Kelly Hart, a National Board Certified special education teacher at Blue Eagle Academy, was named the Clover School District’s 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year during today’s opening convocation at the Clover School District Auditorium.
Superintendent Dr. Marc Sosne and Kristin Dover, 2010-2011 District Teacher of the Year, presented Hart with a trophy and a $2,000 check during the ceremony.
A veteran educator with 11 years of experience including the last four in Clover, Hart says her desire to become a special education teacher stems from an experience she had as a young girl at the Illinois State Fair. It was while watching a demonstration of therapeutic horse riding and observing the connections that were being made between the horses and their disabled riders that the spark to teach special education was first ignited.
Today, she continues to inspire and encourage students at Blue Eagle Academy, the district’s alternative school, where she has taught since August 2007.
Hart says educators should never discount lessons they may learn from students and encourages others to carry her message and “to not overlook any student because of a disability, either self-inflicted or medically diagnosed” and to “value each student as someone you can learn from.”
As District Teacher of the Year, Hart is now in the running to become the 2012-2013 South Carolina Teacher of the Year. She will also represent the district as a member of the State Teacher Forum during