State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman surprised Lugoff-Elgin High School teacher, Jenny Proctor, today with news that she has been selected as one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year award.
“Jenny realized early on during her first year in the classroom that her true calling is the ability to impact the lives of students," said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. "While her instruction focuses on making students stronger communicators, Jenny helps her students become more confident, self-directed, and passionate about what it is that they choose to do in life."
Jenny Proctor is a ninth through twelfth Journalism teacher at Lugoff-Elgin High School in Kershaw County School District. She earned a bachelor's in English Literature from Presbyterian College and is currently working toward her master's in Teacher Leadership through the American College of Education. Jenny is National Board Certified in Career and Technical Education.
"Jenny Proctor is the epitome of a master teacher," said Kershaw County School District Superintendent Dr. Shane Robbins. "She provides a learning environment where students are successful in the classroom and spends countless hours to ensure excellence with her school's yearbook. Her positive attitude, caring nature and genuine spirit make her an incredible educator."
During her 18 years in the classroom, Jenny has received numerous awards, including the University of South Carolina School of Journalism's Elizabeth B. Dickey Distinguished Service Award and the Shoquist Freedom of the Press Award, both sponsored by the Southern Interscholastic Press Association. She often shares her expertise by serving as a workshop instructor, session presenter, and adviser mentor for various scholastic journalism organizations. Under her supervision, two of her students have been named as journalists of the year and her yearbook staff has won the Palmetto Award seven times. Jenny views her ability to affect her students' lives by helping them become more comfortable with who they are, while developing within them an appreciation for the diversity around them, as her greatest accomplishment in teaching.
As one of five finalists, Jenny will receive $10,000 and go on to the next stage of competition which involves an interview with a team of expert judges. The winner will be announced at the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Gala on May 5 in Columbia.
The winner receives a total of $25,000 and is provided with a brand new BMW to use while serving for one year as a roving ambassador providing mentoring, attending speaking engagements, working with teacher cadets and teaching fellows, leading the State Teacher Forum, and serving as the state spokesperson for over 50,000 educators.
The Teacher of the Year program celebrates excellence and strengthens the teaching force by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on the district, state, and national level. The Teacher of the Year Awards not only assist in retention efforts but serve as a powerful recruitment tool to the educator profession.