DARLINGTON, S.C. – North Hartsville Elementary School’s Laura Privette will represent Darlington County School District as Teacher of the Year for 2018-19.

The announcement came during the district’s annual Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet, held Tuesday evening inside Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology’s Conference Center.

Privette is a school counselor at North Hartsville Elementary School. She earned the selection after an intensive judging period that included an application process and a face-to-face panel interview.

Superintendent Tim Newman made the announcement before presenting Privette with a plaque. Privette then told the other teachers and counselors in attendance her plans for the coming year.

“I just love kids, like we all do,” Privette said. “I’m looking forward to representing your voice as teachers as well as the needs of our students. So, this is awesome. Thank you very much.”

Privette holds a Master of Education in School Counseling from The Citadel Graduate College. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Winthrop University.

She explained her approach to school counseling in an extended application required for consideration.

“I believe that we are all born with special talents and gifts, and I believe mine is a deep empathetic compassion for looking past the human behavior while focusing on the reasoning behind it,” she wrote. “It is with this trait and belief that I provide counseling support to examine those reasons and provide self-awareness that will stimulate change in behavior.”

Judges, which included past Teachers of the Year, district administration and community leaders, selected Privette from among five finalists. The four remaining finalists will serve as the district’s 2018-19 Honor Roll Teachers of the Year:

  • Amber Atkins, Spaulding Elementary School.
  • Rhonda Bailey, Washington Street Elementary School.
  • Christina Ewing, Carolina Elementary School.
  • Nancy Fletcher, Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology.

Judges selected the five finalists from the pool of 2018-19 School Teachers of the Year. These peer-selected teachers will serve on the district’s Teacher Forum and Leadership Council, acting as teacher leaders and advisers for the district.

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