MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Jennifer Ainsworth has been awarded South Carolina Teacher of the year, at a gala Wednesday night.
This is a special year for Ainsworth, as she was also chosen Horry County Schools' Teacher of the Year, according to the Horry County School District's website.
Ainsworth teaches mild and moderate special needs children at Socastee High School.
"A graduate of Presbyterian College, Jennifer is nationally board certified and says she's rewarded when she sees her students "I Can!" attitude shine through" was released in a message from Horry County Schools. Her appearance Wednesday night is sponsored by Sen. and Mrs. Luke Rankin.
She and other finalists were selected from 81 school districts, the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Palmetto Unified School District, and the South Carolina Public Charter School District.
As the newly awarded South Carolina's Teacher of the Year, Ainsworth will receive a $25,000 cash award and a new BMW to use for one year. During the 2014-15 school year, 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, according to the HCS website.
Other state finalists included: 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.