Elementary science teacher Lemuel Patterson has been using his Abbeville roots to inspire his students to become interested in science in South Carolina for decades. Now he is a science instructor in Columbia, the 57-year-old Patterson was honored in late 2009 as the Mary McLeod Bethune Outstanding Teacher Award recipient by the National Alliance of Black School Educators. He is a teacher who used innovative teaching methods that have led to an increase in student achievement.
Patterson has influenced many of his students’ lives. One of his students April Coley, commented on her teacher Patterson as a teacher who made science fun for them, and now she is working as a clinical drug and alcohol counselor in Aiken and is working on a master’s degree. Coley still remembers that Patterson incorporated student science experiments with the school’s morning announcements. It became a privilege for youngsters to perform a particular morning’s demonstration. Everyone became excited about science experiments and they all wanted to become a part of it.
Patterson impacted and motivated students in different ways. Most importantly, many of his students became interested in science. Patterson has shown us that if we believe in our students, there are tons of different opportunities for success. He is also a role model for us to make learning fun and interesting for our children.