District Teacher of the Year


Steve Ramey

Spartanburg District Four Teacher of the Year

2020 - 2021

For Woodruff High School science teacher Steve Ramey it is all about the approach. He approaches teaching with the belief that learning is best achieved through the promotion of curiosity and problem-solving. This approach to teaching and learning earned him the honor of being selected not only the 2020 WHS Teacher of the Year but also the 2020 Spartanburg 4 District Teacher of the Year.

When asked about his teaching style Ramey said he rarely teaches content without first introducing a problem related to the topic or giving real-world examples of the application of the subject. He further explained, “I feel that this produces a desire to learn the content since the students see value in gaining that knowledge.  Teaching content just to cover content has never been part of my teaching pedagogy.  As a STEM teacher, we have a responsibility to excite and push students to be the next generation of men and women who advance the engineering and technological world.”

Ramey also said that he believes that God gave him the ability to connect with students in a way that promotes this method of teaching. He has been a very curious learner over his lifetime and feels that God has allowed him to share this with his students. He has fun both learning new things and motivating his students to be as curious as he is, which is why he has never had the desire to leave the classroom.

Ramey feels that his greatest accomplishments are realized through his students when he sees them not only succeed in their chosen career and as successful citizens but when they see great value in serving others. “If I have been able to serve my students well, and in turn have them devote their careers to serving others, then I have done well,” said Ramey.  “I have always felt that what Jesus says to His disciples, recorded in the gospel of Matthew should very much apply to me- ‘Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’”

None of this is a surprise when you consider that Ramey has been involved in ministry for over 12 years. He spent seven years as the pastor at New Life Baptist Church and five more years as the youth minister at First Baptist of Woodruff. It is only after the birth of his two granddaughters that he stepped away, but he can still be found preaching when asked to fill-in. In addition to his teaching and ministry he was also the WHS Cross Country coach for 20 years all at the same time with huge amounts of success.

His faith is witnessed through his service, not only to the students but the whole school community and beyond. In addition to all his other roles Ramey has been the man behind the soundboard at all major and minor school functions, not only during the school day but also all events outside of normal hours including Graduations, Miss Woodruff High’s and school concerts. This has also been a huge time commitment when considering that preparation starts weeks in advance with cutting and recording music, all the practices and the early mornings and late nights of set-up and tear-downs.

Ramey is truly appreciated by the school community.  “Mr. Ramey’s dedication to our school and students is unparalleled,” said WHS Principal Aaron Fulmer. “His service to others and commitment to the students is witnessed on a daily basis.”  As a spokesman for the profession Ramey’s message is that he believes that learning is not an indoctrination of facts or the memorization of content. “We must help our students become true learners.  Our goal must be to create learners who search for truth and the meaning behind that truth.  We must create learners who accept challenges and become great problem solvers.”

Ramey’s father was a teacher/principal for 33 years while his mother also worked in a district office for 10 years so the academic environment was second nature to him. He credits his dad as a major influence for becoming a teacher. Ramey has been teaching for 31 years, 26 of them in Spartanburg District 4 and 23 at WHS. During this time he has taught almost every science course that is offered and is currently teaching Physics and Engineering.

God and Family first is a motto that Ramey lives by, but it also keeps him balanced so that he is successful in all areas of his life. He is married to a former WMS teacher Beth Ramey and has four children Sarah Ashley, Mary Catherine, Whitt and Charlie all who graduated from
WHS as well as two granddaughters Stella 3, and Esther 2.


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