GSSM Math Instructor Jenny Salazar Named Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction

February 15, 2023

Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) Math Instructor, Jenny Salazar was nominated and named a Claes Novel Educator of Distinction.

Each year, student members of The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) nominate the educator who has made the biggest impact on their academic career for the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award. This award recognizes educators that have a passion and devotion to inspire their students to grow and develop as scholars, leaders and citizens.

“Being nominated for this award was completely unexpected,” said Salazar. “The fact that a student, specifically a Junior in the first quarter of the year, nominated me makes this even more special. This award gives me the sense that I am actually making a difference in my students' lives."

Salazar was nominated for the Claes Novel Educator of Distinction by one of her students, Nadia Ahmed. In Ahmed’s nomination, she spoke about why Salazar deserved the recognition by saying, “Lady Sal--as we call her-- has done more than be a teacher to me. She believed in me when I lost confidence in myself and has been there for me outside of school, also. Lady Sal helped me to identify my anxiety and encouraged me to get the help I needed. She cares for all her students as if they are her kids. She is patient, kind, and empathetic, and she will push you to your limits. Lady Sal is a wonderful teacher, and she truly deserves this recognition.”

Salazar has been teaching at GSSM for 11 years as a Math Instructor. She teaches Precalculus, AB Calculus and Honors Calculus. Prior to arriving at GSSM, Salazar taught in a college atmosphere. Salazar’s favorite part about teaching at GSSM is the students. Because students are required to apply to GSSM, their drive, motivation and eagerness to learn keeps Salazar inspired and passionate about teaching.

“We are very proud of Jenny,” said GSSM Vice President of Academics Dr. Michael Newsome. “She cares so much about each of her students. Her efforts inside and outside of the classroom have prepared many Govies for success at school and in life.”

GSSM is accepting applications for the upcoming school year through Tuesday, March 7, 2023. Visit to learn more about GSSM’s programs and to submit an application.


About the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics

One of the few specialized public residential high schools of its kind, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) exists to push motivated young learners beyond their perceived levels of academic ability. Founded in 1988 under the leadership of the late Governor Carroll Campbell, GSSM has consistently raised the bar for STEM education in the Palmetto State. GSSM’s two-year residential high school program—as well as its virtual high school program, summer camps, and outreach programs—all invite young people to explore the subjects they love in a diverse, inclusive, and uncommonly supportive academic environment. Here, challenge is viewed as a gateway to opportunity. GSSM students embrace the school’s rigorous approach to education and in so doing begin to realize their full potential. Learn more by visiting