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Columbia students are teachers of the year

    Ashley Robinson, left, of Burnside Elementary School and Audrey White Garner, right of Burton Pack Elementary School, both in Richland School District 1, were voted 2013 Teacher of the Year at their schools.

    Two Columbia education students, Ashley Robinson of Burnside Elementary School and Audrey White Garner of Burton Pack Elementary School, both in Richland School District 1, were voted 2013 Teacher of the Year at their schools.

    "Hats off to our instructional program in preparing them to reach and teach our children in S.C.," said Lisa Hall, assistant professor of education at Southern Wesleyan University. Robinson and White are both in the Master of Education in Administration and Supervision degree program. 

    Robinson teaches second-grade math, English language arts and science. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina in 2008.

    “The greatest reward for me is simply knowing that I have a direct impact on not only my students but quite possibly the world. If I can make it a better place through my students, I have done my job,” said Robinson, an Orangeburg native who says she comes from a family of educators, including her mother who still teaches. Robinson believes that if students feel connected to their teacher and what they are learning, they are motivated to work harder.

    Garner is a science lab teacher for K-5. She has also taught third-grade math, science and social studies. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Clemson University.

    Garner believes that every child can learn and succeed. 

    “In every decision you make as teacher, as long as you’re doing it in the best interest of the student, you’re doing the right thing,” said Garner. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher as long as I can remember,” Said Garner, recalling how as a preschooler she would role play as a teacher to her dolls, using magazines as textbooks. She feels honored to be chosen by her peers and privileged to teach in the very school district where she was a student.

    With regional education centers conveniently located across South Carolina, as well as fully online programs for select degrees, Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ.

    See other outstanding educators who are SWU graduates