Published on May 23rd, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


District Five Names 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year and Support Employee of the Year Winners

Pictured: 2016-2017 District Support Employee of the Year Larry Payne (left) with Irmo Elementary Special Education Teacher and the 2016-2017 District Teacher of the Year Mansa Joseph (right).

IRMO – Lexington-Richland School District Five has crowned the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year and Support Employee of the Year winners. Mansa Joseph, a special education teacher at Irmo Elementary, received the Teacher of the Year award and Larry Payne, the Facilities Supervisor at Seven Oaks Elementary, received the Support Employee of the Year award.

Joseph has been teaching for four years at Irmo Elementary. He has a bachelor’s degree in special education from Clemson University and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Southern Wesleyan University. He serves as the assistant director for Irmo Elementary’s Honey Bunch after school program and is a sponsor for the school’s I AM Gold Leadership Program, where he meets weekly with fourth and fifth grade boys to teach them how to develop successful leadership skills.

Joseph accepted the District Teacher of the Year award with a bright smile and said, “It is a blessing to be in this position. There are so many circumstances that I’ve been through that could have put me in so many different places, but I’ve been fortunate enough to work with amazing people at Irmo Elementary that have encouraged and motivated me to just keep going. This is just an amazing experience; I still can’t believe I received this honor.”

Irmo Elementary Principal Tina McCaskill was thrilled for Joseph and said, “Mansa is well deserving of this award. He gives all of his heart to his students and has a passion to see them grow. He always wants to be a mentor to them and just believes in them academically and serves them where they are. His Irmo Elementary family is very proud of him.”

Payne joined the district in 2001 and has been named a school level Support Employee of the Year three times, with two of those being at Seven Oaks Elementary. He is a graduate of W.J Keenan High School and is a Navy veteran, serving both stateside and in the Philippines.  He is also very involved in the community and is an active volunteer in his church.

Payne humbly accepted the District Support Employee of the Year award and said, “It is a great honor to be named the Support Employee of the Year for the whole district. This is a fantastic place to work and I don’t take what I do lightly. I enjoy taking care of the students and love them and my staff. I just love working in District Five.”

Harriet Wilson, Principal at Seven Oaks Elementary, wasn’t surprised Payne won the award and said, “As a school family, we are just thrilled for Larry. He’s the man that does it all for us and keeps everything together at Seven Oaks. We just knew he was going to win, he is a special man and we are blessed to have him in our district and at our school.”

The District Superintendent, Dr. Stephen Hefner presented the plaques to the winners after their names were announced. “What a great celebration,” he said. “Mansa Joseph and Larry Payne are terrific examples of the exceptional teachers and staff we have in District Five. Congratulations to our finalists and to all our school Support Employees of the Year and Teachers of the Year.





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