From staff reports
Five classroom teachers have been named as finalists for Beaufort County’s 2021-2022 District Teacher of the Year.
The finalists are Oana Bejan, special education teacher at Hilton Head Island High School; Ann Buckley, special education teacher at Hilton Head Island Middle School; Christopher Crabb, dance teacher at Mossy Oaks Elementary School; Lynne Sunday, Media Specialist at H.E. McCracken Middle School; and Aimee Whitesell, biology teacher at Battery Creek High School.
Superintendent Frank Rodriguez made surprise visits to each of the finalists’ schools on Thursday to announce the five selections.
“The secret to a school’s success is not surprising,” Rodriguez said in a release. “It’s having amazing teachers in our schools. Our five finalists for District Teacher of the Year are wonderful examples of the phenomenal educational professionals that we have in Beaufort County.”
The District Teacher of the Year will be announced this fall.
Becoming District Teacher of the Year is a three-step process that began when school-level teachers of the year were selected in May. Those wishing to compete for District Teacher of the Year submitted detailed applications in July.
In the second step, a selection committee consisting of parents, former educators and community leaders from across Beaufort County reviewed the applications and rated them using a numerical scoring system. The five highest-scoring applicants were named as finalists.
In the next step, the five finalists will be interviewed by a separate review committee again composed of judges from across the county. The judges will score candidates based on how well they respond to questions about their teaching experiences and about current education issues. After those interviews, the panel will select a District Teacher of the Year to represent Beaufort County’s classroom professionals.
The current Teacher of the Year is Okatie Elementary second-grade teacher Dr. Megan DeWeese.