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SC Arts Commission 40th Anniversary

Forty Lists Project

 

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An outstanding arts educator (any level) in South Carolina

Arts educators were submitted by inspired and grateful students, families and colleagues. Don't see your favorite? E-mail Milly Hough to add your suggestion to the list.

 

Click on the person's name to read some of the comments submitted with the entries. (Not all entries included comments.)

 

Arts educators by county

Aiken

Tom Mack

  Collette Miller
   
Anderson Johnny Nutt
   

Beaufort

Alana Adams

  Holly Brown

 

Melba Cooper

  Beverly Jenkins
  Karen Cauller
  Gretchen Keefner
  Patti Maurer
  Sylvia Pitts

 

Melinda Smith

 

Kristy Smith Callaway

 

 

Charleston

Michael Haga

 

Lesly Lamb

 

Angela Mack

 

Arthur McDonald

 

Robyn Meara
  Valerie Morris
  Rose Maree Myers
  Mark Sloan
  Jerry Spencer
  Marjory Wentworth
 
Colleton Patty Stewart
   
Dorchester Larry Barnfield
  Amy Rogers
   

Florence

Betty Ann Darby

 

Donna Goodman

  Dolores Johnson

 

Georgetown

Leon Harvey
   
Greenville Traysie Amick
  Susan Bridges-Smith
  Michael Brodeur

 

Jeanne Castor

  Dr. Roy Fluhrer
  Diane Lee
  Gary Robinson
  Claude Smith
  Virginia Uldrick
  Nancy Whitaker
  Kathy Wood
   
Greenwood LIz Cox-Smith
  Skip Shelton
 
Horry Ivy Hale
  Lois Snavely
   
Laurens Kim Deaton

 

Dean Thompson, Jr.

   
Lexington Connie Boleman
  Coby Bowers
  Melissa Martin
  Michel McNinch
   

Oconee

Beverly Robinson

 

 

Orangeburg

Herman Keith

 

James A. Stroman, Sr.

 

Pickens

Jaimie Corrigan

 

 

Richland Helen Brown
  Vic Cain

 

Leah Carlander

 

Kara Conder

 

Wrenn Cook
  Ansley Crawford
  Jim Cromer
  Guthrie Darr

 

Josh Drews
  Minuette Floyd
  Betty Gilbert
  Mac Arthur Goodwin
  Ellen Harrison
  Tom Hatfield
  Scot Hockman
  Marianne Holland
  Nell Lafaye
  Porter McLaurin
  Melanie Mingay
  English Morris
  Steve Nevitt
  Nancy Pope
  Mary Lou Schweickert
  Lillian Quackenbush
  Joshua Vincent
  John Whitehead
  Augusta Wittkowsky
  Monica Wyche
  Susan Yelverton

 

Spartanburg Harry Culpepper, Jr.
  Mary Lou Hightower

 

Mary Koutroulias

  Paula Morgan
  Mary Nicholson
  Kathy Taylor
  Chip Walters
  Susan Woodham
   
York Elise Archie
  James Chrismon
  Stephanie Daniels
  Ray Doughty
  Michael Dove
  Jermaine Evans
  Christine Fisher
  Kathe Stanley
  Jo Ann Wishert

 

 

Tom Mack

"A USC-Aiken professor, Dr. Mack has written a weekly Arts and Humanities column in the Aiken Standard for almost 17 years; the column highlights the importance of the arts and humanities in the region."

 

Collette Miller

"Mrs. Miller is a 20-year veteran of giving middle school students their first exposure to the theatre arts. She teaches theatre and supports her teaching by producing a double-cast play every year to ensure that every student participates in a live theatre production."

 

Johnny Nutt

"Johnny is a giving teacher. He holds nothing back when teaching you about ceramics. He is an excellent arts education coordinator who comes up with innovative classes for the Anderson County Arts Center. He is tireless in his efforts to teach, promote and provide venues for the creative visual arts."

 

Alana Adams

"Alana Adams is the educational director at The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina located on Hilton Head Island. She organizes many community arts events. She also is instrumental in educational outreach. She is the liaison between Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts. She has volunteered many hours at local schools teaching pottery to local school students. She is very enthusiastic and committed to her work."

 

Holly Brown

"A part-time dance instructor at Hilton Head island School for the Creative Arts.  She is a performer at heart and instills that in her students. Her events are always full of energy and her students seem to glow.  She inspires her students in all forms of dance."

 

Melba Cooper

"A long time educator and supporter of arts education at all levels in the Beaufort community."

 

Beverly Jenkins

"A visual arts teacher at Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts.  She spends many extra hours designing sets, entering students' work in community-sponsored events, and teaching to the S.C. state standards."

 

Karen Cauller

"Karen Cauller is the Curriculum Coordinator at Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, an Arts in the Basic Curriculum (ABC) school.  Karen is devoted to ensuring the students at her school have an arts-infused curriculum that is relevant to other areas of study.  She taps into resources in the community and throughout our state and puts forth extraordinary efforts to make sure every student at the school has top quality experiences in the arts."

 

Gretchen Keefner

"Gretchen Keefner is the principal at Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, an Arts in the Basic Curriculum (ABC) school. Mrs. Keefner is always involved in the lives of the children and truly cares about the education of each and every child.  She respects the students, teaches them to respect themselves and each other, and has equally earned their respect.  The success of the school’s arts-integrated programming is due to the dedication of the staff members, and most importantly their devoted principal, Gretchen Keefner.  Her commitment to training educators to integrate arts into the classroom is truly extraordinary."

 

Patti Maurer

"Patti Maurer started the dance program at Hilton Head School for the Creative Arts. She actively promotes dance in the school and community arena. She performs on a professional level and acts as a role model for all students."

 

Sylvia Pitts

"Sylvia is a visual arts teacher at Hilton Head School for the Creative Arts. She designs and makes sets for all the performances. She volunteers many hours for community events."

 

Melinda Smith

"Melinda Smith is the chairperson of the Arts Department for Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts."

 

Kristy Smith Callaway

"Kristy is a fantastic leader, and Beaufort County Schools wouldn't have a focus on the arts without her skills, liveliness, and honesty."

 

Michael Haga

"Michael Haga has been teaching art history as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston for many years in addition to his normal administrative duties. He has inspired an appreciation of art in many students."

 

"Mr. Haga is a devoted member of the staff of the College of Charleston."

 

"Michael is an excellent arts history teacher."

 

Lesly Lamb

"Lesly Lamb is an outstanding artist and educator. Her experience includes work with schools and arts organizations throughout the community. Playwright, actress, singer, and, most importantly, gifted teacher."

 

Angela Mack

"Angela Mack is the curator at the Gibbes Museum of Art, with a knowledge base about art that is breathtaking! She can accommodate any request for information or explanation on most any art-related subject in the visual or decorative arts. She offers appropriate lectures for most any venue dealing with the visual or decorative arts. She is a major consultant within the art world, not only in S.C., but throughout the U.S. A true educator who makes the world of the visual arts come to life."

 

Arthur McDonald

"Dr. McDonald held the admiration of his students because of his knowledge of the theatre and his willingness to experiment and take risks in order to develop meaningful productions. He also is a visual artist of some note!"

 

Robyn Meara

"Robyn Meara teaches art to our K-2nd grade students at Laurel Hill Primary. She does a great job exposing them to different artists, media, styles, etc. She facilitates art projects that make all our little ones feel like artists while maintaining their individual talents and preferences. She is the BEST!"

 

Valerie Morris

"As Dean of the School of the Arts at the College of Charleston, and as a leader, professor and participant, she offers a knowledge base for students, staff, and academia as well as audience supporters. Dean Morris is also highly regarded by her professional peers for her knowledge, insights, and programs developed under her auspices."

 

Rose Maree Myers

"As founding principal of Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary and the Charleston County Magnet School of the Arts, Rose Maree Myers is an icon in the world of arts education. She has brought welcome positive attention to S.C. and has enriched the lives of thousands of children because of her amazing dedication and clear understanding of the need for total arts infusion in our educational systems."

 

Mark Sloan

"Mark's work at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, School of the Arts, College of Charleston, provides our community with exposure to creative, unusual visual arts that would otherwise be unknown to most of us.  His ability to find the bizzare and talented artists that continually fill the halls of the gallery is unprecedented.  Most enjoyable about his work is his ability to mix education of his students with the public as we attend lectures and performances together at the Halsey."

 

Jerry Spencer

"Jerry Spencer designed, developed, implemented, and got accredited the Arts Management and Administration four-year degree program at the College of Charleston. This program has had a major impact on the lives of hundreds of students who have graduated with a major or a minor in this program in the last 10 years. Many arts organizations, local, regional, and national, have benefited via the contributions of graduates of this program."

 

Marjory Wentworth

"Marjory Wentworth has joined forces with the Charleston County Public Library to bring free events to our community that would otherwise be inaccessible. She is the force behind all the literary programming we do at our library. Her connections to the local lit community have brought some amazing presenters to offer outstanding workshops and events for free."

 

Patty Stewart

"Patty is an art teacher who goes above and beyond to accommodate all learning styles and physical abilities."

 

Amy Rogers

"She has taught Theatre Arts for over a decade at Rolling School of the Arts. She has former students from the first year still coming by the school to thank her for all she did for them, and all she does now. Every year she has written stage scripts not only tailored for each of her classes, but also for a Faculty show for the entire school. She has co-directed and co-produced a school musical for the past 2 years, with a very limited budget, because she brings out the best in the students, former students, and their families, so they all work together. I do not have the words to tell what all she has done for so many... I wish I could do as much as she does for so many people, with so little time and money!"

 

Betty Ann Darby

"This is my 35th year of teaching visual art in S.C. It all began for me in middle school with an inspirational music teacher who showed me the joy that could be found in the arts. I have tried to pass on that passion to the students who have had me as a teacher."

 

Donna Goodman

"She is an incredible artist and has had an impact on children throughout the state because of the students she has taught that are in the classrooms across the state. She worked with me to help me get the courses I needed to become certified even though I wasn't an art teacher."

 

Dolores Johnson

"Dolores Johnson of Williams Middle School is the shining star of the Florence District 1 Performing Arts Department.  She mesmerizes students in her middle school dance and chorus classes, transforming them into “diamonds in the rough!"   Her contributions continue as she dances through back pain in her own dance/music world creating a lifetime of memories of hundreds of students every year."

 

Leon Harvey

"Retired band teacher who gave 46 years of his adult life teaching the children of Florence County."

 

Susan Bridges-Smith

"Susan is a wonderful art teacher and works with the students during classes and during her planning periods. The artwork that her students produce is incredible. She teaches in a large elementary school in Pickens County. She works on her art and has paintings displayed in a Greenville hospital and other businesses."

 

Michael Brodeur

"He has a lot of insight in helping his students discover their strengths and (providing) wonderful constructive criticism."

 

Jeanne Castor

"Jeanne teaches at Tanglewood Middle. She provides excellent standards-based lessons for her students. She is able to reach the middle school student! She tirelessly serves the South Carolina Dance Association by being the Stage Manager each year at our SCDA annual conference. She also stage manages for our performances at the SCDAncing Festival. Jeanne is a great sport and is always there when needed."

 

Dr. Roy Fluhrer

"Dr. Fluhrer has been an inspiration to hundreds of talented students during his tenure as Director of the Fine Arts Center (for Greenville Schools)."

 

Diane Lee

"Currently the arts coordinator for Greenville County Schools, she is ambitious and proactive. Her arts instructors are always getting information (and help) about grants. She is reaching out to outside arts agencies to bring the arts community into the classroom. Diane has so much to offer Greenville County Schools and is going above and beyond to do that."

 

Gary Robinson

"Dr. Robinson teaches instrumental music classes at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville and is the conductor of the Greenville County Youth Orchestra. He spends countless hours planning and executing his teaching plans and working at night to conduct the youth orchestra. A true perfectionist, he never accepts doing less than the best in all his activities."

 

Claude Smith

"Mr. Smith is no longer with us, but he was a true arts educator artist. I learned so much by watching him work on his own art work. He motivated me to challenge myself artistically and entered my work in contests that built up my confidence."

 

Virginia Uldrick

"Founded the Governor's School for the Arts with a dream that she saw come true with the new residential school opening in Greenville."

 

Nancy Whitaker

"I have seen first hand the impact she has made on thousands of children's lives and the quality of theatre that she has brought forth for the community of Greenville."

 

Kathy Wood

"She has inspired many students, including my son, while teaching at League Middle School. She also teaches privately and continues to be outstanding."

 

Liz Cox-Smith

"Liz is the grandmother of arts education. She was the first arts teacher in the state to be a S.C. Teacher of the Year. Her love of art still inspires others as she present workshops and personifies passion for the arts."

 

Skip Shelton

"He made me really believe I could paint, despite any problems, questions, or concerns. He is 83 years old, was a pilot in WWII, and has persevered with teaching and painting despite having his motorcycle fall on his foot, a heart attack, and cancer. He is generous with his talents, and an inspiration."

 

Ivy Hale

"An outstanding Dance Educator who provides her students with vast opportunities to create and discover their 'voice.'"

 

Lois Snavely

"Lois taught art for years until her retirement and continued to present workshops. She planned a trip to China for arts educators and was innovative as a fiber artist."

 

Kim Deaton

"I am suggesting this person because she is dedicated, imaginative, creative, vibrant, yet disciplined."

 

Dean Thompson, Jr.

"He's an English professor who has been inspiring students for almost 20 years."

 

Connie Boleman

"Connie was the driving force in creating Saluda River Academy for the Arts. She consistently provides excellent, in-depth art experiences for the entire school community. All of Connie's innovative elementary art lessons are linked to examples of great art, and her creative integration lessons engage students across the curriculum. She was named S.C.'s National Star Teacher and SCAAE Elementary Art Teacher of the Year. She is the current director of the SCALSA program, and is actively involved in many state arts initiatives. Connie makes arts excellence happen in South Carolina."

 

Coby Bowers

"She is a free-spirited teacher who allows the students' work to shine through! She does not impose what their projects should reveal; she allows them to give it life according to their personal visions."

 

Melissa Martin

"She is the strings teacher at Lexington Middle School and was, by far, the person who most inspired and encouraged my daughter to enjoy and grow as a cellist and ensemble musician."

 

Michel McNinch

"Michel is a treasure. For over two years now, she not only has given our daughter, Heather (now age 16), the techniques and skills she has needed for painting, but Michel has invested her love and spirit into Heather. Michel has an authentic interest in other people (and cats). She provides a balanced role model for Heather to follow as she grows into a suceessful professional artist. Michel has shared with Heather many facets of the life of a professional artist including many tips on the business side of art. Because of Michel, Heather not just thinks, but KNOWS herself to be an artist who continually grows and develops."

 

"I would like to nominate Michel for this honor because she has made such an impact on my son. She has been teaching him semi-private visual art lessons for three years now. My son not only has grown in his artistic abilities but has also been educated in art history. I am amazed at his advances and excitement. He loves and respects Michel and continues to look forward to their weekly time together. For an eight-year-old boy, I believe that speaks volumes. He recently told me, 'Mrs. McNinch inspires me.'"

 

"Michel's enthusiasm and her willingness to share her artistic talents inspire her students to try more than they ever expected to be able to achieve.  She is an inspiration."

 

"Joy, laughter, and common sense are the sparks that light Michel's teaching fire.  Each individual is encouraged to shine in his own way and to maximize his potential. Students who have an opportunity to study with Michel are indeed fortunate."

 

"Michel teaches children with special needs and shows them the joy of art and gives them much-needed access to the creative process.  She also teaches elderly people and conducts private lessons for aspiring artists."

 

"She is an excellent art teacher and has a heart for the student of any age. She teaches but also allows the artist to develop their own style, always challenging the student to do the work it takes to produce their art. I am very grateful for her influence on my art."

 

"Michel has been my teacher the last 3 years. She taught me to draw at Midlands Tech. That was the first I had ever laid pen to paper. I then went into her oil painting classes.  I have had no other training. Her sheer excitement makes me want to keep painting the best I can."

 

"Since the first time I met Michel I knew that not only was she an artist who knew enough to teach me, but her warmth and enthusiasm, along with her genuine love, not only of her students, but to the art itself, was going to be an experience that I would love and benefit from.  She is truly dedicated to sharing and teaching.  I taught her English at Irmo Middle School, and I do not know whether she learned as much from me as I have learned from her, but I love her, and she has been truly and inspiration to me as well as to us all." 

 

"Michel has been an inspiration to so many in and around our area.  Among those she has reached out to have been the at-risk middle and high school students at District Five's Alternative Academy…She helped me realize a long held dream – learning to paint.  She got me out of my shell and gave me something to focus on.  Her wonderful talent is second only to her love of sharing her knowledge with others."

 

"Every time I go to one of her classes, I leave with a new piece of technical information about oil painting. Many times I pick it up from listening to her critique another student. It's always something subtle but I find that it's also something I can incorporate in my own work almost immediately. This has happened in every class for the past 3 years. AMAZING!"

 

"Michel volunteers her time to come to Irmo Middle School to teach art to my Learning Disabled Students.  She guides them through each piece of art with such love and compassion.  She finds the talent in each student she teaches that others might miss.  She combines her love of painting and her love of teaching in ways that amaze."

 

"Michel McNinch is definitely at the top of my list as far as teaching is concerned. I have an art school where Michel has been class instructor for 4 years. Many of our students have gone from amateurs to professionals because of her guidance. I’ve also been studying under her for these four years and have recently gone professional myself…If art is like technology, Michel will always be at the forefront of the learning experience because she has made art her life, whether it’s painting or teaching."

 

Beverly Robinson

"Art teacher at Ravenel Elementary in Seneca. Provides a great range and depth of art experience."

 

Herman Keith

"He was my art teacher in high school in 1971. His encouragement of my creativity has lasted a life time."

 

James A. Stroman, Sr.

"Mr. Stroman has an unmatched dedication to music education and believes every child he teaches has the potential of becoming a professional instrumentalist. He has a burning passion for marching band and it is evident as at least 90 percent of the students he teaches in his middle school program become members of the high school band, where he serves as Assistant Band Director. He is a 30-plus year veteran in education and has a wonderful rapport with students, parents, administrators, and his teacher colleagues. Within a short period of time with our school district, he has become an icon. Outside of being a master teacher, he is an unselfish and loyal friend."

 

Jaimie Corrigan

"She is an inspiring, innovative art teacher..She goes the "second"mile to be an outstanding teacher in every way."

 

Helen Brown

"Helen Brown is a highly experienced visual art teacher, dedicated to the needs of all students.  Her creative ideas and supportive team spirit make her an asset to any group, especially the arts team at Pinckney School."

 

Vic Cain

"Vic has taught visual arts for over 30 years at all grade levels. He was a pioneer in beginning photography in Richland One Schools including developing curriculum. His influence continues to inspire children at the Center of Knowledge in Richland Two."

 

Leah Carlander

"A wonderful person and teacher!"

 

Kara Conder

"She is a nurturing teacher."

 

Jim Cromer

"Jim was into art criticism and used innovative techniques in media at the time to teach art."

 

Guthrie Darr

"Taught music and directed the choir at Columbia College for 40 years; directed the Columbia Choral Society; directed the Guthrie Darr Chorale; directed the Shandon Methodist Church Choir.

 

Josh Drews

"GREAT TEACHER!"

 

Minuette Floyd

"Minuette is a role model for art educators. She works with students and teachers throughout the state which gives her a real sense of art education in South Carolina. She is an artist as well as an educator. Her passion for documenting the camp meetings is evident in the photos she takes."

 

Betty Gilbert

"Betty was the first district art coordinator for Richland County School District One. She mentored many art teachers and was a practicing artist. Her life was about arts and arts education."

 

Mac Arthur Goodwin

"His work with South Carolina and national education groups makes him a perfect candidate for this list."

 

"He is Dr. Arts Education. I need not say more."

 

Ellen Harrison

"Ellen is a wonderful dance educator. She has a genuine interest in her students and conveys a love of dance to all of them. She is supportive, encouraging and allows them to thrive in her program."

 

Tom Hatfield

"Tom was an Education Associate for Art Education at the S.C. Department of Education. He later became the Executive Director of the NAEA. He grew programs and enabled them as he moved across the country."

 

Scot Hockman

"He is an enthusiastic and dedicated educator who deeply believes in the value of art to our society. And he acts on that belief through numerous projects and activities."

 

"As the visual arts coordinator for the State Department of Education, Scot takes his enthusiasm for art across the state. He is active with the Arts in Basic Curriculum program as well as champions Traditional Arts."

 

Marianne Holland
"Marianne Holland taught Choral Music for many years in Columbia at Dreher and Spring Valley High Schools. As my chorus teacher at Dreher, she influenced me in many ways, strongly shaping my career choice in music education, as well as how I work in the classroom today. During the 1970s she and fellow educators developed a humanities curriculum for music, art, and history students which foreshadowed our current curriculum standards.  She served on the board of the South Carolina Music Educators Association for over 25 years and also served as President of the Southern Division of MENC.  Upon her retirement from public school teaching, she joined the faculty of North Greenville College, where she began instructing college students majoring in music education.  She was not only the reason that I majored in music education, but the reason that I became involved in my professional organizations. As a colleague, she served on the SCMEA board when I was President —what an honor to work with your former teacher in such a capacity.  Marianne Holland's life work has been the promotion of quality music education and the training of young music educators.  She certainly deserves recognition for her outstanding work and positive influence on arts education in South Carolina."

 

Nell Lafaye

"Nell was an early inspiration to art educators and a great painter."

 

Porter McLaurin

"Porter was chair of the USC Media Arts Department. He worked to invent 3-D TV. His students greatly benefited from his expertise in media and media management. I was one of them."

 

Melanie Mingay

"Melanie Mingay shares her time and talents with the students of Pinckney School as the accompanist for the choral program.  As the reading specialist, her enthusiam for music and arts education can be seen in the arts integration lessons presented in her classroom.  Her excitement is contagious to students and staff alike."

 

English Morris

"I asked Mr. Morris of the Carolina Music Academy about his reasons for founding the academy.  Here is his response: 'Music teachers who teach private instrumental or vocal lessons are seed sowers. Their influence on the students they teach for weekly lessons is unknown for many years. Whether a student becomes a professional musician, plays or sings non-vocationally, develops a lifelong appreciation for music, or sees the value of music lessons for future family members, the training and impact of the private music teacher often bears fruit later.... With this in mind and in appreciation and recognition for the inspiration, encouragement, as well an excellent training I received from my own piano, organ, and conducting teachers, I founded the Carolina Music Academy in Columbia, S.C. in 1976. From modest beginnings as a one, then two-teacher operation, the academy has grown to a large and well-known comprehensive community music school with 14 faculty members. As founder and president of the school, I personally select the teachers, who are not only performing artists in their own right, but also who possess the high calling to teach, inspire and encourage both the young and adult student. The academy’s teachers share my vision to foster both high expectations for musical achievement as well as to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the development of musical talent, both great and small, within each student."

 

Nancy Pope

"Very committed to the arts and detailed in her administrative ability. Always learning."

 

Mary Lou Schweickert

"Mary Lou Schweickert is a phenomenal band teacher at Hand Middle School. She has inspired hundreds of music students through the years, many of whom have gone on to professional careers as performers and band directors."

 

Lillian Quackenbush

Founding director of the Sandlapper Singers; long-term choir director at Shandon Presbyterian Church."

 

Joshua Vincent

"They always make the classroom entertaining as well as provide an open an honest base for any and all discussion."

 

John Whitehead

"John does a wonderful job of training young people in the art of dance and providing them with performance experience as part of his role as head of the Columbia Music Festival Association. His role as CMFA director has allowed him to have a very positive influence on arts in the community."

 

Augusta Wittkowsky

"Mrs. Wittkowsky taught art history courses at USC for several years in the 1950s and 1960s. A colorful presence, she conveyed an infectious enthusiasm for art to her students that is the mark of an excellent teacher. In my curriculum I could take one arts elective, but when I took the first course with Mrs. Wittkowsky, I was hooked and proceeded to take all the courses she taught. That foundation has led me to a lifetime of reading about art history, visiting museums at every opportunity, and generally enriching my life through exposure to the wonderful world of art history that Mrs. Wittkowsky gave me."

 

Monica Wyche

"Because I'm really proud of myself! I've always been proud to balance my own performance work with my career as an educator, and I feel my students benefit from that. It means a lot to them to see their teacher in a local commercial, or in the paper in a publicity photo for a play I'm in. They take pride in me and I take pride in bringing the art I love to them. Plus, I just found out today I received my National Board Certification, so I'm stoked!!"

 

Susan Yelverton

"Susan is an excellent teacher. She inspires her Elementary Drama students to take pride in who they are by allowing them to realize their potential and explore alternate characters in drama."

 

Harry Culpepper, Jr.

"He taught Drama and Arts Integration at the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind for two years. What he was able to create with those students was out of this world! He directed an all Blind Musical and several Deaf plays. It's exciting to see teachers expect the best from students no matter what and to never settle for less!"

 

Mary Lou Hightower

"Mary Lou has a passion for the arts and for teaching. She always goes "above and beyond" the call of duty, and she stays on top of the latest research and trends in arts education. She's an inspiration!"

 

Mary Koutroulias

"Mary works hard at school every day. For the last 20 years, she has written the ABC grant for our school. She provides quality music education for the students at our school. She teaches general music, but also teaches piano and guitar. She has an Honor Chorus that goes out into the community to sing. She tirelessly works for the students at Pine St. School."

 

Paula Morgan

"Paula Morgan, director of the Alia Lawson Academy of the Arts at Converse College, has overseen the phenomenal growth of the Alia Lawson pre-college program with acumen and gentle persistance to the point that it is now undergoing a transformation to the Alia Lawson Academy of Arts.  Countless young people have  received superior instruction in their chosen art form, and been encouraged and supported through a variety of scholarship avenues, allowing them to go on to colleges, universities and conservatories across the nation."

 

Mary Nicholson

"An amazing children's theatre educator."

 

Kathy Taylor

"Kathy is a 27-year career arts educator who truly understands the needs of elementary students and shares her excitement and energy for all areas of the arts with those she teaches. Highly competent as a master of the arts disciplines, she has inspired thousands of young people in her 27 years in S.C. through her public school classrooms, summer program teaching and adjunct college teaching. Please put Kathy Taylor at the top of your 40 list - she is one of South Carolina's best!"

 

Chip Walters

"Chip's art are the deaf and blind children with whom she works. She transforms them into performers! The Manual Transmission group performs in sign language under Chip's leadership and teaching. The other deaf students at the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind take art classes from her and produce some incredible pieces. For Chip, and for these students, art is another form of communication."

 

"Chip has spent countless hours exposing our deaf students to various fine art activities. She has inspired them to think out of the box and to take risks in venturing into unknown talents that they possess, thus bolstering their self-esteem and academic achievement as well."

 

"Chip has made huge strides in making art accessible for those with sensory disabilities. She brings out the best in her students, finds amazing talents in them, and shares the joy and the art with all of us. Our lives are so much richer for having Chip among us!"

 

"Chip Walters creates many wonderful opportunities for the students at the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind to be involved with the arts. She is instrumental in arranging for our students to show off their abilities and not their disabilities to the public in the areas of art, drama and music...Chip is very successful at finding funding so that special programs can be arranged for our students to enjoy. She even worked to fund a muralist to paint several walls in one of the schools on campus. Chip truly loves each child in this school and shows that love through her commitment to the children and the programs here."

 

"She is totally devoted to our students and gives 150 percent."

 

Susan Woodham

"Susan Woodham has led a stellar dance program at Pine Street Elementary School for over ten years. In addition, she has served her community by providing dance opportunities through the Boys and Girls club and through Ballet Spartanburg's outreach program. She has served the state through her tireless advocacy efforts and service in numerous leadership roles through the SCDA and the SCDEO."

 

Elise Archie

"Elise's passion for dance shows daily through her teaching. She really inspires her students to do their best. She is a wonderful role model not only to her students, but to future dance educators as well."

 

James Chrismon

"Outstanding work with young people. Amazing program in district. State leader and National Board Certified."

 

Stephanie Daniels

"Stephanie Daniels is the Theatre teacher at Rock Hill High School. She has taught for 15 years. She currently serves as the President of the Palmetto Dramatic Association, which is the largest high school theatre festival in South Carolina. She is also a past president of the SC Theatre Association."

 

Ray Doughty

"His involvement with the ABC Project is enough to put him on this list."

 

Michael Dove

"Mr. Dove is an amazing chorus teacher. I have had the privilege to work with him on various projects including his famous productions. He has brought music to the Fort Mill Community for over 15 years. His productions are not only fun for the students involved, but something the entire town looks forward to each year. He has directed productions such as "Beauty and the Beast," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Fame," "Footloose," and "High School Musical." He has helped children step outside of their comfort zone and perform in front of sold out audiences. I have been so lucky to be a part of watching his magic in the making and he would be an awesome addition to this list.

 

Christine Fisher

"Christine Fisher began as a music teacher & continues to teach us all as the Director of the ABC Project. She gives freely of her time and her expertise. She is a leader, always ready to assist anyone with any arts area. The thing that sets her apart is her genuine happiness to share. Her kindness, her ability to make put you at ease. These are qualities that cannot be taught from a book or earned with a PhD. Thank you Christine Fisher!"

 

"Ms. Fisher's work with the ABC Project is the capstone to her stellar career as a teacher."

 

"Christine Fisher, ABC project director, is one of the most outstanding leaders in the field of arts education that our state has ever known. She works tirelessly in her pursuit of professional excellence, committed to the promotion and advancement of arts education in South Carolina. Her efforts have helped S.C. become an acknowledged leader in our nation in arts education advancement.  Hats off to this award-winning lady who also happens to be one of the nicest people you could ever meet!"

 

Jo Ann Wishert

"Mrs. Wishert is an extremely dedicated teacher of 693 students who loves the students she teaches. She goes beyond the call of duty by having chorus before school and small group ensembles and then teaches the regular day. She arrives at school every morning around 6:30 AM and often works late after school. She writes and receives numerous grants to fund items that are needed in the classroom but are not covered in the regular budget. She also has a student/senior citizen project where the children do musical programs with each other. She heads up the military project in her school and each year she and the students adopt soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. She has done this for the last five years. Due to her love for music and teaching, she received Honorable Mention in the nation on the All USA Today's Teacher Team for 2006."

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information, contact Milly Hough, Communications Director (803-734-8698).