A Hand Middle School teacher is one of the five best in South Carolina, state officials announced Wednesday.
Robert Harris, who teaches family and consumer sciences at Hand, was surprised with the news that he is one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year award.
“My students need me. They need me to be here every day, ready to work, ready to give them 120 percent,” said Harris, a fourth-year teacher and the Richland 1 teacher of the year. “When they come in, they’re ready to learn. And I just want to make sure I’m able to match that when they arrive.”
As a state Teacher of the Year finalist, Harris receives $10,000 and will go on to the next stage of competition which involves an in-person interview with a team of judges.
The winner will be announced May 2 at the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Gala in Columbia. The winner will receive a total of $25,000 and is provided with a brand new BMW to use while serving for one year as a roving ambassador across the state.
Another Hand Middle teacher, Jennifer Wise, was named the best teacher in the state two years ago.