Richland County School District Two – In a surprise announcement Friday, Richland School District Two named Tracey Mason the 2022-2023 District Teacher of the Year. Mason is a seventh-grade math teacher and Math Department Chair at Longleaf Middle School.
Following a series of classroom visits and interviews, Mason rose to the top of an extremely gifted, talented and dedicated field of teachers in the district to claim the honors. Mason grew up in a home with two parents who were educators. They influenced her decision to teach and value her relationships with students, parents and colleagues. She believes there is a need for more social-emotional learning in schools and that could have a positive impact on teacher retention.
Mason enjoys serving her community, particularly mentoring middle and high school girls, coaching step teams, directing after-school programs, and working to provide free tutoring for college admissions tests.
“In the words of Rita Pierson, “Every kid needs a champion.” It is my desire to be a champion for all the students that I teach. I also want to encourage and inspire those around me to do the same.” Mason said.
Her career in education spans 23 years. Mason has also held positions as a parent instructional support coordinator, after-school program director, intervention specialist and assistant principal. While she has previously received Teacher of the Year awards at Southside Middle School in Greenwood, SC (2001) and Creekland Middle School in Lawrenceville, Georgia (2005), this is her first time being named District Teacher of the Year. Mason holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Lander University and Master of Science in special education from Grand Canyon University.
In her recommendation, Longleaf Middle School Principal Teresa Boyd stated, “As a professional, Ms. Mason constantly seeks opportunities to learn and grow and is always willing to implement new strategies in her classroom as well as coordinate school-wide initiatives that support students. She does not work for praise, awards, or accolades, but simply to inspire and impact those around her.”
he other Richland Two finalists were Melita Cobb, North Springs Elementary School; Susan Mathews, Richland Northeast High School; Lisa McDowell, Blythewood Middle School; and Ashley Saullo, Pontiac Elementary School.