Horry County Schools to tap its next Teacher of the Year

Socastee High School’s Jennifer Ainsworth made history last week when she gave Horry County Schools its first S.C. Teacher of the Year win, and now the district is preparing to select her successor.

Five finalists are vying for this year’s title of HCS Teacher of the Year, which will be announced at the district’s annual banquet Tuesday night at the Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes. They are: Beth Cox, a biology teacher at St. James High School; Holly Barnes, an English teacher at Conway High School; Kayla Maxwell, a math teacher at Forestbrook Middle School; Lesley Etherson, an art teacher at North Myrtle Beach High School; and Pam Jackson, a math teacher at the Academy for Technology and Academics.

Faculty members at each school selected their Teacher of the Year. Those winners applied to become one of 10 semi-finalists, who were selected in January. An interview process in February narrowed the field to five finalists, who were observed in their classrooms by a selection committee.

The winner will be in contention for the next state award. All school district Teachers of the Year were honored at this year’s state gala, each receiving $1,000, and will be honored by the S.C. General Assembly.