BHS teacher finalist for SC’s top teacher

Blythewood High School principal Matt Sherman, left, State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and Richland Two Superintendent Barron Davis, right, congratulate Sue Weems, center right, for being named a finalist for SC Teacher of the Year. | Barbara Ball

BLYTHEWOOD – Blythewood High School English teacher Sue Weems got a big surprise Tuesday morning when State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman made an unexpected stop at the high school to announce that Weems has being named one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year award.

Richland Two School Superintendent Barron Davis presented Weems with flowers and Blythewood High School Principal Matt Sherman presented her with a bouquet of balloons.

Weems was also presented a $10,000 check as she faced a bank of television and newspaper cameras. She will now go on to the next stage of competition that will culminate in the crowning of the South Carolina Teacher of the Year at a Gala on May 8 in Columbia.

“Sue has spent her career meeting the needs of each individual student and challenging them to be their very best,” Spearman said. “Her experience in both K-12 and higher education is an invaluable tool that helps her identify with her students and show them what is possible.”

Spearman also noted that Weem’s husband, who is in the military, is deployed in San Diego. Libby Roof, Richland Two’s Chief Communications Officer, tried to make phone contact with Weem’s husband so Weems could give him the good news, however, he could not be reached.

Weems, a tenth and eleventh grade English teacher, and a Blythewood resident, is the published author of fifty original short stories for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

“Mrs. Weems possesses an innate ability to inspire students’ success,” said Richland Two superintendent Dr. Baron Davis. “Her own experiences including being the child of educators, mother of four and a military spouse who has lived in many locales, has shaped her approach and teaching philosophy. Her students benefit from her abilities to tailor her teaching style to meet the individual needs of each learner and to make connections with all of her students. Richland Two is extremely proud of Mrs. Weems,” Davis said.

Weems said she considers her most profound legacy to be that she deeply understands her students and individualizes instruction to meet their needs. She said her teaching mantra is “care, connect and challenge.”

The teacher selected for the State Teacher of the Year will receive a total of $25,000 and will be provided with a brand new BMW to use while serving for one 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.

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