Pictured above are the winners for the Annual Celebration of Success, sponsored by the EC School District and Edgefield County Chamber of Commerce: left to right, Michael Zachary is Teacher of the Year; Marian Hamilton is Citizen of the Year; Johnny Williams is Support Staff of the Year.
Support Staff of the Year and Teachers of the Year Celebrated
ECSD (Edgefield County School District) recognized each school’s top support staff and teacher during a dessert reception on Sunday, September 30th. “It is always a pleasure to recognize and celebrate best of the best. The quality of the professionals who serve our district is outstanding,” said Robert Maddox, superintendent.
Each school’s Support Staff of the Year (SSOY) and Teacher of the Year (TOY) are nominated and voted for by their peers. “Each school’s choice for TOY and SSOY is selected with pride because they see what these people do day in and day out,” said David Fallaw, assistant superintendent.
The TOY and SSOY for Strom Thurmond High: Michael Zachary and Johnny Williams, Strom Thurmond Career Center: Tony Frazier and Leonard Joplin, J-E-T Middle: Laurie Prince and Christopher Nettles, Merriwether Middle: Michelle Cain and Michelle Collier, Douglas Elementary: Windie Burton and Lucinda Joplin, Johnston Elementary: Jessica Smoak and Arrilla Dorn, Merriwether Elementary: Rhonda Howell and Stacey Smothers, W.E. Parker Elementary: Leslie Schumpert and Michelle Simpkins, District Office: Brannon Yonce
The dessert reception began at three o’clock and provided the opportunity for family and friends of the honorees to celebrate the accomplishments of each school’s SSOY and TOY. Each school’s administration, faculty and staff contributed to a biography that was read as the SSOYs and TOYs were called to the podium and received a plaque from one of the district’s board members.
This year’s SSOY and TOY are Johnny Williams and Michael Zachary and both serve Strom Thurmond High School. “For me to teach such a small number of students, it is obvious that my peers recognize what my kids are accomplishing,” explained Zachary. The support staff and teachers are the district’s leaders in ensuring students are equipped with the personal, relational and thinking skills they need to be prepared for life and the work-place in our changing society.
Citizen of the Year
Marian B. Hamilton
Following the announcement of SSOY and TOY winners, the winner of the 2018-2019 Citizen of the Year award was made by the Edgefield Chamber of Commerce. Marian Hamilton was called to the podium to receive her award. Since the death of her beloved and only daughter, Natasha Hamilton Mitchell, in 2008, Marian (Mae) Hamilton has worked diligently to ensure that women are educated, empowered and protected from the devastating effects of breast cancer. So far, the couple has donated over $10,000 in scholarships and monetary gifts to community members and students at Strom Thurmond High School. Marian often pays for transportation or donates money to women who are suffering from breast cancer. She and James are the founders of Natasha’s Night that highlights breast cancer awareness and raises money for scholarships.
Each October, Marian proudly wears pink daily in honor of her daughter and to raise the community’s awareness to fight breast cancer. This fight has become her passion and she is often in the front of the line of breast cancer walks, providing donations and organizing fundraiser drives. Each October, Marian co-sponsors “Pink Sunday” at Shaws Creek Baptist Church. The program honors women who are breast cancer survivors and provides literature to all attendees.
“Marian’s heart is large enough to help anyone who stands in need. She is a warrior on a mission to save lives.” These were words expressed in recommendation of this winning candidate.
Marian is married to James Hamilton and they live on Ridge Road in Johnston.