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Awards Program Information

Awards 2023 

Clio Scholarship Application - ($500 Scholarship): Application and all materials are due no later than May 1st of each year.  This scholarship recognizes a high school senior OR undergraduate student who plans to pursue a career as a K-12 social studies educator.  A scholarship in the amount of $500.00 is awarded along with a 1 year complimentary membership to the SCCSS.

Clio Scholarship Reference Form


  • Complete Clio Scholarship online application

  • Submit official transcript

  • 2 Clio Scholarship online references (one must be a recommendation from a SCCSS member)

  • All materials must be postmarked/ completed by May 1st for application to be considered.

Lifetime Achievement Award 

(Deadline to submit all materials is July 1, 2023)

This award is given annually to a social studies educator in South Carolina who has made a significant impact to social studies over the course of his or her career.  Please submit the Google Form and we will contact the nominee for further information.  Self nomination are allowed.   

Link to Google Form https://forms.gle/Xo5yLdnmWTDSGDVX6

Thomas Lowell “Tom” Buckland Memorial Teachers of Excellence Award Application 

(Deadline to submit all materials is July 1, 2023)

The SCCSS annually honors the outstanding performance of teachers, college professors, and other worthy individuals and programs that work to promote quality social studies in the Palmetto State. Winning teachers will receive the following a plaque to commemorate the event, recognition by the SCCSS at the annual fall conference, free conference registration at the fall SCCSS Annual Conference, notification of the local media of this accomplishment, and a $100 cash award.

Application for Civil Rights/ Civil Liberties Excellence in Teaching Award 

(Deadline to submit all materials is July 1, 2023)

Civil Rights/ Civil Liberties Excellence in Teaching Award Full Description 

This award recognizes and honors the accomplishments of a social studies teacher in the area of civil rights/civil liberties. Nominees inspire students to be fully informed about their civil rights and civil liberties assured by the Constitution. This teacher is someone who inspires students to take informed action when they see injustices and to be a responsible contributing member of our democracy. This award serves to honor a person who is striving to continue their work advancing civil rights and civil liberties. The recipient will be recognized at the South Carolina Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference.


  • $200.00 cash award and award from Social Studies School Service.
  • Recognition at the SC Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference awards ceremony

NCSS Presenter Scholarship

(Deadline to submit all materials is July 1, 2023

This scholarship is given to an individual who has been a SCCSS member for at least one year and has been selected to present at the annual National Council for the Social Studies conference.  The $200.00 award is intended to help with travel and/or registration costs.  In addition, the board asks that the individual(s) receiving this award present at the SCCSS annual conference.  Submit a resume, session description, and NCSS proposal acceptance email to thicks@richland2.org to be considered for this scholarship.  Scholarship will only be given once.

Friend of Social Studies

(Deadline to submit all materials is July 1, 2023)

This award is given annually to a social studies educator who has OR organization that has made a significant impact on social studies in South Carolina, nationally, or internationally.  

FASSE: Awards and Grants

Supported by the Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies 

The Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education (FASSE) was created in 1984 by the Board of Directors of the National Council for the Social Studies to support research and classroom application projects which improve social studies education and promote engaged, effective citizens. Today the FASSE board administers several award programs and the fund that supports them.

FASSE is central to our ability to support, recognize, and celebrate members’ pioneering spirit. Their industry and achievements in striving for a world in which social studies education inspires lifelong inquiry and informed civic action. We want to use FASSE as a vehicle for building on the NCSS legacy by investing in research and classroom application projects, as well as a means for nurturing innovation, applauding excellence, and honoring enterprise.

For more information about the NCSS Awards program, click here

Past Awards


Although the SCCSS virtual conference has been postponed until February, we wanted to acknowledge the award recipients for this year.  Congratulations to these phenomenal social studies educators!

Gilder-Lehrman SC History Teacher of the Year:

Timothy E. Hicks is a graduate of Furman University (BA in History) and the University of South Carolina (MAT in History; Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction).  Nationally-board certified in Early Adolescence/Social Studies-History, he has taught at Dent Middle School in Columbia since 1994.  Currently, he is teaching eighth grade social studies in The Learning Collaborative, Richland Two's oldest middle school magnet program, where he emphasizes the analysis of primary sources and off-campus field studies to sites such as those in Washington, DC, in addition to incorporating virtual field studies using digital photographs and websites.  A mock trial coach for 20 years, a teacher and judge in National History Day, a school department leader, an intern and new teacher mentor, and Master Teacher for the Teaching American History in South Carolina institute at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, he has presented at both the state and national levels and is a primary author of The South Carolina Journey, an eighth grade textbook used in many districts across the state.

Thomas Lowell Buckland Memorial Teacher of Excellence Award

Daniella Ann Cook is an associate professor in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education (ITE) at the University of South Carolina. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, she graduated from Miami University (Oxford) then moved to Durham, N.C. and began teaching high school social studies at East Chapel Hill High School. Later, she received her masters and doctoral degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the faculty at UofSC, Cook served as an Assistant Professor of Education at The University of Tulsa and the Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality in the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University. Cook’s interdisciplinary research and scholarship address her commitment to the democratic project of sustaining racially just and equitable schooling for communities traditionally underserved by public education. Her early research was an ethnographic study of black educators’ experiences in New Orleans post-Katrina that explored urban school reform during the single largest displacement of African American educators since desegregation. Currently, she is co-PI of the UofSC TPS Project funded by the Library of Congress. The project supports social studies educators and school librarians use of primary sources available through the Library of Congress to teach students about the civil rights movement. She also serves as the Secondary Social Studies Program Coordinator and teaches courses including Equity and Community Engagement and the Advanced Study of the Teaching of History and Social Studies in Secondary Schools.

In addition to presenting at international and national conferences, Cook has published in a wide range of journals including Multicultural Perspectives, The High School Journal, Southern Anthropologist, Voices in Urban Education, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education and is on the Editorial Board of The Urban Review.

Outstanding Lesson or Unit: 

Stevie Barnes is a 3rd year teacher at Conway Middle School in Conway, South Carolina. She is currently working through her Master's in Learning Design and Technology at Winthrop University. 

Stevie has a passion for giving back to her hometown through her gift of teaching. She works hard to create engaging, current, and fun social studies lessons for her students. Using concept maps, digital notebooks, drama, and other resourceful activities, students are given an amazing social studies education. During her first three years as an educator, Stevie has been named Rookie of the Year for Conway Middle as well as Tech Innovator for Horry County Schools. She has also been asked to lead district wide professional development to other social studies teachers. She is a valuable team member, and her school and fellow colleagues look forward to what she will accomplish in the future.

Outstanding Lesson or Unit:

Tangia Hammel began her educational adventure in Virginia Beach, Virginia. A lifelong learner, she continued her education while living in southern Spain for three years as a Navy spouse. Upon return to the United States, Mrs. Hammel attended Old Dominion University where she earned a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in International Studies. After moving to South Carolina, she applied to the PACE Program for teacher certification and began teaching at Conway Middle School as a long-term substitute for one semester in 2008. She was excited to return as a full time teacher in the 2008-2009 school year and has been teaching in the Conway Middle School Social Studies Department for the past 13 years. Mrs. Hammel has taught sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. While teaching full time, she attended Coastal Carolina University and earned her M.Ed. in Instructional Technology.

Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Excellence in Teaching Award

Laura Gisler has been teaching at Meadowfield Elementary School, a Paideia School for Creative Thinking, in Columbia, South Carolina for 15 years.  Ten of those years she found her home as a third grade teacher and fell in love with teaching South Carolina history.  During this time she was recognized as her school’s Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for the district’s Teacher of the Year.  After transitioning to her current role as the Paideia Lead Teacher, she has lead the school’s shift to culturally relevant pedagogy and respectful dialogue with students and faculty.  Through Socratic Seminar and carefully selected texts that align with the character education curriculum, she has been able to seamlessly connect South Carolina State Standards to meaningful instructional practices.  Her beliefs are rooted in the Paideia philosophies that all children can learn and that schools should provide safe spaces for students to grapple with tough and engaging topics through dialogue.  She trains the teachers in her school to gradually release control of the curriculum so students can engage in content in meaningful ways.  In her work, Laura continues to push the conversation of her faculty and students towards being more socially conscious while inspiring them to take informed action when they see a need.

2018 Award-Winning Lessons: 

Engagement Through Technology: 7th Grade - World War II Photographic Essay (Rachel Johnson, Spartanburg)

Inquiry in the Social Studies: 8th Grade - National History Day Project (Stephanie Shirley, Myrtle Beach)

2017 Award-Winning Lessons: 

Civic Engagement and Taking Action: 4th Grade - Writing Persuasive Letters to our Leaders (Allison King, Charleston County)

Engagement Through Technology: 7th Grade - Information, Technological, and Communication Revolutions (Samantha House, Charleston County)

Best Practices in Social Studies: 7th Grade - Galileo v. the Catholic Church: A Mock Trial (Kason Dalton and Marc Turner, Richland 2)

Best Practices in Social Studies: 5th Grade - US involvement in D-Day (Mary Huffman, Charleston County)

Awards Chair: Tim Hicks
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