Education News: Sunday, April 15, 2018


Central Carolina Technical College

Register for Summer or Fall Semester

Register now for summer or fall semester at Central Carolina Technical College. CCTC has an average job placement rate of 92 percent, and with more than 50 programs of study to choose from, you’ll be sure to find your perfect fit. Regardless if you are interested in learning a skilled trade and moving straight into the workforce or transferring to a four-year college or university to continue your studies, CCTC delivers an affordable pathway to your success. Summer classes start May 21, and fall classes start Aug. 20. For more information on enrollment, visit and to view the classes offered visit

Welding 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, please contact Welding Program Manager Axel Reis at (803) 778-7863 or

54th Commencement Ceremonies

On Friday, May 11, CCTC will hold its 54th Commencement ceremonies at Sumter County Civic Center. The 10 a.m. ceremony is for students graduating from Business and Public Service programs. The 3 p.m. ceremony is for students graduating from General Education, Health Sciences and Industrial and Engineering Technology programs. This year’s ceremonies will be streamed live on Facebook. — Catherine M. Wood

Morris College

Fast Track program

Morris College will hold its Fast Track Program for the third consecutive year. The Fast Track Program allows 30 incoming freshmen to attend Morris College with all expenses paid during the summer session prior to their fall admission. These students will take up to nine credit hours of developmental courses in preparation for succeeding at their college-level courses upon entering the fall semester at Morris College.

Applications are now being accepted for the Fast Track Program. For more information, contact the Office of Admission and Records at (803) 934-3225.

Operation: Love Our Babies

Local churches including Mount Bethel, First Baptist, Jehovah and New Bethel Missionary Baptist churches have teamed up to sponsor Operation: Love Our Babies. Coordinated by Minister Napoleon Bradford of Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church and the Rev. George Windley of First Baptist Missionary Church, the program was developed to meet the needs of students who may need a little extra help.

On March 23, a care package of hundreds of toiletries including — but not limited to — toothpaste, soap, lotion, sanitary products, laundry detergent and more was presented to the Office of Student Affairs at Morris College. The items will be dispersed in an on-campus pantry where students can come and receive what they need. The institution also has clothing pantries for students who may need additional assistance finding business attire as they prepare to enter internships and the work force.

Senior soars through Praxis II

Shevon Wesley of Sumter has passed all parts of Praxis II on the first attempt. The Praxis tests measure the academic skills and subject-specific content knowledge needed for teaching. The Praxis tests are taken by individuals entering the teaching profession as part of the certification process required by many states and professional licensing organizations. Students looking to enter the Morris College Teacher Education Program must complete the Praxis I prior to being accepted into the program. Wesley is a graduating senior doing her field training at Crestwood High School. Her major is Biology-Secondary Education, and she holds the highest grade-point average in her program.

TRIO is alive and well at Morris

Morris College Upward Bound Coordinator Barbara Jones attended the 46th-annual Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Conference in Savannah, Georgia. This year’s theme was “SAEOPP in Wonderland” where participants were “Mad about TRIO!" The Federal TRIO programs or TRIO includes Educational Opportunity Centers, Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement, Student Support Services, Talent Search, Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs Staff, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math-Science and Veterans Upward Bound.

The conference had in-depth plenaries and workshops which offered a variety of opportunities to share thoughts on helping students prepare for college, get into college and graduate from college. Additionally, there were workshops on assisting students with applying for and securing scholarships, grants and financial aid for graduating seniors in Upward Bound.

Morris College houses an Upward Bound program under the direction of Rudolph Wheeler and a Student Support Services program under the direction of Joseph Jones. These programs assist students and future students as they matriculate through school. Student Support Services is a grant-funded program that aims to increase college retention and graduation rates of its participants by providing opportunities for academic development, assisting students with basic college requirements and motivating students toward the successful completion of their post-secondary education. Student Support Services can also provide grant aid to program participants who receive Federal Pell Grants.

Upward Bound aims to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of post-secondary education by providing fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their pre-college performance and ultimately their higher education pursuits. The program serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a Bachelor’s degree.

By attending the SAEOPP conference, Jones is able to bring back a wealth of current information to share with the Morris College family.— Anika Cobb

Sumter School District

Fine arts programs rate superior

Sumter High Orchestra accomplished another first in the history of its program. Under the direction of Erik Hines and Krystin Cote, the honors orchestra, chamber orchestra and concert orchestra earned Superior ratings at the S.C. Concert Performance Assessment. That is the highest rating designated by the South Carolina Music Educators Association.

All ensembles were evaluated by a panel of qualified judges in the following categories: tone, intonation, rhythmic precision, musical effect, performance position (posture), presentation and sight reading.

Sumter High School advanced wind ensemble and the symphonic band also performed at S.C. Concert Performance Assessment, the most important annual event for bands. Under the direction of Troy Cato, both received ratings of Superior.

Crestwood student receives leadership award

Travis Johnson, a student at Crestwood High School, was selected to receive the Billy Michal Student Leadership Award from the National WWII Museum. This award is given annually to one student from each state who demonstrates the American spirit in his or her community. The values of leadership, teamwork, tolerance, creativity and perseverance were reflected in his nomination.

FBLA students excel

FBLA chapters from Sumter School District joined more than 1,100 other members and advisers from across S.C. for the 2018 S.C. FBLA State Leadership Conference at North Charleston Convention Center.

Three Sumter School District students will serve on the state officer team for the 2018-19 school year. Travis Johnson from Crestwood High School was elected S.C. FBLA state president. Andrea Clark from Sumter High School was elected District III vice president. Maniyah Morton from Ebenezer Middle School was appointed to serve as one of two middle-level representatives on State Executive Board.

From Crestwood High School, Travis Johnson placed first in Public Speaking; Katrina Simon placed first in Spreadsheet Applications; Maya Martin placed second in Economics;, Jaleeyah Dow, Zoe McDonald, Kamaya Wright and D’Andre Young placed second in the Parliamentary Procedure team competition; Tylik Steplight placed fourth in Computer Applications; and Kiera Brown placed fourth in Help Desk.

Li Jason from Lakewood High School placed fourth in Cyber Security. In addition, the Lakewood FBLA Chapter received the Top FBLA Fundraiser Chapter 2018 Award for March of Dimes.

From Sumter High School, Andrea Clark placed first in Emerging Business Issues; Alonzo Green placed first in Database Design and Applications; Robert Jones placed first in Computer Applications; Jada Kirkland placed second in Impromptu Speaking; Lindsey Smutz placed second in Website Design; Imanee Summerline placed second in Personal Finances; Carolyn Alan and Tyann Sumpter placed third in the Emerging Business Issues team competition; and Ke’Andre Cummings placed fourth in Business Law. Sumter High School also received an award for being the largest 5A school chapter in the state.

Four students from Alice Drive Middle School won awards. Trinity Amos placed first in Intro to Business Communication; Tawanasia McBride placed first in Keyboarding Applications II; Gavin Ruiz placed third in Intro to Computer Science and Coding; and Ka’Niya Tomlin placed third in Public Speaking.

From Bates Middle School, Lela Rush placed first in Public Speaking; Madison Long placed second in Keyboarding Applications I; Ravon Harris placed third in Keyboarding Applications II; Zelena Fierson placed fourth in Career Exploration; and Jordyn Richardson placed fourth in Keyboarding Applications I.

Makayla De’Lay from Chestnut Oaks Middle School placed fourth in FBLA Facts.

From Ebenezer Middle School, Mia Bivines placed first in Keyboarding Applications I; Nasia Edwards placed first in Spreadsheet; Janiyah Morton and Abigail Sturdivant placed second in the Computer Slide Show team competition; and Titan Wright placed second in Spreadsheet. The chapter also placed fourth for its Community Service Project.

Chanel Jenkins from Furman Middle School placed first in Keyboarding Fundamentals, and Evelyn Campos placed third in Keyboarding Applications I. The chapter also placed third for its Community Service Project.

NaSadiya Weldon from Hillcrest Middle School placed first in FBLA Facts, and Jer’Asia Alston placed second in Intro to Computer Science and Coding.

Golden Apple awards continue

Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce held the Golden Apple Awards program at Hillcrest Middle School. Nominated by their teachers, guidance counselors or administrators, 12 students were recognized for displaying exceptional citizenship and character. Each student received a certificate and a proclamation signed by Sumter Mayor Joseph T. McElveen and Sumter County Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr.

Congratulations to the following students: Jack Edward Atkinson, Alicia Reann Fairhurst, Isis Ma Gonzalez, Landon Paul Harbison, Quatrell Darrius Diggs, David Allen Lundberg, Layla Nichole Krug, Jiyarien O'Shay McLeod, Derianna Nasiriah Holley, Devon Cole Rudd, J'Lyn Trovelle Williams and Dorian Juwon Terrell.

The Golden Apple Awards program, which is held at each high school and middle school in Sumter School District, is presented by Caterpillar Inc. Gold sponsors are Kaydon Corp., Nu-Idea School Supply and the University of South Carolina Sumter. — Shelly Galloway

Lee County School District


On March 2, Bishopville Primary School celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a parade. The parade consisted of the students and staff dressing as their favorite Seuss character and holding their favorite book while they walked around the school.

Bishopville Primary School Media Literacy Team meets every Thursday with Don Patterson, media literacy coordinator, and guidance counselor Vanessa Bostic to promote the wonderful activities, academics and parent/community events that take place in the school. The team also interviews faculty and staff members and encourages them to promote parent involvement. Bishopville Primary School’s Media Literacy Team members are Amil Cooper, Taylor Lewis, Simone McDaniel, Allan Rogers, Dominque Spann, Zynajia Thomas and Desire Williams.

Members of the Bishopville Pilot Club, a service club dedicated to the prevention of brain injury and education-related disorders, presented a puppet show to the students called Brainminders on March 15 and 16. Brainminders teaches students safety when riding bicycles. The club also gave each 5K student a biker’s helmet.


Lower Lee students had a visitor named NED on March 7. NED is a loveable cartoon character whose name is an acronym for Never give up, Encourage others and Do your best. The NED assembly program was used to promote kindness and excellence around the school. The students had a great time at the assembly, and they loved that NED is a kid-related character.

Fifth-grade students at Lower Lee Elementary School enjoyed studying the details of World War II and the Cold War. The students discovered that these particular events in American history are full of exciting twists and turns. The students compared the leadership styles of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the infamous Adolf Hitler. They transferred their knowledge onto paper and completed essays. The essays described life in Japanese internment camps and Hitler’s evil plan to exterminate the Jews. These facts were interesting and engaging to the students.

In math, the students are reviewing in-depth mathematical concepts for the upcoming benchmark test. They are playing games and tutoring one another in different mathematical processes.

Writing has taken a different turn for fifth-grade students this nine weeks. The students enjoyed hot chocolate and doughnuts while they analyzed and critiqued one another’s essays. The scholarly writers chose a partner to read their rough drafts. They took turns and gave one positive note and one “one to grow on” for their partner’s writing piece. This process helped the students learn to edit and revise their essays. The students’ writing pieces are displayed on the bulletin board on the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade hallway.

First-graders at Lower Lee Elementary School are studying about historical figures and their contributions including Mary McLeod Bethune, Frederick Douglass and Thomas Jefferson. Mary McLeod Bethune was a civil rights activist who founded a school for black girls in Florida. Frederick Douglass was an abolitionist who believed in freedom of expression. Thomas Jefferson drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence.

Students in Valerie Atlas’ and Jacqueline Helton’s second-grade science classes are working on science projects for Lee County School District’s upcoming Science Fair and S.T.E.A.M. Family Fun Night. In Jacqueline Helton’s class, the students conducted an experiment on which brands of popcorn pop the most kernels. The class was divided into four groups, and each group was assigned a different brand of popcorn. The brands tested included ACT II, Orville Redenbacher, Pop-Secret and Gourmet Popcorn. Each group counted the number of popcorn pieces that were popped and recorded their findings on an index card.


Lee Central Middle School concluded its African-American Heritage Month Spotlights on Feb. 26 with Raven Patrick DeSean Dennis III, otherwise known as Cake Man Raven. Dennis is a 1985 graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Johnson & Wales and a Master's degree from Brown University.

In 2011, Cake Man Raven was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for baking the largest sculpted cake, a 600-square-foot, red-velvet cake in the shape of a giant coat of arms. He baked it for the 100th anniversary gathering of his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi in Indianapolis.

Cake Man Raven stated, “I’ve tried to train our young people to respect themselves first and to meet and get to know that MAN or WOMAN in the mirror first. Then once you know yourself, accept who you are and what you’ve been taught, and you’ll be able to teach and tell someone else. The only way to help a community and its economy is to employ its children. Give the children a strong foundation to include the understanding of sacrifice, principles, morals and character will build a community and nation of leaders who will continue the tradition of the circle of success.”

Some talk a good game; others walk it. Inetta Lowery, a 1992 graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School and proud product of the Lee County School District, thought our students needed a “Wakanda” experience. She figured while some are putting people of African descent down, Hollywood is lifting us up through the movie “Black Panther,” and our students needed to witness it. She has always been told, “Never forget where you come from. But, don’t lose sight of where you’re going.” On March 14, through persistence and the hearts of those individuals who supported her passion through donations, Lowery was able to take a bus of more than 50 kids and chaperones from Lee Central Middle School to see “Black Panther.” She embraces every opportunity for black children to see something positive. Lowery states, “Grow their dreams and remove any doubt that they can’t accomplish greatness.... I’m Lee County born and raised. Black and proud.”


Members of the DECA Organization traveled to North Charleston Embassy Suites in Charleston on March 2 to attend the South Carolina DECA 75th Annual Career Development Conference. This conference is where state chapters gather to celebrate accomplishments and compete to determine which students will represent chapters at the International Career Development Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Keishan Scott competed in the Public Speaking Competition. Jamil Peeples, owner and operator of Jamil’s Sweet Sensation, Bishopville, competed in Principles and Marketing first round. This is the first time the Lee County Career and Technology DECA Chapter has participated in that area. Shakira Brailsford, Destiny Johnson and Brittney Morant competed in the area of Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling. All were required to complete a 100-question online exam, proctored by Jamie Mack, prior to the competition and participate in a role play activity. The Hospitality and Tourism Competition gave students an opportunity to develop basic business soft skills and problem-solving skills.

Keishan Scott, a junior at LCHS, earned First Place State Level Recognition. Keishan’s speech supported DECA’s 2018 theme, Limitless. Keishan stated, “I am a firm believer that this is the generation that will take the world by storm. We are an enthused generation that will lead the world in a positive direction. I also believe that this is a generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, self-motivated and intelligent young people who are passionate about seeing each other succeed. We are a generation that are purpose driven and destined to achieve our dreams and goals in life.” In conclusion, Keishan Scott stated, “I am most thankful and appreciative to be a part of such a thriving organization such as DECA. Since becoming a member as a freshman in high school, I have seen an exuberant amount of growth and development in my personal, social and business life. Through this amazing experience, I have been able to further advance my knowledge of business and to receive meaningful exposure. I am also most thankful to have such an amazing DECA adviser: Ms. Tonya Porter, who has and continues to push us toward greatness and to go against the grain to ensure that we reach our optimal level in life. Overall, going against the grain and the norms to achieve all the dreams and goals that they have in life is most times the best option.”

Keishan placed first in Public Speaking for the state of South Carolina and will receive a trophy and a medallion. In addition, members of the organization received T-shirts from DECA Inc.

Students also attended a two-hour Leadership Academy with Amy Gallimore, owner and operator for Four 16 Training Solutions. Gallimore encouraged students to learn to network with others through communication. Students completed several exercises that required movement.

The Lee County Career and Technology Center’s Future Farmers of America competed in the Pee Dee Region Leadership Career Development Events on March 12 at Loris High School in Loris. FFA member Quadriyyah Brown competed in Extemporaneous Public Speaking and placed second in the Pee Dee Region. Quadriyyah will compete in the State Extemporaneous Public Speaking Career Development Event at the South Carolina FFA State Convention at Clemson University on June 13. FFA member Nikolas Walton competed in Prepared Public Speaking and placed third in the Pee Dee Region.

Members of the Lee County Career and Technology FFA Chapter traveled to Spartanburg on March 17 to compete in the South Carolina Floriculture Career Development and the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Career Development events.

Career Development Events build on what is learned in agricultural classes and encourage members to put their knowledge into practice. Students were required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of floral design and the floriculture industry, plant selection and identification and safely operating a floral production operation.

The Lee County Career and Technology Center FFA placed sixth in the South Carolina Floriculture Career Development event. Team members are: Nikolas Walton, Javon Smith, Quadriyyah Brown, Ty’Andrea Couser and alternate Allen McMillian.

The Lee County Career and Technology Center FFA placed seventh in the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Career Development event. Team members are: Allen McMillian, Javon Smith, Nikolas Walton, Ty’Andrea Couser and alternate Quadriyyah Brown. Beth Tolson is the agriculture teacher and FFA adviser for the Lee County Career and Technology Center FFA Chapter.

The South Carolina FFA Nursery and Landscape CDE was hosted by the Spartanburg Community College Horticulture Department.

South Carolina agricultural education serves more than 12,000 students across the state. Students receive instruction in one of five different pathways within the agriculture, food and natural resources career cluster. The South Carolina FFA Association is comprised of more than 7,000 members across the state. The mission of the S.C. FFA Association is to develop premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Wilson Hall

Debate Team State Champions

The high school debate team of junior Luke Kinney and senior Greyson Sonntag won first place in the S.C. Independent School Association State Debate Competition. The topic of the debate was “The constitutional right of freedom of religion has wrongly evolved into freedom from religion.”

In individual recognition, freshman Hannah Alsaadi won best speaker in the novice division, and eighth-grader Mary Jones won best speaker in the middle school division. The team of juniors Bridget Anderson and Emily Bell won second place in the novice division, and in the middle school division the team of Jones and eighth-grader Annie Lauzon placed second, and the team of eighth-graders Lucy McIver and Harsh Patel placed third. Stacey Reaves is the adviser for the high school team, and Dianne Sprott is the middle school team’s adviser.

State Theater Festival

Sophomore Mary Catherine Matthews placed second out of 68 students in audition monologue, and sophomore Darden Kelly and senior Abby Zilch made it to the finals in comedic duet at the S.C. Speech & Theater State Festival. More than 500 students from public and private high schools from across the state participated in the competition held in Lugoff. Emily Robinson is the adviser for the competition theater troupe.

State Music Festival

Thirty students received recognition at the S.C. Independent School Association Music Festival held at the University of South Carolina School of Music in Columbia. For their individual performances, students were awarded 22 gold medals and nine silver medals in bagpipes, guitar, piano, steel pan drum, violin and voice. The music teachers are Frankie Eldridge, Jeanne Shaw and Scott Warren. — Sean Hoskins

Thomas Sumter Academy

Students receive honors

Before the Easter/spring break, the elementary school had the opportunity to recognize our students’ accomplishments for the third quarter. We are very proud of our Generals.

Head of School Honors (all grades 95 or above):

• first grade — Landon McLellan, Sebastian O’Connor, Lela Reilly, Alannah Schrank; Liam Smith and Bella Stephenson;

• second grade — Skylar Spilker;

• third grade — Jack McGary;

• fourth grade — Annabelle Broman; and

• fifth grade — Trenton Spilker.

Faculty Honors (all grades 87 or higher):

• first grade — Stella Lindler, Janvi Patel, Braeden Stevens, John Amick, Audrey Allen, Cassidee Boyd, Autumn Crockett and Grayson Sosbee;

• second grade — Emily Arnold, Riley Carnes, Kason Carter, Kira Davis, Trey O’Bradovich, Colby O’Connell, Peyton Tripplett, Abigail Harken, Abby Hodge, Whitleigh Langston, Sadie Long, Riya Patel, Jaydon Ray, Sara Claire Reid, Juli Tupper and Landon West;

• third grade — Luke Cato, Boone Hitch, Emma Jackson, Emily Lindler, Sophia Miranda, Madison Morrow, Amy Spivey, Taelor Stevens and Grace Wyrick;

• fourth grade — Anna Bell, Sadie Cox, Carter Hill, Ben Kessinger, Will Morris, Mikayla Razor, Sydnie Shaffer, Grayson Smith, Payton Sosbee and Tyler Walton;

• fifth grade — Aryana Best, Reese Distelzweig, Reed Dollard, Mary Elise Drakeford, Olivia Drakeford, Jared Lynch, Taryn McBrayer, Brynna Nedderman, Diya Patel, Christian Razor and Molleigh Ross.


• first grade — Logan Finan and Landon McLellan;

• second grade— Shawn Lasica and Whitleigh Langston;

• third grade — Peyton Broman and Taelor Stevens;

• fourth grade — Sadie Cox and Maddy Lasica; and

• fifth grade — Brandon Marshall and Clara Ann McCaskill.

P.E. Awards

• first grade — Casidee Boyd and Julian Wooten;

• second grade — Shawn Lasica and Landon West;

• third grade — Jordyn Hicks and Madison Morrow;

• fourth grade — Paisley Newman and Annabelle Broman; and

• fifth grade — Jared Lynch and Diya Patel.

AR Awards

• first grade — Lela Reilly and Alannah Schrank;

• second grade — Riya Patel and Juli Tupper;

• third grade — Sophia Miranda and Madison Morrow;

• fourth grade — Anna Bell and Paisley Newman; and

• fifth grade — Taryn McBrayer and Reese Distelzweig.


• first grade — Julian Wooten and Sebastian O’Connor;

• second grade — Peyton Tripplett and Whitleigh Langston;

• third grade — Madi Nichol and Luke Cato;

• fourth grade — Tyler Walton and Weston Shaffer; and

• fifth grade — Reed Dollard and Mason Summers.


Would you like to visit Thomas Sumter Academy? Observe the TSA Difference for yourself. Contact the school at (803) 499-3378 and schedule your visit and campus tour. — Dr. F.L. Martin III

USC Upstate School of Education on the Sumter Campus

CORE Praxis Prep workshops

The USC Upstate School of Education on the Sumter Campus will offer two CORE Praxis Prep workshops for interested students. The CORE Praxis or Praxis I is a requirement for admission into the professional program for the School of Education. Students can exempt the requirement for the Praxis I with a score of 1100 on the SAT or 22 on the ACT.

The first workshop will be offered on Friday, April 20, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Anderson Library on the USC Sumter Campus. This workshop will be an introduction to the “Learning Express” study and practice resources available to students. Pizza will be served to students attending prior to the workshop. Students must preregister to attend.

The second workshop will be Friday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 113 in the Schwartz Building on the USC Sumter Campus. This workshop will cover basic information and academic skills and resources about the reading, math and writing portions of the Praxis.

Students must preregister for workshops by emailing Gail Corning at or Betty Harrington at Please include name, major of study and contact information. Both workshops are free to students, but registration is required. — Betty Harrington