Local teacher receives $10,000 award; named inspiring teacher

Pee Dee

Courtesy: Florence 1 Schools

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) — JoAnn Warr, a seventh and eighth-grade Enhanced Learning teacher at Southside Middle School in Florence 1, has been named a recipient of the National University System-Sanford Teacher Award for South Carolina on a surprise Zoom announcement.

The teachers receiving the award were selected by a committee of educators and faculty based on an application process that included nominations and information provided by each teacher. Sanford Teacher Award winners were selected for demonstrating high levels of inspirational teaching practices by engaging students, building student confidence, motivating students to succeed, giving students a voice, and creating an inclusive environment.

Each recipient is now eligible to be named the national winner of the Sanford Teacher Award, which comes with a total award of $50,000 and will be announced at a future date.

The National University System provided the following observation concerning the Southside Middle School Educator: Ms. Warr takes the time to make sure every one of her students feels special. She promotes healthy competition through quizzes and games. She has on her desk a mason jar with 50 different positive thoughts. Each day she reads one to her class and challenges them to show someone a kind act today. Ms. Warr’s students become excited to share acts of kindness they have done for others. Capitalizing on the strengths of students, she makes sure to label students the “math master” or “reading wiz” to acknowledge their strengths and make them more confident in their abilities. 

“I’ve always told my students, if you learn anything from me, I want you to learn respect, manners, and I want you to learn that everybody is important,” said Warr in response to receiving this award.

A former principal of Southside Middle School, Shand Josey, said, “Ms. Warr is so deserving of this honor. She is an amazing educator and Southside is fortunate to have her as a valued faculty member.”

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