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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Windsor Elementary School first-year teacher Rebecca Twitty believes that “every child should have every chance to get an education every day.” Twitty has been selected as the 2019-2020 Rookie Teacher of the Year for Richland School District Two.

Twitty, a fourth-grade teacher, says she has learned more about teaching this school year than she ever imagined. “Teaching in a Title One school has brought out parts of teaching I never expected to come across. My students have personal and social needs that had to be met first before I even thought about opening a textbook,” said Twitty. “I have high expectations for my students and know they can do anything they want to because they are important and they add value to not only my life but the entire world.”

“Nurturing and recognizing our first-year teachers is extremely important to the success of our school district. Ensuring they have the support needed to do their jobs is a high priority because we want them to not only love teaching but love teaching here,” said Richland Two Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis.

Twitty was one of four finalists for the award. The Honor Roll Rookie Teachers of the Year are as follows:
William Melven teaches music at Sandlapper Elementary School. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Melven is committed to public education because of the opportunity he gets to make an impact on students. “Being able to share my knowledge of music and be a positive role model for young people is something I feel compelled to do. I cannot imagine myself doing any other job. I care for all of my students with unconditional love and hope that in the future, they will show that same kindness to others.”
Keisha N. Randle teaches third grade at Joseph Keels Elementary School. She is a graduate of Benedict College. Randle always knew she wanted to be a teacher and followed her mother’s footsteps into the classroom. “My love for and commitment to my students is unconditional and transparent seeking no accolades or acknowledgments from anyone other than myself.  Knowing that I have given them my best daily and reaping the rewards of their hugs and smiles is more than enough.”
Sarah Truesdale is a Social Studies teacher at Westwood High School and a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Truesdale says she began the school year with a goal of being a Premier teacher. Despite being a little nervous about having her own classroom, she felt prepared. “A Premier teacher seemingly has a never-ending list of important skills and attributes that make them so good at their job. However, I chose to do this by grounding myself in three things I knew to be true: (1) Premier teachers have desire, (2) they show compassionate leadership, and (3) they commit to being a lifelong learner.” 
Richland Two recognizes outstanding new teachers each month with a Rookie Teacher of the Block award. The Rookie Teacher of the Year and monthly Teacher of the Block awards are sponsored by H&R Block.