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Satchel Ford Elementary teacher a finalist for state award

Staff Report //April 6, 2020//

Satchel Ford Elementary teacher a finalist for state award

Staff Report //April 6, 2020//

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Satchel Ford Elementary teacher Shawn Norris is one of five finalists for the 2021 S.C. Teacher of the Year award.

Norris teaches physical education for kindergarten through fifth grade at the Richland County School District One school. S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and Satchel Ford Principal Matt Scandrol surprised Norris with an announcement during a Zoom meeting today.  

Shawn Norris has been named a finalist for S.C. Teacher of the Year award. (Photo/Provided)“Shawn's dedication to promoting student health and well-being is evidenced in the programs and initiatives he has started at Satchel Ford that have since grown districtwide,” Spearman said in a news release. “His ability to inspire students to be their best physically and academically makes Shawn a unique candidate for our state's highest teaching honor."

Norris received a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and physical education, as well as master’s degrees in physical education and education administration, from the University of South Carolina. The 20-year teaching veteran is certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in physical education.

He initiated two districtwide programs to combat childhood obesity. The Footprint Challenge and the District Fitness Bowl aim to increase cardiovascular fitness and create a healthier school culture.

“Shawn Norris is a humble, caring person and an outstanding educator with a passion for working with kids and building meaningful relationships with them,” Richland One Superintendent Craig Witherspoon said. “Through physical education, he not only teaches his students the importance of being healthy and physically fit, but he also imparts valuable life lessons like how to dream big and set high goals for themselves, not being afraid to make mistakes, doing their best in whatever they do and not giving up.”

Norris has received the Meritorious Program award from the National Youth Sports Program as well as awards from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Teacher of the year finalists will receive $10,000 and advance to the next stage of competition, which involves an interview with a panel of judges. The winner, who will receive a total of $25,000 and a new BMW for a one-year term as a roving education ambassador, will be announced at the S.C. Teacher of the Year gala. The gala, normally held in May, will be rescheduled for later in the year.

Chanda Jefferson, a biology teacher at Fairfield Central High School in Winnsboro, won the 2020 award.