KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Every year, South Carolina honors a teacher of the year. But another award is given to a teacher's assistant called the "Para-educator of the Year" award from the Council for Exceptional Children.
This year, the award goes to Rebecca South from Pine Tree Hill Elementary in Kershaw County. South considers her job a calling saying, "I love doing it. Looking at their faces." She is the teacher's assistant for young children who are developmentally challenged.
South's unique teaching style helps the student's learn. "We do things that interact with a book so they aren't just reading, but feeling the book. every child doesn't learn the same way."
It's South's dedication to her job landed her the state's "Para-educator of the Year" award for a teaching assistant who goes above and beyond. South says she didn't expect the award and didn't even know how to say thank you.
South's colleagues nominated her for having organized cupcake and soup fundraisers for orphanages in Haiti, Alzheimer's research, and even make up budget shortfalls so the kids go on field trips.
"Whatever it takes to go and do things," South says. "They need to be exposed to going on trips and not just being at school and family. It's every educational."
Web Extra: Video of South accepting the award.