OKATIE ELEMENTARY’S DEWEESE IS TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Megan DeWeese has wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember. She has fond memories of playing school with her brother, using a large green chalkboard, which her daughters now use to “teach” their stuffed animals.
Now she’s not only a teacher; she’s teacher of the year.
The Okatie Elementary School first-grade teacher, who recently earned her doctorate degree, was named the 2020-2021 Beaufort County Teacher of the Year.
DeWeese was shocked to hear she had won the honor.
“Everyone in our district should be teacher of the year,” she said. “Every single teacher in our district is amazing. It was truly humbling to be given this honor, to be the voice of our teachers.”
Okatie Elementary Principal Jamie Pinckney was not at all surprised to hear DeWeese had earned the title. She described the teacher as genuine, compassionate, dedicated, reflective and innovative.
“I’m very proud of her,” Pinckney said. “She is well-respected in the school and the community, a posi-tive role model with a big heart.”
Before teaching, DeWeese spent six years in the Army Reserves. For the past 10 years, in addition to teaching, she has worked as a 911 dispatcher.
Now in her sixth year of teaching at Okatie, DeWeese is working from home, raising her two daughters and a nephew, and caring for her sick mother.
DeWeese admits that teaching during the pandemic has been difficult, but her students are doing well and she just smiles through whatever challenges come her way.
Because of her mother’s illness and the current situ-ation with COVID-19, DeWeese teaches an all-virtual class from her dining room, which is set up similar to her normal classroom. She incorporates lots of color, a word wall and a beloved stuffed lion named Rasheed, who is the class’ phonics mascot. Rasheed takes the students on adventures to teach them all about phonics.
DeWeese is enthusiastic and animated in her teaching.