Master Teachers (P)
Anita Turner Padgett
Anita is a National Board Certified Teacher with an Early Childhood Generalist Certificate. She has taught first grade for eight years and is currently on the faculty at Varnville Elementary School in Varnville, SC.
Anita has an Associate of Arts degree from USC-Salkehatchie in Allendale, and a bachelor of arts degree from USC-Aiken. She is a member of the School Improvement Council, Earth Day Committee, and serves on the Hampton District 1 Technology Committee. In addition she is Relay for Life Co-Captain.
Anita recently completed all requirements in the High/Scope Approach for Elementary Education. Currently she is seeking her master’s degree in Integrating Technology into the Classroom from Walden University.Donna M. Petty
Since 1996 Donna has taught eighth grade earth science at Dent Middle School in Columbia. From 1992-96 she was Teacher of Math and Science/Lead Teacher in the New Directions Community Program at the SC Department of Juvenile Justice. Prior to that she taught Math and Health at Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle School in Aiken County.
In 1996 she was named DJJ’s first Teacher of the Year. This year she was named South Carolina’s Earth Science Teacher of the Year. She is listed in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” and is a “Who’s Who Educational Biographee.” She was Honorable Mention S.C. Mining Association Outstanding Earth Science Teacher in 2002.
Donna has been a PBS Mathline participant and facilitator; a PACT Assessment Consultant; Star Schools Grant Consultant for the NatureScene Interactive Site Project (1998-2002), and currently edits the S.C. Earth Science Teachers Association newsletter. She has also participated in the Curriculum Leadership Institute.
In 2002 Donna earned her National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Science. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Columbia College and an Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Natural Sciences from the University of South Carolina.
Lana has taught English at Gaffney High School for five years. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in secondary education from Clemson University and her master's in education from Converse College. She was awarded the Cherokee County Reading Council's Award for Teacher of Exemplary Practice at Gaffney High. Along with her teaching duties, Lana chairs the Student Intervention Referral Team and is the sponsor of the high school's literary magazine, Pathways to the Pinnacle.Gary Purinton
Technology coordinator for Gaffney High School, Gary also spent seven years working as a social studies teacher. He holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Coastal Carolina University and a master's in secondary education from Converse College. He is currently working on a second master's degree in administration at Converse. He served as co-coordinator of the Target Vision system for Gaffney High School and was a member of the "Coalition of Essential Schools" committee. He also coaches track and cross country at Gaffney High.
Shirley has taught for 14 years at Ridgeland Elementary School. She has been a "Young Scholars Educator" for the last two years. She is a computer grant recipient and has a deep interest in science and technology. She has been the science fair coordinator for the past 10 years and also serves on the beautification committee. Shirley holds a bachelor's plus 18 degree in early childhood education.Trisha Porter
Trisha teaches third grade at Memminger Elementary School in Charleston. She holds degrees in both sociology and elementary education from the State University of New York at Potsdam. She earned her master's degree in reading from The Citadel in 1998. Since then, she has accumulated over 30 credits in post-graduate work and regularly attends in-services, workshops, and conferences. She has been a presenter at the National Accelerated School Conference in New Orleans. She is also working to receive National Board Certification.
Trisha was "Teacher of the Year" for 2000-01 at her school and a semifinalist for "Teacher of the Year" from Charleston County. She is also participating in the Cluster Leadership Academy, sponsored by the Charleston Math and Science Hub.
Deborah is a member of the faculty at Ronald E. McNair Elementary School in Charleston County. She is currently team teaching math and science with a fellow second grade teacher. In her three years of teaching, she has served as McNair's math liaison and as a member of the school's technology team.
She has participated in the Charleston Math and Science Hub's S.T.E.M. (Sharing Teaching Experiences in Math and Science) program and received FOSS training. In addition she received a $6,000 EIA grant.
Deborah earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from the College of Charleston.Brenda Parson
Brenda is the fourth- and fifth-grade media specialist at Belton Elementary School. Prior to assuming her responsibilities as a media specialist, she taught first grade for 12 years. She has been instrumental in bringing new and emerging technologies to the Anderson Two district by writing grants and training both teachers and students.
Brenda graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan College with a degree in elementary education. She has her master's degree in elementary education from Clemson University and has earned her master's plus 30 from Western Carolina and the University of South Carolina. Her area of concentration has been information science.
Lemuel teaches fifth-grade science at McCormick Middle School. Prior to joining the faculty at McCormick Middle, Lemuel was a science laboratory instructor at Sanders-Clyde Elementary School in Charleston. He designed hand-on-science process skills for students from ages four through fifth grade. Lemuel has won the SC Elementary Science Association 's "First Light Award," was named "Teacher of the Year" three times at Sanders-Clyde Elementary School, and won the SC Soil and Water District Award for Charleston County.
He served on the Can Do Space Science Steering Committee, which targeted sites to be photographed February 10, 2005 has been a presenter at the National Science Teachers' Association and SC Junior Academy of Sciences conferences, and a NASA teleconference host.
Lemuel earned his bachelor of science degree in elementary education and early childhood education from Lander College and his master's degree in early childhood from the University of South Carolina.Jody Penland
Jody is the math specialist for the Upper Savannah Science and Mathematics Hub located in Greenwood at Lander University. Jody has taught sixth- and seventh-grade math at Martha Dendy Middle School in Clinton. He has taken part in the Curriculum Leadership Institute (CLI) and the Administrative Leadership Institute (ALI) as both a participant and as a coach. He is a member of NCTM, SCCTM, SC2, ASCD, and Phi Delta Kappa (Professional Education Fraternity). Jody is actively working to form a local affiliate group of SCCTM.
Jody earned his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Francis Marion University. He received his secondary certification in mathematics from Converse College and earned his master's degree in elementary education from Converse College in 1998.