FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2017
South Carolina Future Minds Names 13 Educators to Inaugural Teacher Cabinet
Advisory council to provide frontline expertise on public education challenges and solutions
Charleston, South Carolina—SC Future Minds, a statewide nonprofit investing in public education, is pleased to announce the formation of its inaugural Teacher Cabinet. The advisory council of 13 educators will provide expert and diverse guidance to SC Future Minds’ leadership as the organization develops and further implements its programs to support public school students and teachers across the state.
The Teacher Cabinet, which held its inaugural meeting today, was selected from dozens of candidates through an application process that began in the Spring of 2017. The 13 teachers and administrators hail from every region of the state and have a range of teaching experience from three to 40 years, ensuring that the Cabinet represents the diverse spectrum of professional educational experiences in South Carolina.
“I am thrilled to welcome these extraordinary educators to the SC Future Minds family through our first-ever Teacher Cabinet,” said Caroline Mauldin, Executive Director of the organization. “As we seek to thoroughly support and radically improve the public education system in South Carolina, it is critical that our efforts are informed by the front-line experience and expertise of teacher leaders who have dedicated their careers—often at great sacrifice—to educating our future minds.”
The Teacher Cabinet will meet quarterly and on an as-needed basis to advise SC Future Minds’ work, including its programs on early childhood literacy, new teacher retention, and ways to further connect private resources to public schools, particularly in rural and under-invested communities.
The members of the 2017-18 Teacher Cabinet are:
Karen Teague – Academic Coach, Greenwood 50
Karen wants to help educators throughout this state find the resources and assistance they need. She feels that SC Future Minds has the enthusiasm and drive to positively impact education in SC. Karen has been teaching for 17 years.
Carol Jackson – HS English and Teacher Cadets, Lexington Richland 5
Carol feels that we need meaningful support for teachers in their first 10 years- not just a buddy or a mentor, but community support through discounts, release time to observe master teachers, optional pay supplements, etc. She would like to continue to share her passion for teaching. She has been teaching for 40 years.
Ashlynn Wittchow – 8th Grade English, Richland One
Ashlynn is interested in being part of the solution in South Carolina. When she read a recent report published by US News & World Report that found South Carolina ranked dead last in public education she was heartbroken knowing the hard work and dedication of her colleagues. Ashlynn has been teaching for three years.
Carolyn Cooley – Special Education, Lexington Four
Carolyn would like to serve as the voice of special education teachers and help address the unique concerns they have teaching a growing population of students with unique education needs. She has been teaching for 14 years.
Brantay Cohens – 6th Grade Math, Horry County
Brantay hopes that by serving in this capacity he can have a greater impact our state’s educational systems. He believes that our system is great and that by being an advocate he can assist in our efforts to advance the education opportunities we offer in South Carolina. Brantay has been teaching for 2.5 years.
Clay Cook – 2nd Grade, Georgetown County
Clay would like to help bring about change, awareness, recognition, and support to a profession that gives so much. He feels that SC Future Minds is an organization with the best interest of teachers, students, and education as a whole and wants to be a part of the force that impacts education in SC. Clay has been teaching for 15 years.
Trixi DeRosa-Davis – Spanish, VirtualSC
Trixi is interested in helping to be a voice for students and teachers in SC. She has three children who attend school in SC and as a parent and teacher she wants what is best for our students. As an educator who has spent time in both the brick and mortar school as well as the virtual school, she has a unique perspective on how we can address students’ needs. She has been teaching for 14 years.
Kristie Camp – 11th Grade English, Cherokee County
Kristie is concerned about the future of our public schools and the teaching profession as a result of recent political decisions made at the state and federal level. She is distraught by the number of teachers who grow weary and discouraged by the negative publicity that seems to surround schools and teaching profession. Kristie has spent 20 years teaching in a high poverty school that represents all sectors of the population. She feels that by serving on the SC Future Minds’ Teacher Cabinet she will have an opportunity to exchange ideas with other dedicated educators so that she can become a more effective advocate for students and schools in South Carolina.
Zach Lowe – 8th Grade Social Studies, Sumter County
Zach wants to be a more active voice in the profession. In taking an active role helping to lead and guide the work of SC Future Minds, it is his hope that he can work to promote the best interests of his colleagues and students. Only through teamwork and outreach can we accomplish this noble mission. He has been teaching for three years.
Elisabeth Hardy – Aiken County
Elisabeth earned her BSEd in English Education from the University of Georgia, and both a MEd in Adult and Vocational Education and an EdD in Curriculum Studies from Georgia Southern University. She is a 2017 SC Honor Roll Teacher, teaches AP Literature and English at North Augusta High School and has been teaching for 24 years.
Mary Lynn Woodward – Florence District One
Mary Lynn earned a Music Education degree from Coker College, a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Walden University, and a second Master’s from American Public University in Elementary Teaching with a concentration in STEAM. She is a 2017 SC Honor Roll Teacher, teaches music at North Vista Elementary School and has been teaching for 18 years.
Marcia Womble – Laurens County School District 55
Marcia earned her Visual Art Education degree from Lander University and received her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Winthrop University. She is a 2017 SC Honor Roll Teacher, the Assistant Principal at Gray Court Owings School, where she taught art for 21 years.
Pamela Flynn – Spartanburg School District 3
Pam earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Limestone College and received her Master’s in Education from Converse College. She is a 2017 SC Honor Roll Teacher, teaches social studies at Broome High School and has been teaching for 19 years.
About South Carolina Future Minds
SC Future Minds believes that public schools are the incubators of South Carolina’s future. The organization champions world class student achievement by supporting excellence in teaching, encouraging collaboration among public education stakeholders, and connecting private financial support to public schools. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit that works with every school district in the state as well as many of South Carolina’s top businesses, it serves as an important vehicle for much-needed investments in the state’s teachers, schools, and students. For more information, please visit www.scfutureminds.org.