Tasha Priester has a saying that she lives by: “Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story” ( - Josh Shipp).
The 32-year-old teaches first grade at Beech Hill Elementary, where she has been for five years. This is her 11th year teaching. She previously worked in Beaufort County. She came to DD2 after wanting a change, and hearing good things about the district. “It’s wonderful – I love it here,” she said.
Priester went to the University of South Carolina, majoring in early childhood education. She is originally from Walterboro, where she still lives, and attended Walterboro High School.
Priester grew up with a love for kids and helping others, and always knew she wanted to be a teacher. “I love the little kids and watching them grow,” she said. “First grade is the year when they expand their knowledge so much and it’s just very rewarding to see them, and see the light bulb come on because they understand it.”
Priester said there is “never a dull moment” in her first grade classroom. She tries to instill in her children self-esteem, confidence and pride in themselves. Her classroom practices a “bucket filler” where everyone has an imaginary bucket, which they fill by giving or receiving compliments or words of praise. Priester said her best experience teaching is hearing her students say things like, “Thank you for filling my bucket” as they spread positive vibes.
“It’s good to hear that they are getting more than just academics,” she said.
Other than teaching Priester is Team Leader for first grade and also represents first grade for the E/LA curriculum. She is also on Think Lighthouse.
Priester’s professional goal is to live by her mantra – to positively impact as many students as she can. “I hope to be that caring adult so that every one of my kids can succeed and excel to their full potential,” she said. “I love the kids. You can grow so much. It’s really rewarding to be with the children – they are my heart.”
Priester is married to her husband of 12 years, Kelvin. Priester keeps a dark red betta fish in her classroom, which the kids named Raz because he resembles the color of a raspberry.
Together she and her husband like to spend time outdoors. Priester is an avid college football fan and gets her husband to attend games and tailgates with her. She enjoys reading and volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, as well as volunteering with other church activities. She is a part of Faith Assembly in Summerville. When they can the couple likes to travel.
Priester said her life goal is to spread God’s love and impact the world, as well as the people she is around. She loves the atmosphere and the support from the administration at Beech Hill.
“The children make it the best,” she said. “It’s like they’re mine, so I have 21 little ones. Everything I do is for their best interest.”