Having taught at two other middle schools before coming to Laing, he never really set out to be an educator. He had his sights set on law school. But with a mom and a sister in the education field who are very passionate about their calling he eventually switched his major.
Costner was hired to teach in Lexington County and then Richland County before coming to CCSD. He is honored to represent Laing, a learning institution that he credits to teaching to the whole student.
“While teachers must follow the set curriculum, I can always add my spin on the lesson and make it my own and bring creativity to learning,” said Costner. “I enjoy the impact I can have on even just one student because I know it will carry over and he or she will impact others.”
Costner lives by the saying, “always be hungry for more but enjoy the opportunities that come with the successes.” He said it falls in line with the school culture Laing Principal Jay Whitehair has created.
“Our principal is a forward thinker,” said Costner. “He is not good with the status quo and pushes us and challenges us every day to make sure we’re giving our best.”
Costner said that nothing will compare the feeling he had when he was surprised with the announcement by the selection committee.
“It is an incredible honor, particularly since I have only been here for two years,” said Costner. “I knew the Top 5 announcement was coming, but I thought there was no way it would be me since there are just so many great teachers in our district. Now I am among them and getting to know them. It’s like another door has opened for me with endless possibilities.”