Call for Nominations for Best S.C. Teacher Mentors

Staff Report From York County CEO

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

Winthrop University educators want to recognize top teachers for the second year as part of an endowed award to honor the state’s mentor teachers for their efforts.

The endowment was established by Jessie Williams Little ’73 and her husband, retired physician John Little ’02, who partnered with Winthrop’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and the James and Susan Rex Institute for Educational Renewal and Partnership. The Jessie Williams Little “Leading the Way” Endowed Award recognizes South Carolina educators who have made significant impacts as mentors to future or beginning teachers.

“Leading the Way” is open to public school teachers in South Carolina who are on continuing contract and serve as mentors in one or more of the following ways:
• Formal mentor to beginning or veteran teachers;

• Mentor teacher for pre-service teacher candidates in field experiences and/or student teaching; and/or

• Teacher Cadet instructor.

Jessie, a 2005 College of Education retiree, and John want the award to encourage more talented, experienced teachers to serve as mentors and positive role models to aspiring and beginning educators.

Nominees must be practicing classroom teachers with at least three years’ teaching experience. Nominations are strongly encouraged for teachers who work in high-need schools and/or support others in developing skills to positively impact diverse student populations (though this experience is not a requirement).

“Leading the Way” will honor the recipient with a $2,500 cash award, and the winner will become a member of a collaborative group of mentor teacher leaders working to improve education for South Carolina through the Rex Institute at Winthrop. The College of Education will recognize finalists and the overall award winner during a special event on Feb. 28, 2019.

To nominate a South Carolina mentor teacher, submit the application online by Friday, Sept. 28. For questions or additional information, contact Lisa Johnson, associate dean in the College of Education, at 803/323-4734 or