Education News: Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018


Wilson Hall

State Math Meet

The high school math team, advised by Mary Anne Erter, placed ninth out of 35 teams in the S.C. Independent School Association State Math Meet held at Sumter County Civic Center on Jan. 31. In individual competition, senior Tod Yang placed third out of the 210 competitors from across the state. In addition to Yang, the following students are members of the team: senior Kirsten Fisher and juniors Mills Herlong, David Kim, Daniel Metzdorf and Ingrid Singleton.

Zilch Named Presidential Scholar

Senior Abby Zilch received the Presidential Scholarship from Wingate University in North Carolina. Valued at $64,000, the scholarship covers over one-half of the tuition. The scholarship is awarded to exceptional incoming freshmen who have a minimum grade-point average of 3.6.

Sonntag Signs National Letter of Intent

Senior Greyson Sonntag signed a National Letter of Intent to further his athletic career in college. Sonntag will play football at Davidson College. Students, coaches and family members attended the ceremony held in the Nash Student Center on Feb. 9. - Sean Hoskins

Sumter School District

Tickets available for Hailey Bordeaux Scholarship Dinner

The Sumter Teacher Forum will host the Hailey Bordeaux Memorial Scholarship dinner at Kingsbury Elementary School on March 15 from 3:45 to 6:15 p.m. The turkey tetrazzini dinners are takeout only with drive-through and carry-out service.

The scholarship was created in memory of a 2011 Sumter High School graduate, Hailey Bordeaux, who was attending the University of South Carolina majoring in early childhood education when she lost her life in an accident. She was a daughter of Shawn and Pam Bordeaux and was a South Carolina Teaching Fellow at USC. The Sumter School District Teacher Forum founded the scholarship and named it in her memory.

Tickets are $7 and are on sale now through March 7. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact a Teacher Forum representative or Kingsbury Elementary at (803) 775-6244 or email Denice Merrick at Checks should be made payable to Sumter School District with "Hailey Bordeaux Scholarship Fund" on the memo line.

No tickets will be sold at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Sumter School District Teacher Forum Hailey Bordeaux Memorial Scholarship for Future Educators.

Lakewood teacher named WLTX Teacher of the Week

Elizabeth Beck, a special education teacher at Lakewood High School, was named the WLTX Teacher of the Week. WLTX News Anchor Darci Strickland paid a visit to the school to present her with this honor.

A 32-year teaching veteran, Beck knows firsthand how it feels to be a student with special challenges in the classroom. "Because I have a learning disability, I understand where the students are coming from, and I can see their frustration before the point where they shut down. I do not call it a disability; I call it ability," Beck said. "I have been able to watch my students grow up, become adults and have successful careers."

Rafting Creek educator in the spotlight

Ureka Hilton, a reading interventionist at Rafting Creek Elementary School, was accepted in the South Carolina Department of Education's Foundations in School Leadership program. This program is designed to provide leadership skills and competencies to teachers serving in leadership positions. FSL also provides foundations in leadership that can assist in the transition to administrative positions.

Hilton also had three projects funded through Donors Choose. The first project, The Best Me I Can Be, extends the school's Character Education Program by including Julia Cook and other books that address mental health and emotional well-being. The second project, Check It Out, creates a weekly library check-out system of books for students and their families to use at home. The last project, Project R.O.A.R. (Removing Obstacles and Analyzing Results), uses a printer, ink and a binding machine to create school-wide communication folders and agendas, personalized class and school newsletters and postcards in an effort to target parent engagement and increase home/school communication.

Sumter High Orchestra performs at prestigious festival

The Sumter High School Honors Orchestra was selected to be one of two performing orchestral ensembles to perform at the South Carolina Music Educators Association annual conference in Columbia on Feb. 17. This annual conference serves as professional development for elementary school, middle school, high school and collegiate band, choir and orchestra music educators across South Carolina.

The selection process began two years ago when Erik Hines, Sumter High School honors orchestra director, prepared his ensemble to record selections to submit to the SCMEA selection committee. Participation at the conference depends heavily on the level of difficulty in the selections performed in the submitted recordings, as well as the level of achievements that the orchestra possesses. Since 2010, the Sumter High School orchestra has received superior ratings at concert festival, which is an annual event sponsored by SCMEA Orchestra Division.

Hines noted that preparing for the SCMEA concert has been a community effort. First Baptist Church assisted with a location and professional recording equipment, and students, parents and community members donated and raised funds for black dresses and tuxedos, fees for the clinicians and music for the 35 musicians.

Love the Bus Month

February is Love the Bus, a month-long celebration held by the American School Bus Council. This celebration highlights the important role of the yellow school bus in education, with a particular focus on thanking school bus drivers for safely transporting children to and from school every day.

In Sumter School District, approximately 8,500 students ride the bus each day. Many of our bus drivers also have other roles in the schools. Some are faculty members, paraprofessionals, custodians, cafeteria workers and office staff. In addition, many of the coaches have the necessary licensure to drive buses so that they can transport their teams safely to and from athletic events. Each driver goes through rigorous training and undergoes professional development training annually. Sumter School District is proud of the outstanding job our bus drivers do for our students and the school district.

Adult Ed student wins award

Latoya Wells from Sumter Adult Education won the Outstanding Learner of the Year for South Carolina Award. She was recognized at the Adult Education Celebrating Our Success Luncheon. Sumter Adult Education also received a trophy for meeting its Federal Performance Measures and having the highest average of students moving up to Educational Functioning Level. - Shelly Galloway

Central Carolina Technical College

Minimester Registration Blitz

Spring Minimester II is approaching with 8-week courses that run from March 8 to May 9. Come visit the registration lab in the round building on Main Campus for one-on-one assistance registering for Minimester II courses. English, math, reading and computer courses are available in person, as well as a wide variety of online elective courses. Counselors are always available for additional questions about financial aid or admissions status. Designated registration blitz days are Monday from 9 to 11 a.m. and Tuesday from noon to 2 p.m. For more information, call (803) 778-1961.

South Carolina Technical System's 36th-Annual Welding Skills Competition Central Carolina Technical College is hosting this year's annual Welding Skills Competition on April 19 and 20 on Main Campus in Sumter. Ten South Carolina technical colleges will compete in six welding categories. For more information and sponsorship opportunities for this event, contact Welding Program Manager Axel Reis at (803) 778-7863 or - Catherine M. Wood

USC Upstate on the Sumter Campus

USC Upstate on the Sumter Campus sponsors a club for future educators, Teachers Educating All Children, TEACh. This club is an active part of the USC Sumter Campus and participates in activities such as mentoring students, service learning, Club Day at the Sumter Campus and staff development for education majors. TEACh meets the first and third Wednesday of each month in Room 113 in the Schwartz Building on the USC Sumter Campus.

TEACh engages various speakers on current topics in education. The next meeting is on Wednesday at noon. The speaker is Dr. Norton, principal of High Hills Elementary School. We invite anyone interested in pursuing a degree in Early Childhood or Elementary Education to join us for the TEACh meetings. The USC Upstate Program provides an opportunity for earning an education degree in Sumter. Call (803) 938-3702 or visit our offices in Room 123 and 124 in the Schwartz Building at USC Sumter for more information. - Betty Harrington

Morris College

Religious Emphasis Week

Morris College will celebrate Religious Emphasis with service times at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday in Neal-Jones Auditorium. The speaker for the week is Dr. Charles Pee.

Pee has been a member of the Morris College faculty since August 1987, the college minister since July 2002 and the assistant professor of religion since 2012. He teaches in the Division of Religion, Humanities and Social Sciences and in the Morris College Ministerial Certificate Extension Center in Horry County. He is a graduate of Francis Marion University with a Bachelor of Science, Duke Divinity School at Duke University, Master of Divinity (1983) and United Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministry (2011). He has also completed extensive graduate work at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia.

Pee has pastored Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Conway, South Carolina, since 1983 and is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. He also serves as moderator of the Little Pee Dee Educational and Missionary Baptist Association.

Mid-Winter Banquet & Rally

The annual Mid-Winter Banquet & Rally will be held on Friday at 7 p.m. in Garrick-Boykin Human Development Center. The speaker for the event will be Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes III.

Haynes has served as a visionary and innovative senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, since 1983. He is a graduate of Bishop College, Bachelor of Arts, 1982, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity, 2005. He earned his Doctorate of Ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation.

Haynes, the author of "Healing Our Broken Village," has received numerous awards and honors for his ministry and activism.


The Morris College Hornets will take on rival Voorhees College in the Garrick-Boykin Human Development Center on Monday. The lady and male Hornets will play at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively. - Anika Cobb

Lee County School District


During December, students at Lower Lee Elementary School discovered some interesting facts. One fact they learned was that Mrs. Rosa Parks was arrested on Dec. 1, 1955, for refusing to move to the back of the bus to give up her seat for a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama. The students also learned about Wilt Chamberlain, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978 and elected one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. Tiffany Lancaster, media assistant, and the students were amazed at the information they discovered. They also had a successful book fair.

Delphine Thomas, guidance counselor at Lower Lee Elementary School, entered Jean Moore's fourth-grade class in the EVERFI Future Scholar Winner Contest. Congratulations to Odell Toney, who won third place. Odell will receive a 529 College Savings Scholarship prize pack. Additionally, Future Scholar will invite Thomas and Odell to the South Carolina Economics Awards Luncheon on May 18 in Columbia to recognize both for the award.

The 5K students at Lower Lee Elementary School have completed their math unit on addition and subtraction. They used manipulatives such as counters, dice, dominos, cubes, etc. to assist them with these skills. The students are now learning about sorting and graphing.

In science, the students recently finished a unit on colors. They mixed paints to create different colors. Now they are learning all about insects.

In English and Language Arts, the students are making inferences and writing simple sentences.

Veronica Jamison, Tracy Dover and Lateasha Harris had the opportunity to attend an in high demand Professional Learning Opportunity with the South Carolina Department of Education. The meeting was designed to deepen participants' knowledge and understanding of the structure and intent of the K-8 Computer Science Standards that will be implemented starting in the fall of 2018. The groups that attended were first to be introduced to the standards. They were allowed to give feedback and their expertise on applying the standards within content areas before they are rolled out to the rest of the state. Participants will continue to attend several virtual and face-to-face sessions before other educators in S.C. implement the standards in the fall.


West Lee Elementary School held its awards day ceremony on Feb. 2. Students were recognized for perfect attendance, A/B honor roll and the A honor roll. Congratulations to the award recipients.

National School Counseling week was celebrated Feb. 5-9. The students had a great time participating in activities with their guidance counselor Delphine Thomas.


Lee Central Middle School is recognizing Lee County natives in its Black History Spotlight. Each week, a historian born and raised in Lee County is honored. The historian's accomplishments and successes are shared with the students. On Fridays, the honorees visit with the school to share their journey to success and inspire the students to do the same.

The first spotlight on Feb. 2 was Caroline Mack-Hill, a graduate of Bishopville High School, who won the national title of Miss Black USA on Feb. 23, 1997.

Mack-Hill told the students a story about the little girl from Luckey Road in Wisacky and advised them to set a dream, work hard and achieve it. Mack said if she can, they can.

After a successful session with Meagan Ard from The Alpha Center earlier this year, Lee Central Middle School decided to continue these experiences with weekly sessions for sixth- and seventh-grade students. Students will receive the Botvin Lifeskills Training curriculum, an evidence-based substance abuse prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse and violence. This program includes engaging lessons that address misconceptions about tobacco, alcohol and other drug use along with skills for dealing with peer pressure and personal self-management skills such as goal setting and decision making as well as general social skills.

Congratulations to the Lee Central Middle School Boys basketball team. The team finished the season undefeated with a 15-0 record and are the 2017-18 Upper Pee Dee Conference and Tournament Champions. Congratulations to Coach Damian Days for being named the 2017-18 Upper Pee Dee Middle School Conference Basketball Coach of the Year.


Three Lee Central High School Seniors signed National Letters of Intent on the first day of National Signing Day. Cullen McCabe signed with Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, and Demetrius Dubose and Deontae Lowery both signed with South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. Lee County School District's Athletic Director James Price held a special ceremony to recognize and honor the student-athletes on Feb. 7. "I am so proud of these young men and all they have been able to accomplish by being stellar student-athletes. I know they will move on to do tremendous things as they represent Lee County and the city of Bishopville," Price said. Special thanks to Superintendent Wanda Andrews, Principal Baron Turner and Head Varsity Football Coach Justin Danner for their continued support and effort to place our students first.

Head Varsity Basketball Coach Laverne Knox picked up his 500th career victory against Central Pageland High School on Jan. 30. T-shirts that read "Coach Knox 500 Wins" were worn by the varsity basketball team. The Lee Central High School Administration Team and the Lee Central Middle School Boys basketball team presented Coach Knox with a framed jersey and a custom basketball. Congratulations Coach Laverne Knox.

The Lee Central High School Administration Team and Athletic Department recognized Coach Dorothy Fortune for 42 years of outstanding service on Feb. 6. Congratulations Coach Fortune. - Shawntae McKenzie

Coastal Carolina University

CONWAY - Victoria Ballou, a Biology major from Sumter, has joined the Gamma Mu chapter of Chi Omega at Coastal Carolina University, which was established in fall 2017.

The chapter is not wasting any time in setting a strong philanthropic foundation for the future of the chapter, already organizing a "Wish Week" at CCU culminating in a "Waves of Wishes" fundraising walk in Myrtle Beach to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation South Carolina.

University of South Carolina Upstate

SPARTANBURG - To be eligible for the Dean's List, freshmen students must earn a 3.25 or higher and be enrolled in at least 12 course hours and upperclassmen must earn a 3.5 or higher and be enrolled in at least 12 course hours. The following local students were named to the Dean's List:

- Sumter - Elizabeth Atkinson, Kristina Barbee, Jared Dukes, Joseph Floyd, Allison Harrison, Ashley Hodge, Tatyana Hodge, Wilson McDaniel, Logan Morris, Briana Pierson, Akeila Robertson, Chelsea Roland, Micah Vaughn and Jazmyn Whitfield

- Dalzell - Lauren Coughlin and Mikeya Toney;

- Manning - Sabrina Dingle and Summer Tisdale; and

- Lynchburg - Shaquanda Hicks.

To be eligible for the Chancellor's List, students must earn a 4.0 and be enrolled in at least 12 course hours. The following local students were named to the Chancellor's List:

- Sumter - Noah Bittinger, Scot Bozio, Erin Bradford, Bethany Jones, Alyssa Lennard, Katlyn Loschke, Melinda Menser, Heather Merritt, Augusta Payeur, Da'Masha Ragin, Shelby Reynolds and NeTaysia Zeigler;

- Dalzell - Ashlee Holloman and Dylan Ross; and

- New Zion - Hannah Yarborough.