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Deion Jamison is making history as South Carolina’s first Black male Teacher of the Year

He’s also the first public charter school teacher to hold the title!

By BOTWC Staff

Deion Jamison
Deion Jamison is making history as South Carolina’s first Black male Teacher of the year

Jamison is an Orangeburg, South Carolina native who was inspired to pursue a career in education after recognizing the disparities in education and opportunities across districts, the South Carolina Department of Education reports. He holds an undergraduate degree from Clemson University and a master’s from Johns Hopkins and currently works as a seventh through tenth grade English teacher at Legacy Early College in Greenville with the South Carolina Public Charter School District.

Jamison was announced as a finalist back in March by state Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. District Superintendent Chris Neely spoke about Jamison’s accomplishment at the time, noting the amazing work he had already done as former Teacher of the Year for the district. 

“As the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year for the S.C. Public Charter School District, Deion has spent the better part of a year as an advocate, champion and ambassador for school choice in South Carolina,” stated Chris Neeley, Superintendent of the S.C. Public Charter School District. “It’s no surprise that he has been selected as a finalist for one of the state’s highest awards for educators. His commitment to student-centric teaching emphasizes the importance of developing the whole child, and he is steadily transforming young lives in the process,” said Neely.

As one of just five finalists, Jamison was awarded with $10,000 and proceeded to the final round where he underwent an interview with a team of expert judges. No stranger to accolades, Jamison already holds honors as a Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar, a recipient of the Early Career Educator of Color Leadership award courtesy of the National Council of Teachers of English and Teach for America and a recipient of the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teacher Leadership award. 

Now, he’ll be adding another accomplishment to his list, Spearman recently announcing that Jamison had earned the honor of becoming South Carolina’s Teacher of the Year. The milestone is historic, Jamison becoming the first Black male teacher to ever hold the title and the first public charter school teacher to receive the honor. 

“Deion exhibits the qualities and characteristics that we want to see in every current and future South Carolina educator. He is so deserving of this tremendous honor, and I know he will do a fantastic job advocating and representing our over 55,000 teachers this next year,” said Spearman via press release. 

Included in Jamison’s award is a prize of $25,000 and a brand-new BMW for one year that he will use while serving as a roving ambassador. His responsibilities will include providing mentoring, attending various speaking engagements, working alongside the Teacher Cadets and Teaching Fellows, spearheading the State Teacher Forum, and serving as the state’s spokesman for more than 55,000 educators. 

Congratulations, Deion! May you continue to inspire your students and colleagues for many years to come. 

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