Teachers of Year share passion for teaching B
arnwell County’s three District Teachers of the Year have a collective 55 years’ worth of experience in the classroom. Tina Sanderlin (Barnwell District 19), Teariney Tobin (Williston District 29) and Kia Valentine (Barnwell District 45) are the 20162017 District Teacher of the Year from their districts. Sanderlin, pre-kindergarten teacher at Macedonia Elementary, has been a teacher for 34 years, 33 of those in Blackville. “I used to say that I was sure that my blood was maroon and gold. I am so honored to represent the school district that I love. I am so happy that God has allowed me to do the job that I love,” said Sanderlin. Tobin is a third grade teacher who has worked five years at Kelly Edwards Elementary in her hometown of Williston. “It’s been such an amazing journey to come back here to teach and give back,” said Tobin. “I’m truly blessed to work among great people. I ran up against some tough competition.” Valentine is the fine arts teacher at Barnwell Primary School. She has taught for 16 years, including in her hometown of Williston, but has been back in Barnwell three years. “It thrills me to think that being chosen as Teacher of the Year is an indicator that our teachers, administration and community recognize the value of arts education,” said Valentine, who came to Barnwell three years ago to restart the fine arts class. All three teachers attribute their love for teaching to students. “I am passionate about teaching children the things they need to know to be successful in life. I try to be concerned with their spiritual growth as well as their academic growth. I want to make learning fun and exciting,” said Sanderlin. “I have had the privilege of teaching some of the best students in the world.” Though there are tough days, Tobin said her students make each day special and unique, which motivates her to put her
Tina Sanderlin (Barnwell District 19), Kia Valentine (Barnwell District 45), Molly Spearman (S.C. Superintendent of Education), and Teariney Tobin (Williston District 29) pictured at the S.C. Teacher Forum in Myrtle Beach in November 2016. “whole heart in it” so she can make a positive difference in their lives. “Every child can learn, but it is the teacher’s job to figure out how to be sure that each student is reaching their maximum learning capabilities,” she said. “The joy of my job comes from witnessing our students grow in creativity, problem solving, self-confidence, compassion, and an understanding of differences through the exploration of the arts. However, a greater joy comes from seeing former students continue to develop and share their artistic talents to serve and inform others of the importance of the arts in our everyday lives,” Valentine said.
The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 29
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