Lisa Ferguson named Teacher of Year for Orangeburg school
A Barnwell resident was recently named Teacher of the Year for an Orangeburg County school.
Lisa Ferguson is the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year for the STAR (Students Taking Alternative Routes) Center for Learning in Cope. She is in her third year at the STAR Center for Learning where she teaches sixth through eighth grade math, but previously taught for 18 years at Barnwell District 45.
“It lets you know you’re doing a great job,” said Ferguson, who says she was “humbled” to receive the award.
Throughout her teaching career, Ferguson has tried to help all students succeed in the classroom and in life. She teaches the Golden Rule in the hopes students will treat people how they would want to be treated, she said.
“I want to make them feel comfortable and let them know that they are worth something,” said Ferguson.
She tries to make students understand that mistakes are a part of life. “That’s how we learn,” she said.
This is an important message for students of the STAR Center for Learning, an alternative school that helps “prepare students academically and socially through short-term intervention program to become successful, productive citizens,” according to the school’s website. The school serves more than 100 middle school students annually from the communities of Branchville, Neeses, Springfield, Cordova, Cope and Southern Orangeburg who attend schools within Orangeburg Consolidated School District Four and Bamberg County’s two districts.
While some students easily give up if they become frustrated, Ferguson said she aims to help all students become successful so they can transition back to their regular schools. She believes the small group atmosphere is a major part of the learning process.
“I love it when I see a student finally get it,” she said of the “almost magical” moment when students truly comprehend what she is teaching.