District Five honored professional development

Lexington-Richland School District Five has been honored by the University of South Carolina’s (USC) College of Education for its work with the Professional Development Schools (PDS) Network.

During a May 7 awards ceremony, Oak Pointe Elementary School received the Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award. The award is given to a school whose work creates and sustains genuine collaborative relationships between P-12 schools and higher education.

“I am so proud to be a part of a faculty that values life-long learning and collaborating to promote the teaching profession,” said Kristie Smith, Oak Pointe Elementary School principal. “It is amazing that others recognize our hard work and dedication to our PDS partnership and the future of our profession.” 

Professional Development Schools in School District Five include: Irmo Middle School, Oak Pointe Elementary School, Irmo Elementary School and Dutch Fork High School. Irmo High School International School for the Arts has been selected to join the network in the 2019-2020 school year.

Two School District Five teachers were two of the six finalists statewide for the Coaching Teacher Award of Excellence: Amy Collins (Oak Pointe Elementary) and Elizabeth Crocker (Irmo Middle). Collins received the award.

“I am truly honored to receive the Coaching Teacher Award of Excellence from USC,” Collins said. “Opening the door of my classroom to interns allows me to help create a positive change by doing what I love to do. I am appreciative of the partnership with USC and the opportunities to strengthen my practices as I continue learning.”

“Amy Collins has dedicated her career not only to serving her students but to pre-service teachers,” Smith said. “Her passion shines through all of her endeavors.”  

USC has a history of sustaining strong PDS partnerships since 1990 when the College of Education became a national leader in starting the Professional Development Schools movement. The mission of the PDS Network is to establish and maintain “sandboxes” for research and innovation where University and Public School Partners collaboratively investigate student learning, professional development, clinical preparation, and induction to institutionalize best practices across teacher learning contexts.

“The Exemplary Professional Development School award bestowed upon Oak Point Elementary School exemplifies the important and impactful work being done in School District Five of Lexington and Richland,” said Tamara Turner, Coordinator of Teacher Evaluation. “Amy Collins, receiving the Coaching Teacher of the Year award is a testament to the critical role she plays in influencing future teachers. Her work and the work of Oak Point Elementary School will have a long-lasting impact on the lives of future teachers and students.”

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