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SC STEM Educator of the Year 2023

This Award Is Made Possible By: 

Screenshot 2023-01-05 at 12.45.21 PM

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, Citadel STEM Center, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, and CS For SC are pleased to announce the “2023 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.

Nominations will be open until February 27th and, following applications and judging, the 2023 winner will be announced on May 19th in Columbia.

The 2023 STEM Educator of the Year is Brenda Bouldin

Brenda Bouldin is the STEM Teacher at Blue Ridge Elementary School in Seneca, SC, and a Faculty Evaluator for Elementary Pedagogy at Western Governors University. At BRES, she has been in the STEM Lab for three years and spent the previous five years teaching fourth grade there. She was named Teacher of the Year in 2020 and has also served as an Elevator Lead Technology Teacher. Currently, she supports the garden program, apiary, and LEGO Club. She attended Western Governors University for her B.A. in Elementary Education, her M.A. in Mathematics Education, and M.Ed. in Learning and Technology. Originally from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, she enjoys traveling home and new places and spending time with her husband, Cory, two children, Joseph (10) and Savannah (4), and their four-legged children, Maggie and Apollo.

(left to right: Callie Price, SC Competes Senior Project Manager – Brenda Bouldin, SC STEM Educator of the Year – Kim Christ, Director of SC Tech & CyberSecureSC Initiatives – Shaun Barnes, VP of Corporate Communications, Comporium)

The 2023 SC STEM Educator of the Year Finalists

  • Brenda Bouldin – STEM Lab Teacher/Gifted and Talented (3-5) Teacher | Blue Ridge Elementary School
    • STEM Platform: Adapting STEM Concepts & Outreach to reach students of all socioeconomic status and communicative, physical,  intellectual  abilities
  • Kayla Short – STEAM Instructional Coach | Fairforest Middle School:
    • STEM Platform: Project-based learning in STEAM education
  • Dr. Marsha Neal – Gateway to Technology Teacher | Daniel Island School
    • STEM Platform: Introducing students to the skills and talents needed for apprenticeships leading to future STEM careers
  • Dr. Tim Swick – Computer Science Immersion School Lead Teacher | Sandlapper Elementary School
    • STEM Platform: High Quality Computer Science Education Advocacy
  • Heather Mauldin – Teacher, Middle School PLTW and Robotics | Green Sea Floyds Middle – High School
    • STEM Platform: Developing STEM skills in a post-pandemic world

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


Application Form Now Closed

Thank you to all 2023 STEM Educator of the Year applicants!