Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC) health sciences teacher Brooke Bradshaw was named 2017 Kershaw County School District Teacher of the Year at a gala tonight while Jackson School kindergarten teacher Aimee Nesbitt was named first alternate.
Also honored during the evening’s celebration was Pine Tree Hill Elementary School (PTHS) art teacher Madeline Holcombe who received the Outstanding First Year Teacher award. North Central High School (NCHS) Principal David Branham also was recognized as the district’s Principal of the Year.
All 20 Kershaw County schools selected teachers of the year earlier this school year. Bradshaw and Nesbitt were two of five honor roll teachers selected as finalists for the district award. Other honor roll teachers were Wendy Mullis, Lugoff-Elgin High School; Jonas Nix, North Central Middle School; and Kayla Geist, Wateree Elementary School.
Bradshaw has been teaching at ATEC for two years and previously taught and served as the athletic trainer at NCHS where she started working in 2009. In 2014, she was named NCHS teacher of the year. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina.
“I like to expose my students to various medical professions and settings where they can be employed,” said Bradshaw. “I feel that students limit the medical field to doctors and nurses, which is why my primary goal is to show the students that there are more options outside the clinical setting. My story can be summed up in six words…Love. Nurture. Inspire. Light the Fire.”
“Mrs. Bradshaw is the personification of a great teacher,” said ATEC Director Gordon Morris. “She is innovative, caring, prepared, enthusiastic and a great role model for her students.”
Nesbitt is in her 19th year of teaching after having started her career in Sumter. She joined the Jackson School faculty in 2004. Her interest in teaching began as a teacher cadet in high school. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education from Coastal Carolina University and a Master of Education for creative arts degree from Lesley University. She is national board certified in early childhood education.
Serving as NCHS’s top administrator since 2014, Branham started his career as an agricultural education teacher and coach at the school before becoming an assistant principal there in 2009. He also served as the principal for both Mt. Pisgah and Bethune elementary schools for two years. Under Branham’s guidance, North Central High School was named one of the “Best High Schools in America” by U.S. News and World Report last year.
Holcombe is the ninth KCSD educator to receive the district’s award to honor first year teachers. An art teacher at PTHS, she is a member of this year’s induction class. PTHS Principal Melissa Royalty said, “Miss Holcombe makes every effort to know her students and what they enjoy when it comes to art. It is evident that there is a healthy dose of love and respect that is reciprocated between teacher and students. This is not an easy feat when you think she teaches over 500 students in any given week!”
Other first year teachers who were named as honor roll teachers for the Outstanding First Year Teacher recognition included Tarah McNelis, Camden Elementary School; and Julie Mayo, Pine Tree Hill Elementary School.
All of the 2017 local school teachers of the year were honored at the gala. They are:
Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC) – Brooke Bradshaw
Baron DeKalb Elementary – Emily Baccomo
Bethune Elementary – Jakki Bonner
Blaney Elementary – Stacey Kelly
Camden Elementary – Kennedy Spangler
Camden High – Elena Gaston
Camden Middle – Julie Creel
Continuous Learning Center (CLC) – Michael Manning
Doby’s Mill Elementary – Sarah Gardner
Jackson School – Aimee Nesbitt
Lugoff Elementary – Beth Kirincich
Lugoff-Elgin High – Wendy Mullis
Lugoff-Elgin Middle – Sara Stokes
Midway Elementary – Terri Odom
Mt. Pisgah Elementary – Amanda Williams
North Central High – Katie Hough
North Central Middle – Jonas Nix
Pine Tree Hill Elem. – Laci Tobens
Stover Middle – Kathleen Staffaroni
Wateree Elementary – Kayla Geist