SC Stem Educator of the Year 2021

This Award Is Made Possible By: 


South Carolina faces two converging challenges for the future of its students and workforce: first, a critical shortage of public school educators, particularly in STEM areas; and second, the changing nature of jobs requiring an advanced understanding of STEM content areas and the skills required to tackle complexproblems. The state will need to significantly increase its number of STEM educators in order to meet the demands of an evolving economy. 

The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness through its SCTech initiative, and in partnership with S2TEM Centers and the Citadel STEM Center are pleased to announce the nomination form for the “2021 SC STEM Educator of the Year.” This year’s award is also sponsored by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, Bojangles, and Comporium Communications. 

This award is for teachers who are making a significant difference in the lives of students across the state by providing excellent curriculum, encouraging lifelong learning and inspiring a passion for STEM beyond the classroom and into the future. We understand the importance of what you do and we want to honor one teacher from each of the five STEM regions with an award just for you!

One winner will be selected from each of the regional locations to make up the five finalists. Regional finalists will each receive a monetary award with the winning SC STEM Educator receiving an additional award.

Coastal Pee Dee Region | Lowcountry Region | Midlands Region | Upcountry Region | Western Region

The 2020 STEM Educator of the Year is Tracy Elmore

Tracy Elmore is a STEM and ‘Project Lead the Way’ teacher at Lugoff-Elgin Middle School in Kershaw County School District, where she also serves on the STEAM Council. She has been teaching sixth-grade science for over 10 years and currently teaches STEM classes including Automation and Robotics, Advance Automation with 3D printing, Energy and Environment, and Flight and Space through PLTW at Lugoff-Elgin. Tracy has been teaching for 33 years total, with 22 years in Kershaw County.

Tracy graduated from Coker College with a BS degree in Elementary Education and received her Master’s Degree from Francis Marion University. She also earned her Master’s +30 in Education from Converse College.  Tracy is National Board Certified in Middle Childhood Generalist and additionally has a State Endorsement in Gifted Education and Reading in the Content Areas. She was recognized as the 2014 LEMS Teacher of the Year.  She served as the Science Department Chair and the sixth-grade chair and team leader. She is a co-sponsor of the LEMS Ambassador Program and a member of the Leadership Team at LEMS. She previously served on the School Improvement Council for LEMS, on the PBIS Committee, and as a member of the Teacher Forum of Kershaw County.

Tracy has celebrated 39 years of marriage and has two daughters, a son-in-love, and a precious three-year-old granddaughter. She also enjoys spending time with her family and “furbabies”.

How The Process Works

Anyone, including oneself, can nominate a deserving teacher. However, the nominator must secure the permission of the nominee to enter his/her/their name for consideration. Once, nominated, the teacher is sent Phase 2 of the application process and must answer all questions. The South Carolina STEM Teacher of the Year Committee then reviews all of the nomination applications and selects five finalists who will interview with our selection panel. Once the interview process is complete, a winner is selected.


  • Must be a full-time, active, certified, public K-12 classroom STEM teacher (science, technology, engineering or mathematics)
  • Spend the majority of the school day involved in direct instruction to students
  • Be skilled in implementing effective teaching strategies
  • Be able to explain personal teaching philosophy
  • Be able to inspire students in STEM-related topics
  • Show involvement and leadership in student-related extra-curricular activities
  • Be respected by students, parents, and co-workers

What Are We Looking For In The STEM Educator of the Year? 

  • Innovative – Unique ways to educate students to develop a curiosity in the STEM fields.
  • Outstanding – A true passion for STEM education and the minds you are molding
  • Worldly – Inspires students to see that STEM is all around us
  • Academic – Engage students in the classroom, preparing them for education and careers outside the classroom
unnamed (1)