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Emilie Woody from Wando High School

Ms. Emilie Woody from Wando High School was named CCSD’s 2015 Teacher of the Year on April 23, 2015. Ms. Woody is a Teacher Librarian, the head of Student Activities at Wando, and one of the faculty members leading Wando’s Information Technology initiatives. According to Principal Lucy Beckham, Emilie is “one of the best educators I have ever worked with,” which means a great deal coming from a veteran administrator and former National Principal of the Year!

Congratulations to CCSD's runner-up District Teacher of the Year, Ms. Denisse Stanbery, band instructor at C.E. Williams Middle School. Principal Kevin Smith is extremely proud of Ms. Stanbery, adding that “her dedication to her students and the CEW learning community is inspiring."

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Teacher of the Year Finalists, 2014-2015

On Friday, March 6, CCSD's Office of Teacher Effectiveness and current District Teacher of the Year Jaime Cunningham (Liberty Hill Academy) surprised the five finalists for District Teacher of the Year. Each finalist had the opportunity to check out a MINI Cooper from MINI of Charleston that the District Teacher of the Year will receive at CCSD Educator Night with the Charleston RiverDogs. Congratulations to each of the Teacher of the Year Finalists!

Special thanks to MINI of Charleston, the Charleston RiverDogs, and News 2 for their partnerships with CCSD in recognizing and rewarding our teacher leaders through the Teacher of the Year process!

Finalist Bios

Mary Ashlie Barnes, Oakland Elementary School

Oakland TOY"My greatest contribution is passing on my love of learning, and my greatest accomplishments are my students. I have had students who astounded me, students who surprised me, students who have challenged me, and students who have nearly driven me crazy. However, every one of the students who entered my classroom has learned, grown and been successful in some way."

A graduate of University of Maryland and The Citadel, Mary Ashlie Barnes enters her classroom each morning believing that “every student has the right to learn in an environment that promotes encouragement, acceptance, risk-taking, and a love of learning.” Ms. Barnes builds meaningful relationships with her students and respects their individual learning abilities, developing instruction to meet their specific needs. Instruction in Ms. Barnes classroom reveals an integration of all subjects so that the students make connections between the different subjects. She bases her decisions in the classroom and in the profession on what is best for students and encourages other educators to place students first.

Dana Monahan, Hunley Park Elementary School

Hunley Park TOY"I am a teacher, someone who enlightens others and instills valuable information, someone who accepts the responsibility of sharing wisdom and does so with an open heart."

A graduate of the College of Charleston and The Citadel, Dana Monahan credits her passion for the teaching profession to her teacher cadet class in high school and the teachers who impacted her life. As a Master Reading Teacher, Ms. Monahan uses data to develop instruction and methods for intervention. She firmly believes that teachers should understand the whole student, seeking information about individual student successes and helping them to develop and accomplish specific achievement goals. Ms. Monahan not only serves as an advocate for literacy and struggling readers, but she also serves her colleagues in her school and the district. By leading professional development in areas such as technology, literacy, and even yoga, Ms. Monahan models the ideals of a “life-long learner.”

Amy Ryan, Charles Pinckney Elementary School

Pinckney TOY"It is of utmost importance that students are aware that EVERYONE is involved in their learning, not only me, but their parents, and the students themselves."

A graduate of Boston College and Lesley University, Amy Ryan’s greatest contributions are those that she makes in the classroom and those she makes to help her school become a better place for learning. Ms. Ryan works closely with colleagues, sharing initiatives and strategies she gains from professional development and offering insights about student development and learning. Ms. Ryan believes in “equal access to quality education” for all students by designing instruction to meet the different academic needs of the students and “advocating for those students that don’t seem to have a voice.” Ms. Ryan’s support for student development can be witnessed in her volunteer work with a youth swim team and dance league. Her principal commented that “what’s most striking about her is her ability to remain student-centered in all of her decisions and actions.”

Denisse Stanbery, C.E. Williams Middle School

CE Williams TOY"The development and use of creativity in every classroom…optimizes student learning, student achievement, concept retention, and encourages learners to expand their horizons through creative learning opportunities."

A graduate of Andrews University and VanderCook College of Music, Denisse Stanbery strives to link state standards for music education to other subject areas outside of music by developing connections between music and history, social studies, English, math, and other subjects. A learner herself, Ms. Stanbery benefits from observing and consulting with colleagues who demonstrate efficacy in their own teaching. Often, she transfers the pedagogical practice of others into her work. Likewise, she encourages her colleagues as well as new teachers to observe in her classroom where she models high standards for herself and her students.

Emilie Woody, Wando High School

Wando TOY"Students succeed when they know they are cared for and prepared for."

A graduate of Furman University and University of South Carolina, Emilie Woody advocates for educators to make students the first priority in their work. Ms. Woody believes that by making personal connections with students they will recognize her as someone they can trust. It is this trust that encourages the students to come to school, which in turn positively impacts their academic achievement. Ms. Woody's involvement with student organizations and various roles in the school community demonstrate her pride in the work she does and in the school where she works.

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