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01/19/2016

S.C. Education Superintendent Outlines Educational Priorities in Special Event

Quick Facts

 The event featured speeches from S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman as well as interactive educational exhibits from Discovery Place and area schools.

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ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — A day after a national holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman found herself still reflecting on King’s contributions to the world.

“I have such admiration for this brilliant man who was such a public servant…to the world,” Spearman told a packed crowd in Winthrop University’s Richardson Ballroom on Jan. 19.

Specifically, Spearman focused on a quote from King about how education was more than just knowledge—it was about character, too.

“You have to know a lot of stuff,” she agreed, “but just as importantly, you’ve got to have that character, that heart, that integrity.”

Spearman was one of several speakers at Tuesday’s special event, “Explore 21st Century Learning in South Carolina.” Hosted by the Richard W. Riley College of Education, the S.C. Department of Education and the education advocacy group TransformSC, public school educators, area students and teachers, and the Winthrop community were able to learn more about updated teaching practices, new education initiatives and more.

Before the speeches began, attendees enjoyed interactive demos from PK-12 students and teachers, and Winthrop faculty as well as Discovery Place in Charlotte.

President Dan Mahony and Education Dean Jennie Rakestraw welcomed guests and speakers, which included Spearman; Deputy Superintendent and Winthrop Board of Trustee Julie Fowler ’85, ’88; Peggy Torrey, TransformSC director; and Michael Brenan, S.C. president of BB&T, S.C. Board of Education member and co-chair of TransformSC.

In her speech, Spearman noted several things that are and would continue to be of importance on the education front in South Carolina, including:

*Higher quality instruction for children;
*Another technology review for districts;
*Addressing teacher salaries, especially first-year teachers;
*Infrastructure;
*Enhanced scholarships for those going into the teaching industry; and
*Great leadership in schools.

“I feel so humbled,” Spearman said toward the end of her speech. “Every morning, my prayer is that I will be the vessel and the speaker for the 750,000 students and teachers in the state.” She added that she hopes serving as this vessel is appropriately addressing her constituents’ needs.

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or chisarin@winthrop.edu.


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