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Guest panel determines District Three Teacher of the Year

Batesburg-Leesville, SC - A panel of three judges descended upon Lexington School District Three on Thursday, September 6th to determine who will be named as the district’s Teacher of the Year for the 2018-2019 school year. The panel consisted of the following professionals: Becky Bean, the Communications Manager for the SC School Boards Association; Toni Chewning, the Director of Association Activities for the Palmetto State Teachers Association; and Jody Penland, the Director of Research, Testing, Accountability, and Federal Programs for Laurens County School District 55.

The panel visited each school’s Teacher of the Year for an observation period and one-on-one interview. The Teacher of the Year finalist with the highest score in these categories will be named as the District Three Teacher of the Year on September 20th at a special banquet at Southern Occasions. Along with receiving a host of prizes and gifts donated by local businesses and organizations, the new District Three Teacher of the Year will go on to compete in the South Carolina State Teacher of the Year competition, which begins in January.

The Teacher of the Year finalists for Lexington School District Three are:

Amy Bedenbaugh - B-L Primary School

Mrs. Bedenbaugh is the Media Specialist at B-L Primary School and has worked in Lexington Three for the past twenty years. She says she loves working in this district because the students and staff feel like they are a part of her family, adding that it’s fulfilling to be able to teach some of the town’s youngest citizens and then watch them grow and mature academically and in extracurricular activities. Mrs. Bedenbaugh and her husband, Andy, have three children--Hunter, age 19; Caroline, age 17; and Catherine, age 15. She says it’s a privilege to be chosen as her school’s Teacher of the Year because it’s voted on by her peers and colleagues who get to see her teaching on a daily basis.

Rebecca Rodgers - B-L Elementary School

Mrs. Rodgers has worked in Lexington Three for the past three years and teaches fifth grade Math and Science at B-L Elementary School. She and her husband, Jason, have an 11-year-old daughter named Emma and currently, they reside in Ward. Mrs. Rodgers says she has thoroughly enjoyed every minute of her professional career in Lexington Three and loves that the district has an innovative mindset and is focused on meeting the needs of each and every one of its students. When asked about being given the prestigious title of Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Rodgers said that she feels honored knowing her colleagues believe in her and see her as a great representative of B-L Elementary School.

Christy Richardson - B-L Middle School

Ms. Richardson, who has worked in Lexington Three for four years, is a sixth grade Math and English/Language Arts teacher at B-L Middle School. Currently, she resides in Ridge Spring with her furry canine children--Clyde, Patch and Skittles. Ms. Richardson says she could talk for hours about why she enjoys working in Lexington School District Three, but sums up her feelings by referencing the warm, friendly, family-oriented environment that embodies the Panther nation. She says she is thankful for the faculty and staff of B-L Middle School who have impacted her as an educator and individual and is excited to represent her colleagues and their passion for teaching as the school’s 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year.

Maggee Ellis - B-L High School

Mrs. Ellis has called Lexington School District Three home for the past five years and along with teaching AP Human Geography and AVID classes at B-L High School, she also coaches the Girls Varsity Soccer team. Mrs. Ellis and her husband, John, have a two-year-old daughter named Addison and currently, they reside in Lexington. Mrs. Ellis says she loves the small-town feel of Lexington School District Three and enjoys getting to know students through her teaching and coaching work. She adds that being selected as the Teacher of the Year for B-L High School was an unexpected honor, but she is thrilled and humbled to represent her colleagues this year.

The annoucement will be made September 20, 2018.

Pictured from left to right: Becky Bean, Jody Penland and Toni Chewning.

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