Superintendent Weaver announces Clover High School’s Wayne Williams as Teacher of the Year Finalist

March 16, 2023

State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver surprised Clover High School’s Wayne Williams today with news that he has been selected as one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year award.

“Wayne shines a bright light on the lasting impact an excellent teacher has on their students,” Weaver said. His passion for engineering, combined with his love for leading young people has inspired so many. We celebrate this achievement with him and the Clover High family.”

Pictured L to R: Wayne Williams and family, State Superintendent Ellen Weaver, and Clover School District Superintendent Dr. Sheila Quinn

Williams teaches 9-12 grade Engineering and Mechatronics at Clover High School’s Applied Technology Center. He earned an associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technologies and Engineering Graphics Technologies from York Technical College. Williams is currently pursuing a bachelor’s in Engineering Management Technologies from the University of South Carolina Upstate. This is his ninth year teaching.

“The highest compliment a high school student can pay an educator is to want to be in his or her class,” said Dr. Sheila Quinn, Superintendent of Clover School District. “Wayne Williams is currently working without a planning period because demand is so great to be in his class. He teaches four periods every day–without a break–so that he can interact with the students who wish to be in his engaging, hands-on classroom.”

Williams spent 20 years as a manufacturing and design engineer, but always desired something more rewarding. That opportunity came in 2013 when he joined the faculty at Clover High School.

Last year, Williams considered it to be one of his best in the classroom. 21 students earned engineering completion status, the highest amount in recent years. For the first time in school history, 60 students earned Engineering program certifications.

As one of five finalists, Williams will receive $10,000 and go on to the next stage of competition which involves an interview with a team of expert judges. The winner will be announced at the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Celebration on April 26 in Columbia.

The winner receives a total of $25,000 and is provided with a brand-new BMW to use while serving for one year as a roving ambassador providing mentoring, attending speaking engagements, working with Teacher Cadets and Teaching Fellows, leading the State Teacher Forum, and serving as the state spokesperson for over 55,000 educators.

The Teacher of the Year program celebrates excellence and strengthens the teaching force by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on the district, state, and national levels. The Teacher of the Year Awards not only assist in retention efforts but serve as a powerful recruitment tool to the educator profession.