Posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Public Education Partners Named Champion for Public Education

L to R: Craig Stine, Dr. Crystal Ball O’Connor, Queenie Boyd, Dr. Burke Royster, Ansel Sanders, Pat Robertson, Angel Williams, Jonathan DunaginSouth Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) President Queenie Boyd, along with Greenville School Board Chairman Dr. Crystal Ball O'Connor and Superintendent Burke Royster, presented the Champion for Public Education Award to Public Education Partners at the August school board meeting.

The GCS Board of Trustees nominated Public Education Partners for the award, which is presented to community residents, organizations or local businesses/industries whose support of and contributions to public education have significantly benefited the school district or public schools statewide.

Public Education Partners (PEP) has been a leader in strengthening public education in Greenville County Schools for more than 30 years, crafting initiatives that directly benefit students and teachers throughout the district.

“Thank you for your wonderful partnership with Greenville County Schools. It is a partnership that serves as a model for other school districts in our state,” said SCSBA president Queenie Boyd. “You have helped create initiatives that directly benefit the students and teachers of Greenville County and your work does not go unnoticed.”

Make Summer Count is a reading initiative aimed at curbing the “summer slide” in 29 high-need elementary schools. Their involvement includes providing leveled reader libraries, balanced literacy training for teachers, and books for student home libraries. Cumulatively, PEP has invested more than $2.3 million in age-appropriate books for students’ home libraries.

PEP is a sub-grantee of the OnTrack Greenville Middle Grades Success Initiative, placing four literacy coaches in Title I middle schools to help teachers improve performance across all subject areas by providing coaching to integrate engaging literacy strategies.

PEP also collaborated with GCS on the GATE Program, South Carolina’s first district-embedded alternative certification program for math and science teachers at the middle and secondary levels. This partnership provides qualified professionals a pathway into the teaching profession. PEP provides funding to defray the cost, assists with recruitment, and helps develop GATE curriculum.

Throughout its history, PEP has invested more than $13 million in research-based initiatives that work for the students and teachers of Greenville County Schools.

To receive the Champion for Public Education award, recipients must meet the following criteria:

  • Show leadership in support of ongoing or special programs authorized by the school board
  • Demonstrate, through actions, pride for the school district and effectively work for the betterment of the schools in the district as a whole, or for public schools statewide
  • Understand public education’s importance to a democratic society and actively inspire support for quality public schools within the community or state
  • Make a difference for the entire school district or schools statewide
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