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Laura Black Inducted into Newberry Hall of Master Teachers

posted Jul 11, 2016, 12:47 PM by Deb WICKLIFFE   [ updated Jul 12, 2016, 12:11 PM ]
The School District of Oconee County has many exemplary teachers who serve the students of the district from day to day, and year to year. On occasion, teachers receive awards that remind us of their quality and influence, both inside and outside the district.

Dr. Laura Black, a Latin and English teacher at Walhalla High School, was recently inducted into the Newberry Hall of Master Teachers.  The Hall of Master Teachers recognizes alumni for exemplary dedication and service to the profession.  Educators are nominated and then scored on the basis of their professional activities, educational leadership, philosophy, and influence on students and colleagues. 

The accomplishments listed on her nomination form were extraordinary.  Laura has been in education for 46 years.  She was voted Teacher of the Year three times at Southern Wesleyan University (1982, 1986, 2000); was Teacher of the Year at Liberty High School in Pickens County in 1990-91; and was a finalist that year for Pickens County Teacher of the Year.  She was also Teacher of the Year at Walhalla High School in 2009-2010.

In the field of education, Laura has 26 years of experience training teachers at Southern Wesleyan University.  She also has public school
experience from five schools and districts in South Carolina.  She holds a bachelor's, master's, and doctorate in Secondary English Education and earned a National Board Certification Gifted and Talented endorsement.

Laura has been recognized by her peers many times during her career.  She was entered into Who's Who in American Teachers five times (1992, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2006) and received the National Council of Teachers of English Recognition Award for Service to the Profession in both 1990 and 1995.  She was recognized with the Clemson Christian Women's Club Outstanding Teacher Award in 1991; received the Professional Growth Award at the South Carolina Conference on Foreign Language Teaching in 1991; and the South Carolina Governor's Distinguished Professor Award in October of 2000.

She show no signs of slowing down.  Laura has already retired twice, once from Southern Wesleyan University in 2006, and again from Walhalla High School in 2015, but is still teaching in both places, in addition to Anderson University,  She is also serving her second term as a member of the Board of Trustees at Newberry College.  

"Over the past 46 years in education, I have been proud to see numerous students go on to be successful in their careers as educators and Teachers of the Year themselves.  In fact, at Walhalla High School, my colleagues have included nine former students.  The present and newly recognized Teachers of the Year are both former students, and two former students are on the school district office staff, including our Superintendent.  I believe that teaching is the noblest profession because the future depends upon dedicated teachers," said Laura.