About Us

Investing in South Carolina’s Future Minds

South Carolina’s public education system is the incubator of our future–and yet, we face systemic challenges–funding inequities, teacher shortages, and outdated infrastructure, to name a few–that keep our children from achieving their potential.

But here’s the good news: we know a talented teacher can and will change the course of a child’s life.  That is why we are proud to connect private resources to public schools, with the goal of investing in how our state recruits, trains, and retains public school educators.

SC Future Minds hosts South Carolina’s Teacher of the Year celebration with the SC Department of Education, the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA), and the state’s leading businesses who share our belief that an investment in public school educators is an investment in a more competitive and just future for our children.

SCFM has also developed and executed several programs to foster and support student excellence, including two statewide student competitions and a literacy program to prevent summer reading loss in some of the state’s most under-resourced schools.  Finally, SCFM serves as a fiscal agent, much like a community foundation, for programs that support public schools across the state.

Our Vision

SC Future Minds envisions a public education system that equips each and every student with the tools, knowledge, and attitude for success in work or post secondary education.

Our Mission

SC Future Minds champions world class student achievement by supporting excellence in teaching, encouraging collaboration among public education stakeholders, and connecting private financial support to public schools.  As a 501(c)3 nonprofit that works with every school district in the state as well as many of South Carolina’s top businesses, we serve as an important vehicle for much-needed investments in the state’s teachers, schools, and students.

Our Guiding Principles

  • SCFM exists to benefit all children of South Carolina.
  • SCFM seeks to build ongoing and grassroots support for its work by being a strong voice for public education excellence and a catalyst for growth and beneficial change; it seeks to raise the educational aspirations of the state.
  • SCFM gives priority consideration to enabling programs that can be replicated, are sustainable, and have a potentially broad impact upon public education.
  • SCFM works with the state Department of Education and other community minded partners to identify educational needs, source best practices and solutions, and support measurable and accountable programs for educational improvement.
  • SCFM fosters programs clearly linked to academic achievement.
  • SCFM emphasizes the recruitment, retention, recognition, and compensations of the highest caliber teachers.
  • SCFM supports equity of access to excellent effective education for all SC public education students.
  • SCFM works to elevate the teaching profession.

Our Board of Directors

Nella Gray Barkley, Chair
Co-Founder, Crystal-Barkley Corp.

Chris Verenes, Treasurer
President/CEO, Security Federal Bank

The Reverand Susan Heath, Secretary
Coordinator of Bishops, Public Education Initiative

Ken Childs
Childs & Halligan, P.A.

Dr. Steve Wilson
2017 Superintendent of the Year

Jim Stritzinger
Connect South Carolina

Theodore B. Dubose
Attorney, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Dr. James H. Rex
SC Superintendent of Education, 2006-2009

David Cote
Assistant VP, BlueCross Blushield of South Carolina

Patrick White
Supply Chain/VP, Comporium

Jennifer Wise
2017 Teacher of the Year

Scott Price
Executive Director, South Carolina School Boards Association