Local hotshots picked up their pencils and dusted off their biology textbooks during St. James High School’s “Educator for a Day” event.
Horry County Superintendent Cindy Elsberry, Coastal Carolina University President David DeCenzo and WPDE News 15’s Carolina & Company Live host Amanda Kinseth were just some of the guests who spent Thursday shadowing teachers. The event, organized by teacher Beth Cox, was part of American Education Week.
“It’s an honor for our school to have this many important visitors,” Cox said. “It’s exciting.”
The guests were each paired with a teacher based on their favorite subject and spent the whole day “co-teaching” with their partner. Some had to leave early due to prior commitments, but many of the guests experienced a full day of high school.
Sgt. Jeff Benton, Horry County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, was paired with an Advanced Placement history class.
“I think [I’ll be] the dumbest one in this room,” Benton said before heading to the event. “But it gives me an opportunity to spend a day in the classroom and see what a teacher does all day.”
He said it’s important to see what public school teachers deal with on a daily basis and “Educator for a Day” gives him a better appreciation of the occupation.
“If you’re doing it for the money, you’re obviously not doing it for the right reason,” Benton said.
Elsberry teamed up with Cox to teach biology and education, and said she was glad to get back into the classroom.
“I was a teacher, so this is what I love,” Elsberry said. “I haven’t thought about chromosomes and DNA in a long time.”
Elsberry, who was hired in 2008, said most of her job requires administrative work that doesn’t give her much time to interact with students. This event gave her a glimpse into the lives of St. James High teachers, an opportunity she said she jumped on immediately.
“In my job, there’s some distance between myself and the teachers,” Elsberry said. “But it’s exciting to be here.”
Elsberry has resigned as the superintendent and her last day is expected to be Dec. 31.
DeCenzo said he hasn’t been in a high school in many years, but was excited that Cox asked him to co-teach.
“I am really looking forward to it,” DeCenzo said. “It’s a great opportunity for each of us to bring what we do into the classroom.”
The “co-teachers” enjoyed lunch in the cafeteria and gathered after the school day ended to discuss what they had all learned. Cox said these types of events show how dedicated St. James is to student learning and community involvement.
“The top priority is making relationships with our kids,” Cox said. “This shows how good we are as a school, because all these guests wanted to come and see us.”
Yuletide showcases premiere
Black Water Middle School is decking the halls next month with two winter showcases featuring singing, dancing and crafts.
The Snow Globe Winter Festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 6. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Students in the dance education class will perform, and children’s crafts will be available.
Celebrate the holiday season again with Black Water Middle’s Yuletide Magic: Winter Dance Showcase from Dec. 17-18, starting at 6:30 p.m. The show will feature a cast of 135 dancing reindeer, snowmen and other traditional holiday characters. The school also will debut its new tap-dance curriculum to the public, and Santa will be on-hand to deliver holiday cheer.
Tickets are $5 for the Winter Dance Showcase and doors open at 6 p.m. Black Water Middle is located at 900 E. Cox Ferry Rd., Conway. For more information, call the school at 903-8440.