Education News: Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017


Wilson Hall

Clark Player of the Week

Senior Courtney Clark, a member of the varsity volleyball team, was named the WLTX News 19 Player of the Week.

For this program, News 19 honors exceptional high school seniors who participate in varsity sports, maintain a high GPA and are outstanding citizens in their community. Area coaches send letters to News 19 recommending student athletes, and Clark was nominated by her coach, Rip Ripley.

News 19 Sports presents each winner with a letter jacket and a plaque, and the student is featured in a 30-second promotional announcement that airs for one week.

Colonial Day

As part of the "Why America is Free" curriculum used in their U.S. History class, the fourth- and fifth-grade students participated in Colonial Day held on campus Nov. 17. "Why America is Free" is a six-week program that offers a hands-on learning experience and covers the events, times and heroes of the American Revolution.

Dressed in period costume, the students participated in a wide variety of activities including colonial cooking for the girls and a militia drill for the boys. Students also learned how to make candles, cornhusk dolls, hand-painted floor cloths, string toys and silhouettes. Boys attended the class "Education of Young Gentlemen" while the girls attended "Lady of Genteel Refinement."

Also dressed in period costume, parent volunteers and teachers led the 10 different activities throughout the day. For Patriot Night, an evening reception held at the home of Ryan and Wendy McLeod on Nov. 16, students, faculty and parents also dressed in period costume.

Field Trips

Second-grade students dressed in Halloween costumes visited Solomons Home on Oct. 31 to present a music program, directed by Frankie Eldridge, and visit with the residents. The preschool, kindergarten, and first-grade classes visited Patriot Hall on Nov. 17 for the Columbia City Ballet production of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." The kindergarten students visited Covenant Place on Nov. 21 to sing for the residents. - Sean Hoskins

Sumter Christian School

Water safety discussed

The second- and third-grade classes received a visit from representatives from the City of Sumter Aquatics Center on Nov. 15 to discuss water safety as part of the Whales Tales program through the Red Cross. The theme was "Do Your Part, Be Water Smart."

Representatives spent time educating students about the dangers of drowning through a video presentation, student involvement and a question-and-answer session.

Thanksgiving celebrated

On Nov. 21, the last day of school before Thanksgiving break, several classes took time to enjoy Thanksgiving festivities together. Second- and third-grade classes celebrated with a Thanksgiving Breakfast while fourth grade had a full Thanksgiving luncheon.

The pre-school, K5 and fifth-grade students went to Covenant Place to encourage residents by singing Thanksgiving songs and doing a Thanksgiving play as part of their Community Outreach project. The fifth-grade students took on various roles for the play: Larry Wayne Rogers played William Bradford; Jonathan Kannon played Squanto; JR Truett played an American Indian; and John Beck, Trinity Jones and Micah Wierschem played other Pilgrims. - Miriam Marritt

University of South Carolina Sumter

It's not too late to register for spring

Did you go away to college and find yourself struggling? Or did you delay classes in the fall but feel ready to make a change now? USC Sumter welcomes all students, and it's not too late for spring 2018.

Visit for a full listing of spring courses, and call our admissions office at (803) 938-3717 for more information on how to register.

Happy Holidays

University of South Carolina Sumter will be closed for the holidays Dec. 21 through Jan. 1, 2018. We wish all of our students, alumni, employees and visitors warm holiday wishes and a Happy New Year. - Misty Hatfield

Morris College

Final Examinations

Morris College will hold final examinations Monday through Thursday.

Christmas concert, tree lighting

The annual Christmas Concert will be held at 6 p.m. today in Neal-Jones Auditorium. The lighting of the campus Christmas tree will follow the concert at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.


The Lady Hornets will take on Edward Waters College at 6 p.m. on Friday in Garrick-Boykin Human Development Center.

Spring Semester Enrollment

Spring semester enrollment is underway. Prospective students can contact the Office of Admission and Records at (803) 934-3225. - Anika Cobb

Sumter School District

Principal for the Day program

The seventh-annual Principal for the Day program was held on Thursday. Each Sumter School District principal invited a community leader to serve as the school's "principal for the day," and the person shadowed the principal for the first half of the day. The 28 participants then met at the Crestwood High School Fine Arts Center for lunch and a recap of the day.

The leaders included those from business and industry, local and state government, the faith-based community, the military, print and TV media and law enforcement. The program is based on a national program that offers a unique, first-hand opportunity to appreciate the work done in the schools daily.

Following the lunch prepared by the District Food Services Department, volunteer participants shared their thoughts on the day and talked about things they observed and learned by taking on this role. Interim Superintendent Dr. Debbie Hamm then presented each participant with a plaque to commemorate the day.

Principals for the day at the elementary schools and their affiliations were Lefford Fate, support service director, City of Sumter, Alice Drive; Paul Robbins, First Citizens Bank, Cherryvale; Greg A. Thompson, president/CEO, Thompson Construction Group, Crosswell Drive; Dr. Brenda Williams, F.J. DeLaine; Chief Master Sgt. Gordon Comerford, 20th AMMO EMS, High Hills; Vince Johnson, editor and publisher of The Sumter Item, Kingsbury; Thomas Rhodes, Rhodes Graduation Services, Lemira; Victoria Bailey, CA Harler Trophies and Engraving, Manchester; William H. Croft, Curtis & Croft Law Firm LLC, Millwood; Chief Master Sgt. Daniel L. Hoglund, 20FW Command Chief, Oakland; Chris Spatola, Eaton, Pocalla Springs; Jay Linginfelter, Home for Heroes, R.E. Davis; Rep. J. David Weeks, D-Sumter, Rafting Creek; Pamela Brown, children's author, Shaw Heights; Jay Montgomery, SAFE Federal Credit Union, Wilder; and Susan B. Weston, Century 21 Hawkins and Kolb, Willow Drive.

Middle school principals for the day were Jay Schwedler, president and CEO of Sumter Economic Development/TheLINK, Alice Drive; Chuck Wilson, Universal Benefits Inc., Bates; Justin Rivers, Wells Fargo, Chestnut Oaks; Sen. Kevin Johnson, D-Manning, Ebenezer; Chuck Ringwalt, WLTX, Furman; Tracy Harrington, industrialization manager, Continental Tire the Americas, Hillcrest; and Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis, Mayewood.

At the high school level, the principals for the day were W. Jason Phelps, sales operational manager, Jostens, Crestwood; Cpl. Ernest McDowell Koty, S.C. Highway Patrol, Lakewood; David Merchant, Merchant Iron Works and Sumter City Council, Sumter High; Lt. Trevor Brown, Sumter Sheriff's Office, Brewington Academy; and Chief Russell F. Roark III, Sumter Police Department, Sumter Career and Technology Center.

STAR Teacher named

Brian Gerard, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Alice Drive Middle School, was named the November Star Teacher of the Month. The Star Teacher program is sponsored by Community Broadcasters and Staples.

Gerard and Sumter School District Executive Director of Human Resources Dr. John Koumas were guests on the Good Morning Sumter Show on WDXY AM 1240 and FM 105.9 with host Derek Burress. Burress asked Gerard a variety of questions about his career including why he chose the education profession, what his students are studying and his future plans.

Gerard was nominated by current and former students and/or members of the Alice Drive Future Engineers of Sumter Club Keller Thomas, Jenny Li and Natalie Leugers. The students touted his unique ability to present the social studies material in a way they can relate and remember. They also talked about his initiative in the Engineering Club and his ability to make all the members feel welcome.

In his comments about Gerard, Dr. Koumas said, "We are very fortunate to have Brian Gerard in Sumter School District. He moved to Sumter from Pennsylvania, and in the two years he has been with us, he has never failed to surprise and entertain his students and his colleagues. He can often be seen dressed as the Pope, Napoleon and even a World War II soldier - complete in uniform and gas mask. He makes social studies come alive for his students. This type of engagement by a teacher fosters a love of the subject matter, and that is what education should be."

One teacher is chosen from a Sumter School District school monthly for the honor of being the Star Teacher of the Month. In addition to appearing on the Good Morning Sumter show, Staples gives a gift bag to the honoree.

Board meeting Monday

The Sumter School District Board of Trustees will meet on Monday at 6 p.m. at the District Office, 1345 Wilson Hall Road. This is the regular monthly board meeting, which would normally be held on the second Monday of the month but was changed this month. Persons who want to address the board during public participation are asked to sign up in the lobby before the meeting begins. -Mary B. Sheridan

Central Carolina Technical College

Central Christmas Trees

CCTC is starting a new tradition this year. From Dec. 4 through Dec. 15, the college will be displaying approximately 25 Christmas trees for public viewing and voting.

Stop by the college during normal operating hours to tour the trees and get in the holiday spirit. You can also vote for your favorite tree by visiting CCTC's Facebook page.

The winner will be announced at the college's annual Christmas luncheon. A kick-off event for Central Christmas Trees will be held on Monday from 4 to 6 p.m. in building M300 on Main Campus. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available, along with a gift for the first 50 people in attendance.

Spring Semester Registration

Register now for spring semester at CCTC. Classes start Jan. 16. For more information on enrollment, visit, and to view the classes offered visit

Massage Therapy Program

Beginning this spring semester, CCTC's Massage Therapy Program will be offered during the evening and on Saturdays. Students can complete the program and obtain a certificate in as little as two semesters.

Upon successful completion of the Massage Therapy Certificate, students are eligible to apply to take the Federation of States Examination before applying for a South Carolina license.

Also, CCTC is the first school to offer a Specialty Certificate in Massage Therapy for Integrative Healthcare credentialed by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Massage therapists enjoy a variety of job opportunities in health care, spas, rehabilitation clinics and cruise ships.

For more information, contact Massage Therapy Program Manager Brent Jackson at (803) 778-7857 or Classes start Jan. 16, 2018. - Catherine M. Wood

Thomas Sumter Academy

Students to participate inscisa regional spelling bee

Just before Thanksgiving, our students in grades three through eight participated in our Annual Spelling Bee Competition.

The following students will represent Thomas Sumter in the SCISA Regional Spelling Bee Competition on Jan. 24, 2018: third grade - Jack McGary, Madison Morrow and Grace Wyrick (alternate); fourth grade - Benjamin Kessinger, Tyler Walton and Anna Bell (alternate); fifth grade - Brynna Nedderman, Reed Dollard and Trenton Spilker (alternate); sixth grade - Connor Claus, LaRaya Suazo and Miriam Roberson (alternate); seventh grade - Annie Kessinger, Vaughn Nedderman and Riley Hyder (alternate); eighth grade - Landon Delavan, Sammy Kessinger and Leah Stokes (alternate).

Our school representative is Janice Warren. - Frank Martin

Clarendon Hall

Students in active in community

Clarendon Hall Student Government, under the leadership of Melissa Moorer, has been very active not only at school, but in the community as well.

In September, students helped Summerton Presbyterian Church clean out its summer garden and plant a winter garden. The vegetables from the garden will be donated to the food bank at St. Mary's Catholic Church to be distributed to residents in need.

In October, students sponsored a "Dress Down Day" at school to raise money for the American Red Cross to benefit the victims of the recent hurricanes. A total of $767 was raised for the cause.

A blood drive was held this month for the American Red Cross. Students, staff, parents and local residents all came out to give the gift of life.

FCA sponsors Operation Christmas Child

This fundraiser has always been near and dear to our hearts here at CHS. Samaritan's Purse impacts the lives of children through ministry and many other wonderful outreach projects and critical relief aid including Operation Christmas Child.

Students were busy this year putting together 37 boxes to send to children who may not receive Christmas gifts at all. Students also raised $1,420 to help buy animals, farm supplies and other items for families through Samaritan's Purse.

Candy Ashba, Liz Cila and Tammy Cogdill along with FCA members also held bake sales to help cover the postage for the boxes.

Veterans Day Program

On Nov. 10, our music program under the direction of Mrs. Candy Ashba held a Veterans Day Assembly in the school gymnasium. We honored our veterans with songs, poems and praise to let them know that we appreciate all they do and all they sacrifice for us.

After the program, our high school chorus went to Summerton Park to participate in the annual Veterans Day Program. Thanks to all who have served or are serving.

We are proud of our students for their dedication in giving back to others. - Susan Oswald

Lee County School District


Treats for Special Kids is a wonderful way for children with physical and mental disabilities from across the Carolinas to interact with one another in a nurturing environment. Bishopville Primary School's exceptional children attended Treats for Special Kids in Florence on Oct. 24, and the learning objectives were for the students to be exposed to a variety of social situations and to use their five senses to explore a new environment.

On Oct. 27, BPS hosted its first fall festival held in 10 years. The festival included many activities such as face painting, a basketball toss, The Ghost in Bucket, The Pumpkin Toss, Ring the Pumpkin, a photo booth, a cupcake walk and many others.


Fifth-grade students at Lower Lee Elementary School had the pleasure of participating in a field trip experience to South Carolina State University in Orangeburg on Nov. 9. During the field experience, the students toured the campus and explored the possibility of attending the institution after high school.

Lower Lee Elementary School showed local veterans that they truly make a difference by honoring them with a luncheon on Nov. 10. The event gave tribute to the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and the U.S. National Guard. Larry Frazier served as the guest speaker. Frazier along with other retirees of the United States Marine Corps performed a chant for the students and shared insight on their experiences in the military.

Second-grade students in Valerie Atlas' and Jacqueline Helton's classes recently learned about the three branches of the government.


Each month, the faculty and staff at West Lee Elementary School choose a writing topic. This most recent topic was "Fall into Writing." The faculty and staff wrote a variety of poems centered on the theme. The students enjoyed reading the faculty and staff's work.


The AVID students of Lee Central Middle School were afforded the opportunity to hear from Dr. Jennifer Evans, a chiropractor at Eastern Carolina Medicine. Evans thinks it's a necessity to come to Lee County to instill in students the consequences of choices, even in the eighth grade. "The decisions you make today are based upon a mindset that will change your future," she advised the students. "Don't limit yourself to a definition you have created in your mind."


On Nov. 1, Curtis Outen from the Tulsa Welding School presented the program benefits to Jamie Mack's automotive class at the Lee County Career and Technology Center. Solid preparation courses focus on structural welding, flux core welding and pipe welding as well as career success skills. Tulsa Welding School has been training students for successful careers since 1949. Outen discussed employer demand and gave students an opportunity to join the school. There are five graduates from Lee Central High School enrolled in the welding program. - Shawnta McKenzie

Students enrolled in Clusters 1, 2 or 3 of Greg Leslie's Building Construction class at the Lee County Career and Technology Center have been busy. Their most recent task was to use graphic designs to assemble lawn furniture. First semester students are introduced to the Core Curriculum: Craft Skills.

The National Center for Construction Education and Research Building Construction Course is nationally recognized by all the major building construction industries. Students are able to attain certification in electricity, carpentry, plumbing and masonry. Exams can be done online or paper at an accredited site. Engineering career engineers have options: traditional career, non-traditional career, or terrific choices. There are two females and 25 males enrolled in the program.

Electricity courses for females are classified as non-traditional courses, those in which women make up less than 25 percent of the workforce. The pay, benefits and job satisfaction can be much higher than in traditional female occupations.

On Oct. 25, the JROTC Department visited Cottonwood Villa Nursing Home to help assist with the basic needs of those who reside there. The goal was to develop a relationship with the residents by participating in some fun activities such as dancing, making collages, drawing, watching movies, playing games, etc. The day also included a Soul Train dance line.

Congratulations to the four Singing Stallions who were, by audition, selected to the 2017-18 edition of the South Carolina All-State Choir. The new All-State Choir members are Rodneya Cook, Aubree Price, Jayden Rabb and Khaliq Williams. There were 1,712 students statewide who auditioned for All-State, and only 699 were selected. Honorable mention goes to Brittany Green and Tatyana Williams as they came within a small margin of being selected. Congratulations to all of the students who auditioned and were selected.

Lee Central High School's varsity football team saw their historic season come to an end on Nov. 17, after a 30-26 loss to Saluda High School in the third round of the 2A state playoffs. The Stallions finished with an outstanding record of 11-2. Thank you to the players, coaches, staffs, principals, district and community for making this season a success. Special thanks to the Class of 2018 for laying the foundation and blueprint for all other Stallion football teams to follow.