BMW Celebrates Education in South Carolina.
Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education, announced Wednesday evening at a privately-funded celebration that Suzanne Koty was named the 2015/2016 South Carolina Teacher of the Year. As part of the celebration, BMW Manufacturing, the event’s premier sponsor, handed Koty the keys to a 2015 Mineral White Metallic BMW X5 xDrive35i. During her yearlong sabbatical from the classroom, she will drive the BMW throughout South Carolina as the state’s public education ambassador.
Suzanne Koty, an English teacher at Sumter High School in Sumter County, accepted the award on behalf of “the amazing teachers in Sumter,” she said.
The 2015/2016 South Carolina Teacher of the Year recalled that the moment she stepped into the classroom, she knew she was meant to be a teacher. “We are doing great things in South Carolina. We have had many successes in the classroom,” said Suzanne Koty. “Everything we do in education should be about the students. We have to keep our focus on the students. As long as we do that, we are going to continue to be successful.”
“Like so many successful businesses today, BMW is indebted to teachers who work tirelessly to secure a better future for and through their students,” said Sky Foster, Manager, Corporate Communications for BMW Manufacturing. “On behalf of more than 8,000 people in Spartanburg, there are more than 8,000 dedicated teachers to whom we are all grateful.”
In addition, Koty will participate in the 2016 class of Leadership South Carolina and serve for a year as teacher-in-residence at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA). Along with the use of the BMW X5 for one year, the South Carolina Teacher of the Year also receives a $25,000 cash award.
Koty succeeds Jennifer Ainsworth, a special needs teacher from Socastee High School in Horry County. Initially, Koty worked as a medical assistant, but found her career passion when she served as a substitute teacher in the Sumter School District.
Koty entered the field of education through the SC PACE program and found a niche teaching students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s in Education with a focus on curriculum and instruction.
BMW Manufacturing currently produces more than 1,300 vehicles each day. The factory is the exclusive producer of all BMW X3, X4, X5 and X6 vehicles (and their variants) to more than 140 global markets. In 2014, the plant celebrated two decades of production and announced a production capacity increase to 450,000 vehicles that will make the Spartanburg plant the largest BMW plant in the world. In addition, by the end of 2016, the plant has committed to adding 800 more jobs, bringing the total employment at the plant to nearly 9,000.