South Carolina Teacher of the Year Receives Keys to a BMW X3.

Spartanburg, SC - 05/02/2013

State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Mick Zais, announced Wednesday evening at a privately-funded celebration that Darleen Sutton was named the 2013/2014 South Carolina Teacher of the Year. As part of the celebration, BMW Manufacturing, the event’s premier sponsor, handed the Pickens Elementary first grade teacher the keys to a 2013 Mineral Silver Metallic BMW X3 xDrive28i equipped with the M Sport package and sand beige Nevada leather interior. During her yearlong sabbatical from the classroom, Sutton will drive the BMW throughout South Carolina as the state’s public education ambassador.

For Darleen Sutton, selecting the teaching profession was very personal. “My Papa was unable to read and I didn’t want other children to suffer that same fate, so I decided then that I would choose a job that would serve and help others,” said Sutton. “Education seemed like the right fit for me.”
“BMW has a long-standing commitment to education, both in South Carolina and around the world. Advancing education is a cornerstone of BMW’s long-term strategy and teachers are vital to our success as they prepare viable candidates for our future workforce.” said Sky Foster, Manager, Corporate Communications for BMW Manufacturing. “We hope Darleen enjoys her new South Carolina-built BMW.”
State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais said, “After parents, the most important person in a child’s education is the man or woman at the front of the classroom. Teachers change lives by putting the interests of their students first and lead classrooms where a personalized and customized education produces high levels of student learning. On behalf of her students, parents, and colleagues at Pickens Elementary School, we congratulate and thank Darlene for her excellence in the classroom.”
The South Carolina Teacher of the Year will participate in a yearlong residency at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA). Along with the use of the BMW X3 for one year, Sutton also receives a $25,000 cash award.
Sutton succeeds Amy McAllister-Skinner, an English teacher from Johnsonville High School in Florence School District 5. Sutton is a graduate of both Wingate and Winthrop Universities. Pickens Elementary School is in the Pickens School District.
BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California. For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit

Production Figures

  •  2019 Production - April
    • X3 Vehicles: 9,568
    • X4 Vehicles: 5,809
    • X5 Vehicles: 12,863
    • X6 Vehicles: 981
    • X7 Vehicles: 5,322
  • Number of jobs – 11,000
  • U.S. suppliers – 300
  • South Carolina suppliers– Over 40

Media Contacts

Sky Foster

BMW Manufacturing Co.
P. O. Box 11000
Spartanburg, SC 29304


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