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RICHLAND TWO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HISTORY TEACHER NAMED BEST IN THE STATE

7/15/2021

Saudah Collins, an African Studies teacher at Jackson Creek Elementary School, is the 2021 South Carolina History Teacher of the Year. This award is presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.



In 2021, parents, students, teachers, and administrators nationwide nominated a record 8,510 teachers for the History Teacher of the Year Award. Amidst a very competitive field, Collins rose to the top in South Carolina. In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Collins will receive a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials at a recognition ceremony.  

Collins says teaching and learning with her students allows her to do what she loves every day. “To receive this honor means that others have recognized my efforts to be an effective teacher. I look forward to representing Jackson Creek, Richland School District Two, and the state.”

Dr. Sabina Mosso-Taylor, principal at Jackson Creek says Collins brings in rich cultural experiences for students, faculty and staff as she implements and generously shares her work with others. “She expertly brings in and ties historical aspects of culture, with more current ones, allowing students to be critical consumers of information.” 

This award highlights the importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. One K-12 teacher is selected from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories. Collins will now compete for the $10,000 National History Teacher of the Year Award. Ten finalists and the national winner will be announced in September. 

Collins is a graduate of the University of South Carolina (UofSC) where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood, a Master of Education in Early Childhood and is a Doctoral Candidate in the Teaching and Learning program. She has worked on state and district-level social studies curriculum development. She is an adjunct instructor for the UofSC, teaching early childhood courses focused on mathematics, science, and social studies as well as family dynamics. She has co-authored several professional publications, including a recent article in The Social Studies Journal. In 2004, Collins was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.  

This is the second consecutive year a teacher in Richland Two has won this award. In 2020, Dr. Timothy Hicks, who is also nationally-board certified and teaches in The Learning Collaborative (TLC) magnet program at Dent Middle School, won the award.