HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Jennifer Ainsworth, a special education teacher at Socastee High School, has been named one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year.
The South Carolina Department of Education will announce the winner of this year's award on Wednesday, April 23 at the annual Teacher of the Year Gala in columbia. Ainsworth is among five finalists who will travel to Columbia for personal interviews with the seven-member state selection committee.
South Carolina's Teacher of the Year will receive a $25,000 cash award and a new BMW to use for one year. During the 2014-15 school year, he or she will also participate in a one-year residency program at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA) and will serve as a statewide ambassador for the profession.
The other four finalists, known as Honor Roll teachers, will each receive $10,000. In addition to Ainsworth, other state finalists are: John "Jed" Dearybury, Woodland Heights Elementary School, Spartanburg School District 6; Rhonda Hudak, Rawlinson Road Middle School, Rock Hill School District 3; Patrick Kelly, Blythewood High School, Richland School District 2; and Vivian "Beth" Tuten, Swansea High School, Lexington School District 4.