AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County School leaders wrapped up Teacher Appreciation Week, by celebrating one of their own for more than 50 years of service.
Melanie Driscoll is one of Aiken County’s longest-serving teachers — dedicating half a century to teaching children and nearly never missing a day of school.
“The kids need you, the kids look for you not just in your presence to be at school, but they look for you as a role model and to help them. My kids know that I’m always there for them,” says Ms. Driscoll.
Friday, State Representative Bill Taylor honored the J.D. Lever Elementary School resource and Special education teacher with a house resolution.
“I’m floored, absolutely floored, and to see something that comes from the legislature, that is just beyond my comprehension,” said Driscoll.
Mrs. Driscoll started her teaching journey in Long Island, New York, but she says teaching wasn’t her first career choice.
She says, “I started pre-med in college, and at the end of my junior year, they made it very clear that females getting into any medical school in the world would’ve been very slim and to change to something other than pre-med, and I could do nursing, med tech, which is lab work, or teaching.
Driscoll said both her mother and father were teachers, which motivated her to take that route, but she didn’t expect to make as much of an impact as she did.
“She’s intermingling with all of the students whether she teaches them or not. She’s also intermingling with all of the teachers because she has had so much experience that she’s able to bring them more ideas and help them with different things,” said Michael Truitt.
He’s the school’s principal and he calls Ms. Driscoll an inspiration.
Truitt says, “I’m just a baby compared to her time frame, so I would love to be that, 50 years is amazing, 30 years is amazing for all the people that have done that so to do it almost twice now is just unfathomable.”
Ms. Driscoll has the third-longest active tenure in the Aiken County Public School district. In her half-century classroom, she has taught elementary, middle, and high school students. She even taught Aiken County SheriffMichael Hunt when he was in 7th grade. He said in a statement—
“I first met Ms. Driscoll in the 7th grade at Jefferson Junior High School. Ms. Driscoll was as passionate about teaching her students back then as she has been for over 50 years. I can honestly say that Ms. Driscoll was one of those teachers that truly made a difference in what direction my life took and where I ended up today.”