FLORENCE, S.C. – The 2021-2022 Florence One Schools Teacher of the Year is Southside Middle School librarian Ashley Dawkins.
Dawkins was one of three winners announced at The School Foundation's Teacher of the Year gala held Tuesday evening at the Florence Country Club.
The district also announced its Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year during the ceremony.
Sonya Graves of Lucy T. Davis Elementary School was named the Principal of the Year.
Carrie Ann Brigman of North Vista Elementary School was named the Assistant Principal of the Year.
Dawkins said she was beyond humbled to win the award.
"I love public education," she said. "I love what it represents. I love our students."
She was also presented a $1,000 check by Signature Wealth Strategies.
Dawkins also serves as adviser to students in Southside’s MakerSpace Club.
She is in her first year as the librarian at Southside. She previously served as a literacy coach at Briggs Elementary School and as a teacher at Moore Intermediate School, Timrod Elementary School and at schools in Richland County and Monroe County, Georgia.
Dawkins is also a three-time graduate of the University of South Carolina with a bachelors degrees in English and masters degrees in teaching and library and information science.
She was one of four finalists for the award along with Cynthia Watson of Carver Elementary, Emily Leaphart of Lester Elementary and Taneisha Muldrow of Timrod Elementary.
As the Florence One Schools Teacher of the Year, Dawkins is eligible to compete for the 2023 State Teacher of the Year by completing and submitting the state application. The submission window for the state competition opens on Nov. 12 and closes on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.