Palmetto State Teachers Association Board of Directors
Nikkina McKnight: President-elect
Nikkina Miller McKnight is originally from Camden, South Carolina but now resides in Rock Hill, with her husband Malcolm and their amazing 23 month old son Grayson Isaiah. She graduated from Winthrop University with a Bachelors of Science in Family and Consumer Science and a Specialization in Early Intervention. Nikkina has been teaching at Andrew Jackson High School in Kershaw, South Carolina for 10 years. For the past two years, she has proudly served as the Palmetto State Teachers Association District 5 Director.
Stephanie Wallace: Secretary
Stephanie Wallace earned both her Bachelor’s degree and her Master’s degree from the College of Charleston and holds National Board Certification in Early Childhood. Currently, she is a Elementary ELA Curriculum Coordinator at Berkeley Elementary School and is in her twelfth year of teaching. She was named District Teacher of the Year for Berkeley County in 2013-2014 and served as the chair of their Teacher Forum. Stephanie has assumed numerous leadership roles at the district level. She is grateful for the opportunity to continue serving with PSTA where she has previously held the position of District One Director.
Jeremy RInder: Treasurer
Jeremy Rinder is currently a Fifth Grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Hammond Hill Elementary School. He was named the 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year at Hammond Hill and was on the Aiken County Teacher of the Year Honor Court. In 2014, he was named to the Newberry College Hall of Master Teachers. He was also named the SC Student Teacher of the Year by the South Carolina Association of Teacher Educators in 2011. Mr. Rinder earned his B.S. in Elementary Education from Newberry College. He also holds a M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from the American College of Education and a M.A. in History from Southern New Hampshire University. Mr. Rinder is currently a doctoral candidate in the Curriculum and Instruction- Educational Technology program at the University of South Carolina.
Zoan Stokes: District One Director
Zoan is a proud wife and mother of two beautiful girls. After completing her Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education at South Carolina State University, she taught in 1st and 2nd grade classrooms for 10 years. Her passion for teaching led her to pursue a Master of Education in Reading from The Citadel. Since then, Zoan has been a Master Reading Teacher for Charleston County at North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary School.
Betsy Portune: District Three Director
Betsy Portune lives in Lexington, SC with her husband Kris, their cat Jake, and bird, Kosmo. She attended the University of South Carolina and is currently pursuing her Teacher Leadership endorsement through Southern Wesleyan University. Betsy has been teaching gifted education for the last 5 years in Williston, S.C. at Kelly Edwards Elementary and Williston-Elko Middle School and loves every minute of it! Her passionate tenacity for her profession is second only to her love of brunch, which she enjoys on the weekends since they don't serve brunch at school... though they should.
Amanda Harris: District Five Director
Amanda Harris is a lifelong resident of Kershaw County and is married with two sons. She attends Cedar Creek Baptist Church where she is an active member and youth leader. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters of Education Degree with a focus in Literacy Studies. She serves as a 4th grade teacher, mentor, and leader at Jackson Elementary School in Camden, South Carolina where she has earned numerous awards, including: Outstanding First Year Honor Roll Teacher; 2013 Jackson School Reading Teacher of the Year; 2013 Kershaw County Reading Teacher of the Year; 2015 Jackson School Teacher of the Year; 2015 District Teacher of the Year; and the 2016 recipient of The Charles Dickerson Community Service Award. She is a current member of PSTA, SCIRA, KCRC, and DKG and currently serves as the Chairperson of Kershaw County Teacher Leadership Council and 2nd Vice President of Delta Kappa Gamma, Upsilon Chapter. Amanda is passionate about children, learning, and serving others.