Midlands teachers among finalists for SC Teacher of the Year - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Midlands teachers among finalists for SC Teacher of the Year

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Patrick Kelly (Source: SC Department of Education) Patrick Kelly (Source: SC Department of Education)
Vivian "Beth" Tuten (Source: SC Department of Education) Vivian "Beth" Tuten (Source: SC Department of Education)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Two Midlands teachers are among the five finalists for South Carolina Teacher of the Year.

State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais announced the five finalists Tuesday.  They include Patrick Kelly, who teaches 12th grade Advanced Placement U.S. government and politics at Blythewood High School, and Swansea High School special education teacher Vivian "Beth" Tuten.

Also among the finalists are Jennifer Ainsworth of Socastee High School in Horry County, John Dearybury from Woodland Heights Elementary School in Spartanburg School District 6 and Ronda Hudak from Rawlinson Middle School in Rock Hill School District 3.

All five finalists were chosen by a panel of educators and private citizens.  The names of the teachers and their schools were concealed from the judges during the selection process.  The five finalists will now travel to Columbia for personal interviews with a seven-member state selection committee.

South Carolina's Teacher of the Year will receive a $25,000 cash award and a new BMW to use for one year. During the 2014-15 school year, he or she will also 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 2014-15 Teacher of the Year will succeed first grade teacher Darleen S. Sutton.

The other four finalists, known as Honor Roll teachers, will each receive $10,000. 

The annual Teacher of the Year gala is April 23, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

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