Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Greenville County Schools Recognizes First Year Teachers

Through a partnership with Public Education Partners (PEP), four GCS induction (first year) teachers are being recognized as First Class Teachers. Selection criteria includes a commitment to developing students, willingness to grow, excellence in the classroom, and a passion for teaching. One employee per category - Elementary, Middle, High, and Special Centers – has been selected. Each recipient received a cash award and a trophy.


Nicole Benvenuto, Sterling School Counselor

Nicole Benvenuto, or Miss B, is an avid proponent of the school’s emphasis on Griffin PRIDE, or positivity, respect, integrity, determination, and empathy. Regardless of what students are facing, Miss B tells them she and others at school will work through the situation and move forward together. Her empathetic, positive mindset helps calm families down during times of crisis. She has developed a monthly newsletter for staff to highlight best practices and provide sample strategies for use in the classroom. As one colleague stated, “Miss B makes herself available to the students, checks in on the teachers, and is a wonderful listener and advocate.”

Nicole Benvenuto, Sterling School Counselor
Nicole Benvenuto, Sterling School Counselor

Ruth Terkelsen, League Academy Counselor

Since her first day as an intern at League Academy two years ago, and after being named sixth grade counselor last year, Ruth Terkelsen has served as a strong asset to students and staff. She genuinely cares for others and has an innate ability to connect with diverse groups of students. These connections allow students to open up so she can support them both academically and personally. Staff members are especially grateful for Ruth’s round-the-clock accessibility, caring deeply about students’ wellbeing, mentoring students, and organizing one of the best Boot Camp events ever presented by the school.

Ruth Terkelsen, League Academy Counselor
Ruth Terkelsen, League Academy Counselor

Renee Swoap Chappell, Riverside High Special Education Teacher

Renee Swoap Chappell has worked tirelessly to develop positive, supportive relationships with her students. Not only does she advocate for them with their general education teachers, she builds relationships by attending various extracurricular and sporting activities of her students. She works hard to understand and fully implement the Read 180 curriculum for students with severe reading struggles. Her ability to plan engaging, student-centered lessons, write IEPs, hold IEP conferences, advocate for her students, a develop supportive relationships with students and colleagues is unparalleled for a first year teacher.

Renee Swoap Chappell, Riverside High Special Education Teacher
Renee Swoap Chappell, Riverside High Special Education Teacher

David Styles, Bonds Career Center Building Construction Teacher

David Styles came to Bonds Career Center with 22 years’ experience running his own successful business and has designed the Building Construction program to create a pipeline from his classroom to Upstate jobs. His real-world approach to teaching and constant focus on problem-solving, collaboration, and professional skills have already proven to be a recipe for success. He talks to his students about professional expectations, workplace communication, and the importance of punctuality on the job site. David brings to the job creative collaboration, passion for his career, and instilling a sense of pride in students when they complete a project.

David Styles, Bonds Career Center Building Construction Teacher
David Styles, Bonds Career Center Building Construction Teacher

Through a partnership with Public Education Partners (PEP), four GCS induction (first year) teachers are being recognized as First Class Teachers. Selection criteria includes a commitment to developing students, willingness to grow, excellence in the classroom, and a passion for teaching. One employee per category - Elementary, Middle, High, and Special Centers – has been selected. Each recipient received a cash award and a trophy.


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