The S.C. Department of Education announced five teachers as finalists in the South Carolina State Teacher of the Year Program.
The five, listed alphabetically by school district, are:
Lisa O. McCrea-Raiford, an elementary grades teacher at the Center of Innovative Learning at Pinecrest, Aiken County Public School District
Darleen S. Sutton, a first grade teacher at Pickens Elementary School, School District of Pickens County
Paul D. Johnson, a biology teacher at Saluda High School, Saluda County Schools
Trevor T. Ivey, a science teacher at Alice Drive Middle School, Sumter School District
Jeffrey M. Venables, a chemistry teacher at Northwestern High School, Rock Hill Schools (York County District 3)
The five finalists were chosen from nominees representing 81 public school districts, the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Palmetto Unified School district, and the S.C. Public Charter School District. The five finalists will be interviewed by a seven-member state selection committee.
The winner will be announced during the Teacher of the Year Celebration May 1 at the Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia.
During the 2013-14 school year the Teacher of the Year will participate in a one-year residency program at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA) and will serve as a statewide ambassador for the profession. The winner also will receive a $25,000 cash award and a BMW to use for a year.
The four remaining finalists will each receive $10,000, and the district teachers of the year will receive $1,000 each.
The 2013-14 State Teacher of the Year will succeed Amy McAllister-Skinner, an English teacher at Johnsonville High School in Florence District 5.