LIFE2 Partners' Symposium

Leveraging Innovation for Educator Excellence (LIFE2/TSL) Grant Hosts First Annual Symposium By Dr. Helena Tillar

The first annual LIFE2/TSL Grant Symposium was held October 5–6, 2022, in Orangeburg, SC, at Victory Tabernacle Temple of The Apostolic Faith, Inc. (PAW), and in Columbia, SC at the C. R. Neal Dream Center.

LIFE2 is a three-year grant designed to incentivize core subject area teachers, exceptional children’s teachers and school leaders who attain continuous growth and improvement in teacher effectiveness and student academic achievement.
At this year’s event, there were over fifty enthusiastic participants that included superintendents, principals, teachers, other stakeholders, and LIFE2 staff. Special guests were Dr. Thomas Maridada, grant consultant and president of The Institute for Organizational Coherence, Ms. Carol Guse, external consultant/evaluator for LIFE2, and Mayor Michael Butler of Orangeburg, SC.

Dr. Thelma Sojourner was excited to share the accomplishments from the first year of the grant, which comprised of providing professional development, signing bonuses and performance-based compensation for both districts.

Dr. Thomas Maridada presented information that provided insight to goals and objectives of LIFE2. Dr. Tondaleya Jackson,
Director of the Center of Excellence for Educator Preparation and Innovation, provided a glimpse of the services available at Voorhees Center of Excellence for Educator Preparation and Innovation.

Mayor Michael Butler, our keynote speaker, gave a compelling speech on Meeting the Challenges that exists in schools across South Carolina and the nation. He addressed the impact of COVID on children, the teacher shortage, and ways the faith-based community is working to help families.

LIFE2 staff presented learning sessions on the topics of Building Capacity, Professional Development and the importance of Building Connections. Mr. Darrell Jackson, Jr. and Dr. Thelma Sojourner gave closing remarks.

The second day of the symposium, was spent developing an action plan for year two and the implementation of the grant.

MCDC - LIFE2 Partners' Symposium Recap