This Greenville News article from Tamia Boyd was originally published on August 12th, 2021.
Anne Tromsness’ path in education was unorthodox.
She learned pedagogy, the art and science in teaching, through a variety of different channels, unlike the traditional teaching programs. Tromsness worked as a teaching artist before coming to the Greenville County school district.
Tromsness, a theater teacher at the Fine Arts Center was named Greenville County’s teacher of the year on Thursday morning. She began at the Fine Arts Center in 2015 where she teaches children from 3rd grade through 9th grade.
Tromsness said she finds joy in inspiring students with her own passion for the arts.
“It’s a lifelong love and I want to share that love with my students. Engaging with imagination is a limitless resource, and everybody comes in with something different, so the fact that we get to share that and manifest together is a pretty awesome honor to do every day,” she said in a news release from the district.
Previously, Tromsness worked as an education director at the Warehouse Theatre, teaching artist for Smart Arts, in administration at the Governor School and the Sacramento Children’s Theatre.
She said she was able to look from the outside as an artist and see what happens in the classroom to allow her knowledge of pedagogy to grow.
With being a director and actor, Tromsness said it feeds into her work in the classroom.
“If I can’t engage in the same vulnerability during the creative process that I expect from my students then it feels like it’s only going one way. But if I am continually a lifelong learner, I am continually engaging my craft, then it’s reciprocal,” Tromness said.
Her love for the craft runs from when she started in theater when she was five years old. Her teachers allowed her to get in front of the classroom and make up plays which showed her the lifelong exploration and expression as an artist.
After a hiatus of being in-person, when it was time to return to school she found it challenging because like all, she had to rise above everything. But she found that her students were eager to engage with their imagination and each other.
“My students really set that bar high for me,” she said.
Tromsness said whether you’re eight or 80, you’re all in it together.
As teacher of the year, Tromsness will be in the running for the South Carolina teacher of the year.
Finalists for teacher of the year were Lisa Aucoin, Jessie Bolton, Porter Grant, Anna Hasenkamp, Chappell Hughes, Kendall Johnson, Beth Mardre and Sarah Poole.
Runner-ups for teacher of the year were Anna Hasenkamp, an English language teacher at Greenville Middle Academy; Sarah Poole, an English Language Teacher at Taylors Elementary; and Christian Scott, a band director at Hillcrest Middle School.
The district also named Matt DeHart, a 5th-grade teacher at Heritage Elementary School, and Carolina Black, a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher at Northwood Middle School, as two emerging teachers of the year.