Published on May 7th, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff



COLUMBIA, S.C. — As the teacher shortage in South Carolina grows, some new faces are making the future look a little brighter with their career choices. Richland Two held its first-ever Future Educator Signing Day recently for students who are committing to become teachers. In a ceremony similar to one held for student-athletes, student teachers signed certificates recognizing their commitment to making a difference in the lives of children.   

Patrick Kelly, who serves a dual role in Richland Two as Coordinator of Professional Learning and an Advanced Placement U.S. Government teacher at Blythewood High School, says 42 high school students were celebrated at the signing for choosing to become teachers.

“Some of the students know exactly what field they would like to study including art, mathematics, elementary education, speech language pathology, dance, and physics. Others just know they want to teach and are determining the area of study,” said Kelly.  

Richland Two Chief Human Resources Officer Shawn Williams expressed excitement for the young future educators finding their passion and answering the call to become teachers. “These students are going to impact the future in ways they have yet to imagine. Richland Two will be ready to welcome them home as teaching professionals in the very near future so that hopefully their impact will be felt here first,” said Williams.

According to the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA), the number of South Carolina students who completed a teacher education program has declined by 32 percent since 2012-2013. South Carolina school districts reported 621 vacant teaching positions at the beginning of this school year.

2019 Future Teachers and High Schools

  1. Erin Anderson, Westwood
  2. Mary Ballentine, Blythewood
  3. Carrington Blackwell, Richland Northeast
  4. Keliah Bonneau, Westwood
  5. Amber Brown, Westwood
  6. Sophia Brown, Westwood
  7. Marcus Burgess, Blythewood
  8. Nicholas Crow, Spring Valley
  9. Andrew Curfman, Blythewood
  10.  Ziyana Daley, Westwood
  11.  Devyn Damsen, Westwood
  12.  Ashley Davis, Richland Northeast
  13.  Jasmine Finkley, Westwood
  14.  Keion Franklin, Richland Northeast
  15.  Briel Griffin, Westwood
  16.  Waliya Henry, Richland Northeast
  17.  Kinsey Kaiser, Westwood
  18.  Austin Lea, Spring Valley
  19.  Ethena Lighty, Richland Northeast
  20.  Juliana Lobo, Richland Northeast
  21.  Allison Louderough, Richland Northeast
  22.  Infinity Mack, Richland Northeast
  23.  Quinitin McCray, Richland Northeast
  24.  Brandi McDougle, Ridge View
  25.  Xavien McFadden, Ridge View
  26.  Natalie Mendez, Westwood
  27.  Lisa Ortuno, Blythewood
  28.  Halle Peniston, Westwood
  29.  Ra’Quelle Parker, Blythewood
  30.  Eden Pinnick, Westwood
  31.  Ella Rayl, Richland Northeast
  32.  Maques Roberts, Richland Northeast
  33.  Samaria Sims, Spring Valley
  34.  Bobbie Jo Skipper, Spring Valley
  35.  Sarah Swan, Spring Valley
  36.  Kiera Thomas, Ridge View
  37.  Shelby Truitt, Blythewood
  38.  Allen Wallace, Westwood
  39.  Emma White, Spring Valley
  40.  Emma Whitfield, Blythewood
  41.  Elizabeth Whitlow, Spring Valley
  42.  Jordan Williams, Spring Valley

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