Pickens educator named S.C. Teacher of the Year

May 2, 2013 

— A first grade teacher in Pickens has been named South Carolina Teacher of the Year.

Pickens Elementary School's Darleen Sutton was honored Wednesday night during a ceremony in Columbia.

Sutton was one of five finalists for the honor. She is in her seventh year at the school and has been an educator since 1991.

The other finalists included:

• Lisa O. McCrea-Raiford, an elementary teacher at the Center of Innovating Learning at Pinecrest in Aiken County.

• Paul D. Johnson, a biology teacher at Saluda High School.

• Trevor T. Ivey, a science teacher at Alice Drive Middle School in Sumter.

• Jeffrey M. Venables, a chemistry teacher at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill.

Sutton receives $25,000 and a BMW for a year. The other finalists received $10,000.

Venables is the third teacher of the year finalist from Northwestern. Brian Coburn won the state’s top honor in 2010 and Patti Tate won it in 2012.

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