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September Hometown Heroes: Dorothy Chocklett and Daniel Floyd

By Dorothy's Sister, Bebe deTreville

Dorothy Chocklett is a special education teacher in a self-contained autism classroom at Boundary Street Elementary School. Originally from Columbia, SC, Dorothy is one of 4 girls. She and her sisters played school as children in the upstairs playroom. Dorothy always knew she wanted to be the teacher. After graduating from Cardinal Newman High School in 1999, she chose Newberry College because it was close to Columbia and small. Dorothy graduated from Newberry College in 2003 with a BS in Elementary Education. It was during her student teaching that she fell in love with Special Education. After her graduation, she went on to receive her Master’s in Education from Southern Wesleyan in 2007. She then earned her Masters plus 30 in applied behavioral analysis from the University of South Carolina. Dorothy is certified in elementary education as well as special education intellectual disabilities. In 2003, Dorothy won the South Carolina Autism Society therapist of the year.

In 2006, Dorothy married Jay Chocklett, who is also a graduate of Newberry College. They had both fallen in love with Newberry during their college years and decided to make it their home. Dorothy and Jay have 2 sons, Ward, age 10 and Wilson, age 7. Ward and Wilson keep her very busy when she is not teaching.

Dorothy is in her 18th year of teaching in the Newberry County School District. During this time, she has gone above and beyond to help her students. She is always coming up with new ways to engage and make learning exciting for her students. She has never met a task that is too hard. The past year and a half have had obvious challenges, but Dorothy has spent countless hours researching new ways to stay connected with her special needs students. She worked diligently to keep her students safe, while still engaging them in learning.

Dorothy is compassionate about her students and forms very close bonds with them through the years they are with her. Unlike most classrooms, Dorothy teaches the same students, on average, 8 years. Most of her students are nonverbal, and during the years that the student spends in Dorothy’s classroom, she works very hard to build the trust of her students. With this trust, Dorothy is able to watch her students gain communication skills. With these skills, she is able to see the decrease in frustration from her students because they are able to communicate effectively. Dorothy’s favorite part of teaching is watching the “aha moment.” When this happens, everything changes for the student. The struggle is less and learning becomes fun.

Dorothy is passionate about her students. She has the biggest heart of any person in the world. She loves deeply, and she is a true believer in her students. Her love and strong sense of commitment to her students shows every day. She never gives up. Newberry County School District is lucky to have such an awesome teacher working to help with the success of their special education students.

By Kay Ammons

Daniel Floyd is a true asset to our community. He has actively served the school district working with special needs and disabled youth. He has been with the Sheriff’s Office for many years, first as a dispatcher, then road deputy, and now he is the Captain of the Detention Center. He has excelled as a public servant, going out of his way to help the community. The changes he has made at the detention center alone are amazing, as he has worked to get help for the mentally challenged and drug addicted inmates when the state didn’t want to help. Daniel is a very active member of Wightman United Methodist Church where he has volunteered for the WARM project and Habitat for Humanity many years in a row. He also is on the Cooking for Christ team at the Church where they cook to raise many for members of the community who have medical issues, as well as families who are going through a loss. He is a kind, loving husband and father to two beautiful children, one of whom is autistic. He does all of this while battling his own medical issues, as he has MS, yet he continues to run in many races to help raise money for those who are deserving - all while wearing a brace on his leg. Daniel is a true inspiration and role model to those around him.

Nominate a hometown hero for us to feature in a future edition. Email your nominations to!


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