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OCSD Celebrates Educator Evolution: Briana Berry, 2022-2023 Rookie Teacher of The Year

Rookie Teach of the year, Briana Berry
Briana Berry
2022-2023 Rookie Teacher of the Year

ORANGEBURG, SC – Orangeburg County School District (OCSD) proudly announces that Briana Berry, an Edisto Elementary School (EES) teacher, has been recognized as the 2022-2023 Rookie Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made during the New Educator in Orangeburg (NEO) End of the Year celebration on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

The NEO Academy develops, mentors, and supports new educators in OCSD. Led by Dyisha Taylor, OCSD’s Human Resources Director of Certified Personnel, the NEO Academy focuses learning sessions on critical areas, including classroom management, lesson planning, and delivering high-quality instruction.

“Our NEO Academy provides direct and intentional support to new educators in our district. Seeing the growth and success of teachers like Ms. Berry makes me incredibly proud. She embodies the spirit of what we aim to cultivate: dedication, passion, and exceptional teaching practices,” said Dyisha Taylor, OCSD’s Director of Certified Personnel.
Briana Berry is an excellent example of the success of the OCSD's GROW (Getting Ready for Opportunities to Work in Orangeburg County) program. GROW taps into existing talent within the district's support staff and encourages non-certified employees to obtain an educational certificate and become teachers. Before her current role, Berry was a Teacher Assistant recognized as the 2021-2022 OCSD Support Staff of the Year.

Berry's exemplary contributions inside and outside the classroom garnered high praise. Her class has demonstrated exceptional academic progress, with 150% typical growth in iReady results. Beyond her academic responsibilities, Berry actively contributes to the EES community, lending her musical talents to Awards Programs, leading clubs, and inspiring others with her commitment and dedication.

"The dedication of teachers like Ms. Berry warms my heart,” said Dr. Shawn D. Foster, OCSD Superintendent. “Her journey from support staff to Rookie Teacher of the Year through our GROW program is an inspiring story of commitment and professional development,” Dr. Foster continued.

Also recognized were the significant achievements of Kimani Dobson from Mellichamp Elementary School, who is the runner-up for Rookie Teacher of the Year.

To view the full photo gallery of the evening, click HERE.