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Top 2017 school leaders announced

Colleton’s top educators, and its best janitorial crews, have been announced from the recent 2017-2018 school year.

Leading the list is Colleton County’s District Teacher of the Year, Wendy Strickland.

Strickland is currently a teacher at Forest Hills Elementary School. For her achievement during the last school year, she received a ring from Jostens, a gift card from Heritage Trust and a plaque from the school district.

Secondly, Brandon Williams was named Colleton’s District Support Employee of the Year. Williams is a Positive Behavior Support Specialist at Northside Elementary School.

According to Cliff Warren, assistant superintendent of the local school district, Williams received a gift card and a plaque for receiving the honor.

Lastly, Colleton’s District Rookie Teacher of the Year is Kelly Villwock. Villwock is a teacher at Colleton County High School. She, too, received a gift card and a plaque.

According to information provided by Warren, the Colleton County School District has a set list of guidelines that help its leaders determine annual inners in these categories.

Once each school, or location, winners are determined, each of those winners receives an application to complete for the district-wide competition. Then, once all applications are received, a committee reviews those applications and district winners are chosen.

The awards are open to all teachers who work full-time or part-time. District guidelines state that the only restriction is that the person must have served in a “regular teaching position” within the Colleton County School District for at least 12 months before they can be chosen as a teacher or support staff of the year. As for the Support Employee of the Year, the winning individual’s work should be “outstanding in their contribution to the overall purposes of the school or district,” as stated in the district’s guidelines for choosing a teacher of the year and for selecting a support employee of the year.

“Colleton County School District has many fine teachers. The purpose of this award is to identify those individuals whose service has been truly outstanding in their contribution to the overall purpose of the district,” said Warren.

In addition to naming the district’s teachers of the year for 2017-2018, district leaders also have announced that Cottageville Elementary School’s custodial team is the most-winning janitorial crew in the entire district.

Each month throughout the school year, the district sponsors a “Clean School Award.” A crew of district leaders surprise each school in the district on a monthly basis and inspect the school and its ground for cleanliness. Those at Cottageville Elementary won this award the most of any other school in the district during the 2017-2018 school year, according to Warren.

“We have a team that visits all schools each month to inspect them on cleanliness and safety. The team then selects the school with the highest yearly score,” he said.

Each month of the school year, the winning school receives a trophy. That trophy is passed from school-to-school each month.

“Is it coming from people eating there during their lunch breaks, or from recreation users at the landing,” she said. “Does it come down the river, or is it coming from other types of activities?

“Once we figure out what exactly happens, we’ll be able to determine how to approach those individuals and/or situations.”

She says the answer to any litter problems could range from public education to putting more trash cans out along the river and at boat landings.

“The litter found at boat landings is a different kind of litter,” she said. “It could be a boat dumped in the water, camping trash, household trash, human waste, furniture, swing sets, dead animals and so much more.

“This grant not only will help figure out a problem, it will find a solution for those problems.”

According to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, there have been no major reported incidents of litter at the county’s area boat landings during this summer season.

The grant is also being supported by Walther Farms and PhillipMorrisUSA. The Phillip Morris tobacco company has also agreed to donate cigarette bins to help stop cigarette litter at the state’s boat landings, in addition to being a part of this grant.

Any non-profit organization or county entity can apply for the grant. To apply , visit the Palmetto Pride Web Site at www.palmettopride.com and look for links to the Edisto River Adopt-A-Landing Grant.

Heather Walters (1410 Posts)