Sumter Education News: Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017

Amanda Kish’s second-grade class at Sumter Christian School celebrated career day recently.
Amanda Kish’s second-grade class at Sumter Christian School celebrated career day recently.

Sumter Christian School

Career day, reading and more

Amanda Kish's second-grade class celebrated career day on Friday. Students showed up in costume to present art projects and talk about future careers; a chef, a veterinarian, an artist, a policeman, a scientist, a doctor and a teacher were among costumed students.

Students in first through sixth grade finished their participation in the Read Your Way to the Big Game Contest on Friday. Participating students are hopeful to win free tickets and pre-game sideline passes to the Thanksgiving Day Clemson University vs. University of South Carolina game. In an effort to promote literacy in the state of South Carolina, the S.C. Department of Education teamed up with the two universities setting the entry requirements at reading sixth- grade appropriate books in the allotted time.

Several other schoolwide participation incentives for teachers and school libraries were also offered, and the students and teachers at SCS are hopeful that their hard work will pay off. - Miriam Marritt

Lee County School District

Bishopville Primary School

Bishopville Primary School held its Title I Family Math Night on Oct. 25. Principal Lamont Moore welcomed parents and provided information about the event. He also engaged them in a Kahoot game (Are You Smarter than a Fifth-Grader?) for a prize giveaway.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Coordinator Henry Dixon Jr. explained what PBIS means and how it would be used with Ripple Effects, a new program to assist with social and personal development as well as student behavior. The Bishopville Primary School choir performed three songs.

Cindy Welsh, nutrition educator from Clemson Extension Expandable Nutrition program, visited Bishopville Primary School on Oct. 23. She taught a lesson to students titled "Rethink Your Drink." During the lesson she demonstrated what the intake of sugar in drinks can do to the body.

Lower Lee Elementary School

Students in Justin Gee's Exceptional Learning classes are learning and reviewing division- and place-value rounding. Students are also working on writing five-sentence paragraphs to improve their writing skills.

In math, 5K students learned about classifying and sorting. In science, students learned about animal groups and their characteristics and habitats. In ELA, the students are learning about adjectives and dictating sentences with adjectives. For writing, students are learning about writing sentences, spaces between words and periods at the end of the sentence.

Character words of the month are the focus in guidance at Lower Lee Elementary School. For October, the character word "courage" was discussed in guidance. Lower Lee Cubs are working on showing courage with their words and actions. Ways to show courage: Do the right thing, even if others are not; bravely deal with your daily challenges; be willing to try new things, even if you might fail; and tell the truth regardless of the consequences.

West Lee Elementary School

West Lee Elementary School's fourth- and fifth-graders had the unique opportunity to spend three days and two nights getting close to nature. Students and chaperones arrived at Camp Greenville in the Blue Ridge Mountains and quickly realized that nature would be the focus of the trip as all cell reception disappeared.

The camp is located at the top of the mountain and provided for a beautiful view of the surrounding area. Camp staff led engaging activities that filled the days with learning and the evenings with fun. Students learned about the importance of caring for the land and the environment, the interdependence of plants, animals and humans, and the importance of taking time to appreciate the world around us. There were lots of rigorous mountain hikes between informational sessions, but everyone had a fantastic time.

Red Ribbon Week 2017 was observed Oct. 23-31. The theme was, "Your Future Is Key, So Stay Drug Free." The students at West Lee Elementary School talked about the dangers of drugs and the importance of making good decisions. Fourth- and fifth-grade students had the pleasure of a visit from guest speaker Antowine Reames. Reames spoke to the students about making good life choices.

Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October.

Lee Central Middle School

Lee Central Middle School is excited about the 2017-18 basketball season. Basketball tryouts were held Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Damian Days, head middle school boys coach, and head middle school girls coach Shameaka McDowell took potential team members through rigorous workouts and training.

This is Coach Days' first season as head coach. He is excited about the upcoming season and is thankful for the opportunity. In addition to his team members excelling on the basketball court, Days would like for team members to excel academically. To work on achieving this goal, he requires that his team members participate in study hall before practice. He also asks that teachers submit weekly progress reports to him so that he can track and monitor his team's academic performance.

Congratulations to the students who made the 2017-18 Lee Central Middle School Boys and Girls Basketball teams.

Lee Central High School

The Greenwood Genetic Center's Mobile Science Laboratory, the Gene Machine, visited Lee Central High School on Oct. 18-19. The Gene Machine provided hands-on genetics laboratory activities for students in Mark Davidson's and Mauvette Doyley's biology classes. The students used engaging and fun modules, and the instructors enhanced classroom learning of timely topics and encouraged students to consider careers in genetics and life science.

"This experience provided meaningful content that our students can draw upon for success in the high-stakes Biology End-of-Course exam that will be administered later this school year," Davidson said. "Also, this wonderful opportunity has enlightened many of our students and encouraged them to pursue this field further."

Special thanks to the South Carolina Department of Education for funding the program. - Shawnta McKenzie

Morris College

Education Week

Morris College will celebrate American Education Week, Monday through Friday. The theme for the National Education Association in Washington, D.C., is "Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility."

The Division of Education at Morris College, under the leadership of Dr. Cathine G. Scott, has established the theme, "The Audacity to Change." Scott says that the new vision for the teacher preparation program is to be the best program of its size. The "Audacity to Change" means that one or a group must have the courage, determination, willingness, faith, skills and vision to carry out the Mission of Morris College and the Division of Education in a new way. The "Audacity to Change" means collectively that the Division of Education and its partners, stakeholders and community leaders must make suggestions and recommendations for changing from being a good program to a great program.

Gospel Choir Fall Concert

The Morris College Gospel Choir comprised of numerous vocally talented students will host its Fall Concert in the Neal-Jones Auditorium on Thursday at 7 p.m. The event is free, open to the public and will be a wonderful time had by all.

Fall Harvest Parade

The Annual Fall Harvest Parade will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, on West College Street. The parade begins at 1 p.m.


The Lady Hornets will take on Cumberland University in the Garrick-Boykin Human Development Center at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, following the Fall Harvest Parade.

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

Golden Apple programs underway

The Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce started the Golden Apple awards program many years ago as a pilot program in the high schools to recognize students for citizenship and good character. The program gained in popularity and has become an annual event at each middle and high school.

Twelve students in each of Sumter School District's three high schools and seven middle schools are recognized at each event. The students are nominated by teachers, counselors and administrators who cite examples of how each student demonstrates the qualities of citizenship, character and other good attributes.

The program is underwritten by presenting sponsor Caterpillar Precision Pins and gold sponsors Kaydon Corp. - Plant 12, Nu-Idea School Supply and University of South Carolina Sumter. Members of the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce staff and the Chamber Education Committee also attend and make remarks at the program.

The first awards program for the 2017-18 school year was held on Oct. 26 at Crestwood High School. The student honorees were Aquarius Davis, Keion Dicks, Brianna Dixon, Dy'Mond Gipson, Aliyah Grady, Shykia Hardy, Travis Johnson, Abigail Lewandowski, Eszri Salas, Maliyah Spann, Devin Vance and Amaria Weston.

On Nov. 2, the second program in the series was held at Chestnut Oaks Middle School. Students honored were Tiyauna Brown, Shacoyah Dickey, Deidrick Fordham, Sha'kyra Gibbs, Nehemiah Green, Lilliana Gutierrez-De La Cruz, Jada Hearrell, Emily Helms, Cheyenne Hodge, Cam'Ron McCoy, Michael Rembert and Ector Vicente-Larios.

The next program in the series is scheduled for Thursday at Ebenezer Middle School. The program ends in March.

IB students host events

The Sumter High School International Baccalaureate CAS hosted an International Cuisine Extravaganza on Tuesday after school to raise money for their Kickin' for a Cure event. Proceeds from Kickin' for a Cure support cancer research. At the International Cuisine Extravaganza, the students were able to taste foods from other countries while learning about other cultures. The event was open to all Sumter High students and faculty members.

Kickin' for a Cure is a soccer tournament scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 9, at Patriot Park, 380 General Drive. Teams may register for a fee to participate in the fundraising event for cancer research.

CAS, which stands for creativity, activity and service, is the IB Diploma program course that works with the development of the whole student: socially, emotionally and physically. According to Sumter High School teacher and CAS supervisor Ann-Frances Brown, "The development of attitudes and traits that will be respected by others, such as determination, commitment, initiative and empathy, are a key focus of the course. Students often identify this course as the highlight of their IB program experience because it emphasizes personal growth and student interests."

Brown says that while the course focuses heavily on service, it is not the only focus. Students are encouraged to grow as individuals while pursuing the skills and knowledge IB encourages throughout the 18-month program. All the projects done in the CAS class are initiated and planned by the students, who are encouraged to investigate causes that interest them, identify areas of need and implement projects that will best support that need in the community. The students are required to reflect on the CAS experiences and include the reflections in their final senior year portfolio that highlights the most meaningful experiences.

Other examples of service projects the group has done include Walk against Domestic Violence, Dunks for Diabetes, Children's Hope, Samaritan House, Cups for Pups, Toys for Tots and various others including volunteering at community events and at elementary and middle schools.

Child Find screenings offered

Sumter School District Department of Specialized Programs offers free vision and hearing, speech and language and development screenings. Any parent or guardian concerned about a preschool-aged child who could be delayed in developmental milestones may schedule a screening.

Other issues which may warrant a screening include academics, participating in classroom activities, speech and language and/or social behaviors. A Child Find screening will determine if further testing is needed to determine eligibility for special education services.

Screenings have been ongoing since August. Other screenings are scheduled for Nov. 15, Dec. 1, Dec. 13, and Jan. 10, Jan. 26, Feb. 7, Feb. 23, March 7, March 23, April 18 and May 4, 2018.

Screenings are for children 2 1/2 and older who reside in Sumter County but are not enrolled in public school. Children who attend day care centers, private schools and homeschools are also eligible to receive free screenings.

The Child Find is located at the Sumter School District Annex, 220 Hasell St. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (803) 775-5500, extension 119.

Board to meet

Sumter School District Board of Trustees will have its regular monthly meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. at the District Office, 1345 Wilson Hall Road. The meeting is open to the public, and persons interested in addressing the board during public participation are asked to sign up in the lobby before 6 p.m. - Mary B. Sheridan

Wilson Hall

Quiz Bowl Wins Academic Challenge

Members of the high school quiz bowl team, advised by Tom O'Hare, won first place in the Central Carolina Technical College Academic Challenge on Nov. 3. Fourteen four-student teams from area public and private schools participated in the day-long competition.

The team of seniors Steph Areford and Matthew Tavarez and juniors Shelby Guldan and Ingrid Singleton placed first in the general knowledge exam and first place in the team essay competition. The team of seniors Patrick Fidler and Tod Yang and juniors Sean Alderson and Callie McAdams placed first in the academic challenge competition.

The general knowledge exam was a computer-based 100-question multiple-choice exam with the categories of history and literature, business and industry, science, social science and mathematics. Of the 56 students who took the exam, three Wilson Hall students achieved the highest scores. Areford won first place in social science, Tavarez won first place in science, and Yang won first place in mathematics. For the team essay competition, teams were given a topic and asked to compose a short essay within one hour, and the academic challenge was a Jeopardy-style competition.

Anderson Places in National Contest

Junior Bridget Anderson won third place and a $250 cash prize in the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Student Essay Competition. She was one of only three winners in the national competition. In her essay, Bridget compared Liu Xiaobo's confrontation with the ruling Chinese Communist Party with Mulan's challenge to the system prevailing at the time. Bridget was sponsored by Tom O'Hare, a history teacher, in the contest.

All-State Choir

The following students were selected for the S.C. Independent School Association All-State Choir: seniors Pitch Sinlapanuntakul, juniors Emily Bell and Yeajin Kim, and freshman Bella Land. The students, who are members of the choral class taught by Scott Warren, performed at the annual SCISA Heads' Conference in Summerville on Nov. 3. - Sean Hoskins

Thomas Sumter Academy

Students recognized for Learning

At Thomas Sumter Academy, there are a lot of things going on. One of them is our recognition of our elementary grades for the character winners for October's character trait of Learning: K4, Lawton Hill; K5, Joshua Morrow and Emma Shrank; first, Janvi Patel and Autumn Crockett; second, Colby O'Connell and Riya Patel; third, Sophia Miranda and Jack McGary; fourth, Will Morris and Sadie Cox; and fifth, Diya Patel and Wes Carter.

Battle of the Books

As a member of the South Carolina Independent Schools Association, Thomas Sumter had the opportunity to host and participate in the first-ever Battle of the Books for High School students.

Battle of the Books is a SCISA-sponsored event and has only included the lower school and middle school since 2013. This year, the Battle of the Books expanded to include the high school.

Thomas Sumter Academy hosted the new high school event which included teams on campus competing for the regional and state championships. TSA's team made it to the semi-finals. Team members were Bella Crowe, Ava Claus, Payton Houser, Ed Lee and Liam Miller. Faculty adviser is Polly Mimms.

Fall sports complete

We just completed our fall sports. Our students learned and grew a lot during this season. Each of our student-athletes grew as principled servant leaders and young men and women of character, honor and integrity. Win or lose, they all learned tenacity, perseverance, resilience and grit. The Generals are looking forward to a great winter sports schedule.

If you would like to visit our campus or speak with our students, parents, faculty or staff, please call us at (803) 499-3378. Tenacity. Supports. Achievement. - Dr. F. L. Martin III

Central Carolina Technical College

Blood drive held

Central Carolina Technical College held a Halloween Blood Drive on Main Campus on Oct. 31. Students, faculty and staff donated their time and gave blood in an effort to save lives. CCTC is proud of its longstanding, active relationship with the local Red Cross. CCTC strives to hold two to three blood drives each school year.

3D fingertips for Virginia Tech Science Festival

CCTC's Engineering Design Technology program collaborated with a student organization known as Hands On Prosthetic Engineering (HOPE) at the University of South Carolina to print fingertips using 3D printers.

The printing of fingertips is part of a STEM outreach of e-NABLE at the Virginia Tech Science Festival. The e-NABLE Community is a group of individuals from across the world who are using 3D-printers to create free 3D-printed hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb assistive device.

Christmas Tree Donations Needed

Central Carolina Technical College is starting a new tradition. The college will be displaying Christmas trees for two weeks in December. The trees will be on display for public viewing and voting.

If you have a gently used, artificial Christmas tree that you would like to donate, please contact Cathy Wood, director of public relations, at 803-778-6602 or for drop-off directions. - Catherine M. Wood