South Carolina’s Latest Education Ambassador Drives New BMW X5
Bryan Coburn, a pre-engineering, computer programming and business teacher at Northwestern High School in York School District 3 has been named the 2009-10 South Carolina Teacher of the Year. During his one-year tenure as South Carolina’s Public Education Ambassador, Mr. Coburn will travel South Carolina in a 2009 Titanium Silver BMW X5 xDrive 30i. He will represent the state’s 50,000 teachers and promote professional development for teachers through numerous speaking engagements before civic and professional groups.
In addition to use of the BMW X5, his journey also includes a residency at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA), full membership to Leadership South Carolina and an award of $25,000 cash from the state Department of Education.
“Bryan is an amazing teacher whose love for learning is infectious. His enthusiasm builds interest, and as a result, students latch onto course content and ultimately, their education with tenacity. He will make an excellent state ambassador and wonderful representative to the national program,” said state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex.
Three teachers made a lasting impact on Coburn’s life and career choice: a history teacher who set a standard for unrelenting rigor, a biology teacher who bounded into the room with a smile and an excitement about learning, and a high school English teacher who cared enough to confront Coburn when he was headed in the wrong direction.
“I believe that for each student there is a hook,” Coburn said. “This is not a temporary snag that briefly holds their attention, but one on which they can ultimately hang their hat. My goal is to take students further and deeper, so I am zealous in my efforts to find the most effective ways to stimulate, maintain and grow their understanding. As my students make connections, they are transformed from passive participants to active learners. They become independent thinkers who scrutinize how and why things work.”
The four other finalists – Amanda McKee of Johnsonville High School in Florence School District 5, Derenda Marshall of McDonald Elementary School, Georgetown County, Deborah Moore of Gallman Elementary School in Newberry County and Dywanna Smith with Hand Middle School in Richland School District 1 – received $10,000 each, a Dell computer, a set of Michelin tires and a ring from Jostens. Local district teachers of the year receive $1,000 each.
BMW Manufacturing Co. was the premier sponsor for the Teacher of the Year program. Other supporting sponsors include BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, The R.L. Bryan Co, Time Warner Cable, Data Recognition Corporation, Duke Energy, Hilton Columbia Center, Michelin North America, Inc., SMARTer Kids Foundation, PITSCO, BB&T, Blue Bell Creameries, Childs & Halligan, P.A., Duff, White & Turner, L.L.C., Haynsworth Sinkler and Boyd, P.A., Leadership South Carolina, Jostens, The Honorable Hugh Leatherman Chair, Senate Finance Committee, McNair Law Firm, P.A., Notre Dame Club of the Western Carolinas, Pope Zeigler, L.L.C., The South Carolina Education Association, South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, Wachovia Foundation, Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, Alcoa-Mt. Holly, The Honorable John Courson Chair, Senate Education Committee, Erwin-Penland, the Honorable Bobby Harrell Speaker of the SC House, The InterTech Group, Inc., Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, L.L.P., Palmetto State Teachers Association, Progress Energy, Roche Carolina, Inc., Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, South Carolina Bank & Trust, South Carolina Senate Democratic Caucus, State Farm Insurance and Cynergi Systems.
Bryan Coburn succeeds Jenna Hallman, a science teacher at Calhoun Academy for the Arts.
BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle 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 www.bmwusfactory.com.