BCSD announces 2019 Teacher of the Year finalists

The 2019 BCSD Teacher of the Year finalists. Left to right: Kimberly Walker, Amy Hardison and Thomas Mignone

Berkeley County School District has narrowed down its Teacher of the Year list to its top three finalists, from whom the district will choose its top teacher next month.

The three Honor Roll Teacher of the Year finalists were named at the district's annual Teacher Forum Induction Friday at Freedom Church in Moncks Corner. They included Thomas Mignone of Sangaree Intermediate, Amy Hardison of Daniel Island School and Kimberly Walker of Nexton Elementary. Also recognized at the event were the 44 other district teachers named the best at their individual schools this year.

Finalists:

Thomas Mignone - Sangaree Intermediate

Mignone realized he wanted to become a teacher when he was in high school. He said the decision he made that day is something he’s never second-guessed.

While he places great priority on his work to teach students how to grow as readers, writers and overall learners, he believes is biggest contribution to their growth is his ability to make them think positively about themselves and become comfortable and confident in the classroom.

Amy Hardison - Daniel Island School

Hardison will admit her years as a middle school student were challenging. However, the support she received from educators during that challenging time, combined with her passion for history, is what led to her becoming a middle school social studies teacher.

As a teacher, she values the importance of making lessons meaningful, innovative and applicable. If she accomplishes those things, she believes the connections crucial to the learning environment are established. That’s why, she says, her classroom values are non-negotiable.

Kimberly Walker - Nexton Elementary

As a child, Walker found refuge in school. She admits the neighborhood where she lived wasn’t the best. She says her teachers made her feel safe and smart. The experiences she had convinced her that she needed to have a positive influence on children’s lives.

She found her calling as a teacher of children with special needs as a volunteer for the Teacher Cadet program at her high school.

While she values everyday lessons, she also places a priority on teaching students and parents to advocate for themselves at school and within the community. Her greatest attribute, she believes, is her ability to find new ideas to address learning roadblocks and difficult behaviors.

The district will announce its 2019 Teacher of the Year April 23 at the annual Teacher of the Year Breakfast sponsored by the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, Santee Cooper and Trident Technical College.

“I think they are three awesome candidates," said Emily Reichbach, the district's 2018 Teacher of the Year. "I know that we have a winner in there, but all three of them are winners. We will have a really strong team for Teacher Forum next year, and I can’t wait to work with them."

The following teachers were named Teacher of the Year on the school level:

  • Berkeley Alternative School: Lisa B. Swiney
  • Berkeley County Middle College High: Parker Taie
  • Berkeley Elementary School: Kelly Brown
  • Berkeley High School: Jacci L. N. Klein
  • Berkeley Intermediate School: Meghan Lewis
  • Berkeley Middle School: Dana Copeland
  • Boulder Bluff Elementary School: Elizabeth Warner
  • Bowens Corner Elementary School: Anya Stevens
  • Cainhoy Elementary School: Holly Nall
  • Cane Bay Elementary School: Nicole Wilborn
  • Cane Bay High School: Lynsey Phillips
  • Cane Bay Middle School: Andrea Lemon
  • College Park Elementary School: Aimee Chambers
  • College Park Middle School: Rachel Gamble
  • Cross Elementary School: Tyler Bunting
  • Cross High School: Kathryn D. Lawson
  • Daniel Island School: Amy Hardison
  • Devon Forest Elementary School: Christie Calvin
  • Foxbank Elementary School: Lindsey Stroud
  • Goose Creek High School: Chrystal Bryant
  • Goose Creek Elementary School: Jasmin Banks
  • H.E. Bonner Elementary School: Christina Nadeau
  • Hanahan Elementary School: Michelle Sanford
  • Hanahan High School: Alyson Formichella
  • Hanahan Middle School: Nicholas Buchholz
  • Howe Hall AIMS: Kim Steele
  • J.K. Gourdin Elementary School: Victoria Stratton
  • Macedonia Middle School: Erin Piazza
  • Marrington Elementary School: Valerie S. MacEachern
  • Marrington Middle School of the Arts: Chrissy Pfeiffer
  • Mt. Holly Elementary School: Sarah Red
  • Nexton Elementary School: Kimberly Walker
  • Philip Simmons Elementary School: Colleen Bendig
  • Philip Simmons Middle School: Derek Classey
  • Philip Simmons High School: Eric J. Hatcher
  • Sangaree Elementary School: Katelan Urbanic
  • Sangaree Intermediate School: Thomas Mignone
  • Sangaree Middle School: Tanja Friday
  • Sedgefield Middle School: Kimberly Scott
  • St. Stephen Elementary School: Samfullard Singleton
  • St. Stephen Middle School: Kim Witherspoon
  • Stratford High School: Anni Blankenship
  • Timberland High School: Matthew Crowder
  • Westview Elementary School: Brittany Silver
  • Westview Middle School: Sarah Carpentar
  • Westview Primary School: Brittany Berg
  • Whitesville Elementary School: Madeline Elmore