Editor's note: Responses from Billie Sirignano Wharton, one of five candidates for Teacher of the Year in Georgetown County, were omitted in Sunday's edition.
Wharton teaches gifted and talented language arts for seventh graders at Georgetown Middle School. Here are her answers to the questionnaire sent to all five finalists.
Question | Why did you decide to be an educator?
Answer | Because I love kids, I love to learn, and I love to teach. This is the perfect combination for a teacher who wishes to instill and share the joy of learning in their students.
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Q. | Describe your favorite teaching moment.
A. | My favorite teaching moments are many, but one that seems to override them all is when I run into a former student who is now a happy, productive adult, and [they] greet me with a smile and thank me. Wow. That's powerful. Someone said, "they may not remember what you teach, but they will always remember how you made them feel." I like the idea of teaching moments. And you have to instill or teach the joy of learning first.
The winner will be named in a ceremony at 7 p.m. Thursday at Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort.
The other finalists are Amy Norton, fifth-grade teacher at McDonald Elementary School; Sonya Marsh, guidance counselor at Pleasant Hill Elementary School; Pam Blumetto, eighth-grade gifted and talented English language arts teacher at Rosemary Middle School; and Summer Altman, special education teacher at Waccamaw Middle School.
The winner goes on to compete for state teacher of the year.