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Schools announce teachers and support staff of the year for 2024-25

Friday, May 10, 2024

BEAUFORT – Some very special Beaufort County School District teachers and staff were surprised and treated with flowers, balloons, and other goodies today as Board of Education members and district administrators made surprise visits to their classrooms and work areas to announce the 2024-25 Teachers of the Year and Support Staff of the Year.

“This is an amazing opportunity to celebrate our best and brightest teacher and staff leaders,” said Superintendent Frank Rodriguez. “Winning awards like Teacher of the Year or Support Staff of the Year is a testament to their incredible impact and unwavering commitment to education, and future generations. Today, we thank them for all they do.”

Teachers of the Year are selected by their peers according to criteria established by the schools, the South Carolina Department of Education and the district’s Teacher Forum.  Teachers honored will be eligible for District Teacher of the Year honors next fall.

Support staff honorees are selected by school staff and can include social workers, school nurses, bookkeepers, office managers, teacher assistants, school secretaries, and technology and data specialists.  Staff honored will be eligible for District Support Staff Person of the Year.

The 2024-2025 Beaufort County Teachers of the Year and Support Staff of the Year:



Teacher of the Year

Support Staff of the Year

Battery Creek High

John Rutherford

Gabrielle Heath

Beaufort Elementary

Marianne Blake

Joanna May

Beaufort High

Seth Konoza

Helen Heyward-Smoaks

Beaufort Middle

Kayla Felix 

Thomas Orr

Beaufort-Jasper ACE

Joe Johnson

Vanesa Ruiz

Bluffton Elementary, ECC

Laura Vanhorn

Linda Jenkins

Bluffton High

Michelle Mostiler

Keisha Burns

Bluffton Middle

Victoria Raza

Laura Vanhouten

Broad River Elementary

Michelle Johnston

Darene Scott

Coosa Elementary

Cherie Mack

LaTron Holmes

H. E. McCracken Middle

Christopher Johnson

Desiree Ryan

Hilton Head ECC

Anna Rehse

April Blackman

Hilton Head Elementary (IB)

Jill “Miranda” Fernandez

Susan “Susie” Dolan

Hilton Head Island Creative Arts, Daufuskie Island

Melanie Willis


Alaina Johnson

Hilton Head Island High

Jeremy Willard

Nina Cortese

Hilton Head Island Middle

Timothy Huesing

Luymar MoraEstrada

Joseph Shanklin Elementary

Melissale Rivera Juarbe

Paola Znbinden

Lady’s Island Elementary

Cinderella Shaw

Shirley Sanders

Lady’s Island Middle

Dr. Karen Parker

Christina Kim

May River High School

Kimberly Schmidt

Jennifer Jones-Brown

M. C. Riley Elementary/ECC

Roxxan O’Connor

Valerie Elliot

Mossy Oaks Elementary

Amber Clark

Julie Prussia

Okatie Elementary

Virgina Hallex (Outzts)

Karen Sirico

Port Royal Elementary

Grace Heise

Holly Mehrer

Pritchardville Elementary

Summer Williamson

Joe Rowe

Red Cedar Elementary

Kathleen Ellis

Rene Lukasavage

River Ridge Academy

Kimberly Rios

Brandi Siatkowski

Robert Smalls Leadership Academy

Sydney Harner

Rauel Cardenas-Hernandez

St. Helena Elementary, ELC

Shirley Close

Jacqueline Brown-Fields

Whale Branch E.C. High

Jessica Russel

J-Gala Albany

Whale Branch El., Davis ECC

Julianne Cooper

Jane Lowry

Whale Branch Middle

Lynn Garrett

Bernard Reid

Adult Education

District Office                                              

Office of Early Childhood Education                                                 

Lois Lewis

Creighton Weir

Keven Leavell

Megan Boyle

Mary Beth Christinsen





Supporting video footage: