The School Foundation Honors Distinguished Graduate and Names Teacher of the Year
FLORENCE, S.C. — More than 700 hundred people gathered Tuesday night in Florence to celebrate education at the 13th annual School Foundation Gala.
The gala, held at Florence-Darlington Technical College's Southeastern Institute of Management and Technology, is one of two principal fundraisers each year for the foundation. The second, Dancing with the Stars of Florence County, is held in April.
The culmination of the gala was the announcement of the FSD1 Teacher of the Year. Lindsey Bibler, a math teacher from South Florence High School, was chosen as the district's overall Teacher of Year. Bibler, who teaches Calculus and Pre-Calculus, was chosen from the district's 22 schools by a three-person selection committee and also named an Honor Roll Teacher.
Bibler's name will be submitted to the South Carolina Department of Education, where she will represent FSD1 and vie for the S.C. Teacher of the Year award next year.
Each year, the foundation takes money that is donated and gives grants to schools within FSD1 to use for projects that are submitted by district teachers. Some of the grant money goes toward technology, something that McLaurin Elementary School Montessori teacher Louise Cox thinks is vital to keeping students up to date with the changing world. "I think the Foundation has really helped our district with technology," Cox said. "Students today, my grandkids and the kids I teach, are living in the technological era, so they need to learn how to use it. We are even teaching our kindergarten age kids how to use a computer in computer lab. The Foundation helps fund that." Cox said that in the current economy, not all school districts can always afford everything they need. "All school districts have been hit hard," Cox said. "We need the School Foundation to get things that we need for the district."
Gala attendees were entertained by Judge James E. Lockemy of the S.C. State of Appeals and the members of the Wilson High School Mock Trial Team. The team's waged 'The Great Debate' over whether Carolina and Clemson should be named the flagship school of South Carolina. In the end, it was a tie.
FSD1 Alumni William Hubbard was honored as the 2014 Distinguished Graduate. He graduated from McClenaghan High School before earning his bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina and his Juris Doctor from the USC School of Law. In August 2014, Hubbard was the first lawyer from South Carolina to be named the President of the American Bar Association.
Debbie Hyler , School Foundation Executive Director, said she was pleased with the turnout Tuesday night because it meant that the foundation could continue to provide support for teachers and students of FSD1.
"To date, the School Foundation has given over $960,000 in grants to the students and educators of Florence District 1," Hyler said. "With the continued support of individuals and the community we are able to give more and more grants. We feel like the grants make a difference in the every day lives of the students."