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Wayne Williams Selected as a Finalist for State Teacher of the Year

Clover, S.C. - State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver surprised Clover High School's Wayne Williams today with news that he has been selected as one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year award.

“One of the beauties of education is the lasting impact a teacher leaves on their students," said Superintendent Weaver. "Wayne is the shining example of this. His passion for engineering, combined with his love for leading young people has inspired so many. We are grateful to celebrate this achievement with him and the Clover High family."

Williams teaches 9-12 grade Engineering and Mechatronics at Clover High School's Applied Technology Center. He earned an associate's degree in Mechanical Engineering Technologies and Engineering Graphics Technologies from York Technical College. Williams is currently pursuing a bachelor's in Engineering Management Technologies from the University of South Carolina Upstate. This is his ninth year teaching.

“The highest compliment a high school student can pay an educator is to want to be in his or her class," stated Superintendent Dr. Sheila Quinn. "Wayne Williams is currently working without a planning period because demand is so great to be in his class. He teaches four periods every day–without a break–so that he can interact with the students who wish to be in his engaging, hands-on classroom.”

Williams spent 20 years as a manufacturing and design engineer, but always desired something more rewarding. That opportunity came in 2013 when he joined the faculty at Clover.

Last year, Williams considered it to be one of his best in the classroom. He had 21 students earn their engineering completion status, the highest number in recent years. For the first time in school history, 60 students earned Engineering program certifications.

As one of five finalists, Williams will receive $10,000 and go on to the next stage of the competition, which involves an interview with a team of expert judges. The winner will be announced at the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Celebration on April 26 in Columbia.

The winner receives a total of $25,000 and is 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 55,000 educators.