South Carolina Teacher of the Year Gala

2020 EVENT POSTPONED

The annual South Carolina Teacher of the Year Gala, popularly known as the “Academy Awards” of teaching, has been postponed under the social gathering guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to announce a rescheduled date in the near future.

On behalf of our state’s over 50,000 teachers and the nearly 800,000 students they serve, we thank you for your continued support.

The annual South Carolina Teacher of the Year Gala, popularly known as the “Academy Awards” of teaching, will take place on May 5, 2020 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, South Carolina. This event is the largest celebration of public education in S.C. and hosts district Teachers of the Year, legislators, business leaders, and community members to acknowledge the importance of the teaching profession. 

Individual tickets to the event are $75 and multiple sponsorship packages are available. On behalf of our state’s over 50,000 teachers and the nearly 800,000 students they serve, we thank you for your continued support.

2019 Teacher of the Year Gala Sponsors

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Presenting

Five Star


Platinum Star

Gold Star

Comporium
Interstate Transportation Equipment, Inc.
Jostens
Leadership South Carolina
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Palmetto State Teachers Association
The South Carolina Education Association
South Carolina Education Lottery
South Carolina Educational Television
South Carolina School Boards Association

About the South Carolina Education Foundation

The South Carolina Education Foundation (SCEF) was established by the South Carolina Department of Education under the leadership of State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman to support the state’s Teacher of the Year program. The South Carolina Teacher of the Year program celebrates excellence and strengthens the teaching force by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on a district, state, and national level. The award program and annual gala not only assist in retention efforts but serve as a powerful recruitment tool. The South Carolina Education Foundation (SCEF) supports the agency’s statutory requirement to administer the program by serving as the fundraising arm and fiscal agent for the annual gala and other related teacher of the year activities not funded by the General Assembly. The annual gala is sponsored and staffed by the South Carolina Department of Education, Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement, and professional teacher organizations and is held annually in May in the state’s capital of Columbia and brings together educators, business leaders, legislators, and community members in support of the teaching profession. The SCEF is funded entirely from private donations and will spends all proceeds in support in support of the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Program and retention efforts. The South Carolina Teacher of the Year serves for one school year as a roving ambassador providing mentoring, attending speaking engagements, working with teacher cadets and teaching fellows, leading the State Teacher Forum, and serving as the state spokesperson for over 50,000 educators.

About the South Carolina Education Foundation

The South Carolina Education Foundation (SCEF) was established by the South Carolina Department of Education under the leadership of State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman to support the state’s Teacher of the Year program. The South Carolina Teacher of the Year program celebrates excellence and strengthens the teaching force by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on a district, state, and national level. The award program and annual gala not only assist in retention efforts but serve as a powerful recruitment tool. The South Carolina Education Foundation (SCEF) supports the agency’s statutory requirement to administer the program by serving as the fundraising arm and fiscal agent for the annual gala and other related teacher of the year activities not funded by the General Assembly. The annual gala is sponsored and staffed by the South Carolina Department of Education, Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement, and professional teacher organizations and is held annually in May in the state’s capital of Columbia and brings together educators, business leaders, legislators, and community members in support of the teaching profession. The SCEF is funded entirely from private donations and will spends all proceeds in support in support of the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Program and retention efforts. The South Carolina Teacher of the Year serves for one school year as a roving ambassador providing mentoring, attending speaking engagements, working with teacher cadets and teaching fellows, leading the State Teacher Forum, and serving as the state spokesperson for over 50,000 educators.

South Carolina Education Foundation Board Members

Molly Spearman

State Superintendent of Education

Molly Mitchell Spearman was elected as the 18th South Carolina State Superintendent of Education on November 4, 2014. Native to Saluda County, Mrs. Spearman’s childhood laid the foundations of family, faith, and hard work that transcended into her professional career as an educator and civil servant. Superintendent Spearman’s career has spanned 18 years as a public school music teacher and an assistant principal. In addition to teaching and administration, she has served four terms as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, six years as Deputy Superintendent of the South Carolina Department of Education, and ten years as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. She holds a B.A. Degree in music education from Lander University, a Master’s Degree in education supervision from George Washington University, and an Education Specialist degree from the University of South Carolina. As the South Carolina Superintendent of Education, Mrs. Spearman has the experience and relationships needed to move South Carolina’s education system forward. Superintendent Spearman strongly believes the foundation for student success lies in effective classroom teachers and principals who facilitate personalized learning for every student, every day. Her vision is for every South Carolina graduate to be prepared for the next step after graduation. Superintendent Spearman is excited to keep a positive and forward-thinking approach to South Carolina education to promote better schools and brighter futures. 

Molly Spearman

State Superintendent of Education

Molly Mitchell Spearman was elected as the 18th South Carolina State Superintendent of Education on November 4, 2014. Native to Saluda County, Mrs. Spearman’s childhood laid the foundations of family, faith, and hard work that transcended into her professional career as an educator and civil servant. Superintendent Spearman’s career has spanned 18 years as a public school music teacher and an assistant principal. In addition to teaching and administration, she has served four terms as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, six years as Deputy Superintendent of the South Carolina Department of Education, and ten years as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. She holds a B.A. Degree in music education from Lander University, a Master’s Degree in education supervision from George Washington University, and an Education Specialist degree from the University of South Carolina. As the South Carolina Superintendent of Education, Mrs. Spearman has the experience and relationships needed to move South Carolina’s education system forward. Superintendent Spearman strongly believes the foundation for student success lies in effective classroom teachers and principals who facilitate personalized learning for every student, every day. Her vision is for every South Carolina graduate to be prepared for the next step after graduation. Superintendent Spearman is excited to keep a positive and forward-thinking approach to South Carolina education to promote better schools and brighter futures. 

Michael Brenan

State President, BB&T 

Michael R. Brenan is the State/Group President of BB&T for South Carolina, and serves on the SC Board of Education as the Governor’s Appointee. Mr. Brenan began his career in banking in 1975 as a management trainee. In 1988, he became the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank One, Portsmouth, N.A. In 1994, he became Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MainStreet Financial Corporation, a multi-bank holding company, headquartered in Virginia. In 1998 MainStreet was acquired by BB&T Corporation and Mr. Brenan subsequently moved to Columbia to assume his responsibilities with BB&T. Mr. Brenan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Bowling Green State University. Mr. Brenan currently serves on the board of directors of a number of organizations, including the University of South Carolina’s Business Partnership Foundation (Past Chairman), President’s Advisory Council of Clemson University, Claflin University, the South Carolina Bankers Association (Past Chairman), United Way of the Midlands (Past Chairman), South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (Past Chairman), South Carolina Chamber of Commerce (Chair-Elect), Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce (Chairman), Good to Great Foundation, Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics Foundation (Treasurer), SC Economics, BIPEC (Treasurer), Central SC Alliance, Midlands Business Leadership Group, Midlands Housing Alliance, Palmetto Business Forum, InvestSC, Palmetto AgriBusiness Council, and Palmetto Health Foundation. Mr. Brenan and his wife Julie have four children, Erin, Andrew, Rob, and Molly. 

Beth Phibbs

Executive Director, South Carolina Association of School Administrators 

Beth Phibbs has served as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA), a professional organization of over 3600 principals, superintendents, and school leaders, since April 2015. Prior to being Executive Director, she served in key positions within the organization since 2006. Prior to joining SCASA in January of 2006, Beth served at the South Carolina Department of Education for 15 years working in the areas of career and technology, blue ribbon schools, education policy and leadership. In addition to political and state department experience, Beth also offers educational experience as a non-profit administrator and teacher. With these varied experiences, Beth has the proven ability to serve as an educational ambassador. 

Michael Brenan

State President, BB&T 

Michael R. Brenan is the State/Group President of BB&T for South Carolina, and serves on the SC Board of Education as the Governor’s Appointee. Mr. Brenan began his career in banking in 1975 as a management trainee. In 1988, he became the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank One, Portsmouth, N.A. In 1994, he became Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MainStreet Financial Corporation, a multi-bank holding company, headquartered in Virginia. In 1998 MainStreet was acquired by BB&T Corporation and Mr. Brenan subsequently moved to Columbia to assume his responsibilities with BB&T. Mr. Brenan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Bowling Green State University. Mr. Brenan currently serves on the board of directors of a number of organizations, including the University of South Carolina’s Business Partnership Foundation (Past Chairman), President’s Advisory Council of Clemson University, Claflin University, the South Carolina Bankers Association (Past Chairman), United Way of the Midlands (Past Chairman), South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (Past Chairman), South Carolina Chamber of Commerce (Chair-Elect), Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce (Chairman), Good to Great Foundation, Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics Foundation (Treasurer), SC Economics, BIPEC (Treasurer), Central SC Alliance, Midlands Business Leadership Group, Midlands Housing Alliance, Palmetto Business Forum, InvestSC, Palmetto AgriBusiness Council, and Palmetto Health Foundation. Mr. Brenan and his wife Julie have four children, Erin, Andrew, Rob, and Molly. 

Beth Phibbs

Executive Director, South Carolina Association of School Administrators 

Beth Phibbs has served as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA), a professional organization of over 3600 principals, superintendents, and school leaders, since April 2015. Prior to being Executive Director, she served in key positions within the organization since 2006. Prior to joining SCASA in January of 2006, Beth served at the South Carolina Department of Education for 15 years working in the areas of career and technology, blue ribbon schools, education policy and leadership. In addition to political and state department experience, Beth also offers educational experience as a non-profit administrator and teacher. With these varied experiences, Beth has the proven ability to serve as an educational ambassador. 

Contact Us

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please use the form below to contact us or email us at TeacherOfTheYear@ed.sc.gov.