Teachers of the Year

2016-17 Teachers of the Year left to right:  Jonathan Ergle, Jessica Wash, Kelli Taylor, Cecelia Yonce, Joshua Wilson


District Schools Honor
Teachers of Year, Retirees


By Mary Alice Quattlebaum


  On Monday, September 12, the 2016-17 Saluda County School District Teachers of the Year and 2016 Retirees were honored at a banquet held at the Saluda Educational Complex.
  Dr. David Mathis, Superinten-dent welcomed everyone for coming in support of those being honored.
  After a wonderful dinner catered by Shealy’s of Batesburg, Mrs. Jane Jenkins Herlong, CSP served as keynote speaker.  Those in attendance were entertained with Southern humor, folksy wisdom and award-winning singing.  A recent inductee into the Speaker Hall of Fame, Jane is one of the 232 men and women to be awarded this honor.  She has published several books, is a professional singer, songwriter, and recording artist.  Jane and her family live in Edgefield, SC where she is active in her church and community and serves as the Executive Vice-President for Piedmont Technical College.  The audience enjoyed her message of “prove people wrong and laugh while living your dreams.”
  Principals and Directors introduced and recognized each of the 2016 Retirees with a gift of appreciation for their many years of service to the district.  The 2016 retirees are:  Sandy Butler, Renee Hauser, Mary Holloway, Helen Petterson, Evelyn Powell, Florence Weaver, and Russell Quattlebaum.
  The 2016-17 Teachers of the Year recognized were Cecelia Yonce, Saluda Primary School; Jessica Wash, Saluda Elementary School; Joshua Wilson, Hollywood Elementary School; Kelli Taylor, Saluda Middle School; and Jonathan Ergle, Saluda High School.  First Citizens Bank of Saluda which co-partners with Saluda County Schools Teacher for the Year Program gave each Teacher of the Year a monetary gift.   On behalf of the Board of Trustees and District, Dr. David Mathis presented each teacher with a plaque.
  The grand finale of the night was the announcement of Kelli Taylor being selected as District Teacher of the Year.  In her application, Mrs. Taylor wrote, “I do not just have a job; I have a life-long commitment to my students, school, and community to supply the best educational experience possible. I am fortunate to work in a field where I am constantly provided with challenges that make me grow and learn as a person and educator every day.”
  As District Teacher of the Year for Saluda County Schools, Mrs. Taylor will receive a check from the State Department of Education for $1000 and go on to represent the district as she competes for State Teacher of the Year.
  A special thank you and congratulations to our Retirees and Teachers of the Year.  May you have many more fulfilling days.


Rev. Jana Creighton, center of Saluda Presbyerian Church and church member Benjamin Williams, right, present the “Victory in Jesus” trophy, created by Richard Witt, to the congregation of Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston on Sun., Sept 11.

Presentation Made To
Mother Emmanuel Church


  After the tragic shooting of nine members of the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston on June 17, 2015, Saluda native Richard Witt was touched by the family members of those killed who said they forgave the shooter.
  Witt said he felt he needed to do something to recognize this congregation, so he designed and funded what he called the “Victory in Jesus Christ” trophy.
  In a letter to President Obama, Witt wrote: “A lot of heartfelt love went in to creating this gift for them (Emmanuel congreation). They received their Victory in Jesus Christ when they forgave the young man who shot the pastor and members of their church. They will be healed from this tragedy.
  ”’They shall mount up with wings like Eagles,’ and their faith will be rewarded.”
  The large trophy contains an eagle on top and all four sides contain inscriptions.
  On the top front is,  “Victory in Jesus Christ Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church .From the churches and Christian families of Greenwood and Saluda, South Carolina.You are in our thoughts and prayers.May God bless you and keep you in His Spirit. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.They shall mount up with wings like eagles;they shall run and not be weary;they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
  Beneath that on the front is “The Apostles’ Creed.”
  On two sides are four scriptures with the headings: “Deliverance from Racism,” Acts 17:26-30;  “All are one in Christ,” Galations 3:28-29;  “Protection against evil,” Ephesians 6:13-18; “Confidence,” Jeremiah 29:11.
  On the back, Witt included  quotes from a teacher, Linda Bodie,  and coaches, Tim Turner, and David Mote,  at King Academy, where Witt went to school.
  Witt had the trophy created last year, and was waiting for an opportunity to present it to the Emmanuel congreation.
  On Sun., Sept. 11, the Rev. Jana Creighton of Saluda Presbyterian Church, and two of the church members, Benjamin and Judy Williams, made the trophy presentation to the members of Emmaneul in Charleston on behalf of Richard.
  “It was a wonderful worship service.” Rev. Creighton said. “There was no difference in color, only unity in Christ as we worshipped. The folks of Emanuel AME have showed grace to all, including all of us who have participated in amazing acts of grace. I was grateful to be a part.”