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Richland Two names District Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year


Richland School District Two announced that Richland Northeast High School broadcast journalism teacher Andrew Chambers is the 2019-2020 District Teacher of the Year.

Chambers is the Convergence Media magnet director. In the three years since he joined the Richland Two family, Chambers has guided and mentored his broadcast students, going from winning few awards to winning the most in the Southeast. Last year RNE-TV Live won the Pacemaker award, the most prestigious scholastic journalism award in the nation. He has built nationally recognized programs at two high schools, is recognized as one of the top scholastic broadcast advisors in the country and recently earned the title of adviser of the year by the S.C. Scholastic Press Association.

In an effusive letter of recommendation a former student wrote, “His belief in me also inspired me to pursue a career as a creative director. Not only have his teachings helped me through high school but through my first year in college.” The student added that they were able to secure a job intended for a graduate student because of the work they had done in high school and that the professor was now interested in attracting more students from the high school to the college.

In his portfolio, Chambers wrote that he encourages his students to find their voice to and make an impact while simultaneously meeting the high expectations he sets for them.

“They know that I expect them to produce the highest quality work,” he said. “I tell them they don’t produce work to win awards; they produce award winning work. I want every story they produce to be better than their last.”

Chambers has been a teacher for 12 years and is national board certified. He has a bachelor’s degree from Charleston Southern and a master’s in Integrating Technology in the classroom from Walden University.

Rookie Teacher of the Year

This year the district also honored an outstanding new teacher as the Rookie Teacher of the Year. Lake Carolina Elementary Lower music teacher Julia Beck is the 2019-2020 Rookie Teacher of the Year. The award is sponsored by H&R Block and goes to an outstanding teacher in the first year in education.

In her nomination of Beck, Lake Carolina Elementary Lower principal Dr. Andrea Berry praised Beck’s intuitive ability to creative engaging learning experiences for her students. She describes how the first year teacher wrote a song for the entire school encouraging inclusion. The song has been featured in the South Carolina Special Olympics monthly newsletter.

“Her careful, deliberate and innovative lesson designs kept students engaged, challenged and in an environment where they could express themselves through music,” Berry wrote.