South Piedmont Celebrates Excellence in Teaching, Staff of the Year Award Recipients


South Piedmont Community College is celebrating its Excellence in Teaching Award and Staff of the Year Award recipients.

Communications faculty member Connie Gardner received this year’s Excellence in Teaching Award. The award distinguishes a faculty member who exhibits unselfish devotion and significant contributions to student, College, and system success. Gardner began teaching at South Piedmont in 2013. Since then she has written a public speaking textbook used in all communication courses as the primary or supplemental text. She’s also served as a tutor and adviser of South Piedmont’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

“I am filled with gratitude and humbled beyond words,” Gardner said of her award.

“I am deeply grateful to the students that nominated me for the award and for the selection committee recognizing my love and passion for students in and outside of the classroom. Teaching is not simply my profession; it is my calling —a calling to make a difference in the lives of others. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to educate and inspire students of all ages and instill in them a love for learning. I will continue striving for excellence and remain dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and innovation, and I always put the needs of my students first. Education has the power to empower, inspire, and transform lives, and I am honored to be a conduit of knowledge and growth.  Again, I am thankful for this incredible honor. I am deeply touched and profoundly grateful.”

Dean of College and Career Readiness Kelly Stegall is the recipient of the Staff of the Year Award. The award was given in recognition of Stegall’s passion for South Piedmont and adult education, her collaborative leadership style, and her innovative approach to serving students. Stegall’s accomplishments include implementing the College’s Literacy Services program, developing English Language Learner employment pathways, leading the state in transitioning adult basic skills to membership hour courses, and launching the Anson/Reentry Collaborative.

“This award represents the important work we do in the School of College and Career Readiness to support students who oftentimes have significant barriers to success. The award is not mine, alone; it is a reflection of the tremendous value of our team and their contributions to our students and communities. Thanks to South Piedmont Community College for recognizing me, and in doing so, our team and programs,” Stegall said.


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