Crosswell Drive school partners with Thompson

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 1/24/18

As the new principal this year at Crosswell Drive Elementary School, Shawn Hagerty started this fall with a plan that expectations needed to be raised.

Now, he has brought on a local business partner to help him and his staff in turning the …

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Crosswell Drive school partners with Thompson

From left, Crosswell Drive Elementary School teacher Fredericka Plowden, student Alena Bradley, and her mother, Dawn Bradley, participate in Monday's Family Night at the school.
From left, Crosswell Drive Elementary School teacher Fredericka Plowden, student Alena Bradley, and her mother, Dawn Bradley, participate in Monday's Family Night at the school.
BRUCE MILLS / THE SUMTER ITEM
Posted

As the new principal this year at Crosswell Drive Elementary School, Shawn Hagerty started this fall with a plan that expectations needed to be raised.

Now, he has brought on a local business partner to help him and his staff in turning the school around.

Greg Thompson, owner of Thompson Construction Group, spoke Monday at Crosswell's Family Night to parents about his company's new partnership with the school to help raise student achievement.

In recent years, Crosswell Drive, at 301 Crosswell Drive, has been one of the lower-performing elementary schools in Sumter School District and the state in academic achievement, according to Hagerty.

"The staff here has been phenomenal," Hagerty said. "From day one, I indicated that the expectations needed to be raised and the challenges needed to be met, and that change is a good thing. Since the start, the staff's commitment has been unprecedented."

His three- to five-year goal and vision is for Crosswell to be in the top 10 percent for achievement among all elementary schools in the state, as measured on the South Carolina College- and Career-Ready Assessments (SC READY).

To bring about that change, Hagerty said he is trying to build a more positive culture at the school to ensure staff is committed to whatever challenges it may face - whether they be academic or attendance related.

Knowing that Thompson has made investments into the district's schools and that he personally took a small family business and turned it into a multi-million-dollar company, Hagerty contacted him at the beginning of the school year about forming a partnership.

"I just sent him an email one day, out of the blue," Hagerty said.

He said he asked Thompson if he and his company could assist the school's leadership team in helping to improve the school.

Thompson sent a reply email the same day, saying he and his company were all in.

Since then, Thompson and his leadership team have started to help Hagerty and his team at the school in the areas of leadership planning, providing books in classrooms and motivational speakers for teachers and staff, among other items, Hagerty said.

Knowing the critical role of parents in student achievement, Monday's Family Night was focused on parental involvement.

Thompson informed parents in attendance of his company's pledge to help the school and asked for their support in improving student achievement.

"Your children are going to get a world-class education, right here at Crosswell," Thompson said. "For us to be able to do that, we need your equal commitment to have your children here, have them here on time and encourage them to study because we're going to provide them the education they need to be as successful as they can possibly be."

Janice Poplin, a vice president of Thompson Construction Group who was on hand for Family Night, praised Hagerty for his work so far at the school.

"This is his first year here, and he's really trying hard," Poplin said. "He's got his leadership team very engaged with him, and so it's easy for us to give back."