Marlboro County School District teachers, staff and administrators set the tone for the 2019-20 school year at last week’s convocation in the gym at Marlboro County High School.
The annual event is a chance for everyone to gather and kick off the school year.
The MCHS Mighty Marching Bulldogs along with the cheerleaders provided the spirit. Teachers and staff from each school were dressed in their school colors to display their pride.
Breanne Wilbur was named the Teacher of the Year for the district. She teaches fourth and fifth-grade math and science at Clio Elementary Middle School.
Wilbur is starting her seventh year of teaching.
“Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to be a teacher,” Wilbur said in her TOY statement. “I was a child who loved the end of the school year because of all the materials the teachers gave away. They were the best for playing school.”
Teacher of the Year representatives from other schools were Victoria Kirby, Bennettsville Primary; Miranda Taylor, Bennettsville Intermediate; Cathy Shilen, Marlboro County High School; Whitney Comacho, McColl Elementary Middle; and Cherie Porter, Wallace Elementary Middle School.
Stephanie McCoy was named the Support Staff of Member the Year. She is the bookkeeper at BIS.
Principal Crystal Hewett said McCoy has the innate ability to build community within the school.
“Her work ethic surpasses her duties as bookkeeper,” Hewett said. “She spends many long days and nights working on ways to enhance the student and staff culture.”
The other finalists were Ashleigh Hancock, BPS; Linda Webster and Anita Nolan, Blenheim Elementary Middle; Debbie Dease, CES; Marion Smith, MCHS; Wendy Henderson, MEMS; Anita Nolan, School of Discovery; and Gabriel David, WEMS.
Community Service Person of the Year was Mike Hamilton of Hamilton Office Supplies.
Superintendent Dr. Gregory McCord said the district is launching three initiatives this year —literacy, attendance, and mentoring.
For the district, literacy is what they read, how they articulate it, and how they comprehend.
McCord said many of the students are not coming to school and no one is there to move them in the direction of the school.
“It is not because parents don’t care,” he said. “It is because parents are working two and three jobs and sometimes they are not there when it is time for them to go to school.”
He urged teachers and staff to make sure students understand the importance of being in school.
“If they are not in school, we can’t teach,” McCord said.
When it comes to mentoring, he wanted students to see something in the staff that they aspire to become.
“We can be the reason a student decides to live another day. We should be the reason that a student decides to come to school another day.”