PTC Celebrates its SCTEA Educators of the Year

The South Carolina Technical Education Association (SCTEA) honored three outstanding educators from Piedmont Technical College (PTC) at its recent annual conference in Myrtle Beach. 

Recognized along with colleagues from sister technical colleges across the state, PTC’s honorees are: Nicole Fuller, advising coordinator, business (staff); Dr. Donna Foster, associate vice president, institutional effectiveness and compliance (administrator); and Phillip Calhoun, program director/instructor, Machine Tool Technology (faculty).

A native of Whitmire, Fuller joined the PTC family in July 2019. She is a PTC alumna who went on to earn a bachelor’s in psychology from Lander University (magna cum laude) and a master’s in education in teaching and learning from Liberty University. She and her husband, Steven, have two children, Caden, 6, and Ada, 2. Fuller previously held positions at Lander University and Self Regional Healthcare. 

“I am absolutely thrilled to be recognized by my peers,” Fuller said. “They all set a high bar, and I try to do my best every day to help our students be successful.”

Also a PTC alum, Calhoun has worked in the machine tool field and as an instructor for 35 years, witnessing rapid development and evolution over that time in CNC machines, 3D printers, robotics, and digital technologies. 

“I’m honored to be recognized as an educator of the year,” he said. “This was not even a thought in my mind, which makes it even more of a surprise.” 

Dr. Foster has been a fixture at PTC for more than three decades, having started her career at the college in 1992 as developmental mathematics coordinator after nine years teaching secondary math for Greenwood School District 50. At PTC, she ascended to department chairperson for developmental and transitional studies, and as dean for arts and sciences before her current position. She earned her PhD in Educational Administration, Higher Education, as well as her Certificate in Higher Education Leadership, from the University of South Carolina. She also holds a master’s in secondary education, as well as a bachelor’s in science teaching/mathematics, from Clemson University. 

Foster has won numerous professional awards and honors over the years, including receiving the PTC Presidential Medallion and the SC Governor’s Professor of the Year/Two-Year College Division, award in 1996. No stranger to SCTEA honors, she was an Educator of the Year recipient in 1996 (faculty), 2007, and 2017 (administrator). This most recent award is an encore performance.

“I am both honored and humbled to have been selected by my colleagues as SCTEA Administrator of the Year for Piedmont Technical College,” Foster said. “There are many administrators at PTC who deserve this award. My success is often dependent on their collaboration, support, and cooperation. For me, it is a group award!”

PHOTO: L-R:  Nicole Fuller, Phillip Calhoun, and Dr. Donna Foster