Spring Hill High School English teacher and English department chair Sarah Gams has been named the 2021 S.C. Teacher of the Year.
S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and Lexington-Richland School District Five superintendent Christina Melton surprised Games with the news at her home on Thursday.
“The role of South Carolina Teacher of the Year during the upcoming school year will require tremendous leadership,” Spearman said in a news release. “Sarah has shown throughout her career her ability to rise to the occasion and meet the needs of students wherever they are. She is most deserving of this honor and the attributes she possesses will be invaluable assets as she helps to lead our state and the teaching profession forward.”
Gams was one of five finalists for the award. She teaches 10th through 12th grades at the Chapin school and has been teaching for 16 years.
Gams, whose parents are both retired educators, majored in English at the University of South Carolina’s Honors College and earned a master’s in education from USC. She earned national board certification in 2007 and was re-certified in 2017.
“We are beyond excited for Mrs. Gams and the entire School District Five community,” Melton said. “At a time when education has been challenged and changed, Mrs. Gams represents the best of what teaching is in South Carolina. In Mrs. Gams, her students and peers have a champion and advocate who leads with passion and by example.”
Gams receives $25,000 and a new BMW for use during a year of service as a roving education ambassador. She was given the keys to a 2020 BMW X5 xDrive40i during a surprise announcement at her home.o