Hammond Hill teacher among finalists for Teacher of the Year

Six Aiken County School District teachers, including one from Hammond Hill, have been named finalists for the district teacher of the year award.

The finalists, which are called the Honor Court, are among 41 teachers named their schools' teachers of the year.

The Honor Court members were Tamara Butler, Hammond Hill Elementary School second grade teacher; Karey Santos, Millbrook Elementary School fourth grade teacher; Amelia Ligons, Aiken High School English teacher; Elizabeth Supan, Aiken Elementary School fourth grade teacher; Loretta Childless, Greendale Elementary School reading interventionist; and Kathleen Langston, Redcliffe Elementary School third grade teacher.

"It is absolutely amazing, I think I'm still floating on the clouds," Butler said. "I'm overwhelmed, I'm excited and still in shock. It's what I do, I have been teaching for a quite a few years now. For my peers to vote me in here at Hammond Hill is all I could ask for. And then when I found out I was one of the finalists it was just over the top. I had to take a few minutes to praise God, of course, and soak it all in. I am truly overwhelmed and feel blessed to have been given this honor."

The new 2013 District Teacher of the Year will be announced next month at a banquet at the USC Aiken Convocation Center, sponsored by Public Education Partners and the school district.

The winner will succeed Lisa Raiford, a special-education teacher at the Center for Innovative Learning at Pinecrest. Raiford currently is a finalist for the S.C. Teacher of the Year - an announcement that will take place in Columbia in early May.

- Scott Rodgers contributed to this report.