Lowcountry teacher honored as 2022 teacher of the year for the South Carolina public charter district

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 4:00 PM EDT|Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 6:45 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, Sc. (WTOC) - A Lowcountry teacher was surprised today with a state wide honor, recognizing her efforts in the classroom.

Walking into work Monday morning, Juliana Smith had already been named teacher of the year for her school, Bridges Prep… but now, that award has some company on her desk.

“We would like to congratulate you on being named the 2022 teacher of the year for the South Carolina public charter district.”

Sot: (Juliana Smith - Teacher of the Year, SC Public Charter School District)

“It was just like there would be not enough words to capture how much I felt honored,” said Juliana Smith.

The state charter superintendent, who presented the teacher of the year with a 2000 dollar check, says this award is well deserved.

“That’s out of 1000 teachers across the state of South Carolina. It’s a big deal and it speaks volumes about the quality of teaching that she’s providing the students here at Bridges,” said. Chris Neely.

Students who seem to enjoy their education here are the reason Smith loves her job.

“Special education I feel like I’m so honored to work with students and help them reach their greatest potential.”

Being named the states top charter school teacher comes with more than just a ceremony though.

“Ms. Smith is now going to have a statewide platform to speak about not only special education but just charter schools.”

As for what she’ll be sharing with that newly amplified voice…

“Thoughts on data and student impact and gains and relationships, and what that looks like to really drive my passion for teaching.”

Superintendent Neely and Smith have ambitions for her to not just advance to being the general state teacher of the year, but the national one as well and the journey toward that starts in the coming months.

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