B-L Middle School Teacher Wins State VFW Award

B-L Middle School teacher Tristin Padgett has been named as the South Carolina winner of the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. The award was founded in 1899 to recognize teachers who stimulate interest in America’s history, traditions, Americanism, civic responsibility, flag etiquette, and patriotism.

Mrs. Padgett was nominated for the award by BLMS School Resource Officer Charles Holloway and VFW 6740, Leesville (District 2). 

Here is an excerpt from her nomination form:

Mrs. Tristin Padgett is a special services teacher at Batesburg-Leesville Middle School; her nomination included eight heartfelt Letters of Recommendation from the faculty, administrators, support staff, and local education officials. She is commonly recognized as a patriotic teacher who intensely fights to serve and support the needs of all of the students in her school and District who struggle from financial hardships. She created and maintains the school’s “Panther Pantry,” a program supported by staff, community, and local businesses; funding and donations provide food, clothing, and personal hygiene products, which are provided to students at no charge (through personal request or teacher recommendation, Mrs. Padgett discreetly provides students with needed clothes, supplies and/or food, creating a more substantial opportunity for student learning). In addition to supporting students in the school itself, Mrs. Padgett also provides resources to local families and community members who might otherwise be without, including Thanksgiving meals to over 50 needy families in Lexington and Saluda Counties. In addition, she helped establish a joint program between the school and the Batesburg-Leesville Police Department which collected donations to provide bicycles, food, clothing, and other gifts during the holiday season. Her devotion to helping her students and the surrounding community positively impacts the relationship between parents, families, educators, and citizens of the local area. Mrs. Padgett also demonstrates strong citizenship qualities in her curriculum and classroom: her students recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily; she helps set up the MIA Table (explaining the meaning behind each individual item), and students participate in a school beautification program which creates a welcoming environment for learning. Mrs. Padgett has a passion to serve, which can be seen in her teaching and the time and efforts she puts into helping outside of the classroom. A coworker wrote, “She possesses an ability to see what students and families need, and she works diligently to fulfill those needs.”

Mrs. Padgett will now advance to the national competition. Congratulations and good luck!