NEWBERRY — Three Piedmont Technical College associates were honored as Outstanding Educators for the 2017-2018 academic year at the annual South Carolina Technical Education Association (SCTEA) convention, held Feb. 15-17 in Myrtle Beach.
The PTC honorees, who were recognized along with colleagues from sister technical colleges, are: Dr. Kim Neal, instructor and department head for mathematics (faculty); Dr. Donna Foster, associate vice president for assessment and compliance (staff); and Lynn Slater, executive assistant to the vice president for academic affairs (administrative).
Neal began her career in the public education realm, where she taught high school mathematics for 19 years at Clinton High School, Whitmire Community School and the Department of Education’s Virtual School Program. During the latter seven years of that period, she was an adjunct mathematics instructor for PTC and Newberry College. She became a full-time math instructor at PTC in 2013. She holds a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University, master’s degrees from Grand Canyon University and Lander University, a bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University, and an associate degree from Broward Community College.
In addition to being the advisor for the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society at PTC, Neal serves as treasurer for the SC Association of Mathematics for Two-Year Colleges, as the PTC representative for SCTEA, and as the PTC representative for the S.C. American Association of Women in Community Colleges.
“I don’t think I go above and beyond any more than anybody else on campus,” Neal said. “It’s humbling to know that other people see the hard work that you are putting in.”
Foster has more than 25 years’ in higher education. Before being named to her current post at PTC, she was dean of arts and sciences and also formerly served as developmental and transitional studies department chair, among other titles. She earned her doctorate in educational administration from the University of South Carolina and both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Clemson University.
She is a co-chair for the 2019 Women’s Leadership Upstate Conference as well as steering committee member of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce Women’s Leadership Council. A proud Girl Scout in her formative years, Foster is a founding member of the Girl Scouts Emerald Circle and credits the learning experiences and community service projects she embraced as a youngster for her leadership accomplishments. She serves as treasurer of West Side Baptist Church, which she attends with her husband, Lee.
“It is a humbling award,” Foster said. “The fact that your peers voted for you, the whole college faculty and staff. This is the second time I have received this. It is quite an honor. It says that people appreciate and notice what you do.”
The administrative honoree, Slater is a former small business owner and an experienced administrator who worked in the banking industry for several years. She has functioned in her current position since coming to PTC in 2011. She is PTC’s United Way chair and also serves on the college’s Adjunct Expo Committee and Foundation Golf Tournament Committee.
Slater holds an Administrative Professional Expert Certification from the Professional Business Institute and is a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. The mother of five enjoys spending time with her family, including two grandchildren. Other favorite pastimes include attending concerts, reading and practicing yoga.
“I was quite honored to be recognized,” Slater said. “It’s always wonderful when you are recognized for doing something that you love to do ― something that you are called to do.“