Cayce-West Columbia Chamber honors 2 students, teacher

WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- Two Lexington Two students and a teacher were honored earlier this month at the Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner.

Those recognized at the January event included:

Lexington District Two Teacher of the Year: Jennifer Eskridge, Pine Ridge Middle School. Eskridge is a special education teacher, working with 6th through 8th grade students. She has 35 years of teaching experience, 14 of those in Lexington Two, and she is the current District Teacher of the Year.  Jennifer is a member of several organizations, among them the Council for Exceptional Children, Palmetto Teachers Association, School Improvement Council and the Pine Ridge Middle School Beautification Committee. She is a volunteer with Carolina Gardens, a local senior citizen’s memory care facility, where she calls Bingo for residents, works in the garden and helps care for pet therapy rabbits. She said one of her biggest rewards as a teacher is watching her students’ personal and educational growth, and learning to be advocates for themselves.

Lexington District Two Student of the Year: Marcus Gadsden, Airport High School. Gadsden is a senior at Airport High School. He currently has a 4.2 GPA and is enrolled in honors and AP courses. He is involved in Airport’s nationally recognized JROTC program, where he currently serves as Battalion Commander of the Golden Talon drill team. He is captain of the swim team, vice president for the Beta Club and has participated on the boy’s golf team. Outside of school, Marcus is an Eagle Scout with Troop 1 in West Columbia, as well as a choir member, usher, acolyte, greeter, and youth group treasurer at his church. He also does community service work aimed at helping the hungry and homeless. After high school, Marcus looks to attend either the U.S. Naval Academy or U.S. Air Force Academy, with a goal of becoming a military pilot.


Student Volunteer of the Year: Joseph Buckmaier, Brookland-Cayce High School.  

Buchmaier is a junior and ranks first in his class with a 5.4 GPA. Joseph is parliamentarian of the Latin Club and is a member of the National Honor Society. He attends night classes for math at Midlands Technical College and provides tutoring services to other students. During the football season, he also works filming for the football team and running the scoreboard for home games. He also volunteers as an altar server at church. After high school, he is interested in pursuing a degree in finance along with pre-medical studies. He hopes to use the skills he learned from his internship with the Chamber over the past summer to help guide him in business and networking.