Two Midlands teachers are among five finalists for the state’s top teaching award.
Daniel Oddo of Dreher High and Albert Robertson of Meadow Glen Middle were announced as finalists Tuesday. South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman made visits to the schools and surprised the honorees.
The other announced finalists are Suzanne Coty, Sumter High School, Sumter School District; Jeannie Durham, Rawlinson Road Middle School, Rock Hill District 3; and Hunter Jolley, Boiling Springs High School, Spartanburg District 2.
Oddo teaches math in ninth through 12th grades at the Richland 1 school. He began his career in education as a math teacher and then became an assistant principal and principal before returning to the classroom after eight years.
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“I love my students,” Oddo said in a statement. “This honor is really a testimony to them and their hard work. I also am thankful for the support I’ve received from Dreher and Richland 1.”
Robertson is a seventh-grade social studies teacher at the Lexington 1 school. He received the 2014 Palmetto State Social Studies Teacher of Excellence Award. He said he attributes his success in the classroom to relationship building, which includes listening and dancing to his students’ music and learning about their interests.
“This honor validates the great job that Albert does in the classroom every day,” Bill Coon, principal of Meadow Glen Middle, said in a statement. “Albert’s passion and dedication to his students are evident to anyone who spends time in his classroom.”
The winner of the S.C. Teacher of the Year title will receive $25,000 and a new BMW to drive for a year, according to the Department of Education. The four remaining finalists will each receive a check for $10,000. All 82 school districts select a district teacher of the year, and the five finalists are selected from this pool.
The winner will be announced April 22 at a gala in Columbia.