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Merriwether Middle School's Matt Herring Among Finalists for 2023-24 ECSD Teacher of the Year

This school year’s three finalists for Edgefield County School District’s (ECSD) Teacher of the Year include an elementary school counselor, middle school art teacher and middle school music teacher. Johnston-Edgefield-Trenton Middle School Art Teacher, Avis Tuttle Jordan; Merriwether Middle School Music Teacher, Matt Herring; and Johnston Elementary School Counselor, Andra Syms, have a combined 34 years of experience in education.


The ECSD Teacher of the Year will be announced on Friday, September 22, 2023.


Additional 2023-2024 ECSD Teachers of the Year include Merriwether Elementary School Third-Grade Teacher, Janice Bass; W.E. Parker Elementary School Second-Grade Teacher, Jessica Coleman; Strom Thurmond High School Chemistry Teacher, Amy Hardy; and Douglas Elementary School Media Specialist and Inquiry Teacher, Shannon Petty.


ECSD Teacher of the Year Finalist: Matt Herring (Merriwether Middle School)


Matt Herring is a homegrown product of the Edgefield County School District and says his desire to become a teacher was inspired and sustained by the excellence of ECSD teachers.


“My passion for teaching was first ignited by those who taught me,” Herring wrote in his ECSD Teacher of the Year Application. “Throughout my life, I have been blessed to be surrounded by fantastic teachers. During my elementary years, I adored school, mostly because of the phenomenal teachers I had at Johnston Elementary. One in particular that was impactful for me was Donna Sue Rhoden. Ms. Rhoden showed me that teaching can be exciting and leave a lasting impression. When I entered middle school and started to put aside my initial childhood dreams of being a professional athlete or a power ranger, I started to think about what I could realistically become when I grew up. I was having the time of my life in my band class at J-E-T Middle School and thought nothing could be better than being able to do what Mr. Barry Wash and Mr. Van Clark do as a career. They helped to encourage my love for music, and together they changed my life.”


Herring says forging a lasting impact and seeing growth over time in the lives of his own students is what continues to encourage him each new school year.


“The reward that I find in teaching is in the growth that my students achieve,” Herring wrote. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing my students grow from day to day or year to year. The messages I have received from former students thanking me for helping them are what make the teaching profession the most rewarding career I could imagine. I can think of no other job where I could help change the lives of so many people. The classes I teach help students think critically, work with others, discover how to acquire new knowledge, and a host of other skills that will transfer outside of the classroom. By helping them grow in my class I can help prepare them for the world beyond it. I can make a difference in their lives and through them, the lives of others.”


Congratulations again to our 2023-2024 ECSD Teacher of the Year finalists and all of our amazing Teachers of the Year.   

ECSD Public Information Office