AP NEWS

Florence One honors teachers, staff

May 8, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – On Tuesday, Florence One Schools recognized the accomplishments faculty and staff made this school year.

During the 16th annual Florence One Schools Honors and Awards Program Tuesday evening, the district recognized teachers and support employees of the year, as well as retiring teachers and award- and grant-winning staff members.

The South Carolina 2019 Teacher of the Year, Jeff Maxey of Anderson School District Three, lauded the teachers and staff for their achievements during the 2018-19 school year and the influence they have on students.

“To see all of the different accomplishments on that screen that you’ve accomplished in one year, many school districts would dream to do in five or ten years, but tonight we celebrate not because of words written on that screen, but because of students that are behind those words,” Maxey said.

Maxey challenged teachers and staff to let the recognition of their achievements be a stepping stone for their careers.

“Let this moment be a semicolon instead of a period,” Maxey said. “A period comes at the end of a sentence, the end of an idea, the end of a thought. A semicolon connects two ideas or thoughts or ideas together.”

Superintendent Richard O’Malley said in his closing remarks that Florence One teachers truly believe in their profession.

“Teaching still is a very noble profession,” O’Malley said. “You wouldn’t know that in the media today. You wouldn’t know that by the rhetoric that is out there about education, but being here, being new in South Carolina, I have another deep appreciation for teachers and staff and what they do.”

O’Malley presented Sharri Duncan, an art teacher at John W. Moore Intermediate School, with an award for being the Florence One Schools teacher of the year.

Florence One Schools recognized 39 teachers retiring from the district with a combined 743 years of teaching.

One of those teachers, Aline Edgerton, who teaches second grade at Carver Elementary School, is retiring after teaching for more than 33 years, 24 of those years in Florence One Schools.

“It’s mixed emotions,” Edgerton said. “I was sitting here thinking tonight ’I teach so well with my colleague teacher and we teach so well together so it’s mixed emotions to leave her, my colleagues and the kids.”

Though she has mixed emotions about leaving the classroom, Edgerton said she looks forward to this new adventure.

Loubirdie Law, one of the 26 support employees of the year, said it was an absolute surprise and an honor to be selected as the support employee of the year for Southside Middle School.

“I love my job,” Law said. “I love going to work. I go happy. I come back happy. I love my students, and I love taking care of my staff.”

Law works in the library as a media specialist assistant at Southside Middle School.