LAURINBURG — Scotland High School served as host for the annual Scotland County schools employee convocation that seemed to not only act as an awards ceremony but also a chance to motivate teachers and administrators before the start of school on Monday.
With the SHS auditorium packed to the point of standing room only, spontaneous cheers from the teachers representing every school in the county added to the energy present at Friday’s event.
Ron Hargrave, Scotland County Schools superintendent, opened the ceremony by pumping up the crowd.
“I assure you there is a method to the madness,” Hargrave said. “I want to say thank you to the transportation staff, maintenance and last but not least the custodial staff and last last but certainly to least least the cafeteria staff, and last last last but certainly not least least least, our technology staff.”
Raymond Hyatt a member of the county Board of Education, talked about the importance of educators.
“Not an individual in this room is here that has not had a mark made upon them,” Hyatt said. “Someone along the way has impacted you.
“For those brave enough to teach high school, you have the opportunity to impact over 4,500 students over a 30 year career.”
Before handing out top awards, Hargrave invited all the principals and Richard Bailey, SHS athletic director to take part a “Running Man challenge.”
Among the awards given were principal, assistant principal, teacher, beginning teacher and teacher assistant of the year.
The 2015-16 Principal of the Year was awarded to Mary Hemphill of I. Ellis Johnson elementary and David Johnson of Scotland High School was named the Assistant Principal of the Year.
Scotland High School was also home to the Teacher of the Year award winner, Kelly Cheek, who not only received $1,000 for the achievement, but is also going to receive a car from Griffin Nissan.
This years, Beginner Teacher of the Year was awarded to Martin Davis, who started his career in law enforcement before switching gears to help at risk youth attending the Shaw Academy.
The Teacher Assistant of the Year was given to Dennis McFatten of Carver Middle School. McFatten also serves as the defensive back coach for SHS.
“I am going to win Beginner Teacher of the Year next year,” McFatten said.
Jalin McLean, a ninth-grader at Scotland High, said McFatten’s recognition was well deserved.
“He is a cool coach and a good role model to students at Carver,” said the 14-year-old who attended Carver Middle School last year.
Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-506-3171