In the 10 years since Tasha Thomas graduated from USC Upstate, she enjoyed a variety of careers before settling on a teaching career. An internship with Smith Barney during her senior year of college led to a paid position as a financial consultant. After two years in the cut-throat world of finance, Tasha, Class of 1996, decided it wasn’t for her. She took a job as an office manager for Combab, Inc. and returned to college to earn a master’s degree in teaching.
It turned out to be the right move. She began teaching freshman English at Chapman High School and was named Teacher of the Year for Spartanburg School District 1 for 2005-2006.
Tasha recently began a new job as director of the Spartanburg Writing project, which includes planning, coordinating and participating in professional development for Spartanburg and Union County K-12 teachers in the area of writing instruction. As an instructor, she also teaching two sections of English 101 and will be teaching SEGL102 next semester. In addition, she is working with Dr. Richard Predmore and Dr. York Bradshaw to plan the introduction of a writing lab at the new Community Outreach Partnership Center.
Tasha credits the knowledge she gained in education and English classes and the commitment of her professors as the reason for her long-term career success.
“I loved that they challenged my without restraint and pushed me to go above and beyond what I viewed as acceptable,” Thomas said. “I also learned to never stop striving for excellence, but to laugh at myself in certain situations. I was also held responsible for my own success on a level that many teachers today do not require.”
Her fondest memory from being a student at USC Upstate would be her graduation, because her entire family, including her daughter who was five years old at the time, was present.
“I believe that my biggest accomplishment is made up of many small accomplishments,” said Tasha. “What I mean is that my greatest rewards in teaching come when I see my students learning and being successful. As a teacher, my accomplishments are tied inseparably to my students.”
Tasha is married to Jack and their daughter is a sophomore at Chapman High School. In her spare time she enjoys learning to scuba dive, sewing children’s clothes and reading.