Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Scott Streiffert has been teacher and coach at Waccamaw High School for 22 of the school’s 24-year history.
Now, he is one of the five finalists for Georgetown County Teacher of the Year.
Streiffert wears many hats on the WHS campus.
He not only teaches government and economics, he also teaches Advanced Placement government and politics. He has taught 11 different courses since joining the Waccamaw High staff in 1992.
He is also successful on the sports fields. Since 1997, Streiffert has been head coach of the Lady Warriors softball team. He is also an assistant football coach, something he has done on-and-off for the past 18 years.
On the softball field, his teams have won seven region championships, seven district titles, three Lower State Championships and the 2010 Class AA State Championship.
Streiffert was named 2009-10 South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Softball Coach of the Year.
He said he likes doing all the things he does at WHS.
“When I first started teaching, I thought there was some negative connotation to being a coach and a classroom teacher,” he said, adding he quickly learned there was nothing negative about the career combinations. “I have a passion for economics and government. I get up at 5:30 every morning and watch CNBC.”
Streiffert said he is always looking for something new to which his students can relate.
“The examples I use change every year. The legislators change and the president changes. That is what keeps it interesting for me and my students.”
Also keeping things interesting in the classroom is ever-changing technology.
“When I first came to Waccamaw, there were no computers. We got our first computers in 1994. I had one at home before we had one at school,” he recalled.
“Technology is something we have to keep up with because that’s what the kids are doing. It has made teaching more responsive.”
Streiffert is a fan of social media sites such as Facebook because it helps him keep up with former students, many of whom have become successful.
“I have former students who are now lawyers and doctors. One, Ashley Czechner, is the No. 1 pitcher at LSU. Nikki Legg plays centerfield at Furman. There are many who own their own businesses,” he said. “One is running for sheriff in Berkeley County.”
“It is a good feeling when you see you were a good influence on them.”
He said he was recently at Outback restaurant when a former student, an employee, showed him a picture of her daughter.
“It’s moments like these that are as satisfying as winning a game,” he said.
One of his other enjoyments is calling out the names of the graduates during the graduation ceremony each year.
“So far, knock on wood, I have never messed up any names,” he said.
Streiffert and his wife, Jenny, have two sons. Matt, a junior at Clemson, and Nick, a junior at Waccamaw High.
“The main thing I try to do is be a positive role model,” he said.
Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of stories about the 2014 Teacher of the Year finalists. The winner will be announced at a banquet Thursday evening.