Teacher of the Year to travel in a BMW Z4 roadster
Jason Fulmer, who has been named 2003-04 South Carolina Teacher of the Year, will travel the state in a blue BMW Z4 roadster during his year-long sabbatical from the classroom to represent the state’s 47,000 teachers.
Fulmer teaches third-graders at Redcliffe Elementary School in Aiken. In addition to the sabbatical and the use of the Z4 for a year, he received a $25,000 cash award from the state Department of Education.
“Jason isn’t afraid to experiment,” said state Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum at the awards banquet Friday in Columbia. “His classroom is a place of discovery where children feel special. They are his ‘stars.’ Every day, he acknowledges their differences but helps them understand that the world will not be as bright without even one of them.”
Fulmer learned early in his career that bringing academic subject matter to life makes the difference in student achievement. During his first year of teaching, he took students who have been “behavior problems” and helped them become examples for others.
“The little victories makes it worthwhile,” said Fulmer. “Learning as I teach is essential for I feel an active learner is the best teacher. My kids often thank me for teaching them, but deep inside, I thank them for being my teacher. I want to be a teacher who opens students’ minds to ideas not yet imagined.”
Four Honor Roll teachers, who were finalists for the award, each received $10,000. They and the Teacher of the Year were each presented a Dell laptop computer and a set of Michelin tires. All 83 district teachers of the year received various gifts donated by corporate sponsors, and each district teacher of the year also received $1,000.
BMW Manufacturing was the presenting sponsor for the Teacher of the Year banquet. Other supporting sponsors include Alpha Smart, Barrett Design, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Michelin North America, The R.L. Bryan Company, SMARTer Kids Foundation, SMART Technologies, SMI Steel South Carolina, Time Warner and Westinghouse Savannah River Company; BellSouth, Duke Power, McNair Law Firm, P.A., Progress Energy, Publix, Santee Cooper, SCANA and Three Rivers Center for Behavioral Health; Alcoa-Mt. Holly; Bank of America; Childs & Halligan, P.A.; Duff, Turner, White, & Boykin, L.L.C.; Piedmont Natural Gas Company; Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals and Wachovia Bank.