 2015 Back-To-School Celebration held last week.
Trina Stephens, a fifth-grade teacher, was named Teacher of the Year, and Paige Bowers, a Data Entry Clerk, was named Support Employee of the Year. Both are from Central Elementary School.
“My first thought was that I didn’t even know it was possible for one school to get both winners, but my second thought was that Paige and Trina are very deserving of the honor,” Cissy Floyd, principal at CES, said during the ceremony held last Wednesday morning.
Stephens is an 11-year veteran of the classroom, teaching for eight years at Central Elementary School. Colleagues recommended her for the award both for her heart for at-risk students and for her use of innovative teaching strategies.
“Search far and wide and you will not find a more capable and inspiring spokesperson for the profession of teaching than Trina Stephens,” said Susan Nunamaker, the Title I Curriculum Specialist at Central Elementary. “Her enthusiasm for teaching is contagious.”
Bowers has worked at Central Elementary for three years, and is a member of the Central Town Council. She stood out for going above and beyond her role as a Data Entry Clerk.
In her recommendation letter, Floyd recalled her first meeting with Bowers at the start of the year.
“She already had the dates of a town council meeting, a Southern Wesleyan University function, and a luncheon with the director of a retirement community penned — not penciled — in for me to attend during the 2014-2015 school year,” Floyd said. “Paige’s core consists of finding ways to support and to make Central Elementary the best that it can be through community relations and partnerships.”
The winners of the SDPC Teacher of the Year and Support Employee of the Year Awards are chosen from among the TOY’s and SEOY’s selected at each school. After an application and screening process to pick the finalists, the winners are selected by an interview committee composed of staff, parents, and community members.
The Teacher of the Year is awarded with a $500 prize, and she will assume leadership of the district’s Teacher Forum during the school year. The Support Employee of the Year wins a $250 prize.