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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Teacher of the Year: Celebrating Excellence

Livi Ralston

As students are led out of class to the hallway, the band’s harmonies begin. Beverly Salvo had no idea she was about to be awarded Wando’s Teacher of the Year. 

“I remember that total shock, honestly, I thought something bad had happened…and then when I realized what was going on, just total shock,” Salvo said. 

Knowing she was a nominee for the running of teacher of the year, Salvo still did not expect to be granted the award. 

“There were 10 of us who decided to be finalists for Wando and I just worked with some of the most amazing people. I did not expect at all that I would be the person that my colleagues chose,” Salvo said. 

Wando principal, Charles Coker, explains the procedures that occur when choosing teacher of the year, starting with a nomination process led by faculty. 

“The process for choosing Teacher of the Year is that we send out a nomination form to our whole staff. Anybody can nominate somebody for Teacher of the Year,” Coker said. “After that, we collect nominations. We go through the list and we send out an interest forum to all the nominees to make sure that they even want to be running in the running for teacher of the year.”

Once the specific teacher nominations are gathered, Coker and other administrators review the nominee’s performances and qualities to find the best fits. 

“After we collect those, we ask them some kind of form response from the district, usually about student achievement or…how they run their classroom or something like that,” Coker said. “Then we [sent a]  Google Form ballot to the staff, with the answer to those questions on there and they go on there and vote who they want to be for Teacher of the Year.”

Qualifications to be rewarded go beyond the classroom’s academic achievement. According to Coker, the most deserving teachers are the ones who go above and beyond for their students. 

“Outstanding teachers for me is, which is the majority of the ones we have here at Wando, are ones that build student relationships first that are here for kids doing what’s best for kids, going the extra mile in terms of what they provide in the classroom,” Coker said. 

Salvo’s reputation of providing breakfast, toiletries, packed lunches, and fresh beverages has made not only a huge impact for any student, not just her own but has gained herself the spotlight of a truly caring teacher. 

“If it takes giving a kid a hot chocolate or grilled cheese to get them in here meeting them halfway or letting them come in and make something up three weeks late, it matters to me because they eventually learn the material, and they know that I care,” Salvo said.

Given having a lot of competition due to the high staff population, it is even more rewarding to win among many other candidates. 

“Especially in a school the size or any size to go through that process and come out on top as well as any of our nominees…I think [this] is a huge event and we just wanted to make it as special as possible,” Coker said. 

To surprise Salvo in her victory, administration had organized an early-morning celebration where students, faculty, cheerleaders, band, and family all gathered to make the moment memorable.

“I think it’s a huge honor to be nominated [by] your peers and be thought of that way. So we tried to make that moment as special as possible,” Coker said. “We reached out to her family to have them come up here and our band was amazing in terms of playing the fight song in the hallway. Our cheerleaders were awesome and out there cheering as they came out, really trying to make a big deal with their class about it. Because it is a big deal.”

Win or lose, Salvo will always go the extra mile to ensure students are taken care of, whether it’s through a cup of hot chocolate or help outside of school hours. 

“I believe she might have either fed or is going to feed at least half of Mount Pleasant. Whether they’re on the basketball team coming to academic Saturday school, or just a kid in need. She’s always looking to figure out how to make kids comfortable here at school, make sure that they’re taken care of not only in the classroom but outside the classroom…she’s the example of just love and grace and what it means to be a great teacher,” Coker said.

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