School News

Clarendon County School District holds “Leadership and Latte” to support early career teachers


Clarendon County School District recently held an innovative program titled “Leadership and LATTE” aimed at supporting early career teachers and promoting teacher retention. This event, driven by the commitment to nurture and retain talented educators, was spearheaded by Dr. Jacqueline Inabinette, Assistant Superintendent of Administration, a proud fellow from the Diversity Leaders Initiative.

Partnering with the Bank of Clarendon and McLeod Health Clarendon Hospital’s Dr. Matthew Jackson, the capstone project required by The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative team members was designed to provide a comprehensive support system for new teachers. The program featured two professional development sessions focused on inspiration from school leadership, financial literacy and wellness, ensuring that teachers receive holistic support that extends beyond the classroom.

Key elements of the Leadership and LATTE initiative included:

- Personal Development Sessions: These sessions covered essential topics such as financial literacy and wellness, providing teachers with practical tips for saving early, achieving home ownership, and understanding the importance of community involvement.

- Release Time: Schools provided release time for teachers to participate in the sessions, emphasizing the district’s commitment to their professional and personal growth.

- Optional but Encouraged Participation: While participation was optional, it was highly encouraged, underscoring the value placed on these teachers and sessions.

- Community and Beyond: The program featured guest speakers from the local community and beyond, enriching the experience with diverse perspectives and expertise.

Topics covered in the sessions included:

- Healthy lifestyles

- Exercise

- Healthy eating

- Tips for saving early

- Home ownership

- The importance of community

Dr. Inabinette and her teammates recognized the vital role of community partnerships in supporting teachers. “Our goal is to provide our early career teachers with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed both professionally and personally. By partnering with local organizations like the Bank of Clarendon and McLeod Health Clarendon Hospital, we can offer a more comprehensive support system,” said Dr. Inabinette.

The initiative was met with enthusiasm from teacher participants, who appreciated the district’s proactive approach to their well-being and development. The focus on financial literacy and wellness reflects a broader understanding of the challenges faced by new educators and the importance of supporting them in all aspects of their lives.

A teacher, Renee Thompson, said, “ The session was well thought out. It allowed me the space to let loose and reset. The information was refreshing as it was not PD oriented. This is a very thoughtful gesture that I hope to see replicated at least once per semester. Thank you for this outlet!”

Teacher Arica Parker stated, “This presentation was much needed. I felt appreciated and very comfortable to participate and ask questions. Much valuable information was shared and seeing some of the presenters really made us feel special with the treats, drinks, and information. I hope this is done more often!”

Matthew P. Jr., said, “ I appreciate the efforts made to acknowledge the work I do. Self-care is not often talked about, so it’s nice to be encouraged. Thank you for noticing me, and making me feel like an individual, not a number.”

As Clarendon County School District continues to innovate and lead in teacher support, programs like Leadership and LATTE demonstrate a commitment to creating a nurturing and sustainable environment for educators. This initiative not only enhances teacher retention but also fosters a sense of community and belonging, ultimately benefiting the entire school district.