Veteran teacher celebrated as local hero by the USC School of Music

March 24, 2021

The University of South Carolina (UofSC) School of Music will honor Pontiac Elementary School teacher Lisa Rayner as part of its Celebrating Local Heroes with the Concert Truck series.

Rayner will be one of 10 teachers across the state honored via this series of community concerts celebrating South Carolina teachers and their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has taught music for 27 years, sparking a passion for singing, dancing and playing instruments in thousands of students along the way. Rayner credits her childhood flute instructor for putting her on the pathway to teaching. She is a past president of the SCMEA  (SC Music Educators Association) and is a current member of the NAfME (National Association for Music Education).

Rayner said she is honored and humbled by the recognition.

“I am proud to represent the profession of teaching and look forward to my fellow educators being celebrated alongside me. I do not consider myself a hero, but I appreciate the acknowledgment that teachers are receiving as essential workers during this pandemic,” she said. “My hope is that the respect for educators and funding for the field of education will continue to grow for the benefit of all students.”

Each concert features a premiere vignette video detailing the hero’s story. The videos are scored by School of Music students and alumni composers and are recorded by School of Music ensembles. Richland Two Assistant Superintendent Dr. Marshalynn Franklin and Pontiac principal Dr. Katie Barber will speak and music will be presented by the UofSC’s Duende Quartet and Bruit.

“Pontiac Elementary School is delighted to celebrate Lisa Rayner. Lisa is a dedicated lifelong educator who brings passion to all that she does. She embodies all the amazing qualities of the teaching profession as someone who demonstrates service to others and a commitment to students,” Dr. Barber said. “Above all else, Lisa is a consummate professional who is so deserving of this special recognition from UofSC School of Music!”

The Celebrating Local Heroes with the ConcertTtruck series will culminate later this month in a celebration at the UofSC Horseshoe on Monday, March 29, at 7 p.m. The event will stream live on the UofSC School of Music’s YouTube Channel.