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Lander Alumni Named First Year Teachers of the Year by Greenwood 50

First year teachers
Pictured, from top left are Sherri Gentry, Patrice Stevens, Annie Laurie Mattox, Karla Lopez, Katlyn Coker, Madison Tripp, Maegan Hamm, and Jennifer Wooley. Photos contributed.

When Greenwood School District 50 announced the recipients of the First Year Teacher of the Year award for the 2020-21 school year, eight alumni of Lander University's Department of Teacher Education were on the list.

"Lander's Department of Teacher Education is beaming with pride," said Dr. Susan Fernandez, chair of Lander's Department of Teacher Education. "We strive to provide our future teachers with the skills and attributes to thrive in their chosen and honorable profession of education."

Lander alumni receiving the honor of being named First Year Teacher of the Year include Katlyn Coker '20, of Hodges Elementary; Sherri Gentry '20, of Rice Elementary; Maegan Hamm '20, of Westview Middle School; Karla Lopez '20, of Mathews Elementary; Annie Mattox '20, of Woodfields Elementary; Patrice Stevens '20, of Mays Elementary; Madison Tripp '19, of the Early Childhood Center; and Jennifer Wooley '20, of Merrywood Elementary.

"These outstanding first year teachers have performed well in the classroom and demonstrated leadership in their schools," said district officials in a statement announcing the first year teachers for the 2020-21 school year.

"These eight amazing graduates of our professional programs were shining stars at Lander and they have continued to share their expertise through relationship building, dedication and a love of learning," added Fernandez. "This is certainly a well-deserved honor. Congratulations to each of these exemplary educators!"

The district will select a district-wide First Year Teacher of the Year in May.