Fort Mill School District
2233 Deerfield Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29715
P: (803) 548-2527 | F: (803) 547-4696
Transportation: (803) 802-1998

2020-2021 Teacher and Support Staff of the Year
2020-2021 Teacher and Support Staff of the Year
Posted on 09/23/2020

At the school board meeting held Tuesday, September 22, the district announced the selection of the 2020-2021 District Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Employee of the Year.

Nicole LaFave, English teacher at Catawba Ridge High School, was selected as the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year. Mrs. LaFave has worked in education for 11 years. In addition to teaching at Catawba Ridge, Mrs. LaFave is the Chairperson of the English Department, a STEAM teacher leader, a members of the CRHS Leadership Team, PLC Committee, and the co-sponsor of the CRHS Diversity Council.

Mrs. LaFave has previously been named the Kershaw County Teacher of the Year and the Lugoff-Elgin High School Teacher of the Year. She worked at Fort Mill High School before moving to Catawba Ridge in 2019.

“In her classroom, Mrs. LaFave is the teacher every student should have. She is a tireless worker and planner, but more importantly, she engages students in learning,” said CRHS Principal Dee Christopher. “She is a relationship builder with students. Mrs. LaFave loves and cares for them and they know it. She is remarkable in every way.”

Jill Tooper, In-School Suspension Supervisor for Gold Hill Middle School, was selected as the 2020–2021 District Support Staff Employee of the Year. This is her second year at Gold Hill Middle School. Prior to becoming a GHMS Bulldog, Mrs. Tooper was a school social working for 13 years.

“I love working in the school setting as it provides me the opportunity to help students navigate through the social, emotional and educational triumphs and hurdles of their elementary and middle schools years,” she said.

“We are excited to present these awards to both Mrs. LaFave and Mrs. Tooper,” said Superintendent Chuck Epps. “Both of these outstanding honorees have an extraordinary commitment to our students and exemplify the district’s motto of Children First…Every Day. We are proud to have them represent our district in the coming year.”

Special thanks to the Anne Springs Close Greenway, Jostens, South State Bank, and Stateline Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, for the incredible prizes for our winners! 

Click here to view photos from the event.