Education News: Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018


Sumter School District

Golden Apple awards continue

The Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce held the Golden Apple Awards program at Alice Drive 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 Mayor Joseph T. McElveen and County Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr.

Congratulations to the following students: Jeshua Espiritu, Alana Garrick, Za'Nyla Robinson, Alexander Black, Torrie Chapman, Emily Bowman, James Newman, Darion Anderson, Marquise Moses, Ceymenon Hilton, Abbegale Bauer and Kelsey Dunn.

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.

Sumter Police Department sponsors Black History contest

Heroism, admiration and respect were themes that resonated throughout the sixth-annual Black History Month contest. Sponsored by the Sumter Police Department, interested students in grades K through second grade submitted artwork on a famous black American whom they view as a hero or admire, and students in grades 3-5 submitted essays on famous black Americans they would like to grow up to be like or view as heroes.

Forty-five students from the elementary schools that Sumter Police Department serves were selected as winners and treated to an awards luncheon at Chuck E. Cheese. Chief of Police Russell F. Roark III, Deputy Chief Alvin Holston and members of the Community Services Unit presented certificates and played games with the children.

"The students' artwork and essays shine a light on the remarkable contributions of African-Americans who inspired them in so many ways," said Roark. "This annual collaboration with our elementary schools is a highlight for the Sumter Police Department as we celebrate Black History Month in our community."

February Star Teacher of the Month

Debbie Healey, a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Wilder Elementary School, was named the February Star Teacher of the Month. The Star Teacher program is sponsored by Community Broadcasters and Staples. Healey was a guest on the Good Morning Sumter Show on WDXY AM 1240 and FM 105.9 with host Derek Burress. In addition to appearing on the show, she received a gift bag from Staples.

A 17-year teaching veteran, Healey serves as the fifth-grade leader, a faculty adviser for the Glitter Girlz group, school level chairwoman for Relay for Life, as well as the school level coordinator for the fifth-grade trip to Washington, D.C. This year she received a grant for Relfex Math, which is an online program that helps students with math fluency. She has also had a total of five projects funded through Donor's Choose this school year that have gone a long way toward advancing teaching and learning in her classroom.

Healey was nominated by not one but two students. According to her nominations she helps her students understand math, she makes them smile, she works hard, and she has a heart of gold. They noted that if there were an award for the best teacher ever, Healey would win.

DAR essay contest winners named

Taelyn Savitski, a fifth-grade student at Millwood Elementary School, and Mason Scott Reese, a seventh-grade student from Furman Middle School, were named winners of Sumter's Home Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution American History Essay contest. The theme for this year's essay contest was "World War I: Remembering the War to End All Wars." Both students received a certificate, medal and cash prize for their achievement.

Alice Drive Middle Storms the Citadel

The Alice Drive Middle School Engineering Club, under the leadership of Brian Gerad, competed in the Storm The Citadel trebuchet competition. In the first heat, Alice Drive Middle scored higher than middle school, high school, college and corporate teams. They were named Middle School Champions and moved on to compete for the overall award and ended the day in second place.

Congratulations to Gerard and his club members: Hannah Britton, Mia Bagwell, Jenny Li, Nicholas Alexander, Dominic Orellana, Tyler Ingram, Sudie Grace Cromer, James Krivejko, Alana Garrick, Breanna Sherwood, Anna Collins and Joseph Keller Thomas.

Board set to meet on Monday

The Sumter School District Board of Trustees will have its monthly workshop meeting Monday at 6 p.m. at the district office, 1345 Wilson Hall Road. There is no public participation scheduled for workshop meetings. The next regular monthly board meeting is scheduled for March 12. - Shelly Galloway

Thomas Sumter Academy

Celebrating Diversity

This month is Black History Month. At Thomas Sumter Academy we celebrate diversity. This month we have had two great opportunities to share this diversity with our students. We had an upper school assembly with our guest speaker, Rashan Carraway.

Carraway is a Winthrop graduate and joined us at the bequest of three of our students who initiated and coordinated this event - it was student initiated, student led and student coordinated. Carraway spoke about black history and how it intertwined with all of American history.

Our next guest speaker spoke with our elementary classes - TSA's very own Coach Russell "Crazy Legs" Patterson. Coach has been a member of the TSA staff for a number of years. He has coached football and baseball and has been a loyal supporter of TSA and our athletic program. Coach took time to talk about his days in the All Negro Baseball League and what that meant during those years in our history.

If you would like to visit our campus and speak with our students and parents, call to schedule a tour at (803) 499-3378.- Dr. F.L. Martin III

USC Upstate of the Sumter Campus

TEACh sponsoring concert

USC Upstate on the Sumter Campus club for future educators, Teachers Educating All Children (TEACh), is sponsoring a concert for early childhood students on Monday, March 19. The concert features author, singer, songwriter and entertainer Debbie Clements.

Clements' engaging show features three books she has authored which are centered on a patriotic theme, animal theme and character education. Her show titled "Rainbows Within Reach" provides educational entertainment with an interactive show. Visit her website at Her books will be available for purchase and each book includes a CD. Attendance at the concert requires a $5 donation per child. Two show times are available at 9 and 10:30 a.m.

For more information, email or call Gail Corning at or call (803) 938-3702. Reservations for seating are required. - Betty Harrington

Morris College

Mid-Semester Exams

Morris College will conduct Mid-Semester Examinations Monday through Thursday.

Spring Break

Spring break will begin at the conclusion of 5 p.m. classes on Friday. Classes will resume at 8 a.m. on March 12.

Morris passes compliance evaluation

Morris College's compliance regarding 17 standards of the Principles of Accreditation was recently reviewed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Morris College's submission of the Fifth-Year Interim was accepted and approved without the need for revision or any supplemental information.

The Fifth-Year Interim Report included information regarding the Morris College Quality Enhancement Plan program on which Morris College was also evaluated by way of the QEP Impact Report.

The mission for the Morris College QEP program focuses on "Promoting Advanced Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Development for Juniors."

The institutional goals for the project were that by the end of the junior year, the program participants would have strengthened their vocabulary development skills by mastering a 500 Advanced Vocabulary Word List and improved their advanced reading comprehension skills as measured by The Nelson Denny Reading Test. The Nelson Denny Reading Test is a reading survey test for high school and college students and adults. A two-part test, the Nelson-Denny measures vocabulary development, comprehension and reading rate.

The objectives of the Quality Enhancement Plan were that 80 percent of students who complete the project would demonstrate 80 percent mastery of the 500 Advanced Vocabulary Word List to assist in improving reading comprehension skills, and 50 percent of students who complete the project will achieve an increase of one or more grade levels in reading comprehension as revealed by The Nelson Denny Reading Test.

As a result of the QEP program, 78.3 percent of participants achieved the prescribed level of mastery in advanced vocabulary after taking the Junior Seminar course in which the program was applied. This result indicated that the intensive, systematic, directed instruction provided through the QEP project was instrumental in the improvement of the participants' ability to use word knowledge to enhance their reading comprehension. Testing showed that the average grade level increase was that of three grade levels.

Additionally, an average of 44 percent of students improved reading comprehension by one grade level or more under the Advanced Reading Comprehension component of the QEP Project, with program participants in summer 2013, 2015 and 2016 meeting or exceeding the 50 percent objective. By identifying the specific skills through analysis of the test data, the QEP program was able to provide individualized instruction for program participants.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges determined via the QEP Impact Report that the program had a significant impact on student learning and expressed its appreciation of Morris College's support of SACSCOC's activities. -- Anika Cobb

Central Carolina Technical College

Applications for scholarships accepted

CCTC Foundation is accepting applications for Dollars for Scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year. Deadline to apply is March 15.

Consider applying if you are enrolling in at least six credit hours per semester and if you are achieving at least a 2.0 grade-point average for each semester. Apply online at:

Welding Skills 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 S.C. technical colleges will compete in six welding categories.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities for this event, contact Welding Program Manager Axel Reis at (803) 778-7863 or

Veterans Forum

Central Carolina Technical College's Veteran Resource Center, Student Veteran Association and History Department will present a "Veteran Forum: Honoring Our Local Heroes" from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, on the Main Campus in Building 400, Room M401.

The event will feature a panel of several local veterans who will share their experiences and insight on how their military service impacted their education. Veterans of WWII, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom will be on hand. This is a great opportunity for the community to interact one-on-one with these local heroes. This event is open to the public. - Catherine M. Wood

Wilson Hall

Dance Marathon Raises more than $11,000

Wilson Hall raised $11,366 for the Palmetto Health Children's Hospital by hosting its second-annual mini-dance marathon. In partnership with the University of South Carolina Dance Marathon, which raises over half a million dollars every year through the Miracle Network, the money raised will go to support bettering the lives of children at the hospital.

Held in the Nash Student Center on Feb. 10, the event featured music, games, activities and food for students of all ages. In addition to raising money through admission to the event, the committee raised money through a Pie-a-Teacher event, a doughnut-eating contest, bake sales, T-shirt and bracelet sales, and the solicitation of donations through the Miracle Network's website. The student-led event was organized by the following members of the executive committee: Steph Areford (chairwoman), Kirsten Fisher, Hailey Ford, Breland Land, Ingrid Singleton and Amelia Weston. Liz Affronti served as the faculty adviser for the committee.

Teachers of the Year

The following faculty members were selected by their peers as the Wilson Hall Teachers of the Year: lower school - Mollie McMillan, a kindergarten teacher; middle school - Tracy Sims, an English teacher; and upper school - Sheri Singleton, a science teacher. - Sean Hoskins

University of South Carolina Sumter

Galleries Full of New Exhibits

The University of South Carolina Sumter art galleries are buzzing with new exhibits for the spring. In the Upstairs Gallery, artist DJ Hatcher presents Our World in Acrylics through March 30. The Upstairs Gallery is on the second floor of the Williams-Brice-Edwards Administration Building and is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Linda English's Through the Eyes of a Child will be on view through March 30 in the Umpteenth Gallery. The Umpteenth Gallery is in the Arts & Letters Building and is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Finally, Jackie Wukela's exhibit People and Places will be available through March 30 in the University Gallery in the Anderson Library on the first floor. The exhibit is open Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Friday, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. - Misty Hatfield

University of South Carolina Aiken

AIKEN - The University of South Carolina Aiken congratulates the following local students who made the President's List for fall 2017: Tiffany Mullen and Erica Spigner, both of Sumter.

To earn this distinction, students must be enrolled full time and maintain a grade-point average of at least 4.0.

The University of South Carolina Aiken congratulates the following local students who made the Dean's List for fall 2017. To earn this distinction, students must be enrolled full time and maintain a grade-point average of at least 3.5.

- Bishopville - E'Va Benjamin; and

- Sumter - James Fender, Madison Floyd, Ian Martin, Ryan Missildine and Kaitlyn Pinkney; and

- Rembert - Darius Smith.

USC Upstate

SPARTANBURG - The University of South Carolina Upstate recognized 358 graduates during fall convocation exercises held Dec. 19, 2017, at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.

- Sumter - Elizabeth Atkinson, Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Kayla DuRant, Bachelor of Arts Education; Julanda Jackson, Bachelor of Arts Education; Rebekah McLendon, Bachelor of Arts Education; and Fredresia Rose, Bachelor of Science;

- Manning - Jamie Dowell, Bachelor of Arts Education; and Natalie Dyson, Bachelor of Arts in Education; and

- Dalzell - Dylan Ross, Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

To be eligible for the Chancellor's List, students must earn a 4.0 and be enrolled in at least 12 course hours. The following local students were named to fall 2017 Chancellor's List:

- Sumter - Noah Bittinger, Scot Bozio, Erin Bradford, Bethany Jones, Alyssa Lennard, Katlyn Loschke, Melinda Menser, Heather Merritt, Augusta Payeur, Shelby Reynolds and NeTaysia Zeigler;

- Dalzell -Ashlee Holloman and Dylan Ross;

- Pinewood -Da'Masha Ragin; and

- New Zion -Hannah Yarborough

Coastal Carolina University

CONWAY - More than 30 Coastal Carolina University students will be performing in the Wind Ensemble concert "Reflections" on March 1, directed by T. Andre Feagin, CCU director of bands. Local performing students are: Conrad Kenner and Clinton Patton, both music majors from Sumter.