Scruggs named D-45 Teacher of the Year

A Barnwell High School U.S. history teacher is now part of her school's history after being named the 2012-13 District 45 Teacher of the Year.
Brenda Scruggs was selected by a committee of last year's teachers of the year for the district title out of the four teachers of the year. Paige Beddingfield of Barnwell Primary, Deree Ward of Barnwell Elementary and Kathy Furtick of Guinyard-Butler Middle were also recognized by the school board during the Sept. 27 meeting for being their school's Teacher of the Year.
Scruggs considers it a "special honor" to be recognized by her colleagues to represent the school and district she's taught in for 28 years. "I've always felt appreciated," said Scruggs. "I love what I do."
"She works very hard for Barnwell High School, our community and our students," said BHS Principal Jon Burdge. "This is something she's earned."
Recalling a day last year when he visited Scruggs' class three times, Burdge said, "It didn't matter what level she was teaching to, every child was held to the same standards, high expectations and amount of rigor, no matter who they are."
Scruggs' dedication to her students doesn't stop in the classroom, said Burdge, citing how she goes above and beyond to see her students succeed. She helped open the Re-DO Café, an extra opportunity for students to complete missing homework or classroom assignments, and is a part-time tennis coach.
"I look forward to presenting a successful rural school district to the rest of South Carolina," said Scruggs. She will represent District 45 on the state level, competing for the 2013-14 State Teacher of the Year title.
Principals from the district's other three schools also spoke highly of their Teacher of the Year.
Barnwell Primary School Principal Donna Selvey called Beddingfield, a special education teacher, someone who "always has her children engaged." Selvey presented Beddingfield a toy Smurf to remind her of a student who would not communicate until she found out about his love for Smurfs.
Beddingfield, who has taught for 15 years, said she can't do it by herself. "It's a true team effort."
Barnwell Elementary School Principal Jackie Sease described Ward, a fifth grade science teacher, as someone who "comes in with such a warm heart" and the goal to make a difference in her students.
Ward considers it an "awesome honor" to be the Teacher of the Year for BES, where she has taught for five years. "I love our school."
Senaca Baines, the principal of Guinyard-Butler Middle School, said Furtick "is an absolute joy to be around" because she is structured and keeps students engaged.
"We hope to bring Barnwell further up the greatness ladder," said Furtick, a special education teacher who has taught for 37 years. "It's a team effort."
"I'm glad to be able to recognize a few of our many outstanding teachers," said Superintendent Roy Sapough. "I'm certainly proud of the job they do each day."
Board Vice-chairman Rhett Richardson also commended the teachers. "We appreciate the work of all teachers, not just the ones recognized."
In other news:
-Franklin McCormack, the district's energy management director and assistant principal at BHS, presented the board and all four schools the 2012 Energy Star Leader Award.
The award is due to the district reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent in 2012. "Your efforts are helping to protect the environment for future generations," stated a letter from Energy Star.
Besides helping the environment, McCormack said the initiative has also saved the district $386,626 since it began in February 2010. After subtracting the district's costs, the net savings is approximately $200,000, said McCormack.
Sapough thanked McCormack for his leadership, but said it's a "joint effort from all the employees leading the way to save energy" and money.
-Board member Abraham Sexton was nominated as the delegate for the S.C. School Boards Association's annual business meeting Dec. 1 in Hilton Head. Valenda Black was nominated as the alternate.
-The board unanimously approved the talented and gifted (TAG) program plan, which must be approved and sent to the state every five years.
One goal of the plan is growing the artistic TAG program, said Dr. Theresa Moore, who heads the program.