Hello from Erica Panton and Winthrop!
I wanted to say THANK YOU for all your help in planning and hosting our first annual Educator Signing Day! It was truly beautiful to see families gathered to celebrate our future educators.
BY TODD SCHOLL
The Ken Bower Teacher Cadet Scholarship, named in memory of Dr. Ken Bower, an architect of the original Teacher Cadet course and curriculum, is awarded each year to senior Teacher Cadets who intend to become a classroom teacher in one of South Carolina's many public schools.
“The recipients of the Ken Bower Teacher Cadet Scholarship are the epitome of excellence—within and beyond academia—and we look forward to welcoming these homegrown future teachers to South Carolina's cadre of exemplary classroom teachers,” notes Dr. Marcella Wine-Snyder, Director of Pre-Collegiate Programs at CERRA, which includes the Teacher Cadet Program. “Since its inception in 1985, South Carolina’s Teacher Cadet Program has led pre-collegiate teacher recruitment efforts by establishing and solidifying a pipeline of well-qualified educators in our state ready to return to their communities as classroom teachers in the future. For some time now, education policy analysts and demographers have alluded to impending teacher shortages at an alarming rate, and homegrown teacher recruitment strategies and efforts like the Teacher Cadet Program represent our best hope for averting a more substantial one. As the anchor of teaching and learning, a teacher’s impact outweighs all other influential factors on student learning. Thus, without exemplary teachers at the helm in classrooms, our state's goal of providing high quality schools—for all children, in all neighborhoods—will never materialize.”
Teacher Cadet instructors receive notification of the call for applications early each calendar year and all senior Teacher Cadets are eligible to apply. Thanks to the generosity of silent auction “shoppers” at two CERRA conferences and other donors who support the Teacher Cadet program, 2020 recipients will receive a one-time award of $1,000. The award is mailed directly to the recipient's college before August 1st and is applied to his or her account. Awards are determined based on the merits of scholarship, involvement in school and community activities, teacher recommendations, and a written essay. The Ken Bower Teacher Cadet Scholarship is not “needs-based” and does not rely on the financial information of the Teacher Cadet’s family. Teaching Fellows may also be recipients of the Ken Bower Scholarship.
Abby Atkinson is a native of Marion, SC. Abby is a "straight A" student and currently ranked third in her class with a 4.984 weighted GPA. She is passionate about teaching, especially after participating in her high school's Teacher Cadet Program. She has also been named a SC Teaching Fellow. Abby is active in her school, church, and community. She loves to draw and paint, read, and volunteer with children at McLeod in the summer.
Whitney Craft is a senior at Pelion High School. She has been involved in numerous extracurricular activities that include Student Council, BETA Club, Link Crew, Prom Committee, and the Student Advisory Council. Whitney is an accomplished athlete at Pelion High. She is a member of the cross country, basketball, and softball teams and has lettered multiple times in each sport. She has obtained nineteen athletic awards over her six years participating in Pelion athletics. She has also been a member of the Pelion High School Honors Chamber Orchestra and has played in the orchestra at Pelion for eight years. Whitney has had a passion for teaching since she was a young child. She plans to attend Spartanburg Methodist College in the fall then transfer after two years to obtain a degree in Elementary Education. She hopes to return to teach in her hometown of Pelion, South Carolina.
Samantha Mathis is a senior at James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan, South Carolina. While maintaining her role as the manager of the varsity softball team, the team won one state championship and three upper state championships. She is the Treasurer of the Byrnes Chapter of National Honor Society and is also a member of French National Honor Society, Beta Club, Teacher Cadets, and TEACH Honor Society. Outside of school, she is very active in her church’s children’s ministry and youth group and has participated in two international mission trips. She plans to attend USC-Columbia in the Fall to major in elementary education and will be a Teaching Fellow there.
Rachael Richardson is passionate about impacting people and making a difference, which is why she wants to become a high school teacher and educator. Her faith in God is an important aspect of her life. In her free time, she values being with friends and family and enjoys activities outside such as biking, running, boating and going to the beach. Rachel will be attending Charleston Southern University in the Fall.
Savannah Shealy is a senior at Palmetto High School in Williamston, South Carolina. Finishing at the top of her class, she plans to become a high school English teacher by earning her degree from Clemson University. She also earned a spot in Clemson University’s inaugural Teaching Fellows cohort. During her time at Palmetto, she was a captain of both her varsity basketball and soccer teams; she additionally balanced her participation in sports by being a large part of her school’s marching band. In her free time, she enjoys trips on the Swamp Rabbit Trail and, of course, reading.
Alexia Imani Vereen is the Mullins High School student body president. She is also involved in the Jobs for America’s Graduates Program. She has been in the top three percent of her graduating class since her high school career began. She is an honor student and has been enrolled in dual credit courses since her junior year. She enjoys writing, reading, poetry, horror stories, and capturing the aesthetics of life through pictures or film. She will be attending Winthrop University in the fall to major in English Education.