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Charter School Educator Named State Teacher of the Year


Contact: Campbell Mims, Public Affairs Manager



Charter School Educator Named State Teacher of the Year

COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 5, 2022) – Deion Jamison, an English teacher at Legacy Early College in Greenville, S.C., has been named the 2023 South Carolina Teacher of the Year. This honor marks the first time in state history a charter school educator has been named State Teacher of the Year.

Jamison, the 2021-2022 S.C. Public Charter School District Teacher of the Year, was chosen from among a cohort of five district finalists. Jamison will spend the next year traveling the state as a mentor, advocate, and spokesperson for public education, namely as the lead of the State Teacher Forum. He is a Teach for America Alumnus, a published author, and a member of the National Council for Teachers of English, for which he received the 2020 Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award.

“This is historic moment for charter schools and public education in our state,” said Chris Neeley, superintendent of the S.C. Public Charter School District. “As the first charter school educator and first male African American teacher to be named State Teacher of the Year in our state’s history, I can’t think of a better ambassador for school choice and the importance of expanding high-quality educational opportunities for children in underserved areas of the state like the “Corridor of Opportunity” along I-95. The South Carolina Public Charter School District is excited to cheerlead Deion’s advocacy efforts and collaborate with him to grow charter schools and improve public education in South Carolina.”

Jamison makes history not only as the first public charter school educator to be named State Teacher of the Year, but also as the first African American male honoree. He strives to contribute to excellence, collaboration, and diversity in his classroom. “I’m very thankful to my district family and to my Legacy Early College family for the encouragement and words of support that got me to this point,” said Jamison. “Ultimately, I’m excited for the responsibility to share all the great development in the charter school sector and advocate for the 55,000 teachers in South Carolina.”

“The Legacy Family is so proud of Mr. Deion Jamison,” stated LaCheryl Smith, principal of Legacy Early College. “He is a prime example of what happens when passion and hard work comes together. It was an honor to witness his commitment to education be rewarded. This is just the beginning of the ceilings he will continue to shatter, as he advocate for teachers and scholars.”

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman announced Jamison as the 2023 State Teacher of the Year during the annual gala, hosted by the S.C. Department of Education, on May 4, 2022.

“Deion exhibits the qualities and characteristics that we want to see in every current and future South Carolina educator,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “He is so deserving of this tremendous honor, and I know he will do a fantastic job advocating and representing our over 55,000 teachers this next year.”