Education News: Sunday, Sept. 23, 2017


Thomas Sumter Academy


Last week, we identified TSA's Top 10 List and initiated a discussion regarding a STEAM focus.

So why does Thomas Sumter Academy support STEAM? The importance of the arts ("A") is well established from a historical perspective as well as a current foundational importance. "For example, Robert Root-Bernstein, a biochemist and MacArthur prizewinner, did a study of 150 biographies of eminent scientists, from Pasteur to Einstein." What he was able to find out is chronicled in his book, "Sparks of Genius," which he co-authored with his wife. Simply stated, they were able to show that "creativity is able to improve by exercising our right side of the brain."

Additionally, there was a Neuroeducation Study conducted in 2009, which was led by Johns Hopkins and the Dana Foundation. The study reinforced the fact that arts education "improves student cognition, memory, and attention skills."

This establishes the science as to the benefits of a STEAM focus. From a purely Thomas Sumter Academy perspective, the L-STEAM is just a good fit for the school. We want to develop leaders; leaders can be found at any level - first grade through high school. A vision to develop principled leaders is extremely important for our local community as well as the state, our nation and in a global economy.

Anyone can open the newspaper, read his or her Kindle or skim the internet and see that the world needs principled leaders. The best way to fill this void is to provide the proper learning environment with the right tools and build the leaders we need. Using both the left side (logic) and right side (creativity and instinctive) is obviously better than just one side being used and allowing the other to atrophy.

John Adams said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are a leader." This is what we do at TSA. Tenacity Supports Achievement. - Dr. F.L. Martin III, Head of School

Wilson Hall

Sixth-grade trip

Through activities such as white water rafting on the French Broad River, the 56 students in the sixth grade experienced an educational and enjoyable trip to Camp Kanuga in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Sept. 5-7. Organized by Stacey Reaves, middle school principal, the 18th-annual trip gave the students the opportunity to participate in four classes taught by the Mountain Trail Outdoor School which is located in the Appalachian Mountains.

These classes included a cooperation and low ropes course, a hands-on course in rappelling, an orienteering and wilderness survival course and a course in forest ecology. Students also enjoyed activities to promote bonding and team building with their classmates, such as campfires and recreational games, as well as time for a daily devotion.

Senior superlatives

The following seniors were elected by their classmates for the senior superlatives: Chandler Curtis and Bryce Lyles - Most Likely to Succeed; Courtney Clark and Brandon Carraway - Most Athletic; Eadon Lee and Justin Timmons - Most Dependable; Madison Reaves and Jake Meyers - Friendliest; Kirsten Fisher and Matthew Tavarez - Most Intelligent; Addy Carraway and Layton Creech - Most School Spirit; Betsy Noyes and Paul Choe - Most Talented; and Breland Land and Jackson LeMay - Wittiest. - Sean Hoskins

Morris College

Soft skills seminar

Morris College will hold a soft skills seminar on Wednesday. The event is open to the public and will be held at 2 p.m. in the Neal-Jones Auditorium.

Professional Lecture Series

Morris College will present the Professional Lecture series through Oct. 31. For more information, contact the Office of Career Services.


The Morris College volleyball team will take on Allen University in the Garrick-Boykin Human Development Center on Friday at 6 p.m. - Anika Cobb

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.

There are four Fall Minimesters available: Minimester II (five weeks) begins Thursday; 10-week session begins Oct. 2; 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."

$20,000 grant

Central Carolina Technical College freshmen will experience expanded services thanks to a $20,000 grant awarded by the Caterpillar Foundation. The funds will be used specifically for CCTC's Freshman Focus Center, which provides first-time freshmen resources to enhance their overall learning experience.

The Freshman Focus Center is located on CCTC's Main Campus in Sumter, in Building M500. The ultimate goal of the center and the utilization of these funds will be to assist freshmen with coursework, assignments, advising, registration, college resources and technology, all while building academic confidence.

Providing academic support to help students succeed is an overarching goal of the college, and through the Freshman Focus Center, first-time students have an opportunity to engage with a freshman adviser who provides mentoring and leadership. Freshman advisers relate to students and their individual circumstances in a one-on-one environment, and student success is greatly enhanced through this type of interaction. In addition to the services provided in the Freshman Focus Center, the freshman advisers participate in many college events during the fall semester such as New Student Orientation, Student Success Event, Online Orientation Initiative, Commit to Complete and CentralFest. - Cathy Wood

University of South Carolina Sumter

Fire Ants Have Heart Golf Tournament Friday

The USC Sumter Athletics Department has partnered with the American Heart Association to host a golf tournament Friday at Beech Creek Golf Course. The shotgun start will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a four-player Captain's Choice format.

The tournament includes special hole-in-one options, an opportunity to "Beat the Coach" plus prizes for longest drive and closest to the pin. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams, and all proceeds from the tournament will benefit both Fire Ant Athletics and the American Heart Association.

For more information or to register to play, call USC Sumter Fundraising Coordinator Christie Stutz at (803) 938-3892.

Seminar Series Begins Again

The first USC Sumter Seminar Series of the year will take place at noon Friday in the Schwartz Building Room 127 and will feature a presentation by Assistant Professor of History Bianca Rowlett titled "Jeane Kirkpatrick: A Brief Biography."

The series is a monthly event led by USC Sumter and guest faculty who are experts in their respective fields. Come hear what is always a lively presentation and discussion. The seminar is free and open to all, and refreshments will be served. - Misty Hatfield

Sumter School District

Domestic Violence Walk Scheduled

Mark your calendars for the Sumter High School International Baccalaureate program's annual Walk Against Domestic Violence on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 9 a.m. The purpose of the walk is to spread awareness of domestic violence in South Carolina. No pledges or fundraising are required to participate.

Although South Carolina has made strides in its fight against domestic violence, the state continues to have a high ranking for number of cases. More stringent laws against the perpetrators have helped, but more awareness and assistance is still needed.

The event will begin in the Sumter County Library parking lot at 111 N. Harvin St. The public is encouraged to walk with the students, and friendly pets are also welcome to walk.

In addition to the walk to raise awareness, the students are collecting items to donate to the local YWCA to help victims of domestic violence in our community. Items needed include cleaning products, baby products and art supplies. Monetary donations will also be accepted and appreciated.

Schools Begin My Community and Me

Fourth-graders at Alice Drive, Cherryvale, R.E. Davis, F.J. DeLaine, Kingsbury, Lemira, Manchester, Millwood, Pocalla Springs and Willow Drive elementary schools will participate in Sumter Volunteers' My Community and Me program in September and October.

My Community and Me introduces area fourth-graders to Sumter city and county government and provides a unique learning experience about the Sumter community, its history, its services and the role of citizen volunteers, including fourth-grade students, in the community.

A production of "The Community Circle" will be held at each of the schools. The skit features numerous volunteers from all aspects of the community including Shaw Air Force Base, law enforcement and fire departments, religious and civic leaders, health care workers, people from the helping professions and persons representing various aspects of government, business, fine arts, recreation, utilities, history, education, volunteerism and other areas.

The skit lays the groundwork for understanding Sumter's history and government. Throughout the remainder of the year, the students will have lessons that teach them about Sumter during the Colonial period, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and other events up until present day.

The program is coordinated by Joanne Morris, director of Sumter Volunteers. For more information or for civic-minded adults who would like to volunteer to participate in one or more of the Community Circles, call Morris at (803) 775-7423.

Interims issued

Interim reports were issued in Sumter School District last week, indicating progress on the first half of the first quarter of the 2017-18 school year. Parents with concerns about their students' progress or who would like to meet with the teachers are asked to call the school the child attends to schedule a parent-teacher conference. Parental involvement is welcomed in all our schools.

Board workshop held

The Sumter School District Board of Trustees will hold its monthly workshop meeting at the District Office, 1345 Wilson Hall Road, on Monday at 6 p.m. Although public participation is on the agenda only at the regular meetings, the workshop meeting is open to the public. All are welcome to attend. - Mary B. Sheridan

Sumter Christian School

Chapel is important

Amid the busyness of schoolwork, sports and various activities throughout the week, students at Sumter Christian School get to participate in chapel services.

Senior Vanessa Blanton finds chapel refreshing "because they are a time where we can take a break from a crazy school week and learn and focus on God." Seventh-grade student Peter Samuelsen said, "I appreciate that the whole middle and high school is able to worship the Lord together as a group. I like to have a time where we can worship publicly at school as well as church."

A variety of speakers take time to bring relevant messages from the Bible to guide students in their daily lives. Senior Erik Langevin-Ziegler enjoys having a variety of chapel speakers "because it provides a change in styles to avoid redundancy and keeps things interesting." Sophomore Amanda Wierschem added, "They all preach differently, and I enjoy when speakers from different colleges and evangelists come to speak. I like hearing how different people preach."

While Sumter Bible Church hosted Evangelist Ron DeGarde and his family for evening revival services on Sept. 10-13, middle school and high school students were able to enjoy chapel services with him each day. Junior Bryson Cornwell commented, "I enjoy his preaching. He tends to go farther than some preachers. He makes you get out of your comfort zone." - Miriam Marritt


USC Sumter student Emilee C. Dollard of Sumter received the William S. and Elizabeth B. Heath Scholarship from the Central Carolina Community Foundation. The foundation awarded 123 scholarships totaling $277,544 to some of South Carolina and the country's outstanding students.

The Community Foundation manages 41 scholarship funds that provide education opportunities for students across South Carolina.

Central Carolina Community Foundation will begin accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year in January 2018.

For more information about applying for scholarships or establishing a scholarship fund at the Foundation, visit or call (803) 254.5601.