Columbia, SC – SC Tech, an initiative of the SC Council on Competitiveness, in partnership with S²TEM Centers SC and The Citadel STEM Center, are pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 SC STEM Educator of the Year Award. The initiative honors STEM educators who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by providing an excellent curriculum, encouraging lifelong learning, and inspiring a passion for STEM beyond the classroom and into the future. This year’s awards are sponsored by Comporium, Bojangles, and the SC Council on Competitiveness.
Amy Baldwin, 6th to 8th Grade Gateway to Technology Teacher at Oakbrook Middle School in Ladson (Dorchester District Two) was announced as SC STEM Educator of the Year today during STEM Education Day at the Capitol, which was live-streamed by SCETV.
“Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educators have the awesome responsibility of teaching the next generation of engineers, computer programmers, and scientists,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “I congratulate Amy Baldwin, the finalists, and all of South Carolina’s STEM educators who go above and beyond every day to support our students and help shape them into the future leaders of our state and nation.”
Applications this year were submitted by educators across the state and were judged by a committee of STEM-related industry leaders. The five finalists, announced at the beginning of March, were then interviewed by a panel of STEM education and industry leaders. Amy stood out to the judging panel for her commitment to increasing diversity in STEM fields, as well as her collaborative efforts with industry to create a comprehensive program for her entire district.
“While glimmering during the best of times, COVID’s disruptive impacts have shed light on the important role that our STEM educators play in nurturing the spark of innovation in our students.” Susie Shannon, President and CEO at the SC Council on Competitiveness noted, “Nurturing STEM education, as well as those who deliver that know-how, is needed now more than ever to support talent development across all of our industry sectors.”
“South Carolina’s technology cluster is growing rapidly,” says Kim Christ, Director of Technology and Cybersecurity Initiatives at the SC Council on Competitiveness. “These jobs require a new understanding of the technical challenges in STEM fields, and we are excited to highlight how our educators are successfully preparing our students to meet these needs.”
Shaun Barnes, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Comporium, was at the Capitol this morning to give out the award. “As a home-grown, family-owned telecommunications company, we feel it’s critical for South Carolina’s businesses to recognize the important role of STEM educators.” Barnes noted, “We thank them for their commitment, and we congratulate all of the nominees, finalists, and Amy Baldwin on the well-deserved honor.”
Each of the following four regional finalists will receive $1,000; with SC STEM Educator of the Year, Amy Baldwin, receiving $5,000 and funds for participating in a professional learning conference:
- Dr. Nicole Yemothy, PLTW Gateway Teacher, R.H. Gettys Middle School, Pickens County School District, Easley
- Elizabeth Martin, 7th & 8th Grade Science & Math Teacher, Sanders Middle School, Laurens County School District 55, Laurens
- Susan Mathews, Science Teacher, Richland Northeast High School, Richland School District Two, Columbia, and,
- Whitney Camacho, 4th Grade Teacher, McColl Elementary Middle School, Marlboro School District, McColl
Press Contact: Adrianne Beasley
Director of Strategy & Communications
South Carolina Council on Competitiveness
About The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness
The Council is a nonpartisan, business-led non-profit organization committed to advancing the long-term economic competitiveness of our state, industries, and citizens. Our work is accomplished through actionable research on opportunities and threats to South Carolina’s competitiveness; support of industry clusters that provide South Carolina a competitive advantage; and education and workforce development initiatives that ensure all South Carolina’s citizens are equipped to compete in a global economy. We execute our work through partnerships, recognizing that our state’s economic success is secured through sustained collaboration among the private, public, academic, and non-profit sectors. For more information, visit www.sccompetes.org.
About S²TEM Centers SC
S²TEM Centers SC (Solutions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education) is an innovation partnership managed by South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics & Science at Clemson University. Our network of education specialists focus on economic and workforce development through improvement in preK-12 STEM education. Our statewide infrastructure for STEM education brings information, support, innovation, and research to the education community in South Carolina and beyond with an emphasis on pre K-12 schools.
About The Citadel STEM Center
The STEM Center at The Citadel works to prepare students for the 21st-century workforce. A collaborative effort of The Citadel’s Schools of Education, Engineering, and Science & Mathematics, The STEM Center delivers outreach initiatives to increase P-20 student interest, participation, and opportunities in the STEM disciplines and develop innovative programming related to teacher preparation and professional development activities. The STEM Center also supports The Citadel’s efforts to produce more graduates who are poised to become successful leaders in the STEM fields.