SDPC Teachers Recognized Nationally

Congratulations to Melissa Riddle of Pickens Middle School and Dr. Nicole Yemothy of Gettys Middle School, both recently earning the 2022-2023 Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Outstanding Teacher Award. This award was given to only 59 teachers nationwide. 

The Project Lead the Way Outstanding Teacher Award recognizes educators who demonstrate a strong record of delivering an inspiring and empowering student learning experience while expanding student access to PLTW programs and transforming teaching. 

Melissa Riddle, teacher at Pickens Middle School,  is being recognized for her work in the PLTW Gateway program. She teaches Automation and Robotics, Design and Modeling, Medical Detectives, and Green Architecture Project Lead the Way courses for students in 6th through 8th grades. "Her dedication to STEM education is truly exceptional, and this recent PLTW recognition is a tremendous honor for our school,” said Principal James King. 

While Dr. Nicole Yemothy has received the 2022-2023 Outstanding Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Teacher Award for her work with PLTW at Gettys Middle, she is presently spending eleven months serving in Washington, DC, engaged in the national STEM education arena. In May 2022, she was selected as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Teacher Fellow for the 2022-23 school year. Dr. Yemothy was one of fifteen K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers from across the United States selected for that national award. 

“The School District of Pickens County is proud to have teachers like Mrs. Riddle and Dr. Yemothy and we are thankful for their dedication to our students and their success,” says Dr. Merck, Superintendent of School District of Pickens County, “they are an inspiration and we are fortunate to have them in our schools.”

Project Lead the Way is a curriculum that provides K-12 students with hands-on learning opportunities to learn real-world skills. The middle school program, Gateway, prepares students for rigorous courses in computer science, engineering, and biomedical sciences in high school. SDPC has laid the foundation for STEM success by expanding PLTW programs to all elementary schools as well as offering PLTW biomedical science and engineering courses to high school students.  

Pickens Middle School has been named a Project Lead the Way Distinguished School for the past three years and Gettys Middle School has been recognized as a Distinguished School for the past five years. This recognition celebrates schools and districts committed to helping students own their education by increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their Project Lead the Way programs. Pickens Middle and Gettys Middle empower their students to unlock their potential by developing real-world knowledge and skills necessary to thrive beyond the classroom. 

Link to PLTW Virtual Yearbook:  

Link to page on featuring all winners: