What is STAR?
Strategies for Teacher Advancement and Renewal
- The first STAR seminar was held in 1994, and since that time over 550 teachers from across South Carolina have been honored as STAR teachers.
- Teachers who have taught for at least 5 years in South Carolina’s public schools and have direct contact with students are eligible to apply. STAR attendees are selected through a rigorous application process.
The goals of the project are:
- To reduce the number of outstanding veteran teachers leaving the profession early and to retain quality teachers in South Carolina’s classrooms;
- To enhance teachers’ commitments to their profession and to the improvement of educational opportunities for all South Carolina students;
- To reward outstanding veteran teachers who have taken initiatives to grow professionally and to recognize them for exceptional performance;
- To provide teachers with opportunities to discuss interesting education-related topics and techniques with other outstanding colleagues and leading experts;
- To renew the teacher’s enthusiasm, leading to improved student performance and improved relationships with parents and students;
- To assist teachers in forming long-lasting networks with other educators.
- Through grants and contributions from businesses, the Foundation for Professional Development pays all expenses (accommodations, travel, and substitute pay) for the week-long seminar held at the St. Christopher Conference Center on Seabrook Island.
- The STAR program is the only one of its kind in South Carolina and is modeled after a highly successful program in North Carolina(NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching) which has been operating for over 30 years.
- The ultimate beneficiaries are the students whose lives these teachers touch. It is difficult to determine the ripple effect one teacher has. There is no way to count how many lives have been positively impacted by the 300+ teachers who have already participated in STAR. The teachers are challenged to continue their professional journeys, to work toward national board certification and other advanced degrees. Teachers’ comments include: “It was a great experience for me at a low point in my career; I was seriously considering leaving teaching.” “After my week with STAR I helped form our local Teacher Forum… my goal has been to help teachers love teaching and help kids love school and learning.”