Northwestern High School science teacher Susan Snyder got a pleasant surprise Tuesday.
Snyder is one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year award, according to the school district. Finalists are chosen from nominees submitted by school districts from across the state.
“The Teacher of the Year program celebrates excellence and strengthens the teaching force by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on the district, state and national level,” reads a statement from the district.
Snyder teaches biology, chemistry and coaches swimming. She has been teaching at Northwestern since 2002 after graduating from Clemson University.
Snyder got a surprise visit to her classroom Tuesday from State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.
“Susan is an outstanding educator whose passion for teaching is exhibited in her classroom each and every day,” said Spearman said in a prepared statement. “Whether she is in her science class or at a swim meet, Susan is dedicated to supporting and engaging every student, every day.”
As a finalist, Snyder gets $10,000 and will move on to the next stage of competition which includes an in-person interview with a team of judges. The South Carolina Teacher of the Year will be announced during a gala on May 2 in Columbia.
The winner will receive $25,000 and a new BMW to use for one year as he or she attends speaking engagements, works with Teacher Cadets and Teaching Fellows, according to the statement. The Teacher of the Year also leads the State Teacher Forum and serves as the state spokesperson for more than 48,000 educators.
Snyder was also named the Rock Hill school district’s Teacher of the Year in August 2017.
A district statement says:
“She believes her hardships as a learner turned into her greatest contributions to education and allow her to reach even her most struggling students. Snyder believes each student has the capability to be an extraordinary learner and has been quoted as saying, ‘as educators, we have to plant the seed, create the environment to feed their desire, and commit to our jobs as servants.’”
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082