Gaines named Clarendon District 2 Teacher of Year

A Barnwell native has been named the Clarendon School District 2 Teacher of the Year.

Jeffrey Gaines received the honor during the school board’s August 15 meeting. He was previously named Teacher of the Year for Manning High School in March.

“This entire process has been very humbling and I am grateful that I have the opportunity each day to make a difference in the lives of our children,” said Gaines.

As part of the process to be named District Teacher of the Year, Gaines had to record a lesson, complete the application, and participate in a panel interview with professionals outside of the district. He was selected out of a pool of other candidates.

The committee that selected Gaines called him “A very polished educator that has a distinguished presence - one who is not afraid to take on challenges.”

“To be selected from such a distinguished panel of educators is a rewarding experience that words cannot adequately describe,” said Gaines, who earned a master of education, administration and supervision from Southern Wesleyan University in 2017. “I am honored to serve my school district in this capacity as we continue to inspire young people to strive for excellence.”

In his role, Gaines will represent the district at various functions throughout the state during the 2017-18 school year.

Gaines had been the band and choral director at Manning High for three years, but since the time of the initial announcement of his school-level award, he has been appointed as an assistant principal at Manning Elementary School. This means he will not be able to compete on the state level for South Carolina Teacher of the Year.

This isn’t the Barnwell High graduate’s first recognition. He was named the 2011 Teacher of the Year in Blackville where he was the band, choral music and gifted and talented enrichment teacher for grades 5-12. At Southside Middle School in Florence he was a runner-up for the same award in 2013 and later received the award in 2014. He was also named the Five Star Optimist Teacher of the Year Award in Florence in 2014 and was the Clarendon School District 2 Ambassador of the Year in 2016.