Getting To Know Burke’s Teacher of the Year

Terry Gladden and Alexus Robinson

Amy Allen, Burke’s teacher of the year, has some advice for students:

“I would tell them to fight and not get discouraged because if you just drift where the current is take you that is not where you want to end up. Just fight because I think you guys can have anything you want.”

Ms. Allen is Burke’s one and only Spanish teacher and has been here four years. She is also the head soccer coach. Born in Richmond, Virginia, she majored in Spanish and international relations at the University of North Carolina. Allen arrived at Burke after graduation as a new teacher, and has stayed since.

She has many fans among her students.

“Ms. Allen is a very joyful person, and I love how she teaches,” says junior Kaitlyn White, 17.

“This is my first year having Ms. Allen, and so far she has taught me well with learning Spanish. I love it,” says Darricka Richardson, 16 year old sophomore.

Burke’s Teacher of the Year is chosen by co-workers. Each school in the Charleston County School District selects one Teacher of the Year, who is then entered in the running for county and then state Teacher of the Year competitions.

“It’s definitely a honor there are a lot of hard working, dedicated, and passionate professionals in this building and its a honor to represent them.” said Ms. Allen.

What would she change about the school?

“I would want to make this a more positive school culture so people know that we come to school to work and learn,” she said. “That everyone here is on the same team. It’s just not teachers vs. students or teacher vs. administrator. There needs to be a mentality that we all working together for the success of our students, and that we do it because we love our students.”

Previous teachers of the year include:
2015-2016: Whitney Brooks, geometry, statistics and algebra.
2014-2015: Karen Thompson, special education.
2013-2014: Jennifer McMillan, reading at Burke, currently at Simmons Pinckney Middle School.
2012-2013: Sonja Reed, drama at Burke, currently at Simmons Pinckney Middle School.