Clinton Middle School’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) teacher, Crystal Pelkey, has been named 1 of only 59 teachers across the nation to earn the 2022-2023 Outstanding PLTW Teacher of the Year award. The PLTW Gateway modules at the middle school level connect students to careers and real-world problems as they explore computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. These modules are designed to boost classroom engagement and foster teamwork, as well as teach students that failure and persistence are important life skills to learning and innovation. Pelkey is trained in numerous PLTW modules and presently teaches these at Clinton Middle School: Design and Modeling, Medical Detectives, Flight and Space, and Automation and Robotics.
Pelkey has been teaching middle school for 26 years. During this time, she has taught Industrial Technology and PLTW. She has also been a VEX Robotics Coach for six years, and her teams have won numerous state championships, state and local awards, and traveled to a world championship. She is working to establish a robotics team at Clinton Middle School this year. “We are excited to see our PLTW program grow with Ms. Pelkey’s leadership at Clinton Middle School as we provide meaningful opportunities for students to engage and collaborate with one another,” says Josie Kate Haupfear, Director of Secondary Education in Laurens District 56.
Pelkey lives in Whitmire, South Carolina with her two daughters, Mak Lominick (16) and Anna Lominick (23). She also has a son, Senior Airman William Lominick (25) of Clovis, NM. Crystal has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina and a Master’s degree in Industry Technology Education from Clemson University.