Friday, April 25, 2014
Carla Brandon has been teaching for ten years. Half of those years have been in Georgetown County and now she is one of the five finalists for the District Teacher of the Year title.
The McDonald Elementary School kindergarten teacher began her career at Browns Ferry Elementary where she stayed two years before relocating to Chesterfield County where she spent five years at Pageland Elementary.
She said after getting married, she and her husband, Lucas, moved back to Georgetown County - where she was born and raised - and was hired at McDonald School.
Brandon said she loves teaching at the kindergarten level.
“It’s a valuable time to watch the children as they start to grow. I feel we can give them valuable lessons that benefit them the most,” Brandon, the daughter of Richard and Linda Jayroe, said.
Brandon knew from an early age she wanted to be a teacher but when she was in high school she, as she described it, “tried to detour a little.”
She said she thought she wanted to go into nursing and even too health occupation classes at Georgetown High. However, it was the urging of teacher Pat Deleone that caused her to shift her focus back to education.
“She could tell I did not want to do nursing. She had placed me at McDonald Elementary with the school nurse, with a speech teacher and in a special needs class. That is when I knew for sure I wanted to pursue teaching,” Brandon said.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree from Francis Marion University. In 2010, she graduated with a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University.
She said one of her favorite things about her job is when she “sees the light go off” in the eyes of her students when “they get it.”
“We see that quite a bit in kindergarten,” she said. “Elementary teachers have a love for children. They need us and our love for them shines through.”
Brandon has two children. Colby is 5-years-old and Cort is 17 months.
She said she feels honored to have been chosen as a finalist, especially since she has bee back in the district only three years.
Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories on the 2014 Teacher of the Year finalists. The winner will be announced at a banquet May 8.