Inspiration Award

The Inspiration Award celebrates someone who is supportive of Beaufort County schools and has demonstrated extraordinary dedication, passion, and skills that influence and inspire students.

2020 Inspiration Award Recipient - Kathy Cramer

We are pleased to announce that Kathy Cramer has been named the 2020 Recipient of the Peggy May Inspiration Award! We look forward to honoring her at our Jewels & Jeans event on Saturday, March 7th.


Kathy’s numerous contributions to students in the Lowcountry

are immeasurable. As the recipient of this year’s Inspiration Award, Kathy embodies the definition of inspiration in all that she does.


While teaching special education in the Beaufort County School system, as well as acting as the Co-Director of Area 8 Special Olympics, she worked diligently to fulfill her dream of seeing Special Olympics categorized as a school sport. Now that this dream has become a reality, the Beaufort County School system recognizes and supports over 400 Special Olympic athletes in a variety of sports, from equestrian events to tennis, on a weekly basis.

After 33 years of teaching, Kathy retired from the school system to dedicate herself full-time to providing recreational opportunities to those with special needs. She now makes a huge impact on our entire community through SOAR-Special Recreation – the nonprofit organization she started in 2015. SOAR continues to grow Special Olympics participation by providing year-round sports training and competition as well as social activities for individuals with disabilities of all ages. Through its own fundraising and partnership with individuals, families, and local agencies, SOAR encourages the practice of unified interaction, which empowers the whole community by providing opportunities in which everyone and anyone can participate.


Her passion for providing opportunities for people with disabilities in their pursuit to live, play and participate in the community and her love for these individuals is evident through her hard work, dedication and commitment to giving a sense of purpose to those often overlooked.

  • 2019 Recipient: Dr. Jane T. Upshaw, Distinguished Chancellor Emerita, University of South Carolina Beaufort, who has shown devoted leadership throughout her career for the advancement of education  in the Lowcountry

  • 2018 Recipient: Dr. Emory Campbell, recognized for contributions in the cultural and environmental heritage of the Lowcountry

  • 2017 Recipients: The Esquivel Family, champions for the Latino community

  • 2016 Recipient: Dr. Narendra P. Sharma, the founder of the Neighborhood Outreach Connection

  • 2015 Recipient: Peggy May, a retired educator, former chair of the Foundation for Educational Excellence, and former county and state Director of Adult Literacy

  • 2014 Recipient: Candice Glover,  2008 Beaufort High School graduate, who rose through the ranks to become the 2013 American Idol on FOX 

  • 2013 Recipient: Dr. Wayne Carbiener, former Beaufort County School Board member and avid supporter of the Foundation for Educational Excellence

  • 2012 Recipient: Orchid Paulmeier, accomplished chef, finalist of The Next Food Network Star television series and active parent volunteer at children's schools in Beaufort County

  • 2011 Recipient: David Vincent Young, renowned chef and entrepreneur and 1989 graduate of Hilton Head Island High School

  • 2010 Recipient: Jonathan Green, recognized as one of our nation's outstanding African American artists and 1973 graduate of Beaufort High School