Education News: Sunday, April 29, 2018


Central Carolina Technical College

Scholars' Signing Day

On Saturday, soon-to-be high school students and their parents attended Central Carolina Scholars' Signing Day at the Main Campus of Central Carolina Technical College. CCTC President Dr. Michael Mikota welcomed and congratulated the students and their parents on this opportunity of a lifetime. Faculty spoke and were available to help guide the incoming students through financial aid, registration, student life activities and other opportunities. There was a signing ceremony for each student and his or her family, which included a Central Carolina Scholars baseball cap, pen and contract. CCTC is proud to have these bright high school graduates become part of the college's team. Lunch was served following the signing ceremony.

54th Commencement ceremonies

On Friday, May 11, CCTC will hold its 54th commencement ceremonies for the 2017-18 academic year. The ceremonies will both be held 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.

Registration open for Summer and Fall

Register now for summer or fall semester at CCTC. With an average job placement rate of 92 percent and 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 using one of our 13 admission agreements, CCTC delivers an affordable pathway to your success.

Summer classes start May 21, and fall classes start Aug. 20. For more information visit and to view the classes offered visit - Catherine M. Wood

Wilson Hall

Latin Gold Medals

Freshman Gavyn Mathes, senior Matthew Tavarez and sophomore Naomi Yoder received gold medals and summa cum laude certificates for their performance on the National Latin Exam. Their names will be published in the National Junior Classical League's magazine, Torch U.S. Earning silver medals and maxima cum laude certificates were junior Dylan Dean, sophomores Mallory Hobday, Mary Catherine Matthews, Nicholas Miller and Noah Tavarez, and freshman Bella Land. More than 150,000 students worldwide enrolled in Latin classes took the National Latin Exam in April. Ben McIver is the Latin teacher.

14 Palmetto Fellows

The following seniors are eligible to receive the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship administered by the S.C. Commission on Higher Education: Steph Areford, Carly Cooper, Chandler Curtis, Patrick Fidler, Kirsten Fisher, Meredith Johnson, Jarett King, Eadon Lee, Macie Luebbert, Bryce Lyles, Graeson Smith, Kate Smith, Matthew Tavarez and Zack Zobrist. This merit-based scholarship program was established to recognize the most academically talented high school seniors in South Carolina. Palmetto Fellows may receive up to $6,700 for their freshman year and up to $7,500 for the sophomore, junior and senior years. To be eligible students must meet one of the following two sets of requirements: minimum score of 1200 on the SAT by November, a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 at the end of the junior year, and rank in the top six percent of the class at the end of the sophomore or junior year; or a minimum 1400 on the SAT by November and a minimum grade-point average of 4.0 by the end of the junior year. The designation of scholarship recipients is preliminary based on information provided by high schools and students at the time of this printing, and is subject to final confirmation and approval by the eligible higher education institution and/or the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.

Jones Player of the Week

Senior Walker Jones, a member of the varsity golf team, was named the WLTX News 19 Player of the Week. For this program, News 19 honors exceptional high school seniors who participate in varsity sports, maintain a high GPA, and are outstanding citizens in their community. Area coaches send letters to News 19 recommending student athletes, and Jones was nominated by his coach, Cayce Cole. News 19 Sports presents each winner with a letter jacket and a plaque, and the student is then featured in a 30-second promotional announcement that airs for one week.

College Scholarships

As of April 18, 91 percent of the 69 members of the senior class received merit-based scholarship offers totaling $3.7 million to a four-year college or university. The following is a partial list of scholarship recipients compiled from information submitted to the college counselor, Diane Richardson. Arizona State University offered a President's Scholarship to Carly Cooper, Louisiana State University offered an Innovation Superior Award to Katie Overby, Ohio State University offered a Trustee Award to Pitch Sinlapanuntakul, and the University of Oregon offered an academic scholarship to Breland Land. Anderson University awarded a Founders Scholarship to Jacob Cotton and a Denmark Scholarship to Hayley DuBose and Abby Thigpen, and Clemson University awarded a Presidential Scholarship to Chandler Curtis. The College of Charleston offered a Merit Scholarship to Breland Land, Liza Lowder, Madison Reaves and Grace Towery, and Wofford College offered a Merit Scholarship to Carly Cooper and a Benjamin Wofford Scholarship to Meredith Johnson. - Sean Hoskins

Thomas Sumter Academy


Our elementary STEAM classes are working on their final STEAM project for the year - an outside living habitat to include baby chicks, an ant farm, fish pond and others. Taking a project and collaborating together in the development and establishment of a functioning project is what STEAM is all about.

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 John 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 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 for South Carolina, our nation and in a global economy. Anyone can open the newspaper, read their 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. - Dr. F.L. Martin III

USC Sumter

Venue Change for Commencement Ceremony

Because of a higher number of graduates this year, the USC Sumter 2018 Commencement Ceremony has been moved from the Nettles Auditorium on campus to Patriot Hall, 135 Haynsworth St. The date and time remain the same - Wednesday, May 9, at 11 a.m.

Education and Career Fair May 3

USC Sumter will host an Education and Career Fair on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Nettles Gymnasium for current students. Representatives from USC Palmetto College and other programs will be on campus, along with hiring managers from local businesses such as BD, SC Works, SAFE Federal Credit Union and many more.

Businesses interested in attending can contact Chris Knezevich, Palmetto College coordinator at USC Sumter, at (803) 938-3771 or - Misty Fickling

Lee County School District


On April 13, Bishopville Primary School sponsored a pep rally to motivate the students for the SC Ready test with a special visitor, Sir Purr, the Carolina Panthers' mascot. Sir Purr visits schools in the Carolinas each spring and helps students in grades three through eight prepare for the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards or SC Ready tests in South Carolina. During the 30-minute program, Sir Purr teaches each of his proven test taking tips, which also includes video messages from Panthers players. Students learn the connection between how Panthers players get ready for the big game and how they can apply the same methods to prepare for their big tests.


On March 30, first-grade classes at Lower Lee Elementary School visited the acclaimed topiary garden of Pearl Fryar in Bishopville. Fryar's garden has received national attention, and a documentary movie, "A Man Named Pearl," was made about him. The students got a chance to meet Fryar, and he explained some of the techniques he uses to create his "art" with plants. They were very amazed at the beauty of his garden. The garden also contains several metal pieces that he made from junk. They especially liked the metal fountain that was made from old instruments.

In Mr. Gee's exceptional learning class, students are learning new and exciting things every day. In math, the students are learning and reviewing how to identify shapes such as triangles, quadrilaterals, hexagons and cubes. They are learning how to recognize and draw shapes that have specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces. K4 and K5 students are learning to count by 2s and are working on writing numbers from 0 to 100.

In reading/ELA, students are reviewing statements and questions and how to use the correct punctuation for each. Students are also working on writing five or more sentence paragraphs to improve their writing skills. K4 and K5 students are continuing to work on handwriting skills and sight words.

In social studies, students are learning about the three different types of communities which are suburban, rural and urban.


Fifth-grade students at West Lee Elementary School are studying about civil rights in social studies. In an effort to make the lesson interactive, the students are planning to reenact events such as bus boycotts, sit-ins and peace walks. In preparation of the reenactment, students have written letters to various school staff such as the principal, nurse and food service staff. The letters informed the staff members about the protests. After the events, students will have a breakfast to culminate the activities. At various times during the breakfast, moments of silence will be held to reflect on the activists who were killed fighting for civil rights. Recitations and poems will be presented.

For Global Education Day, students went on a field trip to the International Fair in Columbia on April 13. Students were excited to see displays and cultural performances from various countries across the world. Students were also able to purchase keepsakes/souvenirs from the different countries as well.

Kiara Wilson's third-grade class is hard at work. In math and ELA, students are reviewing what they've learned this year in an effort to achieve the highest possible scores on the SC Ready test next month. Also, students have been finalizing their science projects for the district science fair at Lee Central Middle School. In social studies, students are learning about the Civil War and the Reconstruction of the South. In health, the class is learning about the importance of having good personal hygiene and staying active with physical activity.

Notoya Whyte's second-grade class is focusing on sequence of events in reading/ELA. The students read a story titled "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numberoff. After reading the story, the students collaborated and discussed the sequence of events.


Travon Pearson, a 7-foot 2-inch eighth-grader, was featured in The State newspaper speaking about basketball and life. His father is 6 feet 10 inches, and his mother is 5 feet 11 inches. In the interview, Pearson said the hardest part of basketball was finding shoes. "I wear a size 15 shoe, and last year I wore a size 14. I usually go up two shoe sizes a year," Pearson said. He also shared that Kyree Irving is his favorite NBA player and that his ultimate goal is to play in the NBA one day. Pearson said that his biggest learning curve is ball handling and that shooting is his favorite part of the game.


Lee County School District will host a job fair for classified positions on Friday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Lee County School District Office, 310 Roland St., Bishopville. The district is recruiting for bus drivers, bus monitors, food service operators, custodians and secretaries. Interested candidates may apply online at Please contact the Lee County School District Office of Human Resources at (803) 484-5327 for more information.

Sherman College

SPARTANBURG - Letitia Smith of Sumter has been named to Sherman College of Chiropractic's President's List for the winter 2018 academic quarter. President's List students have achieved a grade-point average of 4.0 for the quarter.

Newberry College

NEWBERRY - Devin Blackwell of Manning has been honored by the City of Newberry for outstanding leadership and involvement on campus and in the community.

During his four years, he has been a member of Scarlet Spirit Marching Band, served as executive board member of National Society of Leadership and Success, worked as a student ambassador and held position of resident adviser.

He has also served as a member of the multicultural committee, vice president of Student Government Association, been a member of Campus Alliance of Respect & Diversity, was a Campus Disciplinary Board member, orientation leader and volunteer tutor at Newberry County Schools.

He has also been involved in community service in campus beautification, been a member of the Advisory Board and presented at the SCC Exchange.

Phi Kappa Phi

The following local residents were recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

Gabriel Hutson of Sumter was initiated at Francis Marion University.

Taylor McFaddin of Sumter was initiated at Methodist University.

Emily Wachter of Sumter was initiated at Francis Marion University.

Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Coastal Carolina University

CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina University Department of Music, in partnership with the Skipp Pearson Jazz Legacy Foundation, presented "Come Let Freedom Swing," a dual performance by the CCU Jazz Big Band and Carl Payne Big Band presented on Singleton Lawn East on April 21.

The CCU Jazz Big Band, under the direction of Matthew White, associate professor in the Department of Music, includes a traditional big band instrumentation of the 1940s: saxophones, trumpets, trombones, drumset and piano. Students in the Jazz Ensemble include the following music majors:

Clinton Patton and Conrad Kenner of Sumter and Tyrice Murray from Manning.

Winthrop University

ROCK HILL - A business administration major who graduated in three years and the chair of the Council of Student Leaders captured top honors at the 2018 Winthrop University Student Life Awards ceremony on April 19 at the DiGiorgio Campus Center.

LaRaven Temoney of Sumter, who is a senior business administration major and economics minor from Sumter, was given the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award. Temoney, who graduated in three years and became the first student in the College of Business Administration's history to receive a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program grant, volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, the Young Women's Christian Association, the American Cancer Society and the Children's Attention Home. She also held numerous leadership positions on campus. Temoney also received the Cynthia A. Cassens Resident Assistant of the Year Award at the ceremony.