Stephanie Haecherl Announced 2018 Charleston County Teacher of the Year

Stephanie Haecherl's 10th year in education is probably going to be the most memorable of her career thus far. That's because she was named the 2018 Charleston County School District (CCSD) Teacher of the Year at tonight's Teacher of the Year Celebration. The second grade teacher at Mamie P. Whitesides Elementary School heard her named called in front of hundreds of her colleagues, the CCSD Board of Trustees, district partners, and sponsors.

"It feels very rewarding," explained Haecherl. "I am just so overwhelmed. I am so excited and so happy to be able to represent my school and my district. It is worth it to be able to stand up and speak for students and teachers, to have a voice in how we can improve education, and keep doing the things that are good and make them even better."

HAECHERLHaecherl is a National Board Certified teacher, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Public Relations from Mars Hill College (currently Mars Hill University) and Master of Education in Divergent Learning from Columbia College. Haecherl says she is committed to being a lifelong learner and leader, with current focuses on grant writing and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) initiatives.

"I am so very proud of her," added Whitesides Principal Cynthia Perez. "I cannot think of anyone that's more deserving, and we had a room full of teachers who were deserving of that [award]. She gives it her heart and soul every single day. She knows those kids in and out, not only in her classroom, but in her grade level and throughout the school."

Haecherl will help lead the CCSD Teacher of the Year Roundtable during the 2018-2019 school year; she will also receive a one-year lease to drive a MINI Cooper. Haecherl follows 2017 honoree, Mia Pace of Julian Mitchell Math and Science Elementary School, on the acclaimed list of CCSD Teachers of the Year.

 Haecherl and the rest of the five finalists were selected through a multi-step process that began with a review of their applications by the outgoing Teacher of the Year Roundtable. Once the finalists were chosen, each of the five teachers gave a tour of their school to a panel of judges, provided a model lesson to be critiqued, and participated in a thorough interview process.

 Finalists for 2018 CCSD Teacher of the Year included runner-up Margaret Hale (James Island Elementary), Amanda Prohaska (Mount Pleasant Academy), Kevin Short (Charleston County School of the Arts), and Joyce Stewart-Gibbs (E.B. Ellington Elementary).

"I have already developed a respect for things that go on in the district that I had no idea about," Haecherl stated. "Everything behind the scenes, and how hard everybody works to make sure that our students and teachers are representing a district we can be proud of."


On Thursday, March 1, 2018, currenty CCSD Teacher of the Year, Mia Pace, (Julian Mitchell Elementary School) and District officials surprised the Top 5 finalists for CCSD Teacher of the Year. Each finalist had the opportunity to check out a MINI Cooper from MINI of Charleston that the District Teacher of the Year will receive at the Teacher of the Year Celebration Dinner, which is scheduled for late April. Congratulations to each of our finalists!

Special thanks to Rick Hendrick, and MINI of Charlestons for their partnership with CCSD in recognizing and rewarding our teacher leaders through the Teacher of the Year process.



Stephanie Haecherl
Mamie P. Whitesides Elementary School 

Congratulations Stephanie Haecherl!

Ms. Haecherl obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Public Relations from Mars Hill College (currently Mars Hill University) and Master of Education in Divergent Learning from Columbia College. She is a National Board Certified second-grade teacher at Whitesides Elementary. Stephanie is celebrating her 10th year in education and is committed to being a life-long learner and leader, with current focuses on grant writing and STEAM initiatives.


Amanda Prohaska
Mount Pleasant Academy

Congratulations Amanda Prohaska!

Ms. Prohaska teaches kindergarten through fifth grade Spanish and serves as the School Improvement Council chairperson at Mount Pleasant Academy. Amanda received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Education in Languages from College of Charleston. She is celebrating her sixth year teaching.


Joyce Stewart-Gibbs
E.B. Ellington Elementary School

Congratulations Joyce Stewart Gibbs!

Ms. Gibbs is an accomplished teacher with 25 years of experience. Having taught second, third, and fourth grade, she currently teaches third grade at E.B. Ellington Elementary. She has a passion for building relationships with her students by creating a sense of community in her classroom.


Margaret Hale
James Island Elementary School 

Congratulations Margaret Hale!

Ms. Hale is a sixteen year veteran in education who is serving as the teacher librarian at James Island Elementary School. Margaret received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from College of Charleston and her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. She is certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.


Kevin Short
Charleston County School of the Arts

Congratulations Kevin Short!

Mr. Short attended Clemson University, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Biological Science, and the Medical University of South Carolina where he received his Masters of Science in Environmental Studies. He pursuing a Masters of Education in Interdisciplinary STEM Education at The Citadel. Serving as a science teacher, department chair and science liaison at the Charleston County School of the Arts, Kevin is celebrating his eighth year in education.