Choice, The PSTA Newsletter

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

A Letter From Kathy

Happy American Education Week! It's a pivotal time for educators both in South Carolina and across the nation. While we are in the midst of a teacher shortage crisis, we are also facing the possibility of education reform that hasn't been seen since the early 1980s and teachers are using their voice to be part of that change! Our year at PSTA has started off with our staff not only visiting districts but also attending numerous meetings at the State House. The Senate Education Committee has met to review Senate Bill 419(Education Reform Bill) and will meet again on December 4. The Education Oversight Committee has held several meetings in the past few months which our staff has attended, as well. Be sure your email address is up to date in our database so that you'll receive our Legislative Alerts and our State House Reports! Follow us on social media for timely updates, too.

Please know that PSTA is working hard to be a presence at the State Board of Education, the State Legislature and at district events. We know you chose this profession because you believe in educating the next generation and PSTA works hard to support you in this endeavor! So many good things are going on in your classrooms, your schools and your districts. We'd like to share the positive and combat some of the negative media coverage, so please reach out and share your good news! Send a brief summary and, if possible, a picture of your award, recognition or special event to so we can share highlights in our newsletter!

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 Student Loan Promotion Drawing Winner!

Congratulations to Richland School District Two teacher Christine Baker on winning our Student Loan Promotion contest that was held between May 1 and August 31 of this year. Mrs. Baker was randomly selected to have her student loans paid for one year(up to $3000).

Mrs. Baker is a first year Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Jackson Creek Elementary School. PSTA Executive Director Kathy Maness presented her with a check for $3000.00 on Monday, November 4, 2020 at a school wide faculty meeting.

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PSTA EdCamp News

PSTA is excited to partner with Greenville County School District to host EdCamp Greenville! EdCamp Greenville will be held on Saturday, February 22 at Greer Middle School. Be sure to look for our staff at the event and tell the preservice teachers to stop by our Teacher Clothes Closet to shop for professional wear. Click here to register.

Save the date! PSTA will be hosting EdCamp Palmetto on March 28th in Charleston. This EdCamp will be held in conjunction with the PSTA Convention. More information will be available in January.

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What's Happening at PSTA

By: Toni Chewning, Director of Association Activities

Are you a PSTA member(three years or more) who is working on an advanced degree?

PSTA offers the Dr. Elizabeth Gressette Professional Development Scholarship for members who are studying at an accredited college or university. You can learn more about our scholarship at .

The application process includes an interview and a writing sample. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2019. Letters of reference are due January 15, 2020. Winners will be recognized at our EdCamp Conference on March 28, 2020, in Charleston.

We recently held our 2019 Fall STAR Seminar in beautiful St Christoper Conference Center on Seabrook Island. Outstanding public school teachers from across South Carolina were recognized and rewarded with a weeklong retreat! We participated in a book study, a beachwalk led by the camp naturalist and a historical tour of Charleston. It was a week to network, reflect and share. Would you like to participate in a STAR Seminar? More information can be found at

PSTA hosted a Teacher Clothes Closet last week at the Upstate Teacher Career Fair and we have our next event scheduled for December 4 at the PSTA office(220 State Street, West Columbia) from 9:00 AM- 7:00 PM. If you are working with a student intern this semester or know students currently enrolled in the education program at local colleges or universities, please encourage them to come and shop for free professional wear!

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

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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 or call our office at 803-256-2065.

PSTA Welcomes a New Staff Member

We are excited to welcome Molly Sharpe to the PSTA staff as our Director of Marketing! She replaces our former Director of PD and Communications Jed Dearybury. Molly began working with PSTA in May as a college intern and joined us as a full-time staff member this fall. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and lives in Lexington.

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 .

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Benefits and Discounts for Members

AMBA Benefits

Are you planning a holiday trip or looking forward to a spring break get-away? PSTA has partnered with Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA) to give our members access to a variety of benefits including hotels, cruises and travel insurance. Click the image to see what's available!

National Board Candidate Workshop

A FREE National Board Support Conference for Initial Candidates will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2019. The conference will begin with on-site registration at 9:30, will conclude by 3:00, and will be held at Carolina Springs Middle School (6180 Platt Springs Rd, Lexington, SC 29073).

The one-day conference will include a brief general session as well as breakout sessions focused on each of the four components. We also will offer a candidate workroom staffed by NBCTs and an ATLAS (library of National Board videos) viewing room. Advanced registration is required. Candidates should visit to register for the conference. Registration will close on November 29th.

Additionally, the conference will include a Professional Learning Facilitator (PLFs) Training session for NBCTs who wish to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to ethically support National Board candidates. The training will begin with on-site registration at 9:30, will conclude around 1:00, and will be held at Carolina Springs Middle School. NBCTs who participate in the training will be asked to help staff the candidate workroom after the training. This will give the new PLFs an opportunity to practice their skills. Advanced registration is required. Candidates should visit to register for the conference. Registration will close on November 29th.

Friendly Reminders From PSTA

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Click here to check your certification status and years experience.

A Letter From the President

Greetings and Happy American Education Week!

November 18-22, 2020, we celebrate American Education Week. This week is very important as we take the time to celebrate public education and give the highest honor to those who are making a difference in lives of children everywhere. During American Education Week, each day is designed to give the community the opportunity to support education in a positive way by giving them a glimpse of the day to day workings of a school.

As educators, it is imperative that we stay involved with the decisions that are being made for the students that we teach on a daily basis. We must be willing to take a stand and advocate for the individuals who cannot advocate for themselves. One way to advocate for our students and schools is by acknowledging that there are some changes that need to be made to ensure that the highest quality of education is given on a daily basis and what better way to do this than to invite the outside world on the inside. By doing so we as educators allow ourselves the opportunity to share our needs and concerns for the children that enter our schools and classrooms on a daily basis.

As we go forth in the upcoming months, let us remember that it is important that every child receives the highest quality of education that they can possibly receive. Together we can make a difference!!!

Nikkina McKnight

Palmetto State Teachers Association, President

Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.