Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2019

Public Education Partners (PEP), Duke Energy, and Greenville County Schools honored the first seven graduates of the Greenville Alternative Teacher Education (GATE) program with a special reception. In addition, Duke Energy presented a $75,000 check supporting the GATE program, and PEP announced recipients of the 2019 Quality Teaching Grants.

Since August 2016, the GATE Program has provided a pathway into the teaching profession for people with subject-area bachelor’s degrees, but who lack formal training in education. Through intensive coaching and mentoring, ongoing evaluation, and multiple opportunities for participation in professional learning communities, GATE teachers are guided into their role in the classroom and given the tools needed to thrive. The seven graduates are:

  • Cam Erion, Ralph Chandler Middle, 7th grade Math
  • Leslie Finley, Woodmont High, Mathematics
  • Jasmine Ford, Lakeview Middle, 7th grade Science
  • Monica Hughey, Berea Middle, 7th grade Science
  • Benjamin Saul, Tanglewood Middle, 6th grade Math
  • Debra Workman, Ralph Chandler Middle, 6th grade Math
  • Rebecca Zander, Greer Middle, 7th grade Science

“In collaboration with Greenville County Schools, we helped develop and continue to rally the community in supporting the GATE Program to address the shortage of math and science teachers in Greenville County,” said Dr. Ansel Sanders, President and CEO of Public Education Partners. “We're thrilled to honor these first seven graduates, and to witness the program’s growth to include foreign language candidates and 38 teachers in 24 schools across the county.” 

According to Sanders, having this first group graduate would not have been possible if not for the contributions of area organizations and individuals. “We are indebted to our community partners who have allowed the GATE program to flourish,” said Sanders. “They are truly moving the needle in Greenville County and public education.”

Among these partners is Duke Energy, whose foundation established the Duke Energy GATE fellowship for math and science teachers in 2017. Since then, the fellowship has donated a total of $284,000 to the GATE program.

“We know there is a critical shortage of math and science teachers here in South Carolina,” said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy’s South Carolina state president. “That’s why we fund the Greenville Alternative Teacher Education fellowships to help professionals as they transition into becoming much-needed math and science teachers. I am glad that Duke Energy can help Public Education Partners with the shared mission we have of helping every Greenville County child get the best education possible.”

Additional organizations and individuals who have made the GATE program possible include Auro Hotels, Christine & Mike Cerino, Kay & Howard Daniel, The Daniel Mickel Foundation, Frances & Dave Ellison, Fluor Corporation, GE Power and Water, The Gilreath Foundation, John I. Smith Charities, KEMET Electronics Corporation, Deb & John Lee, O'Neal, Inc., and The Plating Foundation.

PEP also awarded grants that will provide resources in Greenville County for innovative instruction and to support school administrators in teacher retention and recruitment efforts.

Grant recipients are:

James Willey, Wade Hampton High School
STEAM Project:  Piloting Promotion with UAV’s

Angela Blakely and Kim Black, Sevier Middle School
STEAM Project:  FBLA/Special Education Joint Venture to learn effective business strategies and skills that will be beneficial in the future.

Julie Cooke, Lake Forest Elementary School
STEAM Project:  The Hovercraft Project- Building a fleet of fully functional, safe and reusable hovercrafts

Chris Beyerle, Fisher Middle School
STEAM Project:  Robo Revolution-Students will learn to compete in teams in various robotics engineering challenges

Katy Cassell, Zane Logan, Donna Shank, Fine Arts Center
STEAM Project:  Innovative Photographic Surface Designs on Metals, Fabric, Paper

Dr. Monica Hughey, Berea Middle School
STEAM Project:  This Research is Full of STEAM- Project emphasizes traditional scientific research in the classroom

Luke Drevets, Woodmont High School
STEAM Project:  Ed (rone) ucation – Drone project to assist in designing campus improvements

Two principals, Julie Cooke from Lake Forest Elementary, and Dr. Adrienne Davenport from Bryson Middle, received the Mullins Grant for Quality Teaching. These grants are named after Grier Mullins, who retired after serving as President of Public Education Partners for many years. Their grants will be used to promote compassion, social, and emotional learning among school staff.

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