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Orangeburg County School District selects Danielle McAlhany as Rookie Teacher of the Month

At a recent school board meeting, Danielle McAlhany was recognized as the March Rookie Teacher of the Month. McAlhany is a first-grade teacher at Bethune-Bowman Elementary School. She was nominated by a staff member who described her as a “ball of energy for her first graders.”

“I never imagined hearing my name called and my sweet kids cheering for me in excitement and being asked, ‘Miss M are you going to cry?’ I can’t believe my first year of teaching is almost over. It wasn’t in my original plan to be a teacher but I’m so glad God laid on my heart that I needed to be a teacher. It’s not the easiest job but it is the most rewarding. I have grown to love this job and each one of my students. This year has changed my perspective in many ways. Teachers hold many roles they have to not only teach, parent but also be magical behavior specialists,” said McAlhany.

The Center of Excellence for Educator Preparation and Innovation’s (EPI) Peer Review Teacher Amanda Looper from Orangeburg County School District (OCSD) and EPI Virtual Instructional Coach Dr. Peggy Hotchkiss supported McAlhany this academic year as part of the district’s partnership with the EPI Center. 

The Peer Review Team approach is one of the innovative opportunities the EPI Center provides for school leaders in participating Leveraging Innovation for Educator Excellence (LIFE 2) districts, which includes OCSD. The EPI Center understands that district teachers and leaders have classroom challenges and should be supported and guided to research and investigate those challenges. Through Improvement Science and professional development, Peer Review Team members and participating teachers are equipped to tackle the challenges and improve their effectiveness, improving student achievement. The EPI Center provides instructional coaching and compensation to assist Peer Review Team members and their assigned teaching cadre in participating districts through competency-based training, micro-credentials, and other support services.

Pictured ( l-r):  Orangeburg County School District Superintendent Dr. Shawn D. Foster, McAlhany, Bethune-Bowman ES Principal Lakekia Jamison-Lewis; and Assistant Principal Dr. Andrea Snell 

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