Greetings Theodore Lester Elementary Family and Stakeholders,
Welcome to a new school year at Theodore Lester Elementary School. The teachers and I are so excited to have all our students return to school face-to-face this year. As we prepare to usher in another year of teaching and learning, we stand poised to make this one of our most successful years in supporting students’ academic and social/emotional growth. Our theme for the 2021-2022 school year is “Bringing Happiness to Teaching and Learning.”
The past year and a half has brought financial hardship to several Lester families, so in lieu of advertising a school supply list for parents to purchase supplies for their students, we are using Title I supplies to provide bookbags and needed school supplies for all of our students. We are also grateful to Florence Toyota and Caring Hearts of the Pee Dee for sponsoring Lester and donating additional supplies for our students.
As Lester's staff and I reflected upon the past school year, we were reminded of many successes, but we were also able to identify areas in which we can improve. Structures have been put in place to more quickly identify areas in which students may need academic intervention and will use the district's muti-tiered approach to intervention to address those need. We will address students' social and emotional growth by incorporating social and emotional learning into the school curriculum. This will be done through the use of the Second Step Program and Happiness 360.
The Second Step Program promotes the social-emotional development, safety, and well-being of children from 5k through Grade 8. The program also includes a bullying prevention unit that gives educators and school staff the training and tools needed to effectively address school bullying in Kindergarten through Grade 5. In addition to Second Step, the Happiness 360 curriculum will be used to provide select interventions that target the social and emotional well-being of our students. It involves teachers, students and parents. All grade levels will receive similar social and emotional lessons alongside math, reading and writing with curriculum adapted to their grade level.
Whatever the future may bring, we are poised for success and look forward to working with Lester parents, guardians, community stakeholders and F1S district administrators and staff to make 2021-2022 one of Theodore Lester Elementary's most successful school year's ever.
Join us as we bring happiness to teaching and learning!
1993 - Bachelor of Science Degree, Francis Marion University
2002 - Master of Education - Technology in Education, Lesley University
2008 - Master of Education - Educational Administration, University of South Carolina
2016 - Present, Principal of Theodore Lester Elementary School
Past president of South Carolina Alliance of Black School Eduators
Past Eastern Regional Representative of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, Representing the Eastern United States
Ms. Melanie Garand
Title: Curriculum Coordinator (August 2007-present)
BA in Elementary Education from Clemson University (December 1990)
Master's degree in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts from Lesley University (January 2007)
Master's degree in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University (March 2010)
Early Childhood Education
Six years in fourth grade at Lester Elementary
Ten years in first grade at Lester Elementary
I believe that all children can learn if provided appropriate instruction that is tailored to meet their individual needs. Since all children do not learn at the same rate or level, it is important to use various strategies to help each child reach his/her full potential.