2019 Teacher of the Year:
Jeff Maxey uses a multi-sensory approach to teaching, engaging his students through their senses of sight, sound, and touch. Peeking at students through the window of his classroom, you are likely to see hopping, dancing, and singing, all while learning to read. Maxey is passionate about students with special needs succeeding at Starr Elementary School in Starr, South Carolina.
Not beginning his career as a professional teacher, Maxey chose teaching after a twelve-year career in church ministry. After spending three years teaching at the middle school level, Maxey’s career took a unique turn. He moved to North Africa to serve eight years as National Director of Education for a non-profit organization conducting teacher trainings and research for public schools in small villages and desert communities. Maxey says all of these experiences make him a better classroom teacher - appreciating different perspectives and backgrounds, celebrating the uniqueness of each child, and being prepared for all that each day brings.
Maxey is dedicated to collaborating with others to discover successful educational strategies to address the growing number of students on the autism spectrum and is currently working with others to advocate for legislative policy revisions as a South Carolina Education Policy Fellow.
Maxey is also passionate about mentoring pre-service and beginning teachers, as well as leading others to the profession. As South Carolina Teacher of the Year, he has challenged thousands of high school and university students to consider a career which impacts the future one child at a time.
Maxey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Western Kentucky University and a Master of Arts in Teaching Learning and Behavioral Disorders from Spalding University.