Education News: Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017


Sumter School District

Teacher of the Year honored

Zachariah Lowe, campus Teacher of the Year at Mayewood Middle School, was named the Sumter School District Teacher of the Year at the opening meeting last month. He will represent Sumter in the South Carolina Teacher of the Year competition.

Lowe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in adolescent to young adult education from the University of Akron where he was a 2014 top 10 graduating Honors College member and earned a Master of Education in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.

Lowe is a social studies teacher at Mayewood Middle School and has been employed there since 2014. His talents have been recognized not only by the district, but also by state and national entities. He was chosen to attend the C-SPAN summer educators' conference and the Ford's Theatre Summer Teachers' Program in Washington, D.C., and as a writer and team leader for the S.C. social studies standards writing committee. He has also served as a presenter or co-presenter at numerous district, state and regional workshops and conferences.

Lowe is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National and S.C. Council for the Social Studies, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the S.C. Geographic Alliance, the Sumter Area Reading Council and the Palmetto State Teachers' Association.

He tutors at Crosswell Home for Children and volunteers at the Sheriff's Office Boys and Girls Conferences. He has led fundraising efforts at his school and is the student council adviser. He was the recipient of an Education Foundation mini-grant and an S.C. DHEC recycling grant. His efforts with a mock election at Mayewood earned an NASC Ruth Hollander award, a coveted national award. He has also led or participated in many events at R.E. Davis Elementary School, a feeder school for Mayewood.

The 2017-18 Campus Teachers of the Year are, from the elementary schools, Danielle Last, Alice Drive; Steven Palmer, Cherryvale; Erica Wright, Crosswell Drive; Jamay Baez-Bethune, F.J. DeLaine; Desirae' Lowery, High Hills; Leroy Steigerwalt III, Kingsbury; Shamarla Hart, Lemira; Kendall Jones, Manchester; Wanda Williams, Millwood; Erica Denise Harrell, Oakland Primary; LaTonya Alston, Pocalla Springs; Stacey Lynette Wilson, R.E. Davis; Angela Burley, Rafting Creek Elementary; Patricia Wilcox, Shaw Heights; Erica Jefferson, Wilder; and Monica Johnson McClam, Willow Drive.

From the middle schools, those selected include Leslie Lloyd, Alice Drive; Cindy Jo Seckel, Bates; Joyce Grant Perkins, Chestnut Oaks; Sharon Cheek, Ebenezer; Ashley Cappelmann, Furman; Karen Newman, Hillcrest; and Zachariah Lowe, Mayewood.

At the high school level, teachers chosen were Melissa Jackson, Crestwood; Danielle Tay Alexander, Lakewood; and Dana Mitchell, Sumter. Shamekia Adams was chosen from Brewington Academy, and James Hemby Smith was selected from the Sumter Career and Technology Center.

The District Teacher of the Year was chosen from among three finalists. In addition to Lowe, the other finalists were Erica Jefferson from Wilder and Dana Mitchell from Sumter High School. The finalists were interviewed by a panel of outside judges.

All of the campus Teachers of the Year and the District Teacher of the Year will be honored at a banquet this fall. - Mary B. Sheridan

University of South Carolina Sumter

Clyburn will visit tuesday

Assistant Democratic Leader in the United States House of Representatives James E. Clyburn will present the annual Constitution Day lecture at the University of South Carolina Sumter on Tuesday. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the USC Sumter Arts and Letters Lecture Hall and will last approximately one hour.

"As a former teacher and lifelong student of history, I look forward to speaking with the students at the University of South Carolina Sumter on Constitution Day next month," Clyburn said. "The promise of America is as valid as it ever was; the American dream is still worthy of pursuit; and the creation of a 'more perfect union' must always be our goal."

Clyburn is a passionate supporter of historic preservation and restoration programs. His initiatives have restored scores of historic buildings and sites on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities. His legislation created the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. He authored legislation that elevated the Congaree National Monument to a National Park, and he proposed model legislation for President Obama's proclamation which established the Reconstruction Era National Monument in South Carolina's Lowcountry.

The Constitution Day event is free and open to the public. The first 100 attendees will receive a free pocket Constitution. - Misty Hatfield

Sumter Christian School

Off to a great start

The Sumter Christian School 2017-18 school year has had a great start with plenty of activities and schoolwork to keep everyone busy. While the elementary and middle school students and teachers spent their first days establishing routines and diving into their schoolwork, the high school students and faculty had a great time starting the school year at the Anchorage Christian Camp in Lake Waccamaw, N.C.

Brother Germaine Smith ministered to the students during their four-day retreat bringing messages from the Bible about the ministry of John the Baptist. In addition to morning and evening messages, students spent their time fellowshipping over meals, snacks and activities. Activities included swimming and tubing on the lake, climbing the rock wall, big ball volleyball, kickball, medic, human Pacman and a faculty-student favorite Nine Square. Everyone enjoyed finishing off the first week of school with the annual faculty-student volleyball game and senior slushie and baked goods sale.

SCS kicked off the first school fundraiser on Aug. 17 selling World's Finest Chocolate to help pay for new LED lighting throughout the school. Students have the opportunity to earn a variety of prizes including the chance to cover Pastor Ron Davis with silly string.

After putting on their brightest smiles for Picture Day on Sept. 7, students, staff and faculty opened their arms and hearts as they celebrated Grandparents' Day on Sept. 8. Several students enjoyed having their grandparents visit with them in their classes; then they enjoyed spending a special fried chicken lunch together served by the senior class. Grandparents were honored throughout the day with sweet words, displays of affection and handmade cards and gifts. - Miriam Marritt

Wilson Hall

32 Advanced Placement Scholars

Because of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement Exams, 32 students received recognition from the College Board. About 22 percent of the 2.2 million students worldwide who took AP Exams performed at a sufficiently high level to earn an AP Scholar Award.

In May, 85 Wilson Hall students became eligible to receive college credit by earning a score of 3 or higher on at least one exam. Wilson Hall's average passing rate is 84 percent, well above the global average passing rate of 60 percent.

The AP is a global academic program in more than 100 countries. AP Exams, which students take after completing challenging college-level courses taught at their high school, are graded on a five-point scale (5 being the highest). Most of the nation's colleges and universities award credit, advanced placement, or both for grades of 3 or higher. To qualify to teach an AP course, teachers must attend an intensive AP workshop held during the summer. Wilson Hall offers 17 AP courses.

Lane Herlong, Sam Hilferty, Hannah Pauley and Maggie Segars, 2017 graduates, received the AP Scholar with Distinction Award for earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on five or more exams. Senior Steph Areford received the AP Scholar with Honor Award for earning an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on four or more exams.

The following 2017 graduates also received this recognition: Banks Burns, Emily DuRant, Sean Jackson, Michael Lowery and Patrick Muldrow. The following seniors received the AP Scholar Award for earning a 3 or higher on at least three exams: Blake Alderson, Carly Cooper, Chandler Curtis, Meredith Johnson, Eadon Lee, Amber Prewitt, Greyson Sonntag, Grace Towery, Tod Yang and Zack Zobrist. Also receiving this honor were 2017 graduates Patrick Bell, Ashley Brunson, Danielle deHoll, Danny Dilts, Katie Duffy, Hunter Hendrix, Tripp Herlong, Carlos Marquez, James Munford, Madison Niles, Drew Reynolds and Brad Russell.

Students Travel to Italy

Ben McIver, Latin teacher, escorted a group of students and parents on a trip to Italy from June 7-17. The educational trip, which included visits to museums, historic landmarks and ancient ruins, gave students the opportunity to experience the customs, culture and food of Italy. The trip included visits to Assisi, Capri, Bologna, Florence, Naples, Pompeii, Rome, Sorrento, Venice and Verona.


Wilson Hall welcomed 119 new students as the 2017-18 school year began. With an enrollment of 764 students in 3-year-old preschool through 12th grade, Wilson Hall is the fifth largest school in the S.C. Independent School Association. There are 116 schools that are members of SCISA. - Sean Hoskins

Thomas Sumter Academy

Top 10 list

10. Family is important to us - 51 second-generation Generals; five third- generation Generals; and 30 percent military families;

9. Upper School student-to-teacher ratio is 16:1. Lower School student-to-teacher ratio is 12:1;

8. Innovative and collaborative learning through our elementary (first through fifth) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Program;

7. 27 different sports available to our students;

6. 8 dual-enrollment classes through Central Carolina Technical College;

5. 14 student clubs and organizations available for the students;

4. Class of 2017 average SAT scores equal 1074 - well above the national norm;

3. Class of 2017 graduation rate is 100 percent;

2. Class of 2017 college acceptance rate was 100 percent; and

1. More than $5.5 million in scholarships offered to the class of 2017.

Stressing STEAM

Are your students ready for hands-on, engaging, project-based learning? We are very excited about our first STEAM classes and our online individualized curriculum.

During the first quarter, first and fourth grades will be studying light and shadows. Third, fourth and fifth grades will be exploring matter. All students will be engaged in science experiments that teach concepts and stretch their thinking. Through art and engineering projects learners will apply their knowledge.

At Thomas Sumter we believe in collaborative learning and innovative teaching techniques. Tenacity supports achievement. - Dr. F.L. Martin III, Head of School


Brandon Barkley of Sumter recently graduated from Grantham University with an online Associate of Science degree in Electronic and Computer Engineeering.


CHARLESTON - The Citadel honored the following students with Gold Stars for outstanding academic achievement during the spring semester of the 2016-17 academic year. Gold Stars are awarded to students that achieve a 3.7-grade point average or higher in a semester. Students that achieve Gold Star recognition are also placed on The Citadel's Dean's List.

- Sumter - John Baker, Greyson Haynes, Cameron Joyner, Addison Osborne and William Watson

- Bishopville - Tony Outlaw and Tierra Price

- Rembert - Trace Guy


CLEMSON - Local residents graduated from Clemson University at the August 2017 commencement ceremonies.

They are:

- Bishopville - Elana Lenae Martin, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management; Benjamin Tice Weeks, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management

- Manning - James M. Fleming Jr., who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Mechanization and Business; Robert Thomas Ouzts, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Pre-professional Studies

- Sumter - Spencer T. Brabham, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management; Kelly Hinson, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English; Arthur D. Plowden IV, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness; John D. Sorrells, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and Mathematical Sciences; and Bailey K. Stokes, who graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.