Spartanburg, S.C. The South Carolina Department of Education named Sarah Gams, an English teacher at Spring Hill High School, its 2020 Teacher of the Year on Thursday morning in a unique presentation. Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education, and educators from Lexington-Richland School District Five surprised this year‘s recipient by showing up at her home.
As part of the surprise celebration, BMW Manufacturing, the program’s premier sponsor, handed Gams the keys to a 2020 BMW X5 xDrive40i. The Mineral White Metallic BMW X5 has the Coffee Extended Merino Leather luxury seating package, M Sport Package, Premium Package and 22-inch M double-spoke bi-color wheels. Gams will drive the X5 during her year-long sabbatical from the classroom as South Carolina’s public education ambassador.
“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher mostly because I love giving the gift of discovery to students, not necessarily teaching all that I know, but letting them discover all they want to know and all they enjoyed learning in my classroom,” Gams told media gathered in her front yard. “It’s given great meaning and joy to my life.”
“This has been an exceptionally challenging year for teachers around the state, and Sarah is an outstanding example of the dedication of all South Carolina’s teachers,” said Max Metcalf, manager of Government and Community Relations, BMW Manufacturing. “BMW is grateful for the innovation and creativity they showed in their virtual classrooms.”
Along with the use of a BMW X5 for the year, the winner receives a total of $25,000 and serves for one year as a roving ambassador providing mentoring, attending speaking engagements, working with teacher cadets and teaching fellows, leading the State Teacher Forum, and serving as the state spokesperson for over 50,000 educators.
“I look forward to representing the state’s teachers in the coming year,” Gams said. “The money and the car will help put me in style! I’m excited and honored to represent BMW by driving the car, and I will use the 25,000 dollars to put back into education in my own classroom and into my son’s education.”
BMW Manufacturing is the global center of competence for BMW Sports Activity Vehicles and Coupes. Over the years, through continuous investment which now totals more than $10.6 billion, the factory has been expanded six times to more than 7 million square feet. The plant employs more than 11,000 people who build BMW X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 models for the U.S. market and the world.