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McClearen a Teacher of the Year nominee

    03.20.15 | North Augusta Adult Evening programs Success Stories: Education - Master's Teacher of the Year Success Stories: Education Education SWU Online Alumni

    Liz McClearen, a student at Southern Wesleyan’s North Augusta learning center, was nominated for Teacher of the Year at Aiken County School District.


    McClearen, a  teacher at Greendale Elementary School, feels honored to be recognized for her work as a teacher.

    “I couldn’t believe I was nominated, much less that I won! I work with so many wonderful teachers who inspire me daily with their ideas and passion. It is a real honor,” she said.

    McClearen loves to see her students learn, often through fun activities including music and movement.

    “It’s great to get to be silly and act like a big kid. They love seeing that and it keeps me young,” said McClearen, currently teaching a 4K class after teaching first-grade for five years. But she didn’t always want to teach and wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after she graduated from high school.

    “When I went to college, I started as a nursing major,” she said. “One semester in, I knew I was in the wrong line of work!”

    At the same time, she was working in a day care center and came to the realization that she enjoyed working with young children. When she decided to become an education major, her mother encouraged her and gave her confidence to proceed in that direction.

    “She gave me the confidence to make a positive change in my life; my mom has always been my biggest cheerleader,” she said. “She’s the reason I am who I am today.”

    “I live for the moment when I am working with a student and his/her face lights up with excitement. That’s what teaching is about,” McClearen said.

    McClearen is enrolled in the master of education in administration and supervision (MEDAS) program with the goal of someday becoming a principal. She feels that her experience with SWU has had a positive impact on her profession.

    “When you are a teacher, your focus is usually just on your classroom. Through the MEDAS program, I have come to realize that it’s not all about my classroom, but the community we create at the school,” said McClearen, who finds herself becoming increasingly collaborative with other grade levels and seeing the “big picture.” 

    “I feel that the program has also made me more confident in myself as a leader,” she said.

    Southern Wesleyan’s learning center is located at 802 E. Martintown Rd., Suite 101, in North Augusta. For details on programs, call (803) 426-7981 or email .

    With regional education centers conveniently located across South Carolina, as well as fully online programs for select degrees, Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, visit