Jessie Williams Little - Leading the Way Award

The Jessie W. Little “Leading the Way” Award, established in honor of Jessie W. Little’s Winthrop class of ’73, serves to recognize those mentor teachers who offer crucial support and guidance to new and future educators. Mentor teachers play an important role in the Teacher Education Program at Winthrop University as well as in the South Carolina ADEPT process for first-year teachers.

There are a variety of public school teachers who fill the role of a mentor. To be considered for this award, teachers must be a formal mentor to beginning or veteran teachers, be a mentor teacher for pre-service teacher candidates in field experiences and/or student teaching, or be a teacher cadet instructor. Nominees must have been in the classroom for at least three years.

In addition, most mentor teachers who receive this award work in high-needs schools and positively impact diverse student populations.

This award is a partnership between the Littles and the James and Susan Rex Institute for Educational Renewal and Partnership. The chosen recipient receives $2,500 cash and is inducted into a collaborative group of mentor teacher leaders working to improve education for the state of South Carolina.

Congratulations to the 2020 Award Winners

The 2020 Jessie Williams Little "Leading the Way" Award recipient is Heather Harmon, English teacher at Saluda High School in Saluda County School District.

Award Finalists

Brooke Erving, reading coach, Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science in Fairfield County School District

Karen Roof, physical education teacher, India Hook Elementary in Rock Hill School District 3

Rachel Turner, Spanish teacher and Teacher Cadet instructor, Mauldin High School in the Greenville County School District.

Award Semifinalists

Anna Hasenkamp, 7th grade English Language Arts teacher, Greenville Middle Academy in the Greenville County School District.

Julie McDowell, English teacher, Dorman Freshman Academy in Spartanburg School District 6.

Jana Moore, English teacher and Teacher Cadet instructor, Union High School in the Union County School District.

Earleane Williams, 7th grade math teacher, Clover Middle School in the Clover School District.