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Columbia Business Monthly

The Business Narrative: Excellence in Teaching

Apr 29, 2024 08:46AM ● By Donna Walker

Braden Wilson of Palmetto Middle School Named SC Teacher of the Year

State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver announced April 25, 2024, at the annual South Carolina Teacher of the Year event that Braden Wilson, a social studies teacher at Palmetto Middle School in Anderson School District One, is the 2025 South Carolina Teacher of the Year. 
“Braden’s infectious passion for making history come alive for her eighth graders at Palmetto Middle School is truly inspiring,” Weaver said. “We are thrilled to celebrate her dedication to developing the next generation of civic-literate South Carolinians and look forward to the impact Braden will make as South Carolina’s Teacher of the Year serving as an ambassador for our state’s 64,000 educators.”

Wilson teaches eighth grade social studies at Palmetto Middle School and is in her 10th year working in education.


She believes teaching children history provides them with an opportunity to explore what they love while making sense of the world around them.


Wilson discovers student interests and cultivates experiences that make history engaging and relatable for every learner, hoping to inspire students to make their own unique mark on history.

Prior to starting her teaching career, Wilson was a Teaching Fellow at Anderson University, where she was the Social Studies Teacher Candidate of the Year.


She has a Master’s degree in Teacher Leadership from Walden University, as well as a Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Anderson University.
As part of the state Teacher of the Year awards program, Wilson will receive $25,000, a brand-new BMW for one year, and professional development opportunities.

Officials said the South Carolina Teacher of the Year program strengthens the teaching force by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on a district, state, and national level. 

They said the awards not only assist in retention efforts but serve as a powerful recruitment tool.

The South Carolina Teacher of the Year serves for one school year as a roving ambassador providing mentoring, attending speaking engagements, working with teacher cadets and teaching fellows, leading the State Teacher Forum, and serving as the state spokesperson for over 64,000 educators.

USC Celebrates Newest Graduates

The University of South Carolina system will welcome thousands of new alumni from across the system in a series of commencement ceremonies.


The three ceremonies recognizing bachelor’s, master’s and professional degree recipients begin on May 3, 2024, at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia.


President Michael Amiridis will deliver remarks at all three.


At 3 p.m. Friday, May 3, 2,237 students will graduate from the College of Pharmacy, Arnold School of Public Health, College of Nursing and the Darla Moore School of Business.


Honorary degrees will be presented to former university president Harris Pastides and former First Lady Patricia Moore-Pastides.


A 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Saturday, May 4, will include 1,947 graduates of the South Carolina Honors College, College of Arts and Sciences and College of Information and Communications, who will be joined by honorary degree recipient Ainsley Earhardt, a prominent media personality and broadcast journalist.


The final ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday for 1,687 graduates of the College of Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Engineering and Computing, College of Social Work, College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, School of Music and Palmetto College.


Solomon Jackson Jr., a veteran pastor and philanthropist, will receive an honorary degree, as will Harry McKinley Lightsey III, the secretary of Commerce for South Carolina.


Other Columbia campus activities include:


* The Joseph F. Rice School of Law commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, May 3 at the historic Horseshoe.


Law Dean William Hubbard will give remarks. Clifton Newman, retired S.C. Circuit Court judge, will receive an honorary degree and give a commencement address.


* The commencement ceremony for both Schools of Medicine at noon Friday, May 3 at the Koger Center.


Dr. Willie Underwood III, physician and health policy expert, will receive an honorary degree and give a commencement address.


* The doctoral hooding ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at the Koger Center.

Arnold School of Public Health Dean Thomas Chandler will deliver remarks.

Delta Increases Starting Pay to $19 An Hour, Provides Pay Raises to Employees Worldwide

Delta Air Lines announced plans to raise its minimum starting wage to $19 an hour for employees and provide a 5 percent pay raise to eligible employees worldwide, representing an approximately $500 million annual investment in employees across the company.


In an internal memo, CEO Ed Bastian said the raise comes as Delta continues to invest in industry-leading total compensation to reward operational excellence and customer care. 


With the investment, which will take effect on June 1, 2024, Delta said it continues with industry-leading total compensation for industry-leading performance in all work groups.


Including this 2024 raise, Delta said it has made cumulative investments of 20-25 percent in compensation in each of its largest frontline workgroups since 2022.  


The pay increases complement profit-sharing, which has paid out over $11 billion to employees since the program’s inception in 2007. 


In the last 15 years, Delta has provided 12 base pay increases that add up to an average of 85 percent increase in base pay.  


Delta also matches up to 6 percent plus a fixed contribution of 3 percent to 401(k) retirement savings; pays up to $100 monthly shared rewards for achieving operational goals; and offers free financial coaching with the ability to earn $1,000 for emergency savings.   

What The Right To Fair, Just Tax System Means For Taxpayers

The Internal Revenue Service says tax fairness means the tax system is equitable to all citizens.


The right to a fair and just tax system is one of 10 rights in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which clearly outlines the fundamental rights of every taxpayer.


Here's what the IRS wants all taxpayers to know about what this right means:


* Taxpayers have the right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that might affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay or ability to provide information timely.


* Taxpayers have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if they're experiencing financial difficulty resolving their tax issues properly and timely through normal IRS channels.


* Taxpayers who cannot pay their tax debt in full and meet certain conditions can arrange a payment plan with the IRS. This means the taxpayer will pay a set amount over time, generally monthly.


* Taxpayers can submit an offer in compromise asking the IRS to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount if they:

Believe they don't owe all or part of the tax debt.

Are unable to pay all the tax debt within the time permitted by law to collect.

Have factors such as equity, hardship or public policy they think the IRS should consider in determining whether to settle the liability.


The IRS has a list of national and local guidelines covering the basic costs of living that it uses when considering a settlement offer reducing someone's tax debt.


IRS employees cannot use these guidelines if they would result in the taxpayer not having enough money to pay their basic living expenses.


In these cases, the IRS will use the taxpayer's actual expenses.


The IRS cannot seize all of someone's wages to collect their unpaid tax. A portion is exempt from levy to allow the taxpayer to pay basic living expenses.


The IRS has the authority to decrease an excessive unpaid portion of any tax or liability assessed after the statutory period of limitations has expired or is erroneously or illegally assessed.


The IRS has the discretion to decrease interest on an underpayment when an IRS employee caused an unreasonable delay or error and when no significant aspect of the error is attributed to the taxpayer.


More Information

Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer

Taxpayer Advocate Service.

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