Education News: Oct. 8, 2017


Sumter Christian School

See You at the Pole

On Sept. 27, students and teachers of Sumter Christian School joined thousands across the country as they gathered around the flagpole in front of the school to lift up our country in song, pledges and prayer.

The national theme of See You at the Pole was "Fix Our Eyes" from Hebrews 12:2.

Amanda Kish's second-grade class also spent Sept. 27 celebrating Johnny Appleseed Day by making their own applesauce, discussing the Johnny Appleseed story, drawing him and writing couplets about him.

The students enjoyed having Sept. 28-29 out of school while the faculty and staff attended the 15th bi-annual S.C. Association of Christian Schools Convention in Spartanburg. SCACS, the organization through which SCS is accredited, held more than 75 workshops and opened the exhibit halls to about 50 vendors to help teachers further sharpen their skills and expand their resources.

Several of the workshops focused on mentorship, leadership and information technology. The teachers enjoyed not only the additional learning opportunities, but also fellowship with other Christian school teachers from across the state. - Miriam Marritt

University of South Carolina Sumter

Weekly Farmers Market

A farmers market made up of several local farmers and artisans will be hosted each Friday at the University of South Carolina Sumter campus on University Drive. The market will begin at 1 p.m. in the parking area behind the USC Sumter Arts and Letters Building on University Drive and will last until dark.

The main feature of the market will be locally grown fresh produce - collards, red and sweet potatoes, butterbeans, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, etc. Other items that will be available are raw organic honey: grass-fed beef, pork and poultry; organic food truck; and handmade arts and crafts. Vendors are being added daily and will continue to rotate as the growing season changes.

For the latest information on the farmers market and its participants, check USC Sumter's event page on Facebook. For more information on this event or to inquire about becoming a vendor, contact Marie Dorr of Dorr Farms at (803) 983-9342 or email - Misty Hatfield

Clarendon Hall

Students learn coding

For the first time, the Clarendon Hall freshmen are taking AP Computer Science Principles through the interactive curriculum of

The students are not only learning about the internet and how it is built and how it operates, but they are also learning to program through online coding exercises. They will complete two performance tasks in the spring of 2018: one research project on new computing innovations, and they will write a short computer program to submit along with the 75-question exam on these Computer Science Principles.

Instructor Amy Magaw attended TeacherCon in Houston, Texas, this summer to get further training on the program. She is also teaching Code to all classes from Pre-K through seventh grade one day a week to prepare students for the digital world. Magaw is exploring becoming a facilitator for the Computer Science Fundamentals program with in order to train other teachers in our area on how to bring computer science into elementary classrooms across our state.

Good luck to the freshmen on the AP exam in the spring. - Susan Oswald

Wilson Hall

Art Show Winners

Seventeen students earned a total of 20 ribbons at the Sumter County Fair Art Show. Winning first place in their respective categories were the following students: junior Angelica Agno, painting; eighth-grader Mary Claire Graves, open media; fifth-grader Ellie Hudson, open media; sixth-grader Clark Kinney, drawing; senior Crystal Moore, open media; fourth-grader Mary Ellen Thorne, open media; and seventh-grader Will Singleton, drawing. Sixth-grader Jeremiah Jones won first place in painting and second place in open media; seventh-grader Noah Kennedy won second place and third place in open media; and seventh-grader Caitlyn Schumacher won first place and second place in open media.

The following students received second-place ribbons for their work: fourth-grader Morgan Aycock, drawing; fifth-grader Logan Schumacher, painting; eighth-grader Madison Smith, drawing; fifth-grader Michael Warrick, open media; and fourth-grader Bowen Zitzke, open media. Earning third place, students were fifth-grader Kaylan Boudreau and fourth-grader Madisen Grace Hansen, both in open media. The art teachers are Ashley Lareau, Mary Ann Reames and Tara Schumacher.

See You at the Pole

Wilson Hall students met an hour before school started the morning of Sept. 27 to participate in the annual See You at the Pole event which is part of the Global Week of Student Prayer. Held the fourth Wednesday of each September, this international event encourages Christian students to gather around the flagpole for prayer and Scripture reading before the start of the school day. The theme for this year's event was "Fix Our Eyes" from Hebrews 12:2.

Wilson Hall's chapters of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, advised by Karen Jones and led by senior and president Layton Creech, and First Priority Christian Club, advised by Heather Eldridge and led by eighth-grader and president Lucy Matthews, sponsored the campus event.

ACT Scores

Students in the Class of 2017 earned an average composite score of 24.4 on the ACT, well above the state average composite score of 18.7. Eighty-four percent of Wilson Hall's recent graduates took the test.

The ACT consists of curriculum-based tests of educational development in English, mathematics, reading and science designed to measure the skills needed for success in first-year college coursework. ACT research has shown that it is the rigor of coursework, rather than simply the number of core courses, that has the greatest impact on ACT performance and college readiness. - Sean Hoskins

Morris College

Morris College Day

Today, Morris College will be recognized at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Sumter. Dr. Leroy Staggers, interim president, will be the speaker along with a musical selection from the Morris College Chorale.

President's Lecture Series

Morris College will hold assembly on Thursday in the Neal-Jones Auditorium. The assembly will be a part of the President's Lecture Series and will feature Henry Darby of the Charleston County Council as the keynote speaker. The event is open to the public.


The Coronation of Miss Morris College will commence on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The event is free open to the public.

Graduate/Professional Schools Information Day

Morris College will host a graduate and professional school fair on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The event will be held in the Garrick-Boykin Human Development Center from 8 a.m. to noon. Business attire is required for the event. The event is free and open to the public. - Anika Cobb

Sumter School District

Alice Drive goes to space

Alice Drive Middle School, a nationally accredited STEM school, is one of 31 sites selected in the U.S. and Canada to participate in the Mission 12 Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. The students at Alice Drive will spend time during STEM classes learning about experimentation, collaborating with partners on research teams and designing research proposals for microgravity experiments.

In November, the SSEP Step 2 Review Board, a national team of professional researchers and STEM educators, will select the actual experiment to represent Alice Drive on the 2018 Mission 12 spaceflight to the International Space Station. The students will also be invited to enter a mission patch design competition. One patch will be chosen to go on the flight as well.

According to Alice Drive Principal Jeannie Pressley, "This is real authentic STEM research preparing our students for the future workforce. Collaboration, problem solving, project based learning and proposal writing are all skills needed for success in high school and beyond. This really is rocket science."

Lori Smith, district science coordinator, said, "Learning and activities built around the microgravity experiment will offer a valuable opportunity to engage students in problem-based learning. Students will design their own experiment, then conduct the experiment on Earth while the same experiment is conducted by astronauts on the International Space Station. That is an amazing application of real-world science."

The Student Spaceflight Experiment Program is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in the United States and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp, PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.

Bates continues successful program

Bates Middle School will soon launch the third year of Building Bridges, an intergenerational program that serves as a vehicle to bring students and adults together to interact and engage in discussion about various societal issues facing the young and not so young today.

The program begins in October and meets six times throughout the year. The sessions include planned activities that bring the generations together and also discussions on various intergenerational topics.

Bates students chosen for the program include students from each of the three grade levels served. The adults include Sumter School District board members, educators from the district level, business people, faith-based leaders, retired persons from a variety of backgrounds and others.

In the end, the students and the adults learn that although the times are different, the issues facing people, whether while growing up or as adults, remain the same. The generations learn from each other and bond throughout the year. The program has been well received by both the students and the adults, and all participants are looking forward to another successful year.

Meteorologist Von Gaskin visits

Popular WIS-TV meteorologist Von Gaskin visited the second-graders at Crosswell Drive Elementary School recently and spoke to the students about her career and the weather. Through a PowerPoint presentation and other props, she covered many of the second-grade S.C. science standards the students are currently learning.

Gaskin began by telling the children what kind of education one must have to be a meteorologist and what the job entails. She taught them about the green screen used in TV broadcasting and related it to some of the animation they enjoy.

She continued by conducting a lesson on the different kinds of clouds they may see on any given day and what they each produce. She talked about the light, fluffy clouds on a beautiful day and what kinds of clouds cause rain, lightning, tornadoes and fog. She also included lessons on safety during lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes and other weather occurrences. She encouraged the students to talk to their parents about the importance of having a family plan and an emergency kit.

Board meeting scheduled

Sumter School District Board of Trustees will meet Monday at 6 p.m. at the District Office, 1345 Wilson Hall Road, Pinewood. The board meetings are open to the public. Any persons interested in addressing the board during public participation are asked to sign up in the lobby before the meeting. - Mary B. Sheridan

Central Carolina Technical College

Minimesters offered

Did you know that CCTC offers shortened academic semesters? Choose from a variety of core classes and work toward a certificate or an associate degree. Minimester II (eight weeks) begins Oct. 16; and Minimester III (five weeks) begins Nov. 6. Earn full semester credit in a shorter amount of time. To find out what courses are available, visit and select the correct Minimester under "Part of Term."

College has new mobile ap

CCTCgo is the official mobile app for students, faculty and staff of Central Carolina Technical College, offering secure access to essential Central Carolina information, including: campus maps, events and news, social media, directory, course lookup, registration, student schedule, financial aid, midterm and final grades, academic transcript and so much more. Download CCTCgo from the Apple or Google App Stores.


Central Carolina Technical College's Natural Resource Management Program is hosting a Free Family Fun Day for all CCTC students, senior high school students, faculty, staff and their families on Oct. 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Natural Resource Management Center, 735 Brewington Road. Join us for a day of food, archery, kayaking, fishing, learning and more.

For more information, contact Josh Castleberry at (803) 778-6601. - Catherine M. Wood

Thomas Sumter Academy

A day in the life of a student

The last few weeks we have discussed "why Thomas Sumter" and what is STEAM. Let's take a look at the day in the life of a Thomas Sumter student.

Thomas Sumter Academy just finished with Spirit Week and Homecoming. Combine those two major events with See You at the Pole and Sumter's My Community and Me for our fourth-graders, and you can visualize the day in the life of a student at Thomas Sumter Academy.

See You at the Pole is coordinated by our First Priority and facilitated by Karen Hill, our high school science teacher. During Homecoming, we were able to crown the 2017 Homecoming Queen while recognizing and celebrating TSA students - past, present and future.

Between the Homecoming assembly and the Homecoming dance, our students performed on the football field, volleyball court and swimming pool. Our executive student council coordinated the Spirit Week decorations and float decoration competitions.

Our students are involved. They are involved in sports or clubs or committees. They learn about what it means to be a part of something bigger than oneself. They learn how to be a principled servant leader.

Please give us a call to coordinate a visit. Speak with our parents, our teachers and our students. See why Tenacity Supports Achievement at Thomas Sumter Academy. - Dr. F.L. Martin III

Lee County School District

Homecoming celebration Friday

Lee Central High School will be celebrating homecoming on Friday. The theme for homecoming is "Blast from the Past."

The following is scheduled:

- Spirit Week - Spirit week at Lee Central High School will begin on Monday and will end on Friday. Students can show their spirit by particpating in Team Day on Monday, Cartoon Character Day on Tuesday, Celebrity Look Alike Day on Wednesday, College Day on Thursday and Black and Gold Day on Friday.

- Coronation 2017 - Mr. and Mrs. Lee Central High School will be crowned on Wednesday. The event will take place at the Lee Central High School auditorium at 6 p.m.

- Parade - The homecoming parade is scheduled on Friday at 5 p.m. The parade will begin at Food Lion on Main Street and will end at Bishopville High School located on College Street. We are excited to host the following guest marching bands: Savannah State University, Timmonsville High School and Crestwood High School.

- Tailgating - Tailgating will take place at the Lee Central High School football stadium and will be at 6 p.m. on Friday.

- The Main Event - The Lee Central High School Stallions will take on the Cheraw High School Braves at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Lee Central High School's Band and Savannah State University Marching Band will provide entertainment at halftime. -Shawnta McKenzie

Fairleigh Dickinson University

MADISON, New Jersey - Crystal Turner of Sumter, a student at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Metropolitan Campus, located in Teaneck, New Jersey, has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies as of May 2017.