Summit Drive Virtual Teacher Angelica Childes Named State Teacher of the Year Finalist
State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman surprised Greenville County Schools Virtual Program teacher Angelica Childes today with news that she has been selected as one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year award.
“Angelica is a determined educator who strives to ensure her students are successful no matter their circumstances," said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. "Her commitment to meeting the individual needs of her students inspires her peers and positions her as an education leader across our state."
Angelica Childes is a fourth grade teacher with the GCS Virtual Program. Prior to that, she taught third grade students at Summit Drive Elementary School. Childes received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Clemson University, and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Lamar University.
“Mrs. Childes enjoys sharing with her students that her first year as a teacher was a disaster, but instead of becoming discouraged, it caused her to strengthen her commitment and effort focusing on her goal to one day be Teacher of the Year. That focus and resolve are hallmarks of her dedication to students and the profession,” said GCS Superintendent Dr. W. Burke Royster.
While in school, Angelica spent her summers volunteer teaching in Uganda. This experience gave her a worldwide perspective of the spectrum of educational inequality, and she gained a conviction that through teaching she could become a catalyst for change. Her mission began in New Orleans, Louisiana where she taught with Teach For America. At her school, Angelica created an initiative that connected every classroom with an international class, a partnership that improved the climate and culture at her school. In addition to teaching, Angelica contributes to the profession as a curriculum writer, cooperating teacher for pre-service teachers, mentor for new teachers, peer evaluator for second year teachers, and by leading district-wide professional development sessions.
As one of five finalists, Angelica received $10,000 and go on to the next stage of competition which involves an interview with a team of expert judges. The winner will be announced at the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Gala on May 5 in Columbia.
The winner receives a total of $25,000 and is provided with a brand new BMW to use while serving for one year as a roving ambassador providing mentoring, attending speaking engagements, working with teacher cadets and teaching fellows, leading the State Teacher Forum, and serving as the state spokesperson for over 50,000 educators.
The Teacher of the Year program celebrates excellence and strengthens the teaching force by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on the district, state, and national level. The Teacher of the Year Awards not only assist in retention efforts but serve as a powerful recruitment tool to the educator profession.