Chanda Jefferson, a biology teacher at Fairfield Central High School, was named the 2020 South Carolina Teacher of the Year on May 8, 2019. This honor was awarded to Jefferson at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
Originally an aspiring doctor, Jefferson changed her plans during her third year of college when she acquired a part-time job as an elementary “Mad Science” teacher. This experience, coupled with the positive experiences that she had had with her own teachers, motivated Jefferson to accept her calling to become one. She now uses STEM techniques, hands on exercises, inquiry, and social media to connect students with science.
Jefferson’s achievements are many. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Biology Teacher for South Carolina Award. Harvard University has invited her to be the guest speaker for the 74th Annual Society of Development Biology Conference. In addition to this, she is one of three educators to receive the Amazon Educator Academy Scholarship.
Jefferson succeeds Jeff Maxey of Starr Elementary School as South Carolina Teacher of the Year.