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Patrick Hayes, Director                  
EdFirstSC Director Patrick Hayes has successfully engaged with state and local officials for over a decade, mobilizing thousands to lend their support to a variety of initiatives.  He is also a 5th grade teacher in Charleston, SC.
  • Founded Restore Teacher Salaries

Harnessing the strength of over 9,000 members, Restore Teacher Salaries pressured the SC legislature to require districts to restore step increases.  This secured roughly $40 million for teachers.  They’ll receive that increase every year for the rest of their careers. The total impact is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  In addition, a study committee was created to perform an intensive review of teacher salaries and report back to the legislature.

Patrick and a strong core of Lowcountry members also persuaded the Charleston County school board to restore the salaries of teachers who had not been paid in full for four years.

  • Defeated Proposal to Evaluate and Dismiss Teachers on the Basis of MAP Test  Scores
Charleston County’s school board gave initial approval to a plan that evaluated teachers on the basis of MAP test scores.  Teachers could be fired if a second year’s scores were judged inadequate.
Patrick contacted the researchers who developed the data analysis techniques being used.  He persuaded them to draft a memo to the school board.  Their memo stated that the data was not reliable for a single class, and did not isolate the performance of the teacher from other variables.  He addressed the board about his own experiences with unreliable MAP data and his correspondence with researchers.  On second reading, the proposal was narrowly defeated.

Laura Clinton, Upstate Regional Coordinator  
Laura Clinton has taught in various SC public schools for fourteen years.  She has taught first, third, seventh, and eighth grades.  She was awarded teacher of the year at Kinard Elementary in 2003.  She served as a reading interventionist for three years, and was awarded Spartanburg County's Distinguished Reading Teacher of the Year in 2006 during that time. 
An activist for the rights of teachers, students, and parents, Laura has written editorials published in the Spartanburg Herald Journal and The State to share her concerns in regards to doing what is best for public education.  She helped to plan the Education Gathering at the State House in March 2011 to help make the public and legislators aware of teachers' concerns. 
She also  helped to form the Teacher Advisory Committee of the Upstate that met with Dr. Zais and other SDE members in May 2012 to have a round table discussion so that the voices of teachers could be heard.  As a result of that meeting, she was asked to become a stakeholder representative for the "Educator Evaluation" system that could possibly replace ADEPT. 
Currently building representative for the SC International Reading Association, Laura believes that a strong literacy foundation in the home linked with early childhood programs is the key to having a successful educational system.