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St. Johns High School Teacher Named National PLTW Computer Science Teacher of the Year

PLTW_LogoINDIANAPOLIS (March 21, 2016) – St. John’s High School Darwin Shorters received the highest honor given to PLTW Computer Science teachers – PLTW Computer Science Teacher of the Year – Sunday night at Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW) PLTW Summit 2016.

Shorters was recognized in front of more than 1,800 attendees, including his fellow teachers from across the United States. PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vince Bertram and Senior Vice President and Chief Programs Officer Dr. Anne Jones presented the award.

“We are grateful to our teachers for their commitment to inspiring students,” said Anne Jones, Chief Program Officer and Senior Vice President for Programs for PLTW. “The PLTW Teachers of the Year are leaders in their classrooms and are inspiring the next generation of innovators.”darwin shorters award

Shorters is a PLTW Computer Science Master Teacher and is described as a champion of PLTW who has put his school’s program on the map. He is known for his commitment to his students, his devotion to teaching, and his far-reaching leadership. His passion for and knowledge of computer science has had a sprawling impact – from engaging each student in his PLTW classroom, to empowering fellow teachers across his state through his role as a Master Teacher.

“He never uses the phrase, “I can’t,” and instead embraces challenges and goes above and beyond for his students – making the impossible, possible, and he “curates energy for PLTW that is unparalleled,” said St. John’s High School Principal Andre Dukes.

PLTW recognized four other instructors as PLTW program teachers of the year for their outstanding commitment to empowering students to thrive in our evolving world. PLTW Computer Science engages students in real-life activities like creating an online art portal or using automation to process and analyze DNA-sequence data. These projects challenge students to think big and illustrate how intricately computer science is woven into our society. As students work together to brainstorm solutions, they test their limits, question what’s possible, and transform into builders of tech, rather than bystanders.

PLTW Summit 2016, held March 20-23 in Indianapolis, is the premier gathering of passionate and committed individuals who work together every day to empower students to develop the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in an evolving world. More than 1,800 attendees — from students to those in the education, government and business sectors — are convening to share strategies for making classroom learning relevant, engaging and hands-on.

About PLTW

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. Through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, K-12 students learn problem-solving strategies, critical and creative thinking, and how to communicate and collaborate. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an evolving world. More than 8,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit



Wando HS Entrepreneurship Teacher Named 2015 YEScarolina Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Ms. Courtney Worley, an entrepreneurship teacher at Wando High School, on being chosen as the Teacher of the Year by YEScarolina, a local nonprofit dedicated to training teachers how to teach entrepreneurship.

Seven of Ms. Worley’s students competed in the 2015 YEScarolina Regional & Statewide Business Plan Competitions. One of her students, Connor Simonson took first place at both competitions, advancing him to the upcoming NFTE National Challenge in New York.


Connor graduated in June and  has moved on to college, but he often talks about his respect for Ms. Courtney, and all the hard work she put into help him succeed.

During a recent video conference session with Mrs. Worley’s current students, Connor surprised his teacher with the news she had been chosen as the 2015 YEScarolina Teacher of the Year!IMG_7515-726x1024

Ms. Worley will be presented her award and recognized during the upcoming YEScarolina Gala event, October 22nd at the new Gaillard Complex. This prestigious award recognizes the teacher who has instilled in their students not only the lessons in the textbooks, but also a genuine appreciation and passion for entrepreneurship.

YEScarolina is the program partner for the national organization, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), in South Carolina.

Molly Crete with YEScarolina contributed to this story and provided the pictures.