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Limestone Alumna Named “Teacher of the Year” for Charter School
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Tomikia Whitmire

Limestone College alumna Tomikia Whitmire has been named Teacher of the Year for Spartanburg Charter School.

A mathematics instructor for fourth and fifth graders, she is the first person to be selected for the recognition at the school, which opened its doors in 2009. "Tomikia was selected as our Teacher of the Year based upon nominations from her peers," said Dr. John von Rohr, Principal at Spartanburg Charter School. "Comments about her included, ‘She comes to school every day to motivate her students' and ‘She is very focused on achievement.'"

The recognition makes for a stunning career turnaround for the 32-year-old Union, S.C. native. After a one-year flirtation with college courses following her high school graduation, Whitmire decided to devote her full attention to working primarily in the restaurant industry. "I saw first-hand how difficult it is to be successful professionally without a college education," she reflected. "To be honest, I always had a desire to work with children, and I felt as if I was letting my skills go to waste."

The married mother of two daughters then began searching for a college with a strong elementary education program and the flexibility to meet the demands of working parents. "Limestone's unique class schedule for the Extended Campus Classroom program- especially its online offerings-proved to be the perfect fit for me," said Whitmire. The program divides the calendar year into 11 sessions, each lasting four weeks. One three-credit-hour course is studied intensively and completed in four weeks, with students like Whitmire attending class three nights a week. When that class is completed, students begin the next.

Whitmire, who has since earned a master's degree in Education from Liberty University and is pursuing her Education Specialist degree from there, has sound guidance for those who think that time or other factors may have ruled out second chances in life. "My advice is that it is never too late to pursue your dreams. I know how tough it is to get ahead in life without a college education. Plus, I was so thrilled to discover that I was a much better student when I returned to the classroom."