Newberry College honors alumni educators in Hall of Master Teachers

May 16, 2023

Newberry College has honored five alumni and the founder of the Hall of Master Teachers with induction into the prestigious society. The event was held May 11 at the Center for Teacher Education.

The society’s awards recognize graduates of Newberry College for exemplary dedication, service and excellence in the field of education. Each year, honorees are selected for five awards, each recognizing a different area of distinction: new, veteran, and retired classroom teachers, an educator who works outside the classroom, and a hero of diversity.

Nominees are evaluated on their professional activities, educational and community leadership, and influence on students and colleagues.

Hannah Carnes ’18 was honored with the New Classroom Teacher Award, which recognizes teachers in their first five years. Carnes teaches English at Spring Hill High in Chapin, and advises the school’s chapter of the National Beta Club.

“Hannah’s teaching style is one of creativity and joy,” said Dr. Amanda Hodges, associate professor of English at Newberry College and Carnes’ undergraduate advisor. “She is, at her core, a brilliant educator who knows her students individually and is aware of where they are in their learning. Therefore, she is able to develop creative plans that engage all of her students in meaningful ways.”

A National Board-certified educator with 38 years’ experience, Kim Taylor ’85 was presented with the Veteran Classroom Teacher Award. Taylor currently teaches third grade at Lake Murray Elementary in Chapin. Her dedication to excellence has earned her multiple honors along the way, including that as the first African American to be named Teacher of the Year for District Five of Lexington & Richland Counties.

In honor of her four-decade career as a devoted educator, Anne Caughman ’67 received the William Dufford Retired Educator Award. In addition to teaching in the Newberry County School District for 40 years, Caughman has helped numerous adults earn high school equivalency diplomas and written grants for Newberry Adult and Continuing Education. She was introduced at the ceremony by her son, Huger Caughman ’00, who was inducted into the hall in 2021.

Dr. Andrew McMillan ’05 earned the Educator Working Outside the Classroom Award. He currently serves as principal of Chapman High in Inman. He has been honored as Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators and by the South Carolina Art Education Association, and under his leadership, Chapman High was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2020.

“It is not in his individual accomplishments, however, that his influence is best acknowledged, but rather it is in the authentic, sustained culture of love and dedication to students he has established as an educational leader,” wrote assistant principal Amy Driggers in her nomination.

Dr. Reggie Wicker ’04, director of personnel for District Five of Lexington & Richland Counties, was presented with the Nancy Lou Anderson Glasgow Diversity Warrior Award. Wicker entered the classroom after Newberry College, teaching fourth grade at Newberry Elementary. He soon moved into administration, becoming assistant administrator in 2007 before being named principal in 2011. He has also worked extensively with Call Me MISTER, an intercollegiate program designed to recruit and retain male elementary school teachers from diverse backgrounds. He established and led the program at Newberry College in 2010, and he currently assists the cohort at Columbia College.

Until this year, membership in the Hall of Master Teachers has been reserved for Newberry College graduates. This year, honorary membership was extended to Dr. Cindy Van Buren, who served at Newberry as a professor, department chair and administrator between 2006 and 2013. She led the RETAIN Center for Excellence, which focuses on educator retention in high-need schools, and more than quintupled teacher education program enrollment. She spearheaded the hall’s creation in 2012. Van Buren now serves at the University of South Carolina.

In addition to honoring educators, the teacher education program recognized outstanding students from each class, including: freshman early childhood education major Molly Mattas, of Duncan; sophomore elementary education major Julia Wyatt, of Blair; junior physical education major Bowdy Boyce, of Bell Buckle, Tennessee; and senior secondary social studies education major CJ Saverance, of Whitmire, who was named Student-Teacher of the Year.

About Newberry College

Newberry College is a private, residential, co-educational institution with a diverse student population. Founded in 1856 by the Lutheran Church, Newberry College continues to be ranked among the South’s best colleges by U.S. News & World Report, consistently honored for value (No. 6), social mobility (No. 8) and overall best (No. 11). Offering baccalaureate degrees in 38 majors, two graduate programs, five fully online undergraduate programs and five dual-degree programs, the College’s foundation remains grounded in the liberal arts. In addition, the College offers 24 NCAA Division II sports, cheerleading, dance and esports. Newberry College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the National Association of Schools of Music. For more information, visit