Ms. Whitaker Smiling

Whitaker Named District Teacher of the Year!

Story By: Gerell LawhorneContributor

Congratulations to Ms. Crystal Whitaker, this year's Fairfield County School District (FCSD) Teacher of the Year (TOY)! Ms. Whitaker is a Social Studies teacher at Fairfield Central High School (FCHS). This is her sixth year teaching in FCSD. Whitaker is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Black Cultures of the Americas and Women and Gender Studies from Furman University. Ms. Whitaker furthered her studies and matriculated from the University of South Carolina with a Masters of Arts in Teaching Social Studies.

Ms. Whitaker is currently in her ninth year of teaching Social Studies. She taught Advanced Prep (AP) US History, Government, Economics, and World History at A.C. Flora High School for three years. She now serves as the Social Studies department chair at Fairfield Central High School, where she has taught AP, Honors, and College Prep (CP) United States History. As a Social Studies teacher, she initiated an after-school and Saturday tutoring program to increase students’ achievement in Science and their passage rate on the SC US History End-of-Course Exam--which has made several gains since her arrival at FCHS. Throughout her teaching career, Ms. Whitaker has served as a sponsor for the Student Government Association, Beta Club, Prom Committee, Scholarship Committee, and Renaissance Honor Roll Program. She also serves as a certified evaluator and mentor/coach to new teachers.

“I truly feel honored. This is a title that I know I’ve worked for and I’m blessed to have earned it,” expressed Ms. Whitaker.

Previously, Ms. Chanda Jefferson--who is currently the South Carolina State Teacher of the Year, was the district TOY for FCSD. Ms. Jefferson was also a teacher at Fairfield Central High School, and both Jefferson and Whitaker have fulfilled the Department Chair role in their respective content areas. The two are very close friends, and treat one another like sisters.

In addition to Ms. Whitaker’s various roles at FCHS, she has attended many professional development sessions, such as the Richard Riley Institute (former US Superintendent of Education), served as a writer for the South Carolina Social Standards Standards Committee (2020 revision), a College Board AP Reader for US History, served on the executive boards for South Carolina Council for Social Studies and South Carolina African American Studies, and presented for the South Carolina Council for Social Studies Annual Conference. Currently, she is enrolled in Columbia University's Teachers College Summer Principal Academy program.

As an educator, Ms. Whitaker is excited about being a lifelong learner and creating a better school and learning environment for all stakeholders--students, faculty, and the community. Ms.Whitaker is looking forward to what the future holds and knows that the sky is the limit. Again, congratulations Ms.Whitaker, on being named the 2019-2020 Fairfield County School District Teacher of the Year!