Truesdale named District One Teacher of the Year

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Matthew Truesdale, an English teacher at Wren High School, has been named Anderson School District One’s Teacher of the Year.

Truesdale has taught at Wren High for seven years after teaching at Northside Middle School in Greenwood for five years. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and his Master of Arts in Teaching English from the University of South Carolina. This year he will teach AP Language, AP Literature, and Modern Literature.

One of Truesdale’s former students, Jennie Montgomery, says he not only deserves the recognition of being Anderson District One’s Teacher of the Year, but that he is also “the teacher of [her] lifetime.”

Jane Harrison, Anderson One’s Assistant Superintendent for Instruction says, “Mr. Truesdale exemplifies a model teacher and certainly deserves this honor. He has served on various district curriculum initiatives. It is well-known that his classroom is special. He has a unique way of creating a community of learners through mutual respect, providing a safe environment, and giving students a voice. Students will tell you he is a writer and has the ability to help them see themselves as writers. He is one of those teachers that is truly making a difference in the lives of students.”

When asked about his teaching philosophy, Truesdale says, “My goal is always feel like that my students and I are working together. That’s when I feel like I do my best teaching.”

Most recently, Truesdale was published in the Washington Post’s education blog and appeared on the national FOX news network to advocate for continuing to teaching the works of Shakespeare.

In 2014 his students wrote and presented him with a professionally book entitled, Because of Mr. Truesdale, which was filled with tributes from the students.

Truesdale also serves as the debate coach and coaches the school’s girls tennis team. He is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, The SC Teachers of English, and the National Education Association.

He comes from a family of teachers and credits them with giving him the background to be a teacher himself.

“I never would’ve known what expectations to set for myself as a teacher had I not grown up around the teaching profession,” he says. “My wife Karen also taught for three years, and she’s a great source of support at home, especially after one of those hard days in the classroom.”

As a district winner, Truesdale now moves on to the state competition. State finalists are announced in March, and the state winner will be named in April.

Anderson One recognized all 14 Teachers of the Year on Friday, August 14 at Wren High School during the district opening session. They were presented plaques and honored at a luncheon at the district office.

Finalists for the Teacher of the Year were Kristy Smith from Cedar Grove and Jill Ford, Palmetto High.

David Havird, Superintendent for Anderson One said, “I am extremely proud of the 14 Teachers of the Year. They have proven once again that the most important factor in a child’s education remains a highly effective and caring teacher that each of them exemplifies. My congratulations to Mr. Matthew Truesdale who has always managed to have a sustained relentless commitment to excellence and understands that teachers accomplish very important things and how they do this defines the quality of life throughout the school, district and the community. He is an outstanding example of an exemplary teacher.”

Anderson School District One Teachers of the Year

Pictured above (left to right)

FRONT ROW: Jean Nimmer, Kristy Smith, Matthew Truesdale, Jill Ford, Tamela Ward

BACK ROW: Chuck Shealy, Jena Putnam, Kalani Clark, Caroline Moon, Kate Anderson, Amy

Godfrey, Marci Mims, Amanda Foster, Stephanie Clayton