Teacher of the Year to Travel in a BMW Z4 Roadster
Linda Blanc Winburn, who was named the 2004-05 South Carolina Teacher of the Year on Friday, will travel the state in a black (with red interior) BMW Z4 roadster during her year-long sabbatical from the classroom to represent the state’s 47,000 teachers.
The other finalists for Teacher of the year were:
- Amelia Kinard, a first-grade teacher at Wellford Elementary School in Spartanburg District Five
- Malia Towels Dunn, an eighth-grade math teacher at Long Middle School in Chesterfield County
- Ruth Taylor, a chemistry and environmental science teacher at Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology in Darlington County
- Angela S. Cooper, a special education teacher at Edward E. Taylor Elementary School in Richland District One
Each finalist received $10,000, a Dell laptop computer and a set of Michelin tires. All 85 district teachers of the year received various gifts donated by corporate sponsors, and each district teacher of the year also received $1,000.
Winburn, who teaches social studies at Summit Parkway Middle School in Richland School District 2 in Columbia, was named South Carolina Teacher of the Year by State Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum at a banquet Friday night at Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia honoring the state’s 85 district teachers of the year.
“Linda challenges her students every day,” Tenenbaum said. “Her classroom is a student-centered, engaging place where young minds are empowered to seek creative expression and knowledge. She recognizes and develops potential in all her students through stimulating material that is directly related to their lives.”
In addition to her sabbatical and the use of the Z4 for a year, Winburn received a $25,000 cash award from the state Department of Education.
Early on, Winburn’s parents modeled the rewards of helping others, leading her to major first in social work with an emphasis in juvenile delinquency. It was after working with emotionally disturbed children that she realized that her calling was in the classroom.
Winburn has taught children of incarcerated parents, children who lived in one-room homes with dirt floors and children of friends – all of them seeking knowledge, love and attention. Her accomplishments as a teacher come in many ways: sharing lessons with teachers across the state, talking with former students who have fond memories of being in her classroom, watching a child who struggled finally succeed, and having her own daughter – a young teacher – cite her as an influence as a teacher and role model.
“I want to give children a safe place to be themselves,” Winburn says. “I want to provide them with a place to experience the world through books, and a place to grow that would take them into the world with the knowledge and excitement to succeed at whatever they wanted to be.
“Teachers must be masters at improvisation. A well-planned lesson needs room to spread its wings. We must guide students to make connections between what is being learned and their own experiences.”
Winburn is a National Board regional liaison for the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention & Advancement (CERRA). A social work graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, she earned a master of arts in teaching degree from the University of Louisville and a masters plus 30 hours certificate from the University of South Carolina. She is a frequently sought presenter and successful grant writer and was chosen to film a documentary for S.C. National History Day and ETV. Winburn has taught for 18 years.
BMW Manufacturing was the presenting sponsor for the Teacher of the Year banquet. Other supporting sponsors included the R.L. Bryan Co.; Time Warner Cable; Alpha Smart; Michelin North America; SMARTer Kids Foundation; SMART Technologies; SMI Steel South Carolina; AARP of South Carolina; BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina; Duke Energy; Forest Lake Travel; Progess Energy; Publix Super Market Charities; Santee Cooper; SCANA; Three Rivers Center for Behavioral Health; Alcoa-Mt. Holly; Bank of America Foundation; Childs and Halligan, P.A.; Duff, Turner, White & Boykin, LLC; Fuji Photo Film; The Happy Bookseller/Scribners; McNair Law Firm; Piedmont Natural Gas; Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals; Wachovia; and Westinghouse Savannah River Co.