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Ritchie named Substitute of the Year

A substitute teacher who frequents classrooms in Cottageville Elementary School has been chosen as a districtwide Substitute Teacher of the Year.

Tina Ritchie has been named the Substitute Teacher of the Year for the entire Colleton County School District.

The award is sponsored this year by Kelly Services, a contracted agency in charge of substitute staffing for the district’s needs.

Ritchie was nominated for the award by Cottageville Elementary Principal Janis Headden, who often oversees Ritchie in her day-to-day activities at the school. Headden says that when she first heard of the award, she immediately composed a letter nominating Ritchie.

“I forwarded (the email) to Kelly Services and to Mr. (Cliff) Warren. I didn’t hear anything else until I was notified that Tina won for the district,” said Headden.

In her original letter where she nominates Ritchie, Headden says Ritchie has “worked as a substitute teacher for Colleton County for the past several years.”

“As her immediate supervisor when she is substituting at CES, I have had the good fortune to see students respond positively to her; an advantage that most substitute teachers unfortunately do not have,” said Headden. “Ms. Ritchie is extremely motivated. Whether she is assigned to a language class or a physical education class, she has shown her enthusiasm for her work and nurturing her students at every point,” Headden says, about Ritchie. “She has several strengths, but as per my observation, her main strength has been the ability to care for students.

“Ms. Ritchie is very accommodating and flexible in her assignments as I have had to change her assignment from one class to another at the last minute,” she said. “She is also hands-on in recognizing when a student needs special attention, grabs the opportunity with both hands and ends up making a difference.”

As the district winner, Ritchie now qualifies for a statewide award from Kelly Services. The state winner will receive a cash bonus. Each state winner is then qualified to enter the national contest for Substitute Teacher of the Year. This contest is also sponsored by Kelly Services.

The national winner will receive $1,500 in cash. Additionally, a $1,500 award will also be given to the school that nominated the winner.

“This is a recognition program we take seriously as we fully appreciate the commitment that our employees make to both the educational communities they serve as well as Kelly Educational Staffing,” said Becky Jennings, general manager of Kelly Services.

According to Rearden, Ritchie was presented last week with the award by Amanda Darden, who is the Kelly Services liason for Colleton County School District, and by Tasheena Allen, assistant principal at Cottageville Elementary School.

Heather Walters (1494 Posts)