Teacher of the Year Begins Journey in BMW Z4 Roadster
Jenna Hallman, who has been named the 2008-09 South Carolina Teacher of the Year, will begin her journey in a Montego Blue BMW Z4 Roadster during her yearlong tenure to represent the state’s 50,000 teachers and promote quality education across South Carolina.
Hallman is a science teacher at Calhoun Academy for the Arts in Anderson School District 5. In addition to use of the Z4, her 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.
“Jenna truly believes that every child can experience success,” said state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex. “She uses a variety of strategies to help her students connect science to other subjects and real life. She’s a champion of young people and a strong advocate for public education.”
Looking back to her daycare work experience that ultimately influenced her to become an educator, Hallman values the mentors and encouragement she had at the center. She incorporates the knowledge gained into her own classroom, believing students need positive reinforcement and to be shown that they are respected and loved.
“I encourage divergent thinking and have begun to give my students more choices in how they share what they have learned,” Hallman said. “I teach them to reflect on their behavioral choices and decisions about their work. I hug them, tell them I care and show a sincere interest in their thoughts and feelings.”
The four finalists – Josie Stratton of Mayo High School in Darlington County, Renee Sanders of Johnsonville High School in Florence School District 5, Laura Jean Reed of Stone Academy of Communications Arts in Greenville, and Rona Neely of Bell Street Middle School in Laurens School District 56 – each were awarded with $10,000. They and Hallman were each presented a Dell laptop computer, a set of Michelin tires and a Jostens ring. All 83 district teachers of the year received various gifts donated by corporate sponsors, and the nominees from each district also received $1,000.
BMW Manufacturing Co. was the premier sponsor for the Teacher of the Year program. Other supporting sponsors include Time Warner Cable; Michelin North America and The R.L. Bryan Co.; Childs & Halligan, P.A., CMC Steel of South Carolina, Data Recognition Corporation, PITSCO, Inc and the SMARTer Kids Foundation; Blue Bell Creameries, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Duff, White & Turner, L.L.C., Duke Energy, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., Jostens, Leadership South Carolina, McNair Law Firm, P.A., Progress Energy, Publix Super Market Charities, SCE&G and The InterTech Group, Inc.; Alcoa-Mt. Holly, Roche Carolina, and State Farm Insurance.
BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany. Its website address is www.bmwusfactory.com. 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; an information technology consulting and systems integration firm in South Carolina; and a design firm and technology office in California.