Choice, The PSTA Newsletter

We are here for you so you can be there for your students.

A Letter From Kathy

Welcome back to another great school year!

The PSTA staff hit the road during the month of August to visit school districts and colleges around the state. We traveled over 11,000 miles during the first two weeks of August alone! It was a pleasure to catch up with our current members as well as recruit new ones to become part of the largest association for teachers in South Carolina! Over 1100 educators joined PSTA since July! A huge thank you to our members who joined our staff at PSTA vendor tables to help recruit during this busy time.

Education Reform continues to be at the forefront of issues in the General Assembly. Our staff attended Senate Bill 419 meetings during the past few months and testified before the committee. We were concerned about teachers' due process rights and were pleased that the committee amended the bill as we requested.

We were sorry to lose Ann Marie Taylor as a member of our PSTA staff but we are all excited that she was named principal of Horse Creek Academy in Aiken County. We wish her well as she takes this next step in her career, and the teachers at her new school are lucky to have her.


Thank you for being a member of PSTA and remember, we are here for you so you can be there for your students!


Kathy Maness

Executive Director

Congratulations to our Social Media Contest Winners

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Facebook: Alyson Hutson Collins and Instagram: Kelsey Grant

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Facebook: Bailey Dawkins and Instagram: Samantha Godfrey

Professional Development

By: Craig King, Director of Teacher Leadership


As the largest association for educators in South Carolina, the Palmetto State Teachers Association has played an active part in every component of public education. Since 1976, PSTA has served its members by providing an assortment of professional development opportunities. Today, PSTA’s conventions, EdCamps, and workshops bring educators together to strengthen their teaching skills through a focus on professional learning. In addition, members can enhance their careers right from their homes or classrooms via our online learning portal which is accessible through PSTA's website. "PD in your PJs" is one of our newest member benefits.


We also offer other forms of professional development including topics on ethics, innovative instructional strategies, classroom management, and much more. For more information, contact Director of Teacher Leadership, Craig King at craigking@palmettoteachers.org.

What's Happening this Fall at PSTA

By: Toni Chewning, Director of Association Activities


For the past 25 years, PSTA has partnered with The Foundation for Professional Development to sponsor the STAR Program. The goal of STAR is to recognize and reward outstanding teachers currently working in South Carolina public schools.To experience a week of professional development like you've never had before in your career, visit our website at www.palmettoteachers.org. The deadline to apply for the spring STAR Teacher Seminar is December 31.


If you've been a member of PSTA for at least three years and are currently pursuing an advanced degree, you are eligible to apply for the Dr. Elizabeth Gressette Professional Development Scholarship. Applications and requirements are available on our website.


The PSTA staff is excited to once again be traveling to colleges around the state hosting Teacher Clothes Closet events. We provide free professional wear to preservice teachers through donations from local churches, civic groups and colleagues in the education community. During the 2019-2020 school year, we've scheduled events at Clemson University, Charleston Southern University, The College of Charleston, The Upstate Career Fair, The Newberry Growth Symposium, Coastal Carolina and several others. During this time of a teacher shortage crisis, we are honored to be able to provide this service to support the recruitment of new teachers!


For more information about the STAR Program, the PSTA Scholarship or The Teacher Clothes Closet, please contact Director of Association Activities Toni Chewning at tchewning@palmettoteachers.org or visit www.palmettoteachers.org .

PSTA Hosts Hill Days

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If your Teacher Forum, school or district is interested in planning a Legislative Hill Day during the 2020 Session of the General Assembly, the staff at PSTA can help you organize your event. For more information, please email Craig King at craigking@palmettoteachers.org or call our office at 803-256-2065.

Member Incentive Program Continues

Palmetto State Teachers Association is excited to once again offer an incentive program for our current members who recruit a new member. For every new member you sign up, you will receive a $10 gift card (up to $499 each year). Please feel free to print a membership application here and sign up as many new members as you can!! If you have any questions please contact our Director of Membership Patrick Cauthen at 803-256-2065 or email us at info@palmettoteachers.org .

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Things to Know Before You Resign

By: Taylor Pipkin, Staff Attorney


If you are called into a meeting and asked to resign, please do not resign without calling the PSTA office to speak to a staff member. If you resign and then call the office, our staff is likely not going to be able to assist you. You may feel like you are being forced to resign. If that happens, please ask to have until the end of the day to make a decision and then call the office at 803-256-2065.

Benefits and Discounts for Members

AMBA Benefits

Are you planning a family vacation or a quick weekend get-away? PSTA has partnered with Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA) to give our members access to a variety of benefits. Click the image to see what's available!

National Board Renewal Awareness Sessions

PSTA staff members Toni Chewning and Craig King currently serve on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina National Board Network. In partnership with the network and the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement(CERRA), sessions will be offered this fall for current NBCTs who are beginning the renewal process. The first session will be held at the PSTA office on October 1 at 4:30 PM. These sessions are free and will cover the renewal process as well as have a time for questions. Additional sessions will be held in Charleston, Spartanburg, Anderson and Florence. For more information and to register, please visit the CERRA website at https://www.cerra.org/candidate-support-workshops.html .

A Letter From the President

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou


Greetings!! I hope that you all enjoyed your summer break!!! Can you believe that the 2019-2020 school year is already busily underway? While it has been hard to let summer go, it is now time that we return to our passion and that’s TEACHING. As you go back into your schools, classrooms, and offices let us not forget the reason why we chose teaching or why teaching chose us:

( This great article shares reasons we choose to teach: https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/teacher-recognition/why-i-teach/)


To impact future generations

To their students, teachers can be so much more than an educator. Teachers support, prepare, nurture, and encourage their students, often long after their school year together finishes.


It’s a calling

Natural teachers love sharing knowledge. They feel a desire to share ideas, communicate concepts, and inspire conversation with those around them.


Oh, I get it!

The best moment for a teacher is witnessing a student grasp a concept for the first time. There is no better reward than helping a student finally reach clarity. This moment can be life-changing for both student and teacher.


Confidence in myself

Teachers are known for helping and supporting the conviction in others surrounding them. Through their dedication in the classroom and to their students, the school families, and their colleagues, they too establish a strong sense of self-confidence.


Born to teach

Many teachers chose their profession for a simple reason: They were born to do it. They can’t ignore how much they love working with kids and how they feel at home in the classroom, facilitating discussions, and helping them grow!

The sky is the limit

Those who teach relish finding ways to encourage their students to reach beyond expectations! Teachers enlighten students to push past what is comfortable in the classroom, which by extension, gives them the confidence to achieve in other areas of life.


A child’s love is pure and unconditional

A major reason why our teachers love what they do — their students! The students they have share a devoted love of learning and a sincere sense to help their fellow students.


My students depend on me

Teachers take their commitment to their students, classrooms, and schools very seriously. They know how much students depend on them for support, encouragement and inspiration.


You helped me understand

For some students, a teacher is the first person to help them finally reach clarity in the classroom. Teachers know that each student learns in a unique way and on their own time.


To show strength

Students look to their teachers for more than just guidance. Teachers model how to fail and succeed, how to treat and help others, and to always try and go above and beyond.


Help aspiring teachers

Not only do teachers enjoy working with students, they enjoy working with other teachers! Whether it’s sharing best practices, encouraging stories, or lesson plans, teachers rely on each other for encouragement and inspiration.


Keeping things fun

What’s the point of doing something, if you’re not having fun? Teachers enjoy shaking up classroom routines, and discovering new and exciting ways to teach and learn. We couldn’t agree more.


Support future learners

Educators know that the efforts made in today’s classrooms can set the pace for students and teachers in the future. Teachers take this responsibility to future teachers and students seriously.


To be effective

Teachers love when their students understand academic curriculum and find ways to apply it practically in real-world situations. Preparing students to be successful, happy adults is the ultimate goal.


Sharing knowledge

Sharing is caring, and teachers know no better way to show how much they care than by sharing knowledge with their students. This creates learning opportunities for both student and teacher!



With keeping those reasons in mind, I am very excited to partner with you as we work diligently towards our successes and accomplishments this school year. This year, each of us will encounter a few bumps and bruises along the way, but let us all remember to embrace our students and remember our WHY!!!!! As we take our rightful places in education this year let us remember what Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”


Nikkina McKnight

President, PSTA