A high school English teacher from Rock Hill is South Carolina's Teacher of the Year.
State schools chief Mick Zais announced Wednesday night that Patti Tate of Northwestern High School is the 2011-12 winner. She has taught for 24 years.
Tate's awards include $25,000, a cruise, a ring, and one year of driving a BMW X3. She will also spend the school year as an education ambassador with the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement.
The other four finalists will receive $10,000 each, a ring and a set of tires.
Two days of privately funded events started Wednesday afternoon with a reception at the Hilton for all district-level teachers of the year.