‘A good education is priceless’: Sharon Sprinkle, '94

Monday, April 2, 2007

Reprinted from The Times and Democrat
April 2, 2007

Sharon Sprinkle, '94, believes that she is in a position to make a constructive difference in young children’s lives and that she embraces the thought of “cultivating young people’s minds, strengthening their emotional and mental abilities.”

“I accept challenges that allow me to utilize the skills and knowledge that I have gained to educate special needs children. It is important to assist students, along with their parents, in identifying roadblocks and critical thinking strategies to enable exceptional learners to experience success,” said Sprinkle, who has been employed at Lake Marion High School for 11 years.

She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from South Carolina State University and a master’s of integrated studies from Cambridge College in Massachusetts.

Sprinkle said she chose to go into the field of education because it is regarded as an important, solid foundation by her family. Her grandparents did not have the opportunity to receive a good education, and Sprinkle was constantly encouraged to go to school and learn all she could.

“My family provided me with strong examples of self-pride and self-love that have inspired me to teach,” she said. Sprinkle also gave credit to a teacher mentor who instilled in her the qualities of patience and dedication that she exhibits today in her own classroom.

“I often tell my own students that ’getting an education is a gateway to infinite possibilities,’” Sprinkle said. She holds to the belief that a “good education is priceless.”

In describing the qualities of an effective educator, Sprinkle said that the individual should possess self-knowledge, moral principles and thoughtfulness. In addition, the effective educator would be fair, open-minded, assertive, persistent and trustworthy.

“As a teacher, I set high standards and expectations for each student. My goal is to empower students to reach their goals,” Sprinkle said.

Sprinkle offers the following advice to educators: be willing to invest your time, energy and future to improving schools and test scores; don’t give up just because the resources are not available or things become difficult; look beyond obstacles that block your path and focus on the opportunities to open doors for student achievement and success; be hardworking; and be able to cooperate with parents and students and humbly acknowledge failure, but be willing to make the necessary changes to continue toward success.

“These attributes give meaning to life in the school, community and world. The world needs more teachers who are committed to motivating all students to learn and to meet the challenges. It is the power within the purpose that drives the teacher to claim victory,” Sprinkle said.

-- T&D Staff Writer Donna Holman can be reached at dholman@timesanddemocrat.com and 803-534-1060.