The Winners of the 2018 Teacher Appreciation Awards

By Stewart Law Offices
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Nicole Bishop, Irmo Elementary School

After encouraging parents and students to nominate their favorite teachers as part of the firm’s Teacher Appreciation Award, Stewart Law Offices spent the early part of this week surprising the eight winning teachers in person in their classrooms throughout North and South Carolina.

Stewart Law Offices’s founder, Brent Stewart, started the award this year in honor of his mother Celia Stewart, who was a 1st grade teacher for 25 years. Her dedication and passion for teaching helped instill not only the importance of education, but the importance of showing appreciation for teachers.

The winners of the firm’s Teacher Appreciation Award were selected from over 120 nominations and each teacher received a $500 check from the firm in honor of their service to the community. With the help of several of the firm’s attorneys, Stephen Vicari, Sam Bass, and Tyler Bathrick, the firm delivered the awards in-person to the following teachers:

Nicole Bishop

1st Grade Teacher at Irmo Elementary School

Excerpt from the nomination:

“From the moment my son and I stepped into Mrs. Bishop’s room on introduction day, I knew—call it mother’s instinct, gut reaction, answered prayer—that my son would be in the hands of not only a great teacher, but a SHAPER of the mind. His love for reading has flourished. He knows it’s okay to make mistakes because he can learn from them. He realizes how much kind words can impact a peer. He has learned that it’s good to take a stand against wrong doings and can list off at least a handful of people in history who have done just that.”

Pamela Talley

Special Education at Lower Richland High School

Pamela Talley, Lower Richland High School

Excerpt from the nomination:

“This teacher deserves recognition because her students come first. The relationship she has with them are unbelievable. They look up to her, they respect her, and they trust her. Pamela is an outstanding leader, and she goes over and beyond for each and every one of her students. Most importantly, she’s places them in a position to succeed. Not only in the classrooms, but in their everyday life outside of the classrooms.”

Tia Harden

3rd Grade Teacher at Indian Land Elementary

Tia Harden, Indian Land Elementary

Excerpt from the nomination:

“Miss Harden goes that extra mile to make her students not only learn but feel special! Learning is a challenge for elementary children who would much rather be running and playing. Miss Harden balances that work with fun so she keeps the kids engaged. You know she leaves an impression on her students when they’ve moved on to other grades but still stop by her classroom to check in and say “hi.”

Meghan Clontz

1st Grade Teacher at India Hook Elementary

Meghan Clontz, India Hook Elementary

Excerpt from the nomination:

“Mrs. Clontz deserves the award because she is kind, patient and just the kind of teacher that your child enjoys learning from daily…Every student in her class KNOWS they are loved, and are so lucky to have such a positive learning environment. My daughter can’t wait to go to school every day. That says it all!”

Carley Vernadore

3rd Grade Teacher at Mount Gallant Elementary

Carley Vernadore, Mount Gallant Elementary

Excerpt from the nomination:

“[Carley Vernadore] teaches with so much passion that her students enjoy learning. She goes above and beyond to make sure every student is successful. She treats each child like they are her own. Carley is always willing to try new things in order to help her students.”

Jennifer Brown

Kindergarten Teacher at Woodruff Primary School

Jennifer Brown, Woodruff Primary School

Excerpt from the nomination:

“Mrs. Brown keeps fun and informative projects going at all times, updates parents weekly with pictures and posts, and generally does an excellent job in all areas… Mrs. Brown is surely worthy of this recognition and I hope she is chosen.”

Mr. Jesse Biondi

Chorus/Orchestra Teacher at Rainbow Lake Middle School

Jesse Biondi, Rainbow Lake Middle School

Excerpt from the nomination:

“Mr. Biondi is a chorus/fine arts teacher for grades 6-8. He not only “teaches” music to children but encourages them to use it as expression and to escape a lot of the struggles of their everyday life. He is such an uplifting and positive influence and his students genuinely look forward to his class everyday.”

Patricia Croghan

2nd Grade Teacher at St. Matthew’s Catholic School

Patricia Croghan, St. Matthew's Catholic School

Excerpt from the nomination:

“Ms. Croghan has taught 2 of my children. She is the first teacher that made me understand that [children] need brain brakes during the school day. She relates so well to the children and understands them very well…”

Thank you to teachers everywhere for all the hard work you do!

As the school year comes to a close, Stewart Law Offices wants to once again thank all teachers for their dedication to making a difference each and every day in their communities.

The firm will continue the Teacher Appreciation Award again next year during Teacher Appreciation Month in May.

Note: Some of the nomination excerpts were edited for grammar and spelling. No changes were made to the substance of the nominations.

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