Summit Drive Elementary School third grade teacher Angelica Childes has been named Greenville County Schools’ 2020-21 Teacher of the Year, the school district announced Thursday, Sept. 24.
GCS superintendent Burke Royster presented the award to Childes in a visit to Childes’ classroom.
“[Childes] serves to reinforce and empower the voice of teachers who are standing up for the career and for students,” said Greenville County Schools director of media relations Tim Waller.
Childes has spoken out about the necessity of mentorship for new teachers during their first years of teaching, according to a release. She’s dedicated time to mentoring new teachers, assisting them in their techniques and coaching them through feedback.
“I have listened to the personal experiences of former coworkers who left the field,” Childes said. “Navigating the new normal of the unique culture and high demands of the teaching career is a task that requires meaningful support, and I believe the teacher attrition rate can drastically decrease through mentorship.”
Besides her time at Summit Drive Elementary School, Childes taught English to children in Uganda over two summers. Her students at Summit Drive collected money one year to provide safe water systems to several families in the landlocked country bordering Kenya. She’s used her experience in Uganda to better understand classroom management as well as help her students understand disparities in the world.
“From year to year my students change, but the value I put on loving, respecting and challenging the whole child remains consistent,” she said. “I am responsible for inspiring motivation to pursue the actualization of my students’ far-reaching dreams.”
Greenville County Schools and centers selected individuals for Teacher of the Year. Those individuals had to complete an application that was scored by a committee. Judges then selected the top 10 finalists out of the top third of scores, according to the school district.
Those finalists were then interviewed and observed. Judges examined interviews on the teacher’s use of effective communication skills, organization of responses to questions and substance and relevance of response. In observations, teacher of the year finalists were judged on the teacher’s knowledge of content, teacher and student interaction, communication skills, instructional delivery, and assessment and feedback.