Faculty and Staff

Teacher of the Year

Spartanburg School District 4 participates in the South Carolina State Department of Education's Teacher of the Year program.  Each year, the district's four schools select a Teacher of the Year.  The district Teacher of the Year is then selected from the schools' Teacher of the Year candidates through an interview process.



The Woodruff Middle School Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Suzanne McConnell.  Mrs. McConnell has taught a variety of subjects and grade levels in her 17 years of teaching at WMS and is currently teaching 6th grade Reading and Writing.  After graduating from Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tennessee, Mrs. McConnell moved to South Carolina to attend Presbyterian College.  There, she received her Bachelor of Science degree before pursuing her post-graduate course of studies at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Converse College. It was through these institutions, she earned her Masters of Education, as well as 30 additional graduate hours and endorsements in Counseling.  Mrs. McConnell holds certifications in several areas of Special Education, Middle School Social Studies, and Middle School Language Arts, as well as endorsements in Gifted and Talent Education and Read to Succeed (Literacy).  In addition to teaching, Mrs. McConnell serves on both the Woodruff Middle School and District 4 Literacy Committees.  

When not teaching, Mrs. McConnell enjoys spending time with and supporting her husband, Coach Bryan McConnell, and sons, Nick and Nathan. She is a lover of sports, music, art, baking, nature, outdoors, and her sweet dog, Addie.  Mrs. McConnell also enjoys volunteer work and spends most her volunteer time co-leading with her husband the Hope 56 ministry, which focuses on fifth and sixth graders, at Hope Church in Spartanburg, SC.


“We are all unique individuals, and therefore we learn differently, too.  I love allowing students to experiment in a variety of learning methods, and then allowing them to match the ones that best fit their learning style and needs.  When this happens, students truly have learned something that will help them in their classes and life outside of the reading and writing content.” – Suzanne McConnell

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential achieved upon successful completion of a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize effective and accomplished teachers who meet high standards based on what teachers should know and be able to do.  As part of the certification process, candidates complete 10 assessments that are reviewed by trained teachers in their certificate areas. The assessments include four portfolio entries that feature teaching practice and six constructed response exercises that assess content knowledge.   Woodruff Middle School has eight National Board Certified faculty members, including Ashley Bennett, Cassandra Barksdale, Jami Guker, Tammy Linder, Mary Runyans, Chad Shaver, Mandy Shaver, Selena Turnipseed, and Meagan Wagner.

Science Teachers

Giada Parris, Mary Runyans, Brian Wofford

 Meredith Ard, Gail High, Mandy Shaver


Social Studies Teachers

Daniel Westmoreland, Paul Gilliam, Ty Skinner

Stefanie Harrison, Gail High

social studies


Math Teachers

Amber Watts, Grant Ramsey, Ashley Bennett, Mandy Shaver
Giada Parris, Jami Guker, Cassandra Barksdale, Staci Howard, Cindy Bennet


English/Language Arts Teachers

Julia Kitchens, Amber Lee, Stephanie Harrison, Lynn Richardson

Allison Williams, Jennifer Smith, Suzanne McConnell, Sharon West



Trail Guide Teachers

Amy Hiott, Tammy Linder, Connie Smith, Wanda Brown, Melanie Williams

trail guides

Encore Teachers

Adrian Mosley, Mike Stokes, Duane Thompson, Bryan McConnell

Tonja Westmoreland, Carolyn Huckeba, Dylan Sims, Emily Wireman,  Wendie Lawson      encore