SWU Graduates Named Top Educators

Damon Qualls – Berea Middle School

Qualls, who was recently named assistant principal at Berea Middle School, witnessed history being made as he shared the stage with comedian Stephen Colbert, who announced he would fund $800,000 in grants written by S.C. schools. Read more>>

Rasheem L. Neloms – Military Magnet Academy, Charleston Co. Schools

Rasheem L. Neloms was nominated teacher of the year at Military Magnet Academy from Charleston County School District. He received his master of education in administration and supervision degree during winter graduation exercises Dec. 14 at the Central campus. Read more>>

Detra Fipps – Nolan Middle School, Bradenton, Fla.

Detra Fipps (Dee Chappell), an English education graduate and sixth-grade teacher, was named Teacher of the Year. Read more>>

Dana Jackson – Windsor Spring Elementary School

Jackson, who was recently named Teacher of the Year at Windsor Spring Elementary School in Augusta, engages her fourth-graders through a variety of board games and online resources, encouraging them along the way with positive reinforcement and helping them to take responsibility for their own learning. Read more>>

Deirdre Frayer – Clay Hill Middle School

Deirdre Frayer, a Southern Wesleyan University student at Charleston, was nominated Teacher of the Year for her school Clay Hill Middle School, located in Dorchester School District 4. Read more>>

Angela Adams – Berkeley County School District

Angela Ballard Adams, an education graduate, was selected as Berkeley County School District’s 2011 Teacher of the Year. Adams is a sixth-grade teacher at Hanahan Middle School. Read more>>

Sheila Beasley – School District of Pickens County

Sheila Beasley, an education graduate, was named 2010-11 School District of Pickens County Teacher of the Year. Beasley is a second-grade teacher at East End Elementary in Easley, S.C. Read more>>

Darian Byrd  – Forest Acres Elementary School

Darian Byrd is principal of Forest Acres Elementary School in Easley, S.C. Read more>>

Audrey White Garner – Burton Pack Elementary School

Audrey White Garner, a Columbia Education graduate, was named 2013 Teacher of the Year at Burton Pack Elementary School, part of Richland District 1. Read more>>

Lisa Gilliard – Greenville County Schools

Education alum Lisa Gilliard loves to be around children and to watch them learn. Through working with children at her church and in her community, Gilliard started to realize there was so much more she could do, so she enrolled in the School of Education at Southern Wesleyan. Read more>>

Debbie Holcombe – Byrnes High School

Debbie Holcombe, a physical education teacher, was named 2013-14 Teacher of the Year at James F. Byrnes High School, one of the largest high schools in South Carolina. Read more>>

Stacey Hunter – Lake Carolina Elementary School

Stacey Hunter, a Columbia Education graduate, is a TA/ABA line therapist with Lake Carolina Elementary School, working with special needs students, specifically those with autism. Read more>>

Michel Justus – School District of Pickens County

Michel Justus, a 1995 graduate of Southern Wesleyan University, recently received the 2010 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for South Carolina from the National Association of Biology Teachers. Read more>>

Braeden Kershner – Black Tie Music Academy

Braeden Kershner was named first runner up for Charleston County School District’s Teacher of the Year. The district employs approximately 4,000 teachers, of which Kershner was selected as one of five finalists. At age 18, he was a guest conductor of the Boston Pops and has also broken a Guiness World Record. View the video>>

Amber Lazenby – Hephzibah Elementary School

A North Augusta education graduate, Amber Lazenby was named Hephzibah Elementary’s 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year. She sums up her passion for education with this quote: “I love teaching kids because I am molding our future. To know that I have taught at least one person how to be an excellent citizen is amazing to me!” Read more>>

Shasta Looper – A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School

Shasta Looper, a fourth-grade teacher at A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School in Greenville County School District and a Southern Wesleyan University graduate, received the 2012 South Carolina Milken Educator Award. Looper was applauded in a surprise assembly by faculty, staff, students and State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais. Read more>>

Letrece McCoy – Windsor Spring Elementary School

McCoy, a 2009 master of education graduate of Southern Wesleyan University in North Augusta, has since been recognized for her innovation in the classroom and outstanding achievements as an educator. In 2009, she was named the school’s teacher of the year. Read more>>

Nikki Mock – Aiken County School District

Mock, a 2008 Southern Wesleyan University North Augusta M.Ed. graduate and fifth-grade reading and writing teacher at Hammond Hill Elementary School in North Augusta, S.C., was recently named Teacher of the Year by the Aiken County School District. Read more>>

Justin Petersen – Anderson County School District 4

Justin Petersen was named as 2010 Middle Level Social Studies Teacher of the Year by Riverside Middle School in Pendleton, S.C. Read more>>

Ruth Anne Potts – Lexington County School District 2

Airport High School saluted Ruth Anne Potts, a 2004 Southern Wesleyan University graduate, as Teacher of the Year for 2010-2011. Potts, who works with the freshman program at Airport High in West Columbia, S.C., is one of the first faces incoming freshmen see. Read more>>

Ashley Robinson – Burnside Elementary School

Ashley Robinson, a Columbia Education graduate, was named 2013 Teacher of the Year at Burnside Elementary School, part of Richland District 1. Read more>>

Christie Lee Vaughn – School District of Pickens County

Christie Lee Vaughn, a 1992 Southern Wesleyan University biology graduate and sixth-grade science teacher, was chosen by Gettys Middle School in Easley, S.C., as Teacher of the Year for 2010-11. Read more>>