Two educators from Lexington-Richland School District Five have been announced as winners of South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children (SCCEC) annual awards.

Calvin Golson, a paraprofessional at the Academy for Success, has been named the SCCEC Para-Educator of the Year. Nursery Road Elementary special education teacher Leigh Burnette was announced as the SCCEC Rookie Teacher of the Year.

District Five office of special services celebrates Nursery Road Elementary’s Leigh Burnette for being named SCCEC Rookie Teacher of the Year.

“It has been such a unique pleasure to serve in District Five for the past 16 years,” Golson said. “I cannot thank the SCCEC enough for recognizing me with this award. The real winners are the students and school I serve each and every day.”

“We are so blessed to have Mr. Golson as part of our Academy family,” Academy for Success principal Dr. Terrance Alridge said. “This is a place where all students can learn, and without a man like him, our jobs would be much more difficult. Mr. Golson is such a deserving recipient of this award and we congratulate him.”

“I am humbled and honored to be named SCCEC’s Rookie Teacher of the Year,” Burnette said. “For the past two years, I’ve had an incredible support system to help me find my place in this profession and I’ve had the privilege of working with the most remarkable students who inspire me and fuel my passion each day.”

Nursery Road Elementary principal Love Ligons was thrilled to hear the news.

“Leigh is a teacher that is beyond her years in her knowledge of SPED and her passion for children,” Ligons said. “She is truly an advocate for children with special needs. I stand in awe of the many things she does each day to make a positive impact on the life of students in her class as well as other students in our building.”


Feature photo: District Five office of special services celebrates Academy for Success’s Calvin Golson for being named SCCEC Para-Educator of the Year.