Superintendent Weaver Announces Ridgeland Secondary Academy of Excellence's Amsavalli Velayuthan as Teacher of the Year Finalist
Pictured L to R: Principal Adrienne Maybank, Ridgeland Secondary Academy of Excellence, Amsavalli Velayuthan, State Superintendent Ellen Weaver, Jasper County School District Superintendent Dr. Rechel Anderson.
Ridgeland, S.C. - State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver surprised Ridgeland Secondary Academy of Excellence's Amsavalli Velayuthan today with news that she has been selected as one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year award.
“Mrs. V is the ultimate advocate and role model for her students," said Superintendent Weaver. "The dedication and years of service she has given to the students of Jasper County is admirable. We are delighted to celebrate this day with her and recognize the impact she has in education."
In addition to teaching 9-12 grade English, Velayuthan also teaches English dual enrollment courses certified through Technical College of the Lowcountry. She received a bachelor's in English from the University of Madras, and holds a bachelor's and master's degree from Annamalai University. She has served as an educator for 34 years.
“Mrs. V is one of Jasper County School District's proud teachers. Mrs. V is a professional educator who values quality relationships with students, establishing positive connections with her students, whom she interacts with daily,” said Dr. Rechel Anderson, Superintendent of Jasper County School District. “In addition, she exudes high moral values, integrity, and compassion for teaching and learning. Mrs. V, we value you as a person, your talent, and your kindness; at this moment, we are honored to celebrate you.”
Velayuthan serves in many capacities when outside of her classroom. She is the English chairperson, student government association lead advisor, student improvement council and parent-teacher organization secretary, and district advisory board member. She also is lead for various community improvement projects.
As a zealous educator, Velayuthan makes strategic decisions to deliver lessons, fosters world-class skills, and encourages inquiry-based learning. Due to her creativity, advancement in professionalism, and competence, the district now has students who are graduating from high school with a diploma and an associate degree, planting a legacy that will grow beyond school walls.
As one of five finalists, Velayuthan will receive $10,000 and go on to the next stage of competition which involves an interview with a team of expert judges. The winner will be announced at the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Celebration on April 26 in Columbia.
The winner receives a total of $25,000 and is provided with a brand-new BMW to use while serving for one year as a roving ambassador providing mentoring, attending speaking engagements, working with Teacher Cadets and Teaching Fellows, leading the State Teacher Forum, and serving as the state spokesperson for over 55,000 educators.
The Teacher of the Year program celebrates excellence and strengthens the teaching force by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on the district, state, and national levels. The Teacher of the Year Awards not only assist in retention efforts but serve as a powerful recruitment tool to the educator profession.