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SC Whitmore School Names Annette Havens 2022 Staff of the Year

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Columbia, SC – SC Whitmore School (SCWS), a statewide online public charter high school, has named the Director of Teacher Quality and Support, Annette Havens, as its 2022 Staff of the Year. 

Havens’ passion for education started in high school. She had amazing science teachers who were engaging and encouraged their students. “I was able to participate in the Teacher Cadet program as a senior in high school,” said Havens’. “This was a fun experience and gave me the confidence to pursue taking the courses in college that would allow me to earn a teaching certificate along with my degree.”

After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, Havens earned her master’s degree in teaching from the University of South Carolina. She has been involved in course development and spent time teaching in a brick and mortar school as well as distance education. In addition to teaching, Havens spent more than four years at SCWS as the School Testing Coordinator and the Social Media Coordinator. In the spring of 2020, she transitioned to a new role as the Director of Teacher Quality and Support where she has the opportunity to work directly with the SCWS teachers to set goals around building relationships and improving graduation rate.

Currently, Havens lives in Lexington, South Carolina with her husband, two active boys, and dog. Havens’ family spends a lot of time on the soccer field from August to April, but they also enjoy making memories at the beach and camping.

I believe I am organized and proactive,” said Havens. “I like to know what I have to do and have a plan for getting it accomplished by setting small goals and long term goals for myself. Being an educator requires flexibility so that is another key element to my work days and planning.”

As the Director of Teacher Quality and Support at SCWS Havens has the opportunity to build relationships throughout the SC Whitmore School.

“I value collaboration and try to connect with my fellow staff members by listening to their concerns and ideas,” said Havens. “I try to offer a listening ear, suggestions when warranted and offer my time to work with them to reach an understanding or meet a goal. Communication is key to relationship building with students and coworkers.”

“Annette has been and continues to be an integral part of our administrative team,” said Ebone’ Adams, the Principal at SCWS. “Her kindness, patience, professionalism and positive nature are key attributes that are necessary to serve in such a supportive role as the Director of Teacher Quality and Support. She has made it her mission to ensure our teachers feel valued and appreciated. Annette is always ready to work through challenges and problem solve so that we are better prepared to educate our students in South Carolina”

Havens’ efforts do not go unnoticed by her colleagues. “It is such a blessing to work with Annette, said Dr. Josie White, the Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator at SCWS. “She is absolutely a team player and is incredibly supportive of everyone around her. She is always so positive and is a major asset to SCWS. Annette is creative and innovative but is also always willing to listen to others’ ideas.”

The SC Whitmore School Staff of the Year Award was a nice surprise and brings Annette great joy. “I’ve been blessed to work in many different educational settings during my career. Each one has helped me grow and see different aspects of working as an educator,” said Havens. “My own children teach me so much and have provided me with different viewpoints on the work I do and the impact educators have on our South Carolina youth. At SCWS I have had the opportunity to teach, lead, grow, and work alongside some of the best leaders and colleagues. I appreciate the teamwork and support I receive at SCWS.” 

“I’ve had the privilege of working with Annette Havens closely for several years,” said Kim Dunbar, the executive director of SCWS. “I’m always impressed with her ability to stay positive and professional during trying times like the COVID-19 Pandemic. She has been an educator for over 20 years with more than 10 of those exclusively in online education. She has served in many roles at SC Whitmore School such as Teacher, Testing Coordinator, and Social media Coordinator. She now serves as the Director of Teacher Quality and Support. A few comments from her colleagues are: “Annette Havens completely deserves this honor. She works tirelessly to meet the needs of the whole school. She has great ideas but is also more than willing to entertain the ideas of others. She is incredibly positive and supportive of everyone around her.” and “She is amazing. She does some of everything without complaints. She is responsive, positive, helpful, and dedicated. She has had such a big job this year and nothing falls through the cracks.” These comments really encompass the impact she has on all of those around her and why we are so lucky to have her in the SCWS family.”

Haven’s advice to educators is, to be authentic and maintain integrity. If you don’t know something, it is okay to say so. Being a lifelong learner is about always researching and finding solutions to problems. 

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